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Sample records for active working memory

  1. Heritability of working memory brain activation.

    PubMed

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

    2011-07-27

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

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

    PubMed

    Zach, Sima; Shalom, Eyal

    2016-04-01

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

  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. Modulation of inferotemporal cortex activation during verbal working memory maintenance

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Zamora, Leona; Corina, David; Ojemann, George

    2016-06-01

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

  6. 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…

  7. 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,…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  11. Dynamic trajectory of multiple single-unit activity during working memory task in rats

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiaofan; Yi, Hu; Bai, Wenwen; Tian, Xin

    2015-01-01

    Working memory plays an important role in complex cognitive tasks. A popular theoretical view is that transient properties of neuronal dynamics underlie cognitive processing. The question raised here as to how the transient dynamics evolve in working memory. To address this issue, we investigated the multiple single-unit activity dynamics in rat medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) during a Y-maze working memory task. The approach worked by reconstructing state space from delays of the original single-unit firing rate variables, which were further analyzed using kernel principal component analysis (KPCA). Then the neural trajectories were obtained to visualize the multiple single-unit activity. Furthermore, the maximal Lyapunov exponent (MLE) was calculated to quantitatively evaluate the neural trajectories during the working memory task. The results showed that the neuronal activity produced stable and reproducible neural trajectories in the correct trials while showed irregular trajectories in the incorrect trials, which may establish a link between the neurocognitive process and behavioral performance in working memory. The MLEs significantly increased during working memory in the correctly performed trials, indicating an increased divergence of the neural trajectories. In the incorrect trials, the MLEs were nearly zero and remained unchanged during the task. Taken together, the trial-specific neural trajectory provides an effective way to track the instantaneous state of the neuronal population during the working memory task and offers valuable insights into working memory function. The MLE describes the changes of neural dynamics in working memory and may reflect different neuronal population states in working memory. PMID:26441626

  12. The retrieval of self-defining memories is associated with the activation of specific working selves.

    PubMed

    Çili, Soljana; Stopa, Lusia

    2015-01-01

    This article presents two studies that investigated the impact of the retrieval of self-defining memories on individuals' sense of self. Participants recalled positive and/or negative self-defining memories, rated memory characteristics and completed measures focusing on different self-aspects. Study 1 found that participants reported higher state self-esteem after recalling a positive memory than after recalling a negative one. They also reported lower negative self-consistency and higher state self-concept clarity and positive self-consistency, but this result became non-significant after controlling for state self-esteem. Study 2 found that participants reported higher state self-esteem, a marginally higher proportion of recreation/exploration, goals and a marginally lower proportion of achievement goals after recalling a positive memory than after recalling a negative one. They also reported a higher proportion of self-cognitions referring to emotional states after recalling memories from which they had not abstracted meaning than after recalling memories from which they had done this. These findings suggest that the retrieval of vivid, emotional and highly self-relevant memories may be accompanied by the activation of specific self-representations or working selves. They also suggest that the experience of memory-related intrusive images may temporarily influence individuals' sense of self. The implications of these findings for clinical practice are discussed. PMID:24528183

  13. Detailed sensory memory, sloppy working memory.

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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…

  18. Pushing the Limits: Chronotype and Time of Day Modulate Working Memory-Dependent Cerebral Activity

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Christina; Collette, Fabienne; Reichert, Carolin F.; Maire, Micheline; Vandewalle, Gilles; Peigneux, Philippe; Cajochen, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Morning-type individuals experience more difficulties to maintain optimal attentional performance throughout a normal waking day than evening types. However, time-of-day modulations may differ across cognitive domains. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we investigated how chronotype and time of day interact with working memory at different levels of cognitive load/complexity in a N-back paradigm (N0-, N2-, and N3-back levels). Extreme morning- and evening-type individuals underwent two fMRI sessions during N-back performance, one 1.5 h (morning) and one 10.5 h (evening) after wake-up time scheduled according to their habitual sleep–wake preference. At the behavioral level, increasing working memory load resulted in lower accuracy while chronotype and time of day only exerted a marginal impact on performance. Analyses of neuroimaging data disclosed an interaction between chronotype, time of day, and the modulation of cerebral activity by working memory load in the thalamus and in the middle frontal cortex. In the subjective evening hours, evening types exhibited higher thalamic activity than morning types at the highest working memory load condition only (N3-back). Conversely, morning-type individuals exhibited higher activity than evening-type participants in the middle frontal gyrus during the morning session in the N3-back condition. Our data emphasize interindividual differences in time-of-day preferences and underlying cerebral activity, which should be taken into account when investigating vigilance state effects in task-related brain activity. These results support the hypothesis that higher task complexity leads to a chronotype-dependent increase in thalamic and frontal brain activity, permitting stabilization of working memory performance across the day. PMID:26441819

  19. Pushing the Limits: Chronotype and Time of Day Modulate Working Memory-Dependent Cerebral Activity.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Christina; Collette, Fabienne; Reichert, Carolin F; Maire, Micheline; Vandewalle, Gilles; Peigneux, Philippe; Cajochen, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Morning-type individuals experience more difficulties to maintain optimal attentional performance throughout a normal waking day than evening types. However, time-of-day modulations may differ across cognitive domains. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we investigated how chronotype and time of day interact with working memory at different levels of cognitive load/complexity in a N-back paradigm (N0-, N2-, and N3-back levels). Extreme morning- and evening-type individuals underwent two fMRI sessions during N-back performance, one 1.5 h (morning) and one 10.5 h (evening) after wake-up time scheduled according to their habitual sleep-wake preference. At the behavioral level, increasing working memory load resulted in lower accuracy while chronotype and time of day only exerted a marginal impact on performance. Analyses of neuroimaging data disclosed an interaction between chronotype, time of day, and the modulation of cerebral activity by working memory load in the thalamus and in the middle frontal cortex. In the subjective evening hours, evening types exhibited higher thalamic activity than morning types at the highest working memory load condition only (N3-back). Conversely, morning-type individuals exhibited higher activity than evening-type participants in the middle frontal gyrus during the morning session in the N3-back condition. Our data emphasize interindividual differences in time-of-day preferences and underlying cerebral activity, which should be taken into account when investigating vigilance state effects in task-related brain activity. These results support the hypothesis that higher task complexity leads to a chronotype-dependent increase in thalamic and frontal brain activity, permitting stabilization of working memory performance across the day. PMID:26441819

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Working Memory and Attitudes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jung, Eun Sook; Reid, Norman

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  4. Hippocampal subfield and medial temporal cortical persistent activity during working memory reflects ongoing encoding

    PubMed Central

    Nauer, Rachel K.; Whiteman, Andrew S.; Dunne, Matthew F.; Stern, Chantal E.; Schon, Karin

    2015-01-01

    Previous neuroimaging studies support a role for the medial temporal lobes in maintaining novel stimuli over brief working memory (WM) delays, and suggest delay period activity predicts subsequent memory. Additionally, slice recording studies have demonstrated neuronal persistent spiking in entorhinal cortex, perirhinal cortex (PrC), and hippocampus (CA1, CA3, subiculum). These data have led to computational models that suggest persistent spiking in parahippocampal regions could sustain neuronal representations of sensory information over many seconds. This mechanism may support both WM maintenance and encoding of information into long term episodic memory. The goal of the current study was to use high-resolution fMRI to elucidate the contributions of the MTL cortices and hippocampal subfields to WM maintenance as it relates to later episodic recognition memory. We scanned participants while they performed a delayed match to sample task with novel scene stimuli, and assessed their memory for these scenes post-scan. We hypothesized stimulus-driven activation that persists into the delay period—a putative correlate of persistent spiking—would predict later recognition memory. Our results suggest sample and delay period activation in the parahippocampal cortex (PHC), PrC, and subiculum (extending into DG/CA3 and CA1) was linearly related to increases in subsequent memory strength. These data extend previous neuroimaging studies that have constrained their analysis to either the sample or delay period by modeling these together as one continuous ongoing encoding process, and support computational frameworks that predict persistent activity underlies both WM and episodic encoding. PMID:25859188

  5. 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. PMID:25352319

  6. 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

  7. 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. PMID:21940605

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27438411

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    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

  10. The topography of alpha-band activity tracks the content of spatial working memory.

    PubMed

    Foster, Joshua J; Sutterer, David W; Serences, John T; Vogel, Edward K; Awh, Edward

    2016-01-01

    Working memory (WM) is a system for the online storage of information. An emerging view is that neuronal oscillations coordinate the cellular assemblies that code the content of WM. In line with this view, previous work has demonstrated that oscillatory activity in the alpha band (8-12 Hz) plays a role in WM maintenance, but the exact contributions of this activity have remained unclear. Here, we used an inverted spatial encoding model in combination with electroencephalography (EEG) to test whether the topographic distribution of alpha-band activity tracks spatial representations held in WM. Participants in three experiments performed spatial WM tasks that required them to remember the precise angular location of a sample stimulus for 1,000-1,750 ms. Across all three experiments, we found that the topographic distribution of alpha-band activity tracked the specific location that was held in WM. Evoked (i.e., activity phase-locked to stimulus onset) and total (i.e., activity regardless of phase) power across a range of low-frequency bands transiently tracked the location of the sample stimulus following stimulus onset. However, only total power in the alpha band tracked the content of spatial WM throughout the memory delay period, which enabled reconstruction of location-selective channel tuning functions (CTFs). These findings demonstrate that alpha-band activity is directly related to the coding of spatial representations held in WM and provide a promising method for tracking the content of this online memory system. PMID:26467522

  11. 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. PMID:25999828

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID

  13. Modulation of network excitability by persistent activity: how working memory affects the response to incoming stimuli.

    PubMed

    Tartaglia, Elisa M; Brunel, Nicolas; Mongillo, Gianluigi

    2015-02-01

    Persistent activity and match effects are widely regarded as neuronal correlates of short-term storage and manipulation of information, with the first serving active maintenance and the latter supporting the comparison between memory contents and incoming sensory information. The mechanistic and functional relationship between these two basic neurophysiological signatures of working memory remains elusive. We propose that match signals are generated as a result of transient changes in local network excitability brought about by persistent activity. Neurons more active will be more excitable, and thus more responsive to external inputs. Accordingly, network responses are jointly determined by the incoming stimulus and the ongoing pattern of persistent activity. Using a spiking model network, we show that this mechanism is able to reproduce most of the experimental phenomenology of match effects as exposed by single-cell recordings during delayed-response tasks. The model provides a unified, parsimonious mechanistic account of the main neuronal correlates of working memory, makes several experimentally testable predictions, and demonstrates a new functional role for persistent activity. PMID:25695777

  14. Activity-silent’ working memory in prefrontal cortex: a dynamic coding framework

    PubMed Central

    Stokes, Mark G.

    2015-01-01

    Working memory (WM) provides the functional backbone to high-level cognition. Maintenance in WM is often assumed to depend on the stationary persistence of neural activity patterns that represent memory content. However, accumulating evidence suggests that persistent delay activity does not always accompany WM maintenance but instead seems to wax and wane as a function of the current task relevance of memoranda. Furthermore, new methods for measuring and analysing population-level patterns show that activity states are highly dynamic. At first glance, these dynamics seem at odds with the very nature of WM. How can we keep a stable thought in mind while brain activity is constantly changing? This review considers how neural dynamics might be functionally important for WM maintenance. PMID:26051384

  15. Contralateral delay activity reveals dimension-based attentional orienting to locations in visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Töllner, Thomas; Eschmann, Kathrin C J; Rusch, Tessa; Müller, Hermann J

    2014-04-01

    In research on visual working memory (WM), a contentiously debated issue concerns whether or not items are stored independently of one another in WM. Here we addressed this issue by exploring the role of the physical context that surrounds a given item in the memory display in the formation of WM representations. In particular, we employed bilateral memory displays that contained two or three lateralized singleton items (together with six or five distractor items), defined either within the same or in different visual feature dimensions. After a variable interval, a retro-cue was presented centrally, requiring participants to discern the presence (vs. the absence) of this item in the previously shown memory array. Our results show that search for targets in visual WM is determined interactively by dimensional context and set size: For larger, but not smaller, set sizes, memory search slowed down when targets were defined across rather than within dimensions. This dimension-specific cost manifested in a stronger contralateral delay activity component, an established neural marker of the access to WM representations. Overall, our findings provide electrophysiological evidence for the hierarchically structured nature of WM representations, and they appear inconsistent with the view that WM items are encoded in isolation. PMID:24510425

  16. Effects of mnemonic load on cortical activity during visual working memory: linking ongoing brain activity with evoked responses.

    PubMed

    Boonstra, Tjeerd W; Powell, Tamara Y; Mehrkanoon, Saeid; Breakspear, Michael

    2013-09-01

    The mechanisms generating task-locked changes in cortical potentials remain poorly understood, despite a wealth of research. It has recently been proposed that ongoing brain oscillations are not symmetric, so that task-related amplitude modulations generate a baseline shift that does not average out, leading to slow event-related potentials. We test this hypothesis using multivariate methods to formally assess the co-variation between task-related evoked potentials and spectral changes in scalp EEG during a visual working memory task, which is known to elicit both evoked and sustained cortical activities across broadly distributed cortical regions. 64-channel EEG data were acquired from eight healthy human subjects who completed a visuo-spatial associative working memory task as memory load was parametrically increased from easy to hard. As anticipated, evoked activity showed a complex but robust spatio-temporal waveform maximally expressed bilaterally in the parieto-occipital and anterior midline regions, showing robust effects of memory load that were specific to the stage of the working memory trial. Similarly, memory load was associated with robust spectral changes in the theta and alpha range, throughout encoding in posterior regions and through maintenance and retrieval in anterior regions, consistent with the additional resources required for decision making in prefrontal cortex. Analysis of the relationship between event-related changes in slow potentials and cortical rhythms, using partial least squares, is indeed consistent with the notion that the former make a causal contribution to the latter. PMID:23583626

  17. Working Memory and Neurofeedback.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Abnormal medial temporal activity for bound information during working memory maintenance in patients with schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Luck, David; Danion, Jean-Marie; Marrer, Corrine; Pham, Bich-Tuy; Gounot, Daniel; Foucher, Jack

    2010-08-01

    Alterations of binding in long-term memory in schizophrenia are well established and occur as a result of aberrant activity in the medial temporal lobe (MTL). In working memory (WM), such a deficit is less clear and the pathophysiological bases remain unstudied. Seventeen patients with schizophrenia and 17 matched healthy controls performed a WM binding task while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging. Binding was assessed by contrasting two conditions comprising an equal amount of verbal and spatial information (i.e., three letters and three spatial locations), but differing in the absence or presence of a link between them. In healthy controls, MTL activation was observed for encoding and maintenance of bound information but not for its retrieval. Between-group comparisons revealed that patients with schizophrenia showed MTL hypoactivation during the maintenance phase only. In addition, BOLD signals correlated with behavioral performance in controls but not in patients with schizophrenia. Our results confirm the major role that the MTL plays in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Short-term and long-term relational memory deficits in schizophrenia may share common cognitive and functional pathological bases. Our results provide additional information about the episodic buffer that represents an integrative interface between WM and long-term memory. PMID:19693783

  19. Adolescent Binge Drinking Linked to Abnormal Spatial Working Memory Brain Activation: Differential Gender Effects

    PubMed Central

    Squeglia, Lindsay M.; Schweinsburg, Alecia Dager; Pulido, Carmen; Tapert, Susan F.

    2011-01-01

    Background Binge drinking is prevalent during adolescence, and its effect on neurocognitive development is of concern. In adult and adolescent populations, heavy substance use has been associated with decrements in cognitive functioning, particularly on tasks of spatial working memory (SWM). Characterizing the gender-specific influences of heavy episodic drinking on SWM may help elucidate the early functional consequences of drinking on adolescent brain functioning. Methods 40 binge drinkers (13 females, 27 males) and 55 controls (24 females, 31 males) ages 16 to 19, completed neuropsychological testing, substance use interviews, and a spatial working memory task (SWM) during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Results Significant binge drinking status x gender interactions were found (p<.05) in 8 brain regions spanning bilateral frontal, anterior cingulate, temporal, and cerebellar cortices. In all regions, female binge drinkers showed less SWM activation than female controls, while male bingers exhibited greater SWM response than male controls. For female binge drinkers, less activation was associated with poorer sustained attention and working memory performances (ps<.025). For male binge drinkers, greater activation was linked to better spatial performance (p<.025). Conclusion Binge drinking during adolescence is associated with gender-specific differences in frontal, temporal, and cerebellar brain activation during a SWM task, which in turn relate to cognitive performance. Activation correlates with neuropsychological performance, strengthening the argument that BOLD activation is both affected by alcohol use and is an important indicator of behavioral functioning. Females may be more vulnerable to the neurotoxic effects of heavy alcohol use during adolescence, while males may be more resilient to the deleterious effects of binge drinking. Future longitudinal research will examine the significance of SWM brain activation as an early neurocognitive

  20. Neurocomputational models of working memory.

    PubMed

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

    2000-11-01

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

  1. 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…

  2. Age effects on load-dependent brain activations in working memory for novel material

    PubMed Central

    Holtzer, Roee; Rakitin, Brian, C.; Steffener, Jason; Flynn, Joe; Kumar, Arjun; Stern, Yaakov

    2009-01-01

    Three competing models of cognitive aging (neural compensation, capacity limitations, neural inefficiency) were examined in relation to working memory for novel non-verbal material. To accomplish this goal young (n=25) and old (n=25) participants performed a delayed item recognition (DIR) task while being scanned with bold fMRI. The stimuli in the DIR task consisted of computer-generated closed-curve shapes with each shape presented only once in the testing conditions of each participant. This ensured that both the novelty and appearance of the shapes maximized visual demands and limited the extent of phonologic processing. Behaviorally, as expected, the old participants were slower and less accurate compared to the young participants. Spatial patterns of brain activation that corresponded to load-dependent (stimulus set size ranged from 1 to 3) fMRI signal during the three phases of the DIR task (memory set presentation, retention delay, probe presentation) were evaluated in both age groups. Support for neural compensation and capacity limitation was evident in retention delay and the probe phase, respectively. Data were inconsistent with the neural inefficiency model. The process specific support for the theories we examined is consistent with a large corpus of research showing that the substrates underlying the encoding, retention and probe phases are different. That is, cognitive aging theories can be specific to the neural networks/regions underlying the different phases of working memory. Delineating how these theories work in concert can increase knowledge of age-related effects on working memory. PMID:18983833

  3. 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. PMID:26018644

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. The Association Between Eye Movements and Cerebellar Activation in a Verbal Working Memory Task.

    PubMed

    Peterburs, Jutta; Cheng, Dominic T; Desmond, John E

    2016-09-01

    It has been argued that cerebellar activations during cognitive tasks may masquerade as cognition, while actually reflecting processes related to movement planning or motor learning. The present study investigated whether the cerebellar load effect for verbal working memory, that is, increased activations in lobule VI/Crus I and lobule VIIB/VIIIA, is related to eye movements and oculomotor processing. Fifteen participants performed an fMRI-based Sternberg verbal working memory task. Oculomotor and cognitive task demands were manipulated by using closely and widely spaced stimuli, and high and low cognitive load. Trial-based quantitative eye movement parameters were obtained from concurrent eye tracking. Conventional MRI analysis replicated the cerebellar load effect in lobules VI and VIIB/VIIIa. With quantitative eye movement parameters as regressors, analysis yielded very similar activation patterns. While load effect and eye regressor generally recruited spatially distinct neocortical and cerebellar regions, conjunction analysis showed that a small subset of prefrontal areas implicated in the load effect also responded to the eye regressor. The present results indicate that cognitive load-dependent activations in lateral superior and posteroinferior cerebellar regions in the Sternberg task are independent of eye movements occurring during stimulus encoding. This is inconsistent with the notion that cognitive load-dependent cerebellar activations merely reflect oculomotor processing. PMID:26286918

  7. MODALITY SPECIFIC CEREBRO-CEREBELLAR ACTIVATIONS IN VERBAL WORKING MEMORY: AN FMRI STUDY

    PubMed Central

    Kirschen, Matthew P.; Annabel Chen, S. H.; 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 predominately 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. PMID:20714061

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

    PubMed Central

    Heck, A.; Fastenrath, M.; Ackermann, S.; Auschra, B.; Bickel, H.; Coynel, D.; Gschwind, L.; Jessen, F.; Kaduszkiewicz, H.; Maier, W.; Milnik, A.; Pentzek, M.; Riedel-Heller, S.G.; Ripke, S.; Spalek, K.; Sullivan, P.; Vogler, C.; Wagner, M.; Weyerer, S.; Wolfsgruber, S.; de Quervain, D.; Papassotiropoulos, A.

    2014-01-01

    Summary 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. PMID:24529980

  9. 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

    2014-03-01

    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. PMID:24529980

  10. A Nimble Working Memory.

    PubMed

    Bhandari, Apoorva; Badre, David

    2016-08-01

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

  11. Working Memory and Reactivity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goo, Jaemyung

    2010-01-01

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

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

  14. Dynamics of auditory working memory

    PubMed Central

    Kaiser, Jochen

    2015-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Re-evaluating the relationships among filtering activity, unnecessary storage, and visual working memory capacity.

    PubMed

    Emrich, Stephen M; Busseri, Michael A

    2015-09-01

    The amount of task-irrelevant information encoded in visual working memory (VWM), referred to as unnecessary storage, has been proposed as a potential mechanism underlying individual differences in VWM capacity. In addition, a number of studies have provided evidence for additional activity that initiates the filtering process originating in the frontal cortex and basal ganglia, and is therefore a crucial step in the link between unnecessary storage and VWM capacity. Here, we re-examine data from two prominent studies that identified unnecessary storage activity as a predictor of VWM capacity by directly testing the implied path model linking filtering-related activity, unnecessary storage, and VWM capacity. Across both studies, we found that unnecessary storage was not a significant predictor of individual differences in VWM capacity once activity associated with filtering was accounted for; instead, activity associated with filtering better explained variation in VWM capacity. These findings suggest that unnecessary storage is not a limiting factor in VWM performance, whereas neural activity associated with filtering may play a more central role in determining VWM performance that goes beyond preventing unnecessary storage. PMID:25690338

  17. 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. PMID:26802451

  18. 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

  19. 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. PMID:27047395

  20. 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

  1. Copula regression analysis of simultaneously recorded frontal eye field and inferotemporal spiking activity during object-based working memory.

    PubMed

    Hu, Meng; Clark, Kelsey L; Gong, Xiajing; Noudoost, Behrad; Li, Mingyao; Moore, Tirin; Liang, Hualou

    2015-06-10

    Inferotemporal (IT) neurons are known to exhibit persistent, stimulus-selective activity during the delay period of object-based working memory tasks. Frontal eye field (FEF) neurons show robust, spatially selective delay period activity during memory-guided saccade tasks. We present a copula regression paradigm to examine neural interaction of these two types of signals between areas IT and FEF of the monkey during a working memory task. This paradigm is based on copula models that can account for both marginal distribution over spiking activity of individual neurons within each area and joint distribution over ensemble activity of neurons between areas. Considering the popular GLMs as marginal models, we developed a general and flexible likelihood framework that uses the copula to integrate separate GLMs into a joint regression analysis. Such joint analysis essentially leads to a multivariate analog of the marginal GLM theory and hence efficient model estimation. In addition, we show that Granger causality between spike trains can be readily assessed via the likelihood ratio statistic. The performance of this method is validated by extensive simulations, and compared favorably to the widely used GLMs. When applied to spiking activity of simultaneously recorded FEF and IT neurons during working memory task, we observed significant Granger causality influence from FEF to IT, but not in the opposite direction, suggesting the role of the FEF in the selection and retention of visual information during working memory. The copula model has the potential to provide unique neurophysiological insights about network properties of the brain. PMID:26063909

  2. 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

  3. Brain activity during a visuospatial working memory task predicts arithmetical performance 2 years later.

    PubMed

    Dumontheil, Iroise; Klingberg, Torkel

    2012-05-01

    Visuospatial working memory (WM) capacity is highly correlated with mathematical reasoning abilities and can predict future development of arithmetical performance. Activity in the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) during visuospatial WM tasks correlates with interindividual differences in WM capacity. This region has also been implicated in numerical representation, and its structure and activity reflect arithmetical performance impairments (e.g., dyscalculia). We collected behavioral (N = 246) and neuroimaging data (N = 46) in a longitudinal sample to test whether IPS activity during a visuospatial WM task could provide more information than psychological testing alone and predict arithmetical performance 2 years later in healthy participants aged 6-16 years. Nonverbal reasoning and verbal and visuospatial WM measures were found to be independent predictors of arithmetical outcome. In addition, WM activation in the left IPS predicted arithmetical outcome independently of behavioral measures. A logistic model including both behavioral and imaging data showed improved sensitivity by correctly classifying more than twice as many children as poor arithmetical performers after 2 years than a model with behavioral measures only. These results demonstrate that neuroimaging data can provide useful information in addition to behavioral assessments and be used to improve the identification of individuals at risk of future low academic performance. PMID:21768226

  4. Individual differences in working memory.

    PubMed

    Jarrold, C; Towse, J N

    2006-04-28

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

  5. Top-Down Activation of Spatiotopic Sensory Codes in Perceptual and Working Memory Search.

    PubMed

    Kuo, Bo-Cheng; Nobre, Anna Christina; Scerif, Gaia; Astle, Duncan E

    2016-07-01

    A critical requirement of an efficient cognitive system is the selection and prioritization of relevant information. This occurs when selecting specific items from our sensory inputs, which then receive preferential status at subsequent levels of processing. Many everyday tasks also require us to select internal representations, such as a relevant item from memory. We show that both of these types of search are underpinned by the spatiotopic activation of sensory codes, using both fMRI and MEG data. When individuals searched for perceived and remembered targets, the MEG data highlighted a sensor level electrophysiological effect that reflects the contralateral organization of the visual system-namely, the N2pc. The fMRI data were used to identify a network of frontoparietal areas common to both types of search, as well as the early visual areas activated by the search display. We then combined fMRI and MEG data to explore the temporal dynamics of functional connections between the frontoparietal network and the early visual areas. Searching for a target item resulted in significantly enhanced phase-phase coupling between the frontoparietal network and the visual areas contralateral to the perceived or remembered location of that target. This enhancement of spatially specific phase-phase coupling occurred before the N2pc effect and was significantly associated with it on a trial-by-trial basis. The combination of these two imaging modalities suggests that perceptual and working memory search are underpinned by the synchronization of a frontoparietal network and the relevant sensory cortices. PMID:26967943

  6. 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. PMID:24949579

  7. Transfer after Working Memory Updating Training

    PubMed Central

    Waris, Otto; Soveri, Anna; Laine, Matti

    2015-01-01

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

  8. DRD2/ANKK1 Polymorphism Modulates the Effect of Ventral Striatal Activation on Working Memory Performance

    PubMed Central

    Nymberg, Charlotte; Banaschewski, Tobias; Bokde, Arun LW; Büchel, Christian; Conrod, Patricia; Flor, Herta; Frouin, Vincent; Garavan, Hugh; Gowland, P; Heinz, Andreas; Ittermann, Bernd; Mann, Karl; Martinot, Jean-Luc; Nees, Frauke; Paus, Tomas; Pausova, Zdenka; Rietschel, Marcella; Robbins, Trevor W; Smolka, Michael N; Ströhle, Andreas; Schumann, Gunter; Klingberg, Torkel; Reed, L; Williams, S; Lourdusamy, A; Costafreda, S; Cattrell, A; Nymberg, C; Topper, L; Smith, L; Havatzias, S; Stueber, K; Mallik, C; Clarke, T-K; Stacey, D; Wong, C Peng; Werts, H; Williams, S; Andrew, C; Desrivieres, S; Zewdie, S; Heinz, A; Häke, I; Ivanov, N; Klär, A; Reuter, J; Palafox, C; Hohmann, C; Schilling, C; Lüdemann, K; Romanowski, A; Ströhle, A; Wolff, E; Rapp, M; Ittermann, B; Brühl, R; Ihlenfeld, A; Walaszek, B; Schubert, F; Connolly, C; Jones, J; Lalor, E; McCabe, E; Ní, A; Spanagel, R; Leonardi-Essmann, F; Sommer, W; Vollstaedt-Klein, S; Poustka, L; Steiner, S; Buehler, M; Vollstedt-Klein, S; Stolzenburg, E; Schmal, C; Schirmbeck, F; Gowland, P; Heym, N; Lawrence, C; Newman, C; Huebner, T; Ripke, S; Mennigen, E; Muller, K U; Ziesch, V; Bromberg, U; Fadai, T; Lueken, L; Yacubian, J; Finsterbusch, J; Martinot, J-L; Artiges, E; Bordas, N; de Bournonville, S; Bricaud, Z; Gollier Briand, F; Lemaitre, H; Massicotte, J; Miranda, R; Penttilä, J; Barbot, A; Schwartz, Y; Lalanne, C; Frouin, V; Thyreau, B; Dalley, J; Mar, A; Subramaniam, N; Theobald, D; Richmond, N; de Rover, M; Molander, A; Jordan, E; Robinson, E; Hipolata, L; Moreno, M; Stephens, D; Ripley, T; Crombag, H; Pena, Y; Zelenika, D; Heath, S; Lanzerath, D; Heinrichs, B; Spranger, T; Fuchs, B; Speiser, C; Resch, F; Haffner, J; Parzer, P; Brunner, R; Klaassen, A; Klaassen, I; Constant, P; Mignon, X; Thomsen, T; Zysset, S; Vestboe, A; Ireland, J; Rogers, J

    2014-01-01

    Motivation is important for learning and cognition. Although dopaminergic (D2) transmission in the ventral striatum (VS) is associated with motivation, learning, and cognition are more strongly associated with function of the dorsal striatum, including activation in the caudate nucleus. A recent study found an interaction between intrinsic motivation and the DRD2/ANKK1 polymorphism (rs1800497), suggesting that A-carriers of rs1800497 are significantly more sensitive to motivation in order to improve during working memory (WM) training. Using data from the two large-scale imaging genetic data sets, IMAGEN (n=1080, age 13–15 years) and BrainChild (n∼300, age 6–27), we investigated whether rs1800497 is associated with WM. In the IMAGEN data set, we tested whether VS/caudate activation during reward anticipation was associated with WM performance and whether rs1800497 and VS/caudate activation interact to affect WM performance. We found that rs1800497 was associated with WM performance in IMAGEN and BrainChild. Higher VS and caudate activation during reward processing were significantly associated with higher WM performance (p<0.0001). An interaction was found between the DRD2/ANKK1 polymorphism rs1800497 and VS activation during reward anticipation on WM (p<0.01), such that carriers of the minor allele (A) showed a significant correlation between VS activation and WM, whereas the GG-homozygotes did not, suggesting that the effect of VS BOLD on WM is modified by inter-individual genetic differences related to D2 dopaminergic transmission. PMID:24713612

  9. DRD2/ANKK1 polymorphism modulates the effect of ventral striatal activation on working memory performance.

    PubMed

    Nymberg, Charlotte; Banaschewski, Tobias; Bokde, Arun L W; Büchel, Christian; Conrod, Patricia; Flor, Herta; Frouin, Vincent; Garavan, Hugh; Gowland, P; Heinz, Andreas; Ittermann, Bernd; Mann, Karl; Martinot, Jean-Luc; Nees, Frauke; Paus, Tomas; Pausova, Zdenka; Rietschel, Marcella; Robbins, Trevor W; Smolka, Michael N; Ströhle, Andreas; Schumann, Gunter; Klingberg, Torkel

    2014-09-01

    Motivation is important for learning and cognition. Although dopaminergic (D2) transmission in the ventral striatum (VS) is associated with motivation, learning, and cognition are more strongly associated with function of the dorsal striatum, including activation in the caudate nucleus. A recent study found an interaction between intrinsic motivation and the DRD2/ANKK1 polymorphism (rs1800497), suggesting that A-carriers of rs1800497 are significantly more sensitive to motivation in order to improve during working memory (WM) training. Using data from the two large-scale imaging genetic data sets, IMAGEN (n=1080, age 13-15 years) and BrainChild (n∼300, age 6-27), we investigated whether rs1800497 is associated with WM. In the IMAGEN data set, we tested whether VS/caudate activation during reward anticipation was associated with WM performance and whether rs1800497 and VS/caudate activation interact to affect WM performance. We found that rs1800497 was associated with WM performance in IMAGEN and BrainChild. Higher VS and caudate activation during reward processing were significantly associated with higher WM performance (p<0.0001). An interaction was found between the DRD2/ANKK1 polymorphism rs1800497 and VS activation during reward anticipation on WM (p<0.01), such that carriers of the minor allele (A) showed a significant correlation between VS activation and WM, whereas the GG-homozygotes did not, suggesting that the effect of VS BOLD on WM is modified by inter-individual genetic differences related to D2 dopaminergic transmission. PMID:24713612

  10. Searching for the Trace: The Influence of Age, Lexical Activation and Working Memory on Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Angwin, Anthony J.; Chenery, Helen J.; Copland, David A.; Cardell, Elizabeth A.; Murdoch, Bruce E.; Ingram, John C. L.

    2006-01-01

    To investigate the stability of trace reactivation in healthy older adults, 22 older volunteers with no significant neurological history participated in a cross-modal priming task. Whilst both object relative center embedded (ORC) and object relative right branching (ORR) sentences were employed, working memory load was reduced by limiting the…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. Evolution of working memory.

    PubMed

    Carruthers, Peter

    2013-06-18

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

  14. 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

  15. Working memory fMRI activation in cocaine-dependent subjects: association with treatment response.

    PubMed

    Moeller, F Gerard; Steinberg, Joel L; Schmitz, Joy M; Ma, Liangsuo; Liu, Shijing; Kjome, Kimberly L; Rathnayaka, Nuvan; Kramer, Larry A; Narayana, Ponnada A

    2010-03-30

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies of early abstinence cocaine users offer information about the state of the brain when most cocaine users seek treatment. This study examined the relationship between pretreatment brain function and subsequent treatment response in 19 treatment-seeking early abstinence cocaine-dependent (CD) subjects. These subjects and 14 non-drug-using control subjects underwent fMRI while performing a working memory task with three levels of difficulty. CD subjects were then randomized to treatment studies. Results showed CD subjects had significantly lower (random effects, corrected for multiple comparisons) brain activation in caudate, putamen, cingulate gyrus, middle and superior frontal gyri, inferior frontal gyrus pars triangularis and pars opercularis, precentral gyrus, and thalamus compared with non-drug-using controls. Within CD subjects, thalamic activation significantly correlated with treatment response. This study shows CD subjects in early abstinence have alterations of brain function in frontal, striatal, and thalamic brain regions known to be part of a circuit associated with motor control, reward, and cognition. Subjects with pretreatment thalamic deactivation showed the poorest treatment response, possibly related to thalamic involvement in mesocortical and mesolimbic dopamine projections. PMID:20153142

  16. Characterizing “fibrofog”: Subjective appraisal, objective performance, and task-related brain activity during a working memory task

    PubMed Central

    Walitt, Brian; Čeko, Marta; Khatiwada, Manish; Gracely, John L.; Rayhan, Rakib; VanMeter, John W.; Gracely, Richard H.

    2016-01-01

    The subjective experience of cognitive dysfunction (“fibrofog”) is common in fibromyalgia. This study investigated the relation between subjective appraisal of cognitive function, objective cognitive task performance, and brain activity during a cognitive task using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Sixteen fibromyalgia patients and 13 healthy pain-free controls completed a battery of questionnaires, including the Multiple Ability Self-Report Questionnaire (MASQ), a measure of self-perceived cognitive difficulties. Participants were evaluated for working memory performance using a modified N-back working memory task while undergoing Blood Oxygen Level Dependent (BOLD) fMRI measurements. Fibromyalgia patients and controls did not differ in working memory performance. Subjective appraisal of cognitive function was associated with better performance (accuracy) on the working memory task in healthy controls but not in fibromyalgia patients. In fibromyalgia patients, increased perceived cognitive difficulty was positively correlated with the severity of their symptoms. BOLD response during the working memory task did not differ between the groups. BOLD response correlated with task accuracy in control subjects but not in fibromyalgia patients. Increased subjective cognitive impairment correlated with decreased BOLD response in both groups but in different anatomic regions. In conclusion, “fibrofog” appears to be better characterized by subjective rather than objective impairment. Neurologic correlates of this subjective experience of impairment might be separate from those involved in the performance of cognitive tasks. PMID:26955513

  17. 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…

  18. Working Memory Encoding and Maintenance Deficits in Schizophrenia: Neural Evidence for Activation and Deactivation Abnormalities

    PubMed Central

    Anticevic, Alan; Repovs, Grega; Barch, Deanna M.

    2013-01-01

    Substantial evidence implicates working memory (WM) as a core deficit in schizophrenia (SCZ), purportedly due to primary deficits in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex functioning. Recent findings suggest that SCZ is also associated with abnormalities in suppression of certain regions during cognitive engagement—namely the default mode system—that may further contribute to WM pathology. However, no study has systematically examined activation and suppression abnormalities across both encoding and maintenance phases of WM in SCZ. Twenty-eight patients and 24 demographically matched healthy subjects underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging at 3T while performing a delayed match-to-sample WM task. Groups were accuracy matched to rule out performance effects. Encoding load was identical across subjects to facilitate comparisons across WM phases. We examined activation differences using an assumed model approach at the whole-brain level and within meta-analytically defined WM areas. Despite matched performance, we found regions showing less recruitment during encoding and maintenance for SCZ subjects. Furthermore, we identified 2 areas closely matching the default system, which SCZ subjects failed to deactivate across WM phases. Lastly, activation in prefrontal regions predicted the degree of deactivation for healthy but not SCZ subjects. Current results replicate and extend prefrontal recruitment abnormalities across WM phases in SCZ. Results also indicate deactivation abnormalities across WM phases, possibly due to inefficient prefrontal recruitment. Such regional deactivation may be critical for suppressing sources of interference during WM trace formation. Thus, deactivation deficits may constitute an additional source of impairments, which needs to be further characterized for a complete understanding of WM pathology in SCZ. PMID:21914644

  19. Hippocampal place cell and inhibitory neuron activity in disrupted-in-schizophrenia-1 mutant mice: implications for working memory deficits

    PubMed Central

    Mesbah-Oskui, Lia; Georgiou, John; Roder, John C

    2015-01-01

    Background: Despite the prevalence of working memory deficits in schizophrenia, the neuronal mechanisms mediating these deficits are not fully understood. Importantly, deficits in spatial working memory are identified in numerous mouse models that exhibit schizophrenia-like endophenotypes. The hippocampus is one of the major brain regions that actively encodes spatial location, possessing pyramidal neurons, commonly referred to as ‘place cells’, that fire in a location-specific manner. This study tests the hypothesis that mice with a schizophrenia-like endophenotype exhibit impaired encoding of spatial location in the hippocampus. Aims: To characterize hippocampal place cell activity in mice that exhibit a schizophrenia-like endophenotype. Methods: We recorded CA1 place cell activity in six control mice and six mice that carry a point mutation in the disrupted-in-schizophrenia-1 gene (Disc1-L100P) and have previously been shown to exhibit deficits in spatial working memory. Results: The spatial specificity and stability of Disc1-L100P place cells were similar to wild-type place cells. Importantly, however, Disc1-L100P place cells exhibited a higher propensity to increase their firing rate in a single, large location of the environment, rather than multiple smaller locations, indicating a generalization in their spatial selectivity. Alterations in the signaling and numbers of CA1 putative inhibitory interneurons and decreased hippocampal theta (5–12 Hz) power were also identified in the Disc1-L100P mice. Conclusions: The generalized spatial selectivity of Disc1-L100P place cells suggests a simplification of the ensemble place codes that encode individual locations and subserve spatial working memory. Moreover, these results suggest that deficient working memory in schizophrenia results from an impaired ability to uniquely code the individual components of a memory sequence. PMID:27336029

  20. A Brain System for Auditory Working Memory

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Working memory delay period activity marks a domain-unspecific attention mechanism.

    PubMed

    Katus, Tobias; Müller, Matthias M

    2016-03-01

    Working memory (WM) recruits neural circuits that also perform perception- and action-related functions. Among the functions that are shared between the domains of WM and perception is selective attention, which supports the maintenance of task-relevant information during the retention delay of WM tasks. The tactile contralateral delay activity (tCDA) component of the event-related potential (ERP) marks the attention-based rehearsal of tactile information in somatosensory brain regions. We tested whether the tCDA reflects the competition for shared attention resources between a WM task and a perceptual task under dual-task conditions. The two tasks were always performed on opposite hands. In different blocks, the WM task had higher or lower priority than the perceptual task. The tCDA's polarity consistently reflected the hand where the currently prioritized task was performed. This suggests that the process indexed by the tCDA is not specific to the domain of WM, but mediated by a domain-unspecific attention mechanism. The analysis of transient ERP components evoked by stimuli in the two tasks further supports the interpretation that the tCDA marks a goal-directed bias in the allocation of selective attention. Larger spatially selective modulations were obtained for stimulus material related to the high-, as compared to low-priority, task. While our results generally indicate functional overlap between the domains of WM and perception, we also found evidence suggesting that selection in internal (mnemonic) and external (perceptual) stimulus representations involves processes that are not active during shifts of preparatory attention. PMID:26756177

  2. Hippocampal place cell and inhibitory neuron activity in Disrupted-in-schizophrenia-1 mutant mice: implications for working memory deficits

    PubMed Central

    Mesbah-Oskui, Lia; Georgiou, John; Roder, John C.

    2016-01-01

    Background Despite the prevalence of working memory deficits in schizophrenia, the neuronal mechanisms mediating these deficits are not fully understood1–3. Importantly, deficits in spatial working memory are identified in numerous mouse models that exhibit schizophrenia-like endophenotypes4–7. The hippocampus is one of the major brain regions that actively encodes spatial location, possessing pyramidal neurons, commonly referred to as ‘place cells’, that fire in a location-specific manner8. This study tests the hypothesis that mice with a schizophrenia-like endophenotype exhibit impaired encoding of spatial location in the hippocampus. Methods We recorded CA1 place cell activity in 6 control mice and 6 mice that carry a point mutation in the Disrupted-in-schizophrenia-1 gene (Disc1-L100P) and have previously been shown to exhibit deficits in spatial working memory4. Results The spatial specificity and stability of Disc1-L100P place cells were similar to wild-type place cells. Importantly, however, Disc1-L100P place cells exhibited a higher propensity to increase their firing rate in a single, large location of the environment, rather than multiple smaller locations, indicating a generalization in their spatial selectivity. Alterations in the signaling and numbers of CA1 putative inhibitory interneurons and decreased hippocampal theta (5–12Hz) power were also identified in the Disc1-L100P mice. Conclusions The generalized spatial selectivity of Disc1-L100P place cells suggests a simplification of the ensemble place codes that encode individual locations and subserve spatial working memory. Moreover, these results suggest that deficient working memory in schizophrenia results from an impaired ability to uniquely code the individual components of a memory sequence.

  3. Modulation of alpha activity in the parieto-occipital area by distractors during a visuospatial working memory task: a magnetoencephalographic study.

    PubMed

    Ichihara-Takeda, Satoe; Yazawa, Shogo; Murahara, Takashi; Toyoshima, Takanobu; Shinozaki, Jun; Ishiguro, Masanori; Shiraishi, Hideaki; Ikeda, Nozomu; Matsuyama, Kiyoji; Funahashi, Shintaro; Nagamine, Takashi

    2015-03-01

    Oscillatory brain activity is known to play an essential role in information processing in working memory. Recent studies have indicated that alpha activity (8-13 Hz) in the parieto-occipital area is strongly modulated in working memory tasks. However, the function of alpha activity in working memory is open to several interpretations, such that alpha activity may be a direct neural correlate of information processing in working memory or may reflect disengagement from information processing in other brain areas. To examine the functional contribution of alpha activity to visuospatial working memory, we introduced visuospatial distractors during a delay period and examined neural activity from the whole brain using magnetoencephalography. The strength of event-related alpha activity was estimated using the temporal spectral evolution (TSE) method. The results were as follows: (1) an increase of alpha activity during the delay period as indicated by elevated TSE curves was observed in parieto-occipital sensors in both the working memory task and a control task that did not require working memory; and (2) an increase of alpha activity during the delay period was not observed when distractors were presented, although TSE curves were constructed only from correct trials. These results indicate that the increase of alpha activity is not directly related to information processing in working memory but rather reflects the disengagement of attention from the visuospatial input. PMID:25244117

  4. Flexibility within working memory and the focus of attention for sequential verbal information does not depend on active maintenance.

    PubMed

    Sandry, Joshua; Schwark, Jeremy D; MacDonald, Justin

    2014-10-01

    The focus of attention seems to be a static element within working memory when verbal information is serially presented, unless additional time is available for processing or active maintenance. Experiment 1 manipulated the reward associated with early and medial list positions in a probe recognition paradigm and found evidence that these nonterminal list positions could be retrieved faster and more accurately if participants were appropriately motivated-without additional time for processing or active maintenance. Experiment 2 used articulatory suppression and demonstrated that the underlying maintenance mechanism cannot be attributed to rehearsal, leaving attentional refreshing as the more likely mechanism. These findings suggest that the focus of attention within working memory can flexibly maintain nonterminal early and medial list representations at the expense of other list representations even when there is not additional time for processing or active maintenance. Maintenance seems to be accomplished through an attentional refreshing mechanism. PMID:24879637

  5. Working Memory: A Selective Review.

    PubMed

    Kent, Phillip L

    2016-01-01

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

  6. 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…

  7. Anxiety and cognitive efficiency: differential modulation of transient and sustained neural activity during a working memory task.

    PubMed

    Fales, C L; Barch, D M; Burgess, G C; Schaefer, A; Mennin, D S; Gray, J R; Braver, T S

    2008-09-01

    According to the processing-efficiency hypothesis (Eysenck, Derakshan, Santos, & Calvo, 2007), anxious individuals are thought to require greater activation of brain systems supporting cognitive control (e.g.,dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; DLPFC) in order to maintain equivalent performance to nonanxious subjects. A recent theory of cognitive control (Braver, Gray, & Burgess, 2007) has proposed that reduced cognitive efficiency might occur as a result of changes in the temporal dynamics of DLPFC recruitment. In this study, we used a mixed blocked/ event-related fMRI design to track transient and sustained activity in DLPFC while high- and low-anxious participants performed a working memory task. The task was performed after the participants viewed videos designed to induce neutral or anxiety-related moods. After the neutral video, the high-anxious participants had reduced sustained but increased transient activation in working memory areas, in comparison with low-anxious participants. The high-anxious group also showed extensive reductions in sustained activation of "default-network" areas (possible deactivation). After the negative video,the low-anxiety group shifted their activation dynamics in cognitive control regions to resemble those of the high-anxious group. These results suggest that reduced cognitive control in anxiety might be due to a transient, rather than sustained, pattern of working memory recruitment. Supplementary information for this study may be found at www.psychonomic.org/archive. PMID:18814461

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. Working from Memory: Artists and Actors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hurwitz, Al

    2004-01-01

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

  11. Gamma and Beta Bursts Underlie Working Memory.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  12. Working Memory Goes to School.

    PubMed

    Prince, Pauline; Gifford, Kathleen

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Working memory activation of neural networks in the elderly as a function of information processing phase and task complexity.

    PubMed

    Charroud, Céline; Steffener, Jason; Le Bars, Emmanuelle; Deverdun, Jérémy; Bonafe, Alain; Abdennour, Meriem; Portet, Florence; Molino, François; Stern, Yaakov; Ritchie, Karen; Menjot de Champfleur, Nicolas; Akbaraly, Tasnime N

    2015-11-01

    Changes in working memory are sensitive indicators of both normal and pathological brain aging and associated disability. The present study aims to further understanding of working memory in normal aging using a large cohort of healthy elderly in order to examine three separate phases of information processing in relation to changes in task load activation. Using covariance analysis, increasing and decreasing neural activation was observed on fMRI in response to a delayed item recognition task in 337 cognitively healthy elderly persons as part of the CRESCENDO (Cognitive REServe and Clinical ENDOphenotypes) study. During three phases of the task (stimulation, retention, probe), increased activation was observed with increasing task load in bilateral regions of the prefrontal cortex, parietal lobule, cingulate gyrus, insula and in deep gray matter nuclei, suggesting an involvement of central executive and salience networks. Decreased activation associated with increasing task load was observed during the stimulation phase, in bilateral temporal cortex, parietal lobule, cingulate gyrus and prefrontal cortex. This spatial distribution of decreased activation is suggestive of the default mode network. These findings support the hypothesis of an increased activation in salience and central executive networks and a decreased activation in default mode network concomitant to increasing task load. PMID:26456114

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  15. Polymorphisms in human dopamine D2 receptor gene affect gene expression, splicing, and neuronal activity during working memory.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ying; Bertolino, Alessandro; Fazio, Leonardo; Blasi, Giuseppe; Rampino, Antonio; Romano, Raffaella; Lee, Mei-Ling T; Xiao, Tao; Papp, Audrey; Wang, Danxin; Sadée, Wolfgang

    2007-12-18

    Subcortical dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) signaling is implicated in cognitive processes and brain disorders, but the effect of DRD2 variants remains ambiguous. We measured allelic mRNA expression in postmortem human striatum and prefrontal cortex and then performed single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) scans of the DRD2 locus. A previously uncharacterized promoter SNP (rs12364283) located in a conserved suppressor region was associated with enhanced DRD2 expression, whereas previously studied DRD2 variants failed to affect expression. Moreover, two frequent intronic SNPs (rs2283265 and rs1076560) decreased expression of DRD2 short splice variant (expressed mainly presynaptically) relative to DRD2 long (postsynaptic), a finding reproduced in vitro by using minigene constructs. Being in strong linkage disequilibrium with each other, both intronic SNPs (but not rs12364283) were also associated with greater activity of striatum and prefrontal cortex measured with fMRI during working memory and with reduced performance in working memory and attentional control tasks in healthy humans. Our results identify regulatory DRD2 polymorphisms that modify mRNA expression and splicing and working memory pathways. PMID:18077373

  16. 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. PMID:24911975

  17. Shielding cognition from nociception with working memory.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. Working Memory and Down Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baddeley, A.; Jarrold, C.

    2007-01-01

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

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. Classifying individuals at high-risk for psychosis based on functional brain activity during working memory processing.

    PubMed

    Bendfeldt, Kerstin; Smieskova, Renata; Koutsouleris, Nikolaos; Klöppel, Stefan; Schmidt, André; Walter, Anna; Harrisberger, Fabienne; Wrege, Johannes; Simon, Andor; Taschler, Bernd; Nichols, Thomas; Riecher-Rössler, Anita; Lang, Undine E; Radue, Ernst-Wilhelm; Borgwardt, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    The psychosis high-risk state is accompanied by alterations in functional brain activity during working memory processing. We used binary automatic pattern-classification to discriminate between the at-risk mental state (ARMS), first episode psychosis (FEP) and healthy controls (HCs) based on n-back WM-induced brain activity. Linear support vector machines and leave-one-out-cross-validation were applied to fMRI data of matched ARMS, FEP and HC (19 subjects/group). The HC and ARMS were correctly classified, with an accuracy of 76.2% (sensitivity 89.5%, specificity 63.2%, p = 0.01) using a verbal working memory network mask. Only 50% and 47.4% of individuals were classified correctly for HC vs. FEP (p = 0.46) or ARMS vs. FEP (p = 0.62), respectively. Without mask, accuracy was 65.8% for HC vs. ARMS (p = 0.03) and 65.8% for HC vs. FEP (p = 0.0047), and 57.9% for ARMS vs. FEP (p = 0.18). Regions in the medial frontal, paracingulate, cingulate, inferior frontal and superior frontal gyri, inferior and superior parietal lobules, and precuneus were particularly important for group separation. These results suggest that FEP and HC or FEP and ARMS cannot be accurately separated in small samples under these conditions. However, ARMS can be identified with very high sensitivity in comparison to HC. This might aid classification and help to predict transition in the ARMS. PMID:26640767

  5. The cognitive neuroscience of working memory.

    PubMed

    D'Esposito, Mark; Postle, Bradley R

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    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. PMID:26766958

  8. 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. PMID:26766958

  9. Longitudinal development of frontoparietal activity during feedback learning: Contributions of age, performance, working memory and cortical thickness.

    PubMed

    Peters, Sabine; Van Duijvenvoorde, Anna C K; Koolschijn, P Cédric M P; Crone, Eveline A

    2016-06-01

    Feedback learning is a crucial skill for cognitive flexibility that continues to develop into adolescence, and is linked to neural activity within a frontoparietal network. Although it is well conceptualized that activity in the frontoparietal network changes during development, there is surprisingly little consensus about the direction of change. Using a longitudinal design (N=208, 8-27 years, two measurements in two years), we investigated developmental trajectories in frontoparietal activity during feedback learning. Our first aim was to test for linear and nonlinear developmental trajectories in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), superior parietal cortex (SPC), supplementary motor area (SMA) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Second, we tested which factors (task performance, working memory, cortical thickness) explained additional variance in time-related changes in activity besides age. Developmental patterns for activity in DLPFC and SPC were best characterized by a quadratic age function leveling off/peaking in late adolescence. There was a linear increase in SMA and a linear decrease with age in ACC activity. In addition to age, task performance explained variance in DLPFC and SPC activity, whereas cortical thickness explained variance in SMA activity. Together, these findings provide a novel perspective of linear and nonlinear developmental changes in the frontoparietal network during feedback learning. PMID:27104668

  10. Multiple gates on working memory

    PubMed Central

    Chatham, Christopher H; Badre, David

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Neural activity during self-referential working memory and the underlying role of the amygdala in social anxiety disorder.

    PubMed

    Yoon, Hyung-Jun; Kim, Jin Seong; Shin, Yu-Bin; Choi, Soo-Hee; Lee, Seung-Koo; Kim, Jae-Jin

    2016-08-01

    Self-referential processing, theory of mind, and working memory are distorted in social anxiety disorder (SAD). This study aimed to investigate characteristics of altered self-referential working memory processing and resting-state functional connectivity in patients with SAD. Twenty patients and 20 healthy controls underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging at resting-state and while performing a working memory task containing faces with self-referential positive or negative comments and three memory phases (encoding, maintenance, and retrieval). Task-related results were compared between groups and tested for correlations. Resting-state connectivity between amygdala subregions and regions showing a task-related difference was also compared between groups. Patients compared to controls showed augmented memory for the negative comments, hyperactivation of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and temporo-parietal junction during encoding, and hypoactivation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and insula during retrieval. At resting-state, increased connectivity of amygdala subregions with multiple task-related regions was found in patients. These findings suggest that the encoding process in SAD is accompanied by altered involvement of self-referential processing and theory of mind, whereas the retrieval process reflects impaired cognitive control. These memory-related processing may be affected by predisposing resting-state hyperconnectivity with the amygdala, and may underlie a hypersensitivity to negative comments and post-event reflection in SAD. PMID:27260987

  12. Look out for strangers! Sustained neural activity during visual working memory maintenance of other-race faces is modulated by implicit racial prejudice.

    PubMed

    Sessa, Paola; Tomelleri, Silvia; Luria, Roy; Castelli, Luigi; Reynolds, Michael; Dell'Acqua, Roberto

    2012-03-01

    We tested the ability of white participants to encode and retain over a brief period of time information about the identity of white and black people, using faces as stimuli in a standard change detection task and tracking neural activity using electroencephalography. Neural responses recorded over the posterior parietal cortex reflecting visual working memory activity increased in amplitude as a function of the number of faces that had to be maintained in memory. Critically, these memory-related neural responses varied as a function of participants' implicit racial prejudice toward black people. High-prejudiced participants encoded black people faces with a lower degree of precision compared to low-prejudiced participants, suggesting that the class of mental operations affected by implicit racial prejudice includes basic cognitive mechanisms underpinning the encoding and maintenance of faces' visual representations in visual working memory. PMID:21768206

  13. 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…

  14. Brain activation deficit in increased-load working memory tasks among adults with ADHD using fMRI.

    PubMed

    Ko, Chih-Hung; Yen, Ju-Yu; Yen, Cheng-Fang; Chen, Cheng-Sheng; Lin, Wei-Chen; Wang, Peng-Wei; Liu, Gin-Chung

    2013-10-01

    Working memory (WM) is impaired among adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This study aimed to investigate the brain activation deficit for low-level or increased-load WM among adults with ADHD. A total of 20 adults with ADHD and controls were recruited according to diagnostic interviewing by a psychiatrist. Phonological and visual-spatial 2-back and 3-back tasks were performed under functional magnetic resonance scanning. The results demonstrated that both the adults with ADHD and the controls exhibited activation of the fronto-parietal network for WM, and the intensity was greater in the adult ADHD group. The ADHD group had higher brain activation over the bilateral anterior cingulate, left inferior frontal lobe, hippocampus, and supplementary motor area (SMA) for phonological WM than the control group. When the task loading increased from 2-back to 3-back tasks, the adults with ADHD perceived greater difficulty. The control group exhibited increased brain activation over the frontal-parietal network in response to increased phonological WM load. However, the ADHD group showed decreased brain activation over the left precuneus, insula, and SMA. Further analysis demonstrated that the ADHD group exhibited a greater decrease in brain activation over the left fronto-parietal network, including the precuneus, SMA, insula/inferior frontal lobe, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, than the control group. These results suggest that adults with ADHD pay more effort to low demanding phonological WM. On the other hand, brain activation of the left fronto-parietal network is impaired when the demands of WM exceed the capacity of adults with ADHD. PMID:23645101

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  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

    2012-03-01

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

  19. Low diversity and low frequency of participation in leisure activities compromise working memory efficiency in young adults.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Contreras, Alejandra E; Soria-Rodríguez, Gerardo; Almeida-Rosas, Georgina A; García-Vaca, Paola A; Delgado-Herrera, Maribel; Méndez-Díaz, Mónica; Prospéro-García, Oscar

    2012-01-01

    People perform leisure activities (LA) every day; pursuits that entail applying cognitive, physical and social abilities. As in old age, doing LA during early and middle adulthood is related to a reduced risk of dementias, probably by generating a cognitive reserve. As it is possible that a relation between doing LA and working memory (WM) efficiency exists in young adults, we assessed whether the diversity and frequency of LA are related to WM efficiency in this population. Ninety-three healthy young subjects solved the n-back task at two levels of difficulty (2, 3), and answered an LA questionnaire on the activities in which they had participated in the month prior to the experiment. Subjects were classified separately on their scores for (1) diversity (high/low) and (2) frequency (high/low) in order to test the relation between each variable and WM efficiency. Though no differences were found, a subsequent analysis of the average of diversity and frequency ratios of LA performance taken together-the diversity/frequency index-showed that low diversity plus low frequency was significantly associated with reduced WM efficiency at this age; results that suggest that frequent participation in diverse LA during youth is related to WM efficiency. PMID:22093383

  20. Polygenic risk for schizophrenia associated with working memory-related prefrontal brain activation in patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls.

    PubMed

    Kauppi, Karolina; Westlye, Lars T; Tesli, Martin; Bettella, Francesco; Brandt, Christine L; Mattingsdal, Morten; Ueland, Torill; Espeseth, Thomas; Agartz, Ingrid; Melle, Ingrid; Djurovic, Srdjan; Andreassen, Ole A

    2015-05-01

    Schizophrenia is a highly heritable and polygenic disease, and identified common genetic variants have shown weak individual effects. Many studies have reported altered working memory (WM)-related brain activation in schizophrenia, preferentially in the frontal lobe. Such differences in brain activations could reflect inherited alterations possibly involved in the disease etiology, or rather secondary disease-related mechanisms. The use of polygenic risk scores (PGRS) based on a large number of risk polymorphisms with small effects is a valuable approach to examine the effect of cumulative genetic risk on brain functioning. This study examined the impact of cumulative genetic risk for schizophrenia on WM-related brain activations, assessed with functional magnetic resonance imaging. For each participant (63 schizophrenia patients and 118 healthy controls), we calculated a PGRS for schizophrenia based on 18 862 single-nucleotide polymorphism in a large multicenter genome-wide association study including 9146 schizophrenia patients and 12 111 controls, performed by the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium. As expected, the PGRS was significantly higher in patients compared with healthy controls. Further, the PGRS was related to differences in frontal lobe brain activation between high and low WM demand. Specifically, even in absence of main effects of diagnosis, increased PGRS was associated with decreased activation difference in the right middle-superior prefrontal cortex (BA 10/11) and the right inferior frontal gyrus (BA 45). This effect was seen in both cases and controls, and was not influenced by sex, age, or task performance. The findings support the notion of dysregulation of frontal lobe functioning as an inherited vulnerability factor in schizophrenia. PMID:25392519

  1. What limits working memory capacity?

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  2. Attentional Priority Determines Working Memory Precision

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Wilsch, Anna; Obleser, Jonas

    2016-06-01

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

  4. Working memory dysfunction in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Goldman-Rakic, P S

    1994-01-01

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

  5. 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. PMID:21501654

  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. 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…

  8. Resource allocation models of auditory working memory.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  9. Relating color working memory and color perception.

    PubMed

    Allred, Sarah R; Flombaum, Jonathan I

    2014-11-01

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

  10. Working memory capacity and controlled serial memory search.

    PubMed

    Mızrak, Eda; Öztekin, Ilke

    2016-08-01

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

  11. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  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. Working memory effects in speeded RSVP tasks.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  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. More target features in visual working memory leads to poorer search guidance: Evidence from contralateral delay activity

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Joseph; MacNamara, Annmarie; Proudfit, Greg Hajcak; Zelinsky, Gregory J.

    2014-01-01

    The visual-search literature has assumed that the top-down target representation used to guide search resides in visual working memory (VWM). We directly tested this assumption using contralateral delay activity (CDA) to estimate the VWM load imposed by the target representation. In Experiment 1, observers previewed four photorealistic objects and were cued to remember the two objects appearing to the left or right of central fixation; Experiment 2 was identical except that observers previewed two photorealistic objects and were cued to remember one. CDA was measured during a delay following preview offset but before onset of a four-object search array. One of the targets was always present, and observers were asked to make an eye movement to it and press a button. We found lower magnitude CDA on trials when the initial search saccade was directed to the target (strong guidance) compared to when it was not (weak guidance). This difference also tended to be larger shortly before search-display onset and was largely unaffected by VWM item-capacity limits or number of previews. Moreover, the difference between mean strong- and weak-guidance CDA was proportional to the increase in search time between mean strong-and weak-guidance trials (as measured by time-to-target and reaction-time difference scores). Contrary to most search models, our data suggest that trials resulting in the maintenance of more target features results in poor search guidance to a target. We interpret these counterintuitive findings as evidence for strong search guidance using a small set of highly discriminative target features that remain after pruning from a larger set of features, with the load imposed on VWM varying with this feature-consolidation process. PMID:24599946

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Passolunghi, Maria Chiara; Costa, Hiwet Mariam

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Autobiographical memory and daily schemas at work.

    PubMed

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

    1994-03-01

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

  20. Further Evidence of Intact Working Memory.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ozonoff, Sally; Strayer, David L.

    2001-01-01

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

  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. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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. PMID:25486618

  6. THE COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE OF WORKING MEMORY

    PubMed Central

    D’Esposito, Mark; Postle, Bradley R.

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Developmental aspects of working and associative memory.

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  8. 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…

  9. The nature of working memory for Braille.

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Working memory in children with reading disabilities.

    PubMed

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

    2006-03-01

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

  12. 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

  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. PMID

  14. 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…

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

    PubMed

    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

  16. 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

  17. Visual working memory for line orientations and face identities

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  18. Working Memory and Binding in Sentence Recall

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Buchwald, Adam; Rapp, Brenda

    2011-01-01

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

  20. 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. PMID:26874071

  1. Working memory of emotional stimuli: Electrophysiological characterization.

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Apter, Brian J. B.

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Time and interference: Effects on working memory.

    PubMed

    Botto, Marta; Palladino, Paola

    2016-05-01

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

  4. Taxing working memory with syntax: bihemispheric modulations.

    PubMed

    Santi, Andrea; Grodzinsky, Yosef

    2007-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Working Memory in the Service of Executive Control Functions

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Working memory, situation models, and synesthesia.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Working memory, situation models, and synesthesia

    DOE PAGESBeta

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

    2013-03-04

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-27

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:26263395

  13. 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. PMID:26562059

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-15

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

  16. Prefrontal activity during working memory is modulated by the interaction of variation in CB1 and COX2 coding genes and correlates with frequency of cannabis use.

    PubMed

    Taurisano, Paolo; Antonucci, Linda A; Fazio, Leonardo; Rampino, Antonio; Romano, Raffaella; Porcelli, Annamaria; Masellis, Rita; Colizzi, Marco; Quarto, Tiziana; Torretta, Silvia; Di Giorgio, Annabella; Pergola, Giulio; Bertolino, Alessandro; Blasi, Giuseppe

    2016-08-01

    The CB1 cannabinoid receptor is targeted in the brain by endocannabinoids under physiological conditions as well as by delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol under cannabis use. Furthermore, its signaling appears to affect brain cognitive processing. Recent findings highlight a crucial role of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in the mechanism of intraneuronal CB1 signaling transduction, while others indicate that two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (rs1406977 and rs20417) modulate expression of CB1 (CNR1) and COX-2 (PTGS2) coding genes, respectively. Here, our aim was to use fMRI to investigate in healthy humans whether these SNPs interact in modulating prefrontal activity during working memory processing and if this modulation is linked with cannabis use. We recruited 242 healthy subjects genotyped for CNR1 rs1406977 and PTGS2 rs20417 that performed the N-back working memory task during fMRI and were interviewed using the Cannabis Experience Questionnaire (CEQ). We found that the interaction between CNR1 rs1406977 and PTGS2 rs20417 is associated with dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) activity such that specific genotype configurations (CNR1 C carriers/PTGS2 C carriers and CNR1 TT/PTGS2 GG) predict lower cortical response versus others in spite of similar behavioral accuracy. Furthermore, DLPFC activity in the cluster associated with the CNR1 by PTGS2 interaction was negatively correlated with behavioral efficiency and positively correlated with frequency of cannabis use in cannabis users. These results suggest that a genetically modulated balancing of signaling within the CB1-COX-2 pathway may reflect on more or less efficient patterns of prefrontal activity during working memory. Frequency of cannabis use may be a factor for further modulation of CNR1/PTGS2-mediated cortical processing associated with this cognitive process. PMID:27261878

  17. Working memory capacity in Generalized Social Phobia

    PubMed Central

    Amir, Nader; Bomyea, Jessica

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Working memory capacity in generalized social phobia.

    PubMed

    Amir, Nader; Bomyea, Jessica

    2011-05-01

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

  19. Working on Memories of Abuse....

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Horsman, Jenny

    1994-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-27

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

  2. 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…

  3. CNTRICS Final Task Selection: Working Memory

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  4. Does working memory load facilitate target detection?

    PubMed

    Fruchtman-Steinbok, Tom; Kessler, Yoav

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Artuso, Caterina; Palladino, Paola

    2016-02-01

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

  6. Reliability of functional magnetic resonance imaging activation during working memory in a multi-site study: analysis from the North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study.

    PubMed

    Forsyth, Jennifer K; McEwen, Sarah C; Gee, Dylan G; Bearden, Carrie E; Addington, Jean; Goodyear, Brad; Cadenhead, Kristin S; Mirzakhanian, Heline; Cornblatt, Barbara A; Olvet, Doreen M; Mathalon, Daniel H; McGlashan, Thomas H; Perkins, Diana O; Belger, Aysenil; Seidman, Larry J; Thermenos, Heidi W; Tsuang, Ming T; van Erp, Theo G M; Walker, Elaine F; Hamann, Stephan; Woods, Scott W; Qiu, Maolin; Cannon, Tyrone D

    2014-08-15

    Multi-site neuroimaging studies offer an efficient means to study brain functioning in large samples of individuals with rare conditions; however, they present new challenges given that aggregating data across sites introduces additional variability into measures of interest. Assessing the reliability of brain activation across study sites and comparing statistical methods for pooling functional data are critical to ensuring the validity of aggregating data across sites. The current study used two samples of healthy individuals to assess the feasibility and reliability of aggregating multi-site functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from a Sternberg-style verbal working memory task. Participants were recruited as part of the North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study (NAPLS), which comprises eight fMRI scanning sites across the United States and Canada. In the first study sample (n=8), one participant from each home site traveled to each of the sites and was scanned while completing the task on two consecutive days. Reliability was examined using generalizability theory. Results indicated that blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal was reproducible across sites and was highly reliable, or generalizable, across scanning sites and testing days for core working memory ROIs (generalizability ICCs=0.81 for left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, 0.95 for left superior parietal cortex). In the second study sample (n=154), two statistical methods for aggregating fMRI data across sites for all healthy individuals recruited as control participants in the NAPLS study were compared. Control participants were scanned on one occasion at the site from which they were recruited. Results from the image-based meta-analysis (IBMA) method and mixed effects model with site covariance method both showed robust activation in expected regions (i.e. dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, supplementary motor cortex, superior parietal cortex, inferior

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

    PubMed

    Wingfield, Arthur

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Lateralized delay period activity marks the focus of spatial attention in working memory: evidence from somatosensory event-related brain potentials.

    PubMed

    Katus, Tobias; Eimer, Martin

    2015-04-29

    The short-term retention of sensory information in working memory (WM) is known to be associated with a sustained enhancement of neural activity. What remains controversial is whether this neural trace indicates the sustained storage of information or the allocation of attention. To evaluate the storage and attention accounts, we examined sustained tactile contralateral delay activity (tCDA component) of the event-related potential. The tCDA manifests over somatosensory cortex contralateral to task-relevant tactile information during stimulus retention. Two tactile sample sets (S1, S2) were presented sequentially, separated by 1.5 s. Each set comprised two stimuli, one per hand. Human participants memorized the location of one task-relevant stimulus per sample set and judged whether one of these locations was stimulated again at memory test. The two relevant pulses were unpredictably located on the same hand (stay trials) or on different hands (shift trials). Initially, tCDA components emerged contralateral to the relevant S1 pulse. Sequential loading of WM enhanced the tCDA after S2 was presented on stay trials. On shift trials, the tCDA's polarity reversed after S2 presentation, resulting in delay activity that was now contralateral to the task-relevant S2 pulse. The disappearance of a lateralized neural trace for the relevant S1 pulse did not impair memory accuracy for this stimulus on shift trials. These results contradict the storage account and suggest that delay period activity indicates the sustained engagement of an attention-based rehearsal mechanism. In conclusion, somatosensory delay period activity marks the current focus of attention in tactile WM. PMID:25926447

  9. Lateralized Delay Period Activity Marks the Focus of Spatial Attention in Working Memory: Evidence from Somatosensory Event-Related Brain Potentials

    PubMed Central

    Eimer, Martin

    2015-01-01

    The short-term retention of sensory information in working memory (WM) is known to be associated with a sustained enhancement of neural activity. What remains controversial is whether this neural trace indicates the sustained storage of information or the allocation of attention. To evaluate the storage and attention accounts, we examined sustained tactile contralateral delay activity (tCDA component) of the event-related potential. The tCDA manifests over somatosensory cortex contralateral to task-relevant tactile information during stimulus retention. Two tactile sample sets (S1, S2) were presented sequentially, separated by 1.5 s. Each set comprised two stimuli, one per hand. Human participants memorized the location of one task-relevant stimulus per sample set and judged whether one of these locations was stimulated again at memory test. The two relevant pulses were unpredictably located on the same hand (stay trials) or on different hands (shift trials). Initially, tCDA components emerged contralateral to the relevant S1 pulse. Sequential loading of WM enhanced the tCDA after S2 was presented on stay trials. On shift trials, the tCDA's polarity reversed after S2 presentation, resulting in delay activity that was now contralateral to the task-relevant S2 pulse. The disappearance of a lateralized neural trace for the relevant S1 pulse did not impair memory accuracy for this stimulus on shift trials. These results contradict the storage account and suggest that delay period activity indicates the sustained engagement of an attention-based rehearsal mechanism. In conclusion, somatosensory delay period activity marks the current focus of attention in tactile WM. PMID:25926447

  10. 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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halford, Graeme S.

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

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

    PubMed

    Tu, Hsiao-Wei; Hampton, Robert R

    2014-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Tu, Hsiao-Wei; Hampton, Robert R

    2014-10-01

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

  14. Spike-Timing Theory of Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Szatmáry, Botond; Izhikevich, Eugene M.

    2010-01-01

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

  15. Cancer ‘survivor-care’: II. Disruption of prefrontal brain activation top-down control of working memory capacity as possible mechanism for chemo-fog/brain (chemotherapy-associated cognitive impairment)

    PubMed Central

    Raffa, Robert B.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY What is known and Objective Cancer chemotherapy-associated cognitive impairments (termed ‘chemo-fog’ or ‘chemo-brain’), particularly in memory, have been self-reported or identified in cancer survivors previously treated with chemotherapy. While a variety of deficits have been detected, a consistent theme is a detriment in visuospatial working memory. The parietal cortex, a major site of storage of such memory, is implicated in chemotherapy-induced damage. However, if the findings of two recent publications are combined, the (pre)frontal cortex might be an equally viable target. Two recent studies, one postulating a mechanism for ‘top-down control’ of working memory capacity and another visualizing chemotherapy-induced alterations in brain activation during working memory processing, are reviewed and integrated. Comment A computational model and the proposal that the prefrontal cortex plays a role in working memory via top-down control of parietal working memory capacity is consistent with a recent demonstration of decreased frontal hyperactivation following chemotherapy. What is new and Conclusion Chemotherapy-associated impairment of visuospatial working memory might include the (pre)frontal cortex In addition to the parietal cortex. This provides new opportunity for basic science and clinical investigation. PMID:23656522

  16. Precision of working memory for speech sounds.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Dexras1 a unique ras-GTPase interacts with NMDA receptor activity and provides a novel dissociation between anxiety, working memory and sensory gating.

    PubMed

    Carlson, G C; Lin, R E; Chen, Y; Brookshire, B R; White, R S; Lucki, I; Siegel, S J; Kim, S F

    2016-05-13

    Dexras1 is a novel GTPase that acts at a confluence of signaling mechanisms associated with psychiatric and neurological disease including NMDA receptors, NOS1AP and nNOS. Recent work has shown that Dexras1 mediates iron trafficking and NMDA-dependent neurodegeneration but a role for Dexras1 in normal brain function or psychiatric disease has not been studied. To test for such a role, mice with germline knockout (KO) of Dexras1 were assayed for behavioral abnormalities as well as changes in NMDA receptor subunit protein expression. Because Dexras1 is up-regulated during stress or by dexamethasone treatment, we included measures associated with emotion including anxiety and depression. Baseline anxiety-like measures (open field and zero maze) were not altered, nor were depression-like behavior (tail suspension). Measures of memory function yielded mixed results, with no changes in episodic memory (novel object recognition) but a significant decrement on working memory (T-maze). Alternatively, there was an increase in pre-pulse inhibition (PPI), without concomitant changes in either startle amplitude or locomotor activity. PPI data are consistent with the direction of change seen following exposure to dopamine D2 antagonists. An examination of NMDA subunit expression levels revealed an increased expression of the NR2A subunit, contrary to previous studies demonstrating down-regulation of the receptor following antipsychotic exposure (Schmitt et al., 2003) and up-regulation after exposure to isolation rearing (Turnock-Jones et al., 2009). These findings suggest a potential role for Dexras1 in modulating a selective subset of psychiatric symptoms, possibly via its interaction with NMDARs and/or other disease-related binding-partners. Furthermore, data suggest that modulating Dexras1 activity has contrasting effects on emotional, sensory and cognitive domains. PMID:26946266

  18. Evidence against decay in verbal working memory.

    PubMed

    Oberauer, Klaus; Lewandowsky, Stephan

    2013-05-01

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

  19. When Higher Working Memory Capacity Hinders Insight

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Visual Working Memory for Observed Actions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wood, Justin N.

    2007-01-01

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

  1. Measuring Working Memory Deficits in Aphasia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mayer, Jamie F.; Murray, Laura L.

    2012-01-01

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

  2. 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…

  3. Reconceptualizing Working Memory in Educational Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. 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…

  5. Working Memory and Language: An Overview.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baddeley, Alan

    2003-01-01

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

  6. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  8. Age differences in visuospatial working memory.

    PubMed

    Rowe, Gillian; Hasher, Lynn; Turcotte, Josée

    2008-03-01

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

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Computational principles of working memory in sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

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

    2006-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    Working memory develops slowly: Even by age 8, children are able to maintain only half the number of items that adults can remember. Neural substrates that support performance on working memory tasks also have a slow developmental trajectory and typically activate to a lesser extent in children, relative to adults. Little is known about why younger participants elicit less neural activation. This may be due to maturational differences, differences in behavioral performance, or both. Here we investigate the neural correlates of working memory capacity in children (ages 5-8) and adults using a visual working memory task with parametrically increasing loads (from one to four items) using fMRI. This task allowed us to estimate working memory capacity limit for each group. We found that both age groups increased the activation of frontoparietal networks with increasing working memory loads, until working memory capacity was reached. Because children's working memory capacity limit was half of that for adults, the plateau occurred at lower loads for children. Had a parametric increase in load not been used, this would have given an impression of less activation overall and less load-dependent activation for children relative to adults. Our findings suggest that young children and adults recruit similar frontoparietal networks at working memory loads that do not exceed capacity and highlight the need to consider behavioral performance differences when interpreting developmental differences in neural activation. PMID:25961641

  14. Working memory still needs verbal rehearsal.

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  16. Effects of facial expression on working memory.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Working memory retrieval as a decision process

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Differences in frontal cortical activation by a working memory task after substitution of risperidone for typical antipsychotic drugs in patients with schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Honey, Garry D.; Bullmore, Edward T.; Soni, William; Varatheesan, Malini; Williams, Steve C. R.; Sharma, Tonmoy

    1999-01-01

    Antipsychotic drug treatment of schizophrenia may be complicated by side effects of widespread dopaminergic antagonism, including exacerbation of negative and cognitive symptoms due to frontal cortical hypodopaminergia. Atypical antipsychotics have been shown to enhance frontal dopaminergic activity in animal models. We predicted that substitution of risperidone for typical antipsychotic drugs in the treatment of schizophrenia would be associated with enhanced functional activation of frontal cortex. We measured cerebral blood oxygenation changes during periodic performance of a verbal working memory task, using functional MRI, on two occasions (baseline and 6 weeks later) in two cohorts of schizophrenic patients. One cohort (n = 10) was treated with typical antipsychotic drugs throughout the study. Risperidone was substituted for typical antipsychotics after baseline assessment in the second cohort (n = 10). A matched group of healthy volunteers (n = 10) was also studied on a single occasion. A network comprising bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal and lateral premotor cortex, the supplementary motor area, and posterior parietal cortex was activated by working memory task performance in both the patients and comparison subjects. A two-way analysis of covariance was used to estimate the effect of substituting risperidone for typical antipsychotics on power of functional response in the patient group. Substitution of risperidone increased functional activation in right prefrontal cortex, supplementary motor area, and posterior parietal cortex at both voxel and regional levels of analysis. This study provides direct evidence for significantly enhanced frontal function in schizophrenic patients after substitution of risperidone for typical antipsychotic drugs, and it indicates the potential value of functional MRI as a tool for longitudinal assessment of psychopharmacological effects on cerebral physiology. PMID:10557338

  1. Visual Working Memory in Human Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Barton, Brian; Brewer, Alyssa A.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  5. Does learning to read shape verbal working memory?

    PubMed

    Demoulin, Catherine; Kolinsky, Régine

    2016-06-01

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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-18

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

  8. The neuroscience of working memory capacity and training.

    PubMed

    Constantinidis, Christos; Klingberg, Torkel

    2016-07-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hasselhorn, Marcus; Mahler, Claudia

    2007-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Working memory for time intervals in auditory rhythmic sequences

    PubMed Central

    Teki, Sundeep; Griffiths, Timothy D.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Karbach, Julia; Verhaeghen, Paul

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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

    2016-01-01

    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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Prevailing neuropsychological models of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) propose that ADHD arises from deficits in executive functions such as working memory, but accumulating clinical evidence suggests a dissociation between ADHD and executive dysfunctions. This study examined whether ADHD and working memory capacity are behaviorally and neurobiologically separable using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Participants diagnosed with ADHD in childhood who subsequently remitted or persisted in their diagnosis as adults were characterized at follow-up in adulthood as either impaired or unimpaired in spatial working memory relative to controls who never had ADHD. ADHD participants with impaired spatial working memory performed worse than controls and ADHD participants with unimpaired working memory during an n-back working memory task while being scanned. Both controls and ADHD participants with unimpaired working memory exhibited significant linearly increasing activation in the inferior frontal junction, precuneus, lingual gyrus, and cerebellum as a function of working-memory load, and these activations did not differ significantly between these groups. ADHD participants with impaired working memory exhibited significant hypoactivation in the same regions, which was significantly different than both control participants and ADHD participants with unimpaired working memory. These findings support both a behavioral and neurobiological dissociation between ADHD and working memory capacity. PMID:26900567

  17. Center-Surround Inhibition in Working Memory.

    PubMed

    Kiyonaga, Anastasia; Egner, Tobias

    2016-01-11

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

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

    PubMed

    Brady, Timothy F; Tenenbaum, Joshua B

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Exposure to childhood trauma is associated with altered n-back activation and performance in healthy adults: implications for a commonly used working memory task

    PubMed Central

    Philip, Noah S.; Sweet, Lawrence H.; Tyrka, Audrey R.; Carpenter, S. Louisa; Albright, Sarah E.; Price, Lawrence H.; Carpenter, Linda L.

    2015-01-01

    Previous research suggests that a history of early life stress (ELS) impacts working memory (WM) in adulthood. Despite the widespread use of WM paradigms, few studies have evaluated whether ELS exposure, in the absence of psychiatric illness, also impacts WM-associated brain activity in ways that might improve sensitivity to these ELS effects or provide insights into the mechanisms of these effects. This study evaluated whether ELS affects WM behavioral performance and task-associated activity by acquiring 3T functional images from 27 medication-free healthy adults (14 with ELS) during an N-back WM task that included 0- and 2-back components. Whole brain voxel-wise analysis was performed to evaluate WM activation, followed by region of interest analyses to evaluate relationships between activation and clinical variables. ELS was associated with poorer accuracy during the 2-back (79 %±19 vs. 92 %±9, p=0.049); accuracy and response time otherwise did not differ between groups. During the 0-back, ELS participants demonstrated increased activation in the superior temporal gyrus/insula, left inferior parietal lobule (IPL) (both corrected p<0.001), and middle temporal and parahippocampal gyrus (MTG/PHG)(corrected p<0.010). During the 2-back, ELS was associated with greater activation in the IPL, MTG/PHG and inferior frontal gyrus (corrected p<0.001), with a trend towards precuneus activation (p=0.080). These findings support previous research showing that ELS is associated with impaired neurobehavioral performance and changes in brain activation, suggesting recruitment of additional cognitive resources during WM in ELS. Based on these findings, ELS screening in future WM imaging studies appears warranted. PMID:25804310

  20. Exposure to childhood trauma is associated with altered n-back activation and performance in healthy adults: implications for a commonly used working memory task.

    PubMed

    Philip, Noah S; Sweet, Lawrence H; Tyrka, Audrey R; Carpenter, S Louisa; Albright, Sarah E; Price, Lawrence H; Carpenter, Linda L

    2016-03-01

    Previous research suggests that a history of early life stress (ELS) impacts working memory (WM) in adulthood. Despite the widespread use of WM paradigms, few studies have evaluated whether ELS exposure, in the absence of psychiatric illness, also impacts WM-associated brain activity in ways that might improve sensitivity to these ELS effects or provide insights into the mechanisms of these effects. This study evaluated whether ELS affects WM behavioral performance and task-associated activity by acquiring 3T functional images from 27 medication-free healthy adults (14 with ELS) during an N-back WM task that included 0- and 2-back components. Whole brain voxel-wise analysis was performed to evaluate WM activation, followed by region of interest analyses to evaluate relationships between activation and clinical variables. ELS was associated with poorer accuracy during the 2-back (79 % ± 19 vs. 92 % ± 9, p = 0.049); accuracy and response time otherwise did not differ between groups. During the 0-back, ELS participants demonstrated increased activation in the superior temporal gyrus/insula, left inferior parietal lobule (IPL) (both corrected p < 0.001), and middle temporal and parahippocampal gyrus (MTG/PHG)(corrected p < 0.010). During the 2-back, ELS was associated with greater activation in the IPL, MTG/PHG and inferior frontal gyrus (corrected p < 0.001), with a trend towards precuneus activation (p = 0.080). These findings support previous research showing that ELS is associated with impaired neurobehavioral performance and changes in brain activation, suggesting recruitment of additional cognitive resources during WM in ELS. Based on these findings, ELS screening in future WM imaging studies appears warranted. PMID:25804310

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

    PubMed Central

    Gazzaley, Adam; Nobre, Anna C.

    2012-01-01

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

  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. Working memory differences in long-distance dependency resolution.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Acheson, Daniel J.; MacDonald, Maryellen C.

    2010-01-01

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

  5. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  7. Magnetic stimulation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex dissociates fragile visual short-term memory from visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Sligte, Ilja G; Wokke, Martijn E; Tesselaar, Johannes P; Scholte, H Steven; Lamme, Victor A F

    2011-05-01

    To guide our behavior in successful ways, we often need to rely on information that is no longer in view, but maintained in visual short-term memory (VSTM). While VSTM is usually broken down into iconic memory (brief and high-capacity store) and visual working memory (sustained, yet limited-capacity store), recent studies have suggested the existence of an additional and intermediate form of VSTM that depends on activity in extrastriate cortex. In previous work, we have shown that this fragile form of VSTM can be dissociated from iconic memory. In the present study, we provide evidence that fragile VSTM is different from visual working memory as magnetic stimulation of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) disrupts visual working memory, while leaving fragile VSTM intact. In addition, we observed that people with high DLPFC activity had superior working memory capacity compared to people with low DLPFC activity, and only people with high DLPFC activity really showed a reduction in working memory capacity in response to magnetic stimulation. Altogether, this study shows that VSTM consists of three stages that have clearly different characteristics and rely on different neural structures. On the methodological side, we show that it is possible to predict individual susceptibility to magnetic stimulation based on functional MRI activity. PMID:21168424

  8. Reduced Functional Connectivity during Working Memory in Turner Syndrome

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Differential Age Effects on Spatial and Visual Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  11. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pascual-Leone, Juan

    2000-01-01

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

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. Verbal Working Memory in Children with Mild Intellectual Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2007-01-01

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

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  20. 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. PMID:25456522

  1. 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

  2. Forward scanning in verbal working memory updating.

    PubMed

    Kessler, Yoav; Oberauer, Klaus

    2015-12-01

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

  3. Time causes forgetting from working memory.

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Storbeck, Justin; Maswood, Raeya

    2016-08-01

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

  5. 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

    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; Gerber, David J

    2013-07-01

    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

  6. 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…

  7. The sensory strength of voluntary visual imagery predicts visual working memory capacity.

    PubMed

    Keogh, Rebecca; Pearson, Joel

    2014-01-01

    How much we can actively hold in mind is severely limited and differs greatly from one person to the next. Why some individuals have greater capacities than others is largely unknown. Here, we investigated why such large variations in visual working memory (VWM) capacity might occur, by examining the relationship between visual working memory and visual mental imagery. To assess visual working memory capacity participants were required to remember the orientation of a number of Gabor patches and make subsequent judgments about relative changes in orientation. The sensory strength of voluntary imagery was measured using a previously documented binocular rivalry paradigm. Participants with greater imagery strength also had greater visual working memory capacity. However, they were no better on a verbal number working memory task. Introducing a uniform luminous background during the retention interval of the visual working memory task reduced memory capacity, but only for those with strong imagery. Likewise, for the good imagers increasing background luminance during imagery generation reduced its effect on subsequent binocular rivalry. Luminance increases did not affect any of the subgroups on the verbal number working memory task. Together, these results suggest that luminance was disrupting sensory mechanisms common to both visual working memory and imagery, and not a general working memory system. The disruptive selectivity of background luminance suggests that good imagers, unlike moderate or poor imagers, may use imagery as a mnemonic strategy to perform the visual working memory task. PMID:25301015

  8. Symbiosis of executive and selective attention in working memory

    PubMed Central

    Vandierendonck, André

    2014-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    de Ribaupierre, Anik; Bailleux, Christine

    2000-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-22

    Working memory (WM) enables the maintenance and manipulation of information relevant to behavioral goals. Variability in WM ability is strongly correlated with IQ [1], and WM function is impaired in many neurological and psychiatric disorders [2, 3], suggesting that this system is a core component of higher cognition. WM storage is thought to be mediated by patterns of activity in neural populations selective for specific properties (e.g., color, orientation, location, and motion direction) of memoranda [4-13]. Accordingly, many models propose that differences in the amplitude of these population responses should be related to differences in memory performance [14, 15]. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging and an image reconstruction technique based on a spatial encoding model [16] to visualize and quantify population-level memory representations supported by multivoxel patterns of activation within regions of occipital, parietal and frontal cortex while participants precisely remembered the location(s) of zero, one, or two small stimuli. We successfully reconstructed images containing representations of the remembered-but not forgotten-locations within regions of occipital, parietal, and frontal cortex using delay-period activation patterns. Critically, the amplitude of representations of remembered locations and behavioral performance both decreased with increasing memory load. These results suggest that differences in visual WM performance between memory load conditions are mediated by changes in the fidelity of large-scale population response profiles distributed across multiple areas of human cortex. PMID:25201683

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-15

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

  19. Lifelong caloric restriction increases working memory in mice.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-01

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

  1. Changes in Brain Network Efficiency and Working Memory Performance in Aging

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25875001

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  5. The 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…

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

    PubMed

    Alloway, Tracy Packiam

    2007-01-01

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

  7. THE WORKING MEMORY BENEFITS OF PROPRIOCEPTIVELY DEMANDING TRAINING: A PILOT STUDY (.).

    PubMed

    Alloway, Ross G; Alloway, Tracy Packiam

    2015-06-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of proprioception on working memory. It was also of interest whether an acute and highly intensive period of exercise would yield working memory gains. The training group completed a series of proprioceptively demanding exercises. There were also control classroom and yoga groups. Working memory was measured using a backward digit recall test. The data indicated that active, healthy adults who undertook acute, proprioceptively demanding training improved working memory scores compared to the classroom and yoga groups. One possible reason that the training yielded significant working memory gains could be that the training was proprioceptively dynamic, requiring proprioception and at least one other factor-such as locomotion or navigation-at the same time, which may have contributed to the improvements in working memory performance. PMID:26029969

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2005-01-01

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

  9. Spatial Working Memory and Gender Differences in Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geiger, John F.; Litwiller, Robert M.

    2005-01-01

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

  10. Evidence for Two Attentional Components in Visual Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2005-01-01

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

  12. Working memory capacity and retrieval limitations from long-term memory: an examination of differences in accessibility.

    PubMed

    Unsworth, Nash; Spillers, Gregory J; Brewer, Gene A

    2012-01-01

    In two experiments, the locus of individual differences in working memory capacity and long-term memory recall was examined. Participants performed categorical cued and free recall tasks, and individual differences in the dynamics of recall were interpreted in terms of a hierarchical-search framework. The results from this study are in accordance with recent theorizing suggesting a strong relation between working memory capacity and retrieval from long-term memory. Furthermore, the results also indicate that individual differences in categorical recall are partially due to differences in accessibility. In terms of accessibility of target information, two important factors drive the difference between high- and low-working-memory-capacity participants. Low-working-memory-capacity participants fail to utilize appropriate retrieval strategies to access cues, and they also have difficulty resolving cue overload. Thus, when low-working-memory-capacity participants were given specific cues that activated a smaller set of potential targets, their recall performance was the same as that of high-working-memory-capacity participants. PMID:22800472

  13. Self-regulation and working memory in musical performers

    PubMed Central

    Killough, Cynthia M.; Thompson, Laura A.; Morgan, Gin

    2013-01-01

    Performing music in front of others can be stressful, even for experienced performers. The physiological effects of stress, namely, increases in cortisol and sympathetic nervous system activity, have been shown to have detrimental effects on cognition, particularly working memory. This study used an audition-like performance scenario to elicit a stress response in performers who differed in their degree of musical experience. We expected that participants with more musical experience would be better able to regulate their stress response, would report lower levels of anxiety, insecurity, and nervousness, and would show better working memory following the stressor, compared to participants with less musical experience. Although we did not find differences between more and less experienced performers in their sympathetic nervous system activity or their self-reported feelings of anxiety and nervousness, we did find some important differences: following the stressor, more experienced performers were less insecure, they showed better regulation of their cortisol response, and they demonstrated better working memory. PMID:26392676

  14. Elevations of endogenous kynurenic acid produce spatial working memory deficits.

    PubMed

    Chess, Amy C; Simoni, Michael K; Alling, Torey E; Bucci, David J

    2007-05-01

    Kynurenic acid (KYNA) is a tryptophan metabolite that is synthesized and released by astrocytes and acts as a competitive antagonist of the glycine site of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors at high concentrations and as a noncompetitive antagonist of the alpha7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor at low concentrations. The discovery of increased cortical KYNA levels in schizophrenia prompted the hypothesis that elevated KYNA concentration may underlie the working memory dysfunction observed in this population that has been attributed to altered glutamatergic and/or cholinergic transmission. The present study investigated the effect of elevated endogenous KYNA on spatial working memory function in rats. Increased KYNA levels were achieved with intraperitoneal administration of kynurenine (100 mg/kg), the precursor of KYNA synthesis. Rats were treated with either kynurenine or a vehicle solution prior to testing in a radial arm maze task at various delays. Elevations of endogenous KYNA resulted in increased errors in the radial arm maze. In separate experiments, assessment of locomotor activity in an open field and latency to retrieve food reward from one of the maze arms ruled out the possibility that deficits in the maze were attributable to altered locomotor activity or motivation to consume food. These results provide evidence that increased KYNA levels produce spatial working memory deficits and are among the first to demonstrate the influence of glia-derived molecules on cognitive function. The implications for psychopathological conditions such as schizophrenia are discussed. PMID:16920787

  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. PMID:25691370

  16. Controlling working memory with learned instructions.

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. EEG correlates of verbal and nonverbal working memory

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Grace; Jacobs, Joshua; Geller, Aaron; Danker, Jared; Sekuler, Robert; Kahana, Michael J

    2005-01-01

    Background Distinct cognitive processes support verbal and nonverbal working memory, with verbal memory depending specifically on the subvocal rehearsal of items. Methods We recorded scalp EEG while subjects performed a Sternberg task. In each trial, subjects judged whether a probe item was one of the three items in a study list. Lists were composed of stimuli from one of five pools whose items either were verbally rehearsable (letters, words, pictures of common objects) or resistant to verbal rehearsal (sinusoidal grating patterns, single dot locations). Results We found oscillatory correlates unique to verbal stimuli in the θ (4–8 Hz), α (9–12 Hz), β (14–28 Hz), and γ (30–50 Hz) frequency bands. Verbal stimuli generally elicited greater power than did nonverbal stimuli. Enhanced verbal power was found bilaterally in the θ band, over frontal and occipital areas in the α and β bands, and centrally in the γ band. When we looked specifically for cases where oscillatory power in the time interval between item presentations was greater than oscillatory power during item presentation, we found enhanced β activity in the frontal and occipital regions. Conclusion These results implicate stimulus-induced oscillatory activity in verbal working memory and β activity in the process of subvocal rehearsal. PMID:16287504

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

    PubMed Central

    Luethi, Mathias; Meier, Beat; Sandi, Carmen

    2008-01-01

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

  1. Training of Attentional Filtering, but Not of Memory Storage, Enhances Working Memory Efficiency by Strengthening the Neuronal Gatekeeper Network.

    PubMed

    Schmicker, Marlen; Schwefel, Melanie; Vellage, Anne-Katrin; Müller, Notger G

    2016-04-01

    Memory training (MT) in older adults with memory deficits often leads to frustration and, therefore, is usually not recommended. Here, we pursued an alternative approach and looked for transfer effects of 1-week attentional filter training (FT) on working memory performance and its neuronal correlates in young healthy humans. The FT effects were compared with pure MT, which lacked the necessity to filter out irrelevant information. Before and after training, all participants performed an fMRI experiment that included a combined task in which stimuli had to be both filtered based on color and stored in memory. We found that training induced processing changes by biasing either filtering or storage. FT induced larger transfer effects on the untrained cognitive function than MT. FT increased neuronal activity in frontal parts of the neuronal gatekeeper network, which is proposed to hinder irrelevant information from being unnecessarily stored in memory. MT decreased neuronal activity in the BG part of the gatekeeper network but enhanced activity in the parietal storage node. We take these findings as evidence that FT renders working memory more efficient by strengthening the BG-prefrontal gatekeeper network. MT, on the other hand, simply stimulates storage of any kind of information. These findings illustrate a tight connection between working memory and attention, and they may open up new avenues for ameliorating memory deficits in patients with cognitive impairments. PMID:26765946

  2. Impulsive Choice Predicts Poor Working Memory in Male Rats

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  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. 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…

  5. 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…

  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. Evidence for two attentional components in visual working memory.

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

    How does executive attentional control contribute to memory for sequences of visual objects, and what does this reveal about storage and processing in working memory? Three experiments examined the impact of a concurrent executive load (backward counting) on memory for sequences of individually presented visual objects. Experiments 1 and 2 found disruptive concurrent load effects of equivalent magnitude on memory for shapes, colors, and colored shape conjunctions (as measured by single-probe recognition). These effects were present only for Items 1 and 2 in a 3-item sequence; the final item was always impervious to this disruption. This pattern of findings was precisely replicated in Experiment 3 when using a cued verbal recall measure of shape-color binding, with error analysis providing additional insights concerning attention-related loss of early-sequence items. These findings indicate an important role for executive processes in maintaining representations of earlier encountered stimuli in an active form alongside privileged storage of the most recent stimulus. PMID:24564541

  8. A neural correlate of working memory in the monkey primary visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Supèr, H; Spekreijse, H; Lamme, V A

    2001-07-01

    The brain frequently needs to store information for short periods. In vision, this means that the perceptual correlate of a stimulus has to be maintained temporally once the stimulus has been removed from the visual scene. However, it is not known how the visual system transfers sensory information into a memory component. Here, we identify a neural correlate of working memory in the monkey primary visual cortex (V1). We propose that this component may link sensory activity with memory activity. PMID:11441187

  9. Working memory constraints on imitation and emulation.

    PubMed

    Subiaul, Francys; Schilder, Brian

    2014-12-01

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

  10. When higher working memory capacity hinders insight.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-12-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Working Memory, Language Skills, and Autism Symptomatology

    PubMed Central

    Schuh, Jillian M.; Eigsti, Inge-Marie

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Auditory Discrimination Learning: Role of Working Memory.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Schulze, Katrin; Tillmann, Barbara

    2013-04-01

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

  17. 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. PMID:24631800

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  19. 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,…

  20. 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…

  1. 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

  2. Insightful Imagery is Related to Working Memory Updating.

    PubMed

    Nęcka, Edward; Żak, Piotr; Gruszka, Aleksandra

    2016-01-01

    Available body of evidence concerning the relationship between insight problem solving and working memory (WM) is ambiguous. Several authors propose that restructuring of the problem representation requires controlled search processes, which needs planning and involvement of WM. Other researchers suggest that the restructuring is achieved through the automatic spread of activation in long-term memory, assigning a limited role to WM capacity. In the present study we examined the correlations between insight problem solving performance and measures of WM updating function (n-back task), including general intelligence (as measured by Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices). The results revealed that updating function shared up to 30% of variance with the insight problem task performance, even when the influence of general mental ability was controlled for. These results suggest that insight problem solving is constrained by individual ability to update the content of WM. PMID:26973549

  3. Multiple component networks support working memory in prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Markowitz, David A; Curtis, Clayton E; Pesaran, Bijan

    2015-09-01

    Lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) is regarded as the hub of the brain's working memory (WM) system, but it remains unclear whether WM is supported by a single distributed network or multiple specialized network components in this region. To investigate this problem, we recorded from neurons in PFC while monkeys made delayed eye movements guided by memory or vision. We show that neuronal responses during these tasks map to three anatomically specific modes of persistent activity. The first two modes encode early and late forms of information storage, whereas the third mode encodes response preparation. Neurons that reflect these modes are concentrated at different anatomical locations in PFC and exhibit distinct patterns of coordinated firing rates and spike timing during WM, consistent with distinct networks. These findings support multiple component models of WM and consequently predict distinct failures that could contribute to neurologic dysfunction. PMID:26283366

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-01

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

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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).…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brooks, David W.; Shell, Duane F.

    2006-01-01

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

  11. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. Working Memory and Fluid Intelligence in Young Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. The role of working memory in decoding emotions.

    PubMed

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

    2008-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lim, Sukbin; Goldman, Mark S

    2014-05-14

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1990-01-01

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

  9. 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. PMID:26872100

  10. 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.…

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

    PubMed

    Vergauwe, Evie; Langerock, Naomi; Barrouillet, Pierre

    2014-09-01

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

  12. 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. PMID:27526144

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Beanland, Vanessa; Chan, Esther Hiu Chung

    2016-04-01

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

  16. Time-Related Decay or Interference-Based Forgetting in Working Memory?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Portrat, Sophie; Barrouillet, Pierre; Camos, Valerie

    2008-01-01

    The time-based resource-sharing model of working memory assumes that memory traces suffer from a time-related decay when attention is occupied by concurrent activities. Using complex continuous span tasks in which temporal parameters are carefully controlled, P. Barrouillet, S. Bernardin, S. Portrat, E. Vergauwe, & V. Camos (2007) recently…

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

    PubMed

    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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  20. 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. PMID:26930173

  1. 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…

  2. Trade-Offs between Gaze and Working Memory Use

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Droll, Jason A.; Hayhoe, Mary M.

    2007-01-01

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

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. Prefrontal Control of Familiarity and Recollection in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feredoes, Eva; Postle, Bradley R.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cohen-Mimran, Ravit; Sapir, Shimon

    2007-01-01

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

  7. Improving working memory in children with low language abilities

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swanson, H. Lee

    2008-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swanson, H. Lee; Berninger, Virginia W.

    1996-01-01

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

  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. 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.

  13. Sandia Cognitive Runtime Engine with Active Memory

    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 datamore » 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.« less

  14. A Working Memory System With Distributed Executive Control.

    PubMed

    Vandierendonck, André

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Caplan, David; Michaud, Jennifer; Hufford, Rebecca

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Morey, Candice C; Cowan, Nelson

    2004-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. An fMRI Investigation of Cerebellar Function During Verbal Working Memory in Methadone Maintenance Patients

    PubMed Central

    Marvel, Cherie L.; Faulkner, Monica L.; Strain, Eric C.; Mintzer, Miriam Z.; Desmond, John E.

    2011-01-01

    Working memory is impaired in opioid-dependent individuals, yet the neural underpinnings of working memory in this population are largely unknown. Previous studies in healthy adults have demonstrated that working memory is supported by a network of brain regions that includes a cerebro-cerebellar circuit. The cerebellum, in particular, may be important for inner speech mechanisms that assist verbal working memory. This study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine brain activity associated with working memory in 5 opioid-dependent, methadone-maintained patients and 5 matched, healthy controls. An item recognition task was administered in two conditions: 1) a low working memory load “match” condition in which participants determined whether target letters presented at the beginning of the trial matched a probe item, and 2) a high working memory load “manipulation” condition in which participants counted two alphabetical letters forward of each of the targets and determined whether either of these new items matched a probe item. Response times and accuracy scores were not significantly different between the groups. FMRI analyses indicated that, in association with higher working memory load (“manipulation” condition), the patient group exhibited hyperactivity in the superior and inferior cerebellum and amygdala relative to that of controls. At a more liberal statistical threshold, patients exhibited hypoactivity in the left prefrontal and medial frontal/pre-SMA regions. These results indicate that verbal working memory in opioid-dependent individuals involves a disrupted cerebro-cerebellar circuit, and shed light on the neuroanatomical basis of working memory impairments in this population. PMID:21892700

  1. Competition between items in working memory leads to forgetting

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Vergauwe, Evie; Cowan, Nelson

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Vergauwe, Evie; Cowan, Nelson

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 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…

  5. Low working memory capacity is only spuriously related to poor reading comprehension.

    PubMed

    Van Dyke, Julie A; Johns, Clinton L; Kukona, Anuenue

    2014-06-01

    Accounts of comprehension failure, whether in the case of readers with poor skill or when syntactic complexity is high, have overwhelmingly implicated working memory capacity as the key causal factor. However, extant research suggests that this position is not well supported by evidence on the span of active memory during online sentence processing, nor is it well motivated by models that make explicit claims about the memory mechanisms that support language processing. The current study suggests that sensitivity to interference from similar items in memory may provide a better explanation of comprehension failure. Through administration of a comprehensive skill battery, we found that the previously observed association of working memory with comprehension is likely due to the collinearity of working memory with many other reading-related skills, especially IQ. In analyses which removed variance shared with IQ, we found that receptive vocabulary knowledge was the only significant predictor of comprehension performance in our task out of a battery of 24 skill measures. In addition, receptive vocabulary and non-verbal memory for serial order-but not simple verbal memory or working memory-were the only predictors of reading times in the region where interference had its primary affect. We interpret these results in light of a model that emphasizes retrieval interference and the quality of lexical representations as key determinants of successful comprehension. PMID:24657820

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Working memory capacity and redundant information processing efficiency

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Neuronal synchrony reveals working memory networks and predicts individual memory capacity

    PubMed Central

    Palva, J. Matias; Monto, Simo; Kulashekhar, Shrikanth; Palva, Satu

    2010-01-01

    Visual working memory (VWM) is used to maintain sensory information for cognitive operations, and its deficits are associated with several neuropsychological disorders. VWM is based on sustained neuronal activity in a complex cortical network of frontal, parietal, occipital, and temporal areas. The neuronal mechanisms that coordinate this distributed processing to sustain coherent mental images and the mechanisms that set the behavioral capacity limit have remained unknown. We mapped the anatomical and dynamic structures of network synchrony supporting VWM by using a neuro informatics approach and combined magnetoencephalography and electroencephalography. Interareal phase synchrony was sustained and stable during the VWM retention period among frontoparietal and visual areas in α- (10–13 Hz), β- (18–24 Hz), and γ- (30–40 Hz) frequency bands. Furthermore, synchrony was strengthened with increasing memory load among the frontoparietal regions known to underlie executive and attentional functions during memory maintenance. On the other hand, the subjects’ individual behavioral VWM capacity was predicted by synchrony in a network in which the intraparietal sulcus was the most central hub. These data suggest that interareal phase synchrony in the α-, β-, and γ-frequency bands among frontoparietal and visual regions could be a systems level mechanism for coordinating and regulating the maintenance of neuronal object representations in VWM. PMID:20368447

  10. Working memory filtering continues to develop into late adolescence

    PubMed Central

    Peverill, Matthew; McLaughlin, Katie A.; Finn, Amy S.; Sheridan, Margaret A.

    2016-01-01

    While most measures of working memory (WM) performance have been shown to plateau by mid-adolescence and developmental changes in fronto-parietal regions supporting WM encoding and maintenance have been well characterized, little is known about developmental variation in WM filtering. We investigated the possibility that the neural underpinnings of filtering in WM reach maturity later in life than WM function without filtering. Using a cued WM filtering task (McNab and Klingberg, 2008), we investigated neural activity during WM filtering in a sample of 64 adults and adolescents. Regardless of age, increases in WM activity with load were concentrated in the expected fronto-parietal network. For adults, but not adolescents, recruitment of the basal ganglia during presentation of a filtering cue was associated with neural and behavioral indices of successful filtering, suggesting that WM filtering and related basal ganglia function may still be maturing throughout adolescence and into adulthood. PMID:27026657

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. The influence of working memory load on semantic priming.

    PubMed

    Heyman, Tom; Van Rensbergen, Bram; Storms, Gert; Hutchison, Keith A; De Deyne, Simon

    2015-05-01

    The present research examines the nature of the different processes that have been proposed to underlie semantic priming. Specifically, it has been argued that priming arises as a result of automatic target activation and/or the use of strategies like prospective expectancy generation and retrospective semantic matching. This article investigates the extent that these processes rely on cognitive resources by experimentally manipulating working memory load. To disentangle prospective and retrospective processes, prime-target pairs were selected such that they were symmetrically associated (e.g., answer-question; SYM) or asymmetrically associated in either the forward direction (e.g., panda-bear; FA) or the backward direction (e.g., ball-catch; BA). The results showed that priming for FA pairs completely evaporated under a high working memory load but that it remained stable for BA and SYM pairs. This was taken to mean that prospective processes, which are assumed to cause FA priming, require cognitive resources, whereas retrospective processes, which lead to BA priming, are relatively effortless. PMID:25329088

  13. Pantomimes are special gestures which rely on working memory.

    PubMed

    Bartolo, A; Cubelli, R; Della Sala, S; Drei, S

    2003-12-01

    The case of a patient is reported who presented consistently with overt deficits in producing pantomimes in the absence of any other deficits in producing meaningful gestures. This pattern of spared and impaired abilities is difficult to reconcile with the current layout of cognitive models for praxis. This patient also showed clear impairment in a dual-task paradigm, a test taxing the co-ordination aspect of working memory, though performed normally in a series of other neuropsychological measures assessing language, visuo-spatial functions, reasoning function, and executive function. A specific working memory impairment associated with a deficit of pantomiming in the absence of any other disorders in the production of meaningful gestures suggested a way to modify the model to account for the data. Pantomimes are a particular category of gestures, meaningful, yet novel. We posit that by their very nature they call for the intervention of a mechanism to integrate and synthesise perceptual inputs together with information made available from the action semantics (knowledge about objects and functions) and the output lexicon (stored procedural programmes). This processing stage conceived as a temporary workspace where gesture information is actively manipulated, would generate new motor programmes to carry out pantomimes. The model of gesture production is refined to include this workspace. PMID:14642299

  14. Time-dependent corticosteroid modulation of prefrontal working memory processing

    PubMed Central

    Henckens, Marloes J. A. G.; van Wingen, Guido A.; Joëls, Marian; Fernández, Guillén

    2011-01-01

    Corticosteroids are potent modulators of human higher cognitive function. They are released in response to stress, and are thought to be involved in the modulation of cognitive function by inducing distinct rapid nongenomic, and slow genomic changes, affecting neural plasticity throughout the brain. However, their exact effects on the neural correlates of higher-order cognitive function as performed by the prefrontal cortex at the human brain system level remain to be elucidated. Here, we targeted these time-dependent effects of corticosteroids on prefrontal cortex processing in humans using a working memory (WM) paradigm during functional MRI scanning. Implementing a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design, 72 young, healthy men received 10 mg hydrocortisone either 30 min (rapid corticosteroid effects) or 240 min (slow corticosteroid effects), or placebo before a numerical n-back task with differential load (0- to 3-back). Corticosteroids’ slow effects appeared to improve working memory performance and increased neuronal activity during WM performance in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex depending on WM load, whereas no effects of corticosteroids’ rapid actions were observed. Thereby, the slow actions of corticosteroids seem to facilitate adequate higher-order cognitive functioning, which may support recovery in the aftermath of stress exposure. PMID:21436038

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

    PubMed

    Emery, Lisa; Hale, Sandra; Myerson, Joel

    2008-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Milinski, M; Wedekind, C

    1998-11-10

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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…

  20. Hemispheric lateralization of verbal and spatial working memory during adolescence

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Adult functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) literature suggests that a left-right hemispheric dissociation may exist between verbal and spatial working memory (WM), respectively. However, investigation of this type has been obscured by incomparable verbal and spatial WM tasks and/or visual inspection at arbitrary thresholds as means to assess lateralization. Furthermore, it is unclear whether this hemispheric lateralization is present during adolescence, a time in which WM skills are improving, and whether there is a developmental association with laterality of brain functioning. This study used comparable verbal and spatial WM n-back tasks during fMRI and a bootstrap analysis approach to calculate lateralization indices (LI) across several thresholds to examine the potential of a left-right WM hemispheric dissociation in healthy adolescents. We found significant left hemispheric lateralization for verbal WM, most notably in the frontal and parietal lobes, as well as right hemisphere lateralization for spatial WM, seen in frontal and temporal cortices. Although no significant relationships were observed between LI and age or LI and performance, significant age-related patterns of brain activity were demonstrated during both verbal and spatial WM. Specifically, increased adolescent age was associated with less activity in the default mode brain network during verbal WM. In contrast, increased adolescent age was associated with greater activity in task-positive posterior parietal cortex during spatial working memory. Our findings highlight the importance of utilizing non-biased statistical methods and comparable tasks for determining patterns of functional lateralization. Our findings also suggest that, while a left-right hemispheric dissociation of verbal and spatial WM is apparent by early adolescence, age-related changes in functional activation during WM are also present. PMID:23511846

  1. CB2 Cannabinoid Receptor Knockout in Mice Impairs Contextual Long-Term Memory and Enhances Spatial Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yong; Kim, Jimok

    2016-01-01

    Neurocognitive effects of cannabinoids have been extensively studied with a focus on CB1 cannabinoid receptors because CB1 receptors have been considered the major cannabinoid receptor in the nervous system. However, recent discoveries of CB2 cannabinoid receptors in the brain demand accurate determination of whether and how CB2 receptors are involved in the cognitive effects of cannabinoids. CB2 cannabinoid receptors are primarily involved in immune functions, but also implicated in psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and depression. Here, we examined the effects of CB2 receptor knockout in mice on memory to determine the roles of CB2 receptors in modulating cognitive function. Behavioral assays revealed that hippocampus-dependent, long-term contextual fear memory was impaired whereas hippocampus-independent, cued fear memory was normal in CB2 receptor knockout mice. These mice also displayed enhanced spatial working memory when tested in a Y-maze. Motor activity and anxiety of CB2 receptor knockout mice were intact when assessed in an open field arena and an elevated zero maze. In contrast to the knockout of CB2 receptors, acute blockade of CB2 receptors by AM603 in C57BL/6J mice had no effect on memory, motor activity, or anxiety. Our results suggest that CB2 cannabinoid receptors play diverse roles in regulating memory depending on memory types and/or brain areas. PMID:26819779

  2. 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. PMID:22820891

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Redox-Active Molecular Nanowire Flash Memory for High-Endurance and High-Density Nonvolatile Memory Applications.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Hao; Pookpanratana, Sujitra J; Bonevich, John E; Natoli, Sean N; Hacker, Christina A; Ren, Tong; Suehle, John S; Richter, Curt A; Li, Qiliang

    2015-12-16

    In this work, high-performance top-gated nanowire molecular flash memory has been fabricated with redox-active molecules. Different molecules with one and two redox centers have been tested. The flash memory has clean solid/molecule and dielectric interfaces, due to the pristine molecular self-assembly and the nanowire device self-alignment fabrication process. The memory cells exhibit discrete charged states at small gate voltages. Such multi-bit memory in one cell is favorable for high-density storage. These memory devices exhibit fast speed, low power, long memory retention, and exceptionally good endurance (>10(9) cycles). The excellent characteristics are derived from the intrinsic charge-storage properties of the protected redox-active molecules. Such multi-bit molecular flash memory is very attractive for high-endurance and high-density on-chip memory applications in future portable electronics. PMID:26600234

  5. 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. PMID:26993277

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

    Swanson, H L; Berninger, V W

    1996-11-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Low working memory capacity is only spuriously related to poor reading comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Van Dyke, Julie A.; Johns, Clinton L.; Kukona, Anuenue

    2014-01-01

    Accounts of comprehension failure, whether in the case of readers with poor skill or when syntactic complexity is high, have overwhelmingly implicated working memory capacity as the key causal factor. However, extant research suggests that this position is not well supported by evidence on the span of active memory during online sentence processing, nor is it well motivated by models that make explicit claims about the memory mechanisms that support language processing. The current study suggests that sensitivity to interference from similar items in memory may provide a better explanation of comprehension failure. Through administration of a comprehensive skill battery, we found that the previously observed association of working memory with comprehension is likely due to the collinearity of working memory with many other reading-related skills, especially IQ. In analyses which removed variance shared with IQ, we found that receptive vocabulary knowledge was the only significant predictor of comprehension performance in our task out of a battery of 24 skill measures. In addition, receptive vocabulary and non-verbal memory for serial order—but not simple verbal memory or working memory—were the only predictors of reading times in the region where interference had its primary affect. We interpret these results in light of a model that emphasizes retrieval interference and the quality of lexical representations as key determinants of successful comprehension. PMID:24657820

  11. 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. PMID:27233825

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  13. A Short Executive Function Training Program Improves Preschoolers’ Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26635710

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rerko, Laura; Oberauer, Klaus

    2013-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    Engel de Abreu, Pascale M J

    2011-07-01

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

  20. Revealing hidden states in visual working memory using electroencephalography

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26388748

  1. Item-location binding in working memory: is it hippocampus-dependent?

    PubMed

    Allen, Richard J; Vargha-Khadem, Faraneh; Baddeley, Alan D

    2014-07-01

    A general consensus is emerging that the hippocampus has an important and active role in the creation of new long-term memory representations of associations or bindings between elements. However, it is less clear whether this contribution can be extended to the creation of temporary bound representations in working memory, involving the retention of small numbers of items over short delays. We examined this by administering a series of recognition and recall tests of working memory for colour-location binding and object-location binding to a patient with highly selective hippocampal damage (Jon), and groups of control participants. Jon achieved high levels of accuracy in all working memory tests of recognition and recall binding across retention intervals of up to 10s. In contrast, Jon performed at chance on an unexpected delayed test of the same object-location binding information. These findings indicate a clear dissociation between working memory and long-term memory, with no evidence for a critical hippocampal contribution to item-location binding in working memory. PMID:24784006

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lewandowsky, Stephan

    2011-05-01

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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-09-01

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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Individual differences in working memory capacity and workload capacity

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Brady, Timothy F; Alvarez, George A

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Aging modulates the oscillatory dynamics underlying successful working memory encoding and maintenance.

    PubMed

    Proskovec, Amy L; Heinrichs-Graham, Elizabeth; Wilson, Tony W

    2016-06-01

    Working memory is central to the execution of many daily functions and is typically divided into three phases: encoding, maintenance, and retrieval. While working memory performance has been repeatedly shown to decline with age, less is known regarding the underlying neural processes. We examined age-related differences in the neural dynamics that serve working memory by recording high-density magnetoencephalography (MEG) in younger and older adults while they performed a modified, high-load Sternberg working memory task with letters as stimuli. MEG data were evaluated in the time-frequency domain and significant oscillatory responses were imaged using a beamformer. A hierarchical regression was performed to investigate whether age moderated the relationship between oscillatory activity and accuracy on the working memory task. Our results indicated that the spatiotemporal dynamics of oscillatory activity in language-related areas of the left fronto-temporal cortices were similar across groups. Age-related differences emerged during early encoding in the right-hemispheric homologue of Wernicke's area. Slightly later, group differences emerged in the homologue of Broca's area and these persisted throughout memory maintenance. Additionally, occipital alpha activity during maintenance was stronger, occurred earlier, and involved more cortical tissue in older adults. Finally, age significantly moderated the relationship between accuracy and neural activity in the prefrontal cortices. In younger adults, as prefrontal activity decreased, accuracy tended to increase. Our results are consistent with predictions of the compensation-related utilization of neural circuits hypothesis (CRUNCH). Such differences in the oscillatory dynamics could reflect compensatory mechanisms, which would aid working memory performance in older age. Hum Brain Mapp 37:2348-2361, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26991358

  14. Electrocortical and ocular indices of attention to fearful and neutral faces presented under high and low working memory load.

    PubMed

    MacNamara, Annmarie; Schmidt, Joseph; Zelinsky, Gregory J; Hajcak, Greg

    2012-12-01

    Working memory load reduces the late positive potential (LPP), consistent with the notion that functional activation of the DLPFC attenuates neural indices of sustained attention. Visual attention also modulates the LPP. In the present study, we sought to determine whether working memory load might exert its influence on ERPs by reducing fixations to arousing picture regions. We simultaneously recorded eye-tracking and EEG while participants performed a working memory task interspersed with the presentation of task-irrelevant fearful and neutral faces. As expected, fearful compared to neutral faces elicited larger N170 and LPP amplitudes; in addition, working memory load reduced the N170 and the LPP. Participants made more fixations to arousing regions of neutral faces and faces presented under high working memory load. Therefore, working memory load did not induce avoidance of arousing picture regions and visual attention cannot explain load effects on the N170 and LPP. PMID:22951516

  15. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. 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

  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. Working memory training improves emotional states of healthy individuals

    PubMed Central

    Takeuchi, Hikaru; Taki, Yasuyuki; Nouchi, Rui; Hashizume, Hiroshi; Sekiguchi, Atsushi; Kotozaki, Yuka; Nakagawa, Seishu; Miyauchi, Carlos Makoto; Sassa, Yuko; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2014-01-01

    Working memory (WM) capacity is associated with various emotional aspects, including states of depression and stress, reactions to emotional stimuli, and regulatory behaviors. We have previously investigated the effects of WM training (WMT) on cognitive functions and brain structures. However, the effects of WMT on emotional states and related neural mechanisms among healthy young adults remain unknown. In the present study, we investigated these effects in young adults who underwent WMT or received no intervention for 4 weeks. Before and after the intervention, subjects completed self-report questionnaires related to their emotional states and underwent scanning sessions in which brain activities related to negative emotions were measured. Compared with controls, subjects who underwent WMT showed reduced anger, fatigue, and depression. Furthermore, WMT reduced activity in the left posterior insula during tasks evoking negative emotion, which was related to anger. It also reduced activity in the left frontoparietal area. These findings show that WMT can reduce negative mood and provide new insight into the clinical applications of WMT, at least among subjects with preclinical-level conditions. PMID:25360090

  20. Maternal working memory and reactive negativity in parenting.

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  1. Effects of light wavelength on MEG ERD/ERS during a working memory task.

    PubMed

    Okamoto, Yosuke; Nakagawa, Seiji

    2016-06-01

    We investigated the effects of light wavelengths on cortical oscillatory activity associated with working memory processes. Cortical activity responses were measured using magnetoencephalography (MEG) while participants performed an auditory Sternberg memory task during exposure to light of different wavelength. Each trial of the memory task consisted of four words presented as a memory set and one word presented as a probe. All words were presented audibly. Participants were instructed to indicate whether the probe word was or was not presented within the memory set. A total of 90 trials were conducted under the light exposure. Event-related synchronization (ERS) and event-related desynchronization responses in the alpha frequency range during the task were analyzed. Results showed that, during memory encoding, ERS responses were significantly greater in the short-wavelength (blue) light condition than in the middle-wavelength (green) light condition, approximately 20-30min after the onset of light exposure. Behavioral performance was very high throughout the experiment and there was no difference between the light conditions. Although the light effects were not observed in behavior, the result of ERS suggests that 20-30min of exposure to blue light enhances cortical activity related to active memory maintenance and/or attention to auditory stimuli. PMID:27040560

  2. Gender differences in working memory networks: A BrainMap meta-analysis

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Ashley C.; Laird, Angela R.; Robinson, Jennifer L.

    2014-01-01

    Gender differences in psychological processes have been of great interest in a variety of fields. While the majority of research in this area has focused on specific differences in relation to test performance, this study sought to determine the underlying neurofunctional differences observed during working memory, a pivotal cognitive process shown to be predictive of academic achievement and intelligence. Using the BrainMap database, we performed a meta-analysis and applied activation likelihood estimation to our search set. Our results demonstrate consistent working memory networks across genders, but also provide evidence for gender-specific networks whereby females consistently activate more limbic (e.g., amygdala and hippocampus) and prefrontal structures (e.g., right inferior frontal gyrus), and males activate a distributed network inclusive of more parietal regions. These data provide a framework for future investigation using functional or effective connectivity methods to elucidate the underpinnings of gender differences in neural network recruitment during working memory tasks. PMID:25042764

  3. The Effects of Feature-Based Priming and Visual Working Memory on Oculomotor Capture.

    PubMed

    Silvis, Jeroen D; Belopolsky, Artem V; Murris, Jozua W I; Donk, Mieke

    2015-01-01

    Recently, it has been demonstrated that objects held in working memory can influence rapid oculomotor selection. This has been taken as evidence that perceptual salience can be modified by active working memory representations. The goal of the present study was to examine whether these results could also be caused by feature-based priming. In two experiments, participants were asked to saccade to a target line segment of a certain orientation that was presented together with a to-be-ignored distractor. Both objects were given a task-irrelevant color that varied per trial. In a secondary task, a color had to be memorized, and that color could either match the color of the target, match the color of the distractor, or it did not match the color of any of the objects in the search task. The memory task was completed either after the search task (Experiment 1), or before it (Experiment 2). The results showed that in both experiments the memorized color biased oculomotor selection. Eye movements were more frequently drawn towards objects that matched the memorized color, irrespective of whether the memory task was completed after (Experiment 1) or before (Experiment 2) the search task. This bias was particularly prevalent in short-latency saccades. The results show that early oculomotor selection performance is not only affected by properties that are actively maintained in working memory but also by those previously memorized. Both working memory and feature priming can cause early biases in oculomotor selection. PMID:26566137

  4. Evidence for a workspace model of working memory from semantic implicit processing in neglect.

    PubMed

    Della Sala, Sergio; van der Meulen, Marian; Bestelmeyer, Patricia; Logie, Robert H

    2010-09-01

    Three experiments tested the hypothesis that activation of semantic memory from perceptual input does not require initial retention of the perceptual material in working memory as assumed by a widely held view of information processing. In Expt 1, two brain-damaged patients with left-sided unilateral spatial neglect were tested. They were asked to listen to and read a series of familiar (British) and unfamiliar (foreign) proverbs and to choose which proverb was the best match to a depicted figure shown with the target object(s) on the left (neglected side) of the patients' visual field. Expt 2 simulated the testing conditions for the neglect patients with healthy participants using subliminal presentation of one half of each picture. Using different materials, Expt 3 replicated the outcomes of Expts 1 and 2 with a third neglect patient and a new group of controls. In all three experiments, participants appeared to be unaware of target features; however they selected familiar, but not unfamiliar, target proverbs above chance. The results showing implicit processing of semantic material can be explained by a model in which working memory is a separate system that deals with activated contents of semantic memory, and in which there is direct activation of semantic memory from perception without intermediate stages of processing in working memory. PMID:20226121

  5. Reactivation in working memory: an attractor network model of free recall.

    PubMed

    Lansner, Anders; Marklund, Petter; Sikström, Sverker; Nilsson, Lars-Göran

    2013-01-01

    The dynamic nature of human working memory, the general-purpose system for processing continuous input, while keeping no longer externally available information active in the background, is well captured in immediate free recall of supraspan word-lists. Free recall tasks produce several benchmark memory phenomena, like the U-shaped serial position curve, reflecting enhanced memory for early and late list items. To account for empirical data, including primacy and recency as well as contiguity effects, we propose here a neurobiologically based neural network model that unifies short- and long-term forms of memory and challenges both the standard view of working memory as persistent activity and dual-store accounts of free recall. Rapidly expressed and volatile synaptic plasticity, modulated intrinsic excitability, and spike-frequency adaptation are suggested as key cellular mechanisms underlying working memory encoding, reactivation and recall. Recent findings on the synaptic and molecular mechanisms behind early LTP and on spiking activity during delayed-match-to-sample tasks support this view. PMID:24023690

  6. Early menopausal hormone use influences brain regions used for visual working memory

    PubMed Central

    Berent-Spillson, Alison; Persad, Carol C.; Love, Tiffany; Tkaczyk, Anne; Wang, Heng; Reame, Nancy K.; Frey, Kirk A.; Zubieta, Jon-Kar; Smith, Yolanda R.

    2010-01-01

    Objective Cognitive benefit of postmenopausal hormone use is controversial; however, timing treatment close to menopause may increase the likelihood of preserving cognitive function. We examined effects of early-initiation hormone use on visual working memory, hypothesizing that long-term hormone use is associated with greater brain activation during visual working memory. Methods This is a cross-sectional comparison of long-term early hormone users – current (n=13) and past (n=24, 2.1±1.0 years off hormones) – to never-users (n=18), using a visual memory task and functional MRI. We evaluated 55 women over age 60 at the University of Michigan’s General Clinical Research Center. Hormone users had completed at least ten continuous years of conjugated equine estrogens with or without medroxyprogesterone acetate, began within two years of menopause. Women were excluded for illness, medication, intermittent estrogen use, phytoestrogen use, recent smoking, and MRI contraindications. The primary outcome was functional MRI-detected brain activity during the visual memory task. Results Compared to never-users, both hormone-user groups had increased activation in the frontal and parietal cortices, insula, hippocampus, and cingulate; combined hormone-users also had increased activation in the putamen and raphe (corrected p<0.05 or uncorrected p<0.001 with a priori hypothesis). Across the entire sample, medial temporal cortex (p<0.000 right; p<0.018 left) and right hippocampus (p<0.000) positively correlated with task performance. Conclusions Hormone use was associated with increased brain activation during the visual memory task, in regions used for visual working memory. A positive correlation between activation and task performance suggests that early-initiated long-term postmenopausal hormone use may benefit visual working memory. PMID:20300040

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

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Jaewon; Romanski, Lizabeth M.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-20

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

  10. Memory activation reveals abnormal EEG in preclinical Huntington's disease.

    PubMed

    van der Hiele, Karin; Jurgens, Caroline K; Vein, Alla A; Reijntjes, Robert H A M; Witjes-Ané, Marie-Noëlle W; Roos, Raymund A C; van Dijk, Gert; Middelkoop, Huub A M

    2007-04-15

    The EEG is potentially useful as a marker of early Huntington's disease (HD). In dementia, the EEG during a memory activation challenge showed abnormalities where the resting EEG did not. We investigated whether memory activation also reveals EEG abnormalities in preclinical HD. Sixteen mutation carriers for HD and 13 nonmutation carriers underwent neurological, neuropsychological, MRI and EEG investigations. The EEG was registered during a rest condition, i.e. eyes closed, and a working memory task. In each condition we determined absolute power in the theta (4-8 Hz) and alpha (8-13 Hz) bands and subsequently calculated relative alpha power. The EEG during eyes closed did not differ between groups. The EEG during memory activation showed less relative alpha power in mutation carriers as compared to nonmutation carriers, even though memory performance was similar [F (1,27) = 10.87; P = 0.003]. Absolute powers also showed less alpha power [F (1,27) = 7.02; P = 0.013] but similar theta power. No correlations were found between absolute and relative alpha power on the one hand and neuropsychological scores, motor scores or number of CAG repeats on the other. In conclusion, memory activation reveals functional brain changes in Huntington's disease before clinical signs become overt. PMID:17266047

  11. Some Factors Underlying Mathematical Performance: The Role of Visuospatial Working Memory and Non-Verbal Intelligence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kyttala, Minna; Lehto, Juhani E.

    2008-01-01

    Passive and active visuospatial working memory (VSWM) were investigated in relation to maths performance. The mental rotation task was employed as a measure of active VSWM whereas passive VSWM was investigated using a modified Corsi Blocks task and a matrix pattern task. The Raven Progressive Matrices Test measured fluid intelligence. A total of…

  12. Verbal to visual code switching improves working memory in older adults: an fMRI study

    PubMed Central

    Osaka, Mariko; Otsuka, Yuki; Osaka, Naoyuki

    2012-01-01

    The effect of verbal to visual code switching training on working memory performance was investigated in individuals aged 63 and older. During verbal working memory task performance, the training group (n = 25) was introduced to a verbal to visual code switching strategy while the control group (n = 25) was not exposed to such a strategy. Working memory recognition accuracy was enhanced only in the training group. To explore the neural substrates underlying these strategy effects, fMRI was used to measure brain activity in both groups during working memory task performance before and after an attention training period. In a comparison between pre- and post-training sessions, results showed increased activation in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Relative to the control group, the post-training group exhibited increased activation in the left and right inferior parietal lobules (IPLs) and right superior parietal lobule (SPL). These findings suggest that use of a verbal to visual code switching strategy may assist older individuals in the maintenance of information in working memory. PMID:22363281

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alamolhodaei, Hassan

    2009-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jha, Amishi P.; Kiyonaga, Anastasia

    2010-01-01

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

  16. Development of Visual Working Memory Precision in Childhood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Multisensory Integration Affects Visuo-Spatial Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-09-01

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

  19. Enhancing Mobile Working Memory Training by Using Affective Feedback

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schaaff, Kristina

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Music Training and Working Memory: An ERP Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    George, Elyse M.; Coch, Donna

    2011-01-01

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

  1. Contributions of Spatial Working Memory to Visuomotor Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  2. Development of Working Memory for Verbal-Spatial Associations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  5. No Role for Motor Affordances in Visual Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pecher, Diane

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Reasoning and Working Memory as Predictors of School Grades

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krumm, Stefan; Ziegler, Matthias; Buehner, Markus

    2008-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Melby-Lervag, Monica; Hulme, Charles

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Proactive Interference and Item Similarity in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bunting, Michael

    2006-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  10. Effects of Skill Training on Working Memory Capacity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2007-01-01

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

  11. Central and Peripheral Components of Working Memory Storage

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Two Maintenance Mechanisms of Verbal Information in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  13. Working Memory Updating as a Predictor of Academic Attainment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levens, Sara M.; Gotlib, Ian H.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. No Evidence for Temporal Decay in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewandowsky, Stephan; Oberauer, Klaus

    2009-01-01

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

  1. Working Memory Deficits in Children with Specific Learning Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schuchardt, Kirsten; Maehler, Claudia; Hasselhorn, Marcus

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

  4. Attention to Attributes and Objects in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Binding of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Features in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomas, Laura E.

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Using Explicit and Systematic Instruction to Support Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wright, Heather Harris; Shisler, Rebecca J.

    2005-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bedard, Anne-Claude; Tannock, Rosemary

    2008-01-01

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

  12. A Core Knowledge Architecture of Visual Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wood, Justin N.

    2011-01-01

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

  13. Modeling Working Memory Tasks on the Item Level

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  15. Linking Developmental Working Memory and Early Academic Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Decker, Janice E.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaiser, Cheryl R.; Hagiwara, Nao

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Serial and Parallel Processes in Working Memory after Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oberauer, Klaus; Bialkova, Svetlana

    2011-01-01

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