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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. 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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. 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,…

  11. Working memory training: improving intelligence--changing brain activity.

    PubMed

    Jaušovec, Norbert; Jaušovec, Ksenija

    2012-07-01

    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, respondents of the working memory group after 30 h of training significantly increased performance on all tests of fluid intelligence. By contrast, respondents of the active control group (participating in a 30-h communication training course) showed no improvements in performance. The influence of WM training on patterns of neuroelectric brain activity was most pronounced in the theta and alpha bands. Theta and lower-1 alpha band synchronization was accompanied by increased lower-2 and upper alpha desynchronization. The hemodynamic patterns of brain activity after the training changed from higher right hemispheric activation to a balanced activity of both frontal areas. The neuroelectric as well as hemodynamic patterns of brain activity suggest that the training influenced WM maintenance functions as well as processes directed by the central executive. The changes in upper alpha band desynchronization could further indicate that processes related to long term memory were also influenced.

  12. Parallel effects of memory set activation and search on timing and working memory capacity

    PubMed Central

    Schweickert, Richard; Fortin, Claudette; Xi, Zhuangzhuang; Viau-Quesnel, Charles

    2014-01-01

    Accurately estimating a time interval is required in everyday activities such as driving or cooking. Estimating time is relatively easy, provided a person attends to it. But a brief shift of attention to another task usually interferes with timing. Most processes carried out concurrently with timing interfere with it. Curiously, some do not. Literature on a few processes suggests a general proposition, the Timing and Complex-Span Hypothesis: A process interferes with concurrent timing if and only if process performance is related to complex span. Complex-span is the number of items correctly recalled in order, when each item presented for study is followed by a brief activity. Literature on task switching, visual search, memory search, word generation and mental time travel supports the hypothesis. Previous work found that another process, activation of a memory set in long term memory, is not related to complex-span. If the Timing and Complex-Span Hypothesis is true, activation should not interfere with concurrent timing in dual-task conditions. We tested such activation in single-task memory search task conditions and in dual-task conditions where memory search was executed with concurrent timing. In Experiment 1, activating a memory set increased reaction time, with no significant effect on time production. In Experiment 2, set size and memory set activation were manipulated. Activation and set size had a puzzling interaction for time productions, perhaps due to difficult conditions, leading us to use a related but easier task in Experiment 3. In Experiment 3 increasing set size lengthened time production, but memory activation had no significant effect. Results here and in previous literature on the whole support the Timing and Complex-Span Hypotheses. Results also support a sequential organization of activation and search of memory. This organization predicts activation and set size have additive effects on reaction time and multiplicative effects on percent

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Detailed sensory memory, sloppy working memory.

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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, dorsolateral and ventrolateral prefrontal

  1. 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

  2. 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…

  3. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  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. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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. 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

  13. Increased brain activation during working memory processing after pediatric mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI)

    PubMed Central

    Westfall, Daniel R.; West, John D.; Bailey, Jessica N.; Arnold, Todd W.; Kersey, Patrick A.; Saykin, Andrew J.; McDonald, Brenna C.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose The neural substrate of post-concussive symptoms following the initial injury period after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) in pediatric populations remains poorly elucidated. This study examined neuropsychological, behavioral, and brain functioning in adolescents post-mTBI to assess whether persistent differences were detectable up to a year post-injury. Methods Nineteen adolescents (mean age 14.7 years) who experienced mTBI 3–12 months previously (mean 7.5 months) and 19 matched healthy controls (mean age 14.0 years) completed neuropsychological testing and an fMRI auditory-verbal N-back working memory task. Parents completed behavioral ratings. Results No between-group differences were found for cognition, behavior, or N-back task performance, though the expected decreased accuracy and increased reaction time as task difficulty increased were apparent. However, the mTBI group showed significantly greater brain activation than controls during the most difficult working memory task condition. Conclusion Greater working memory task-related activation was found in adolescents up to one year post-mTBI relative to controls, potentially indicating compensatory activation to support normal task performance. Differences in brain activation in the mTBI group so long after injury may indicate residual alterations in brain function much later than would be expected based on the typical pattern of natural recovery, which could have important clinical implications. PMID:26684070

  14. 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

  15. The "working" of working memory.

    PubMed

    Miller, Earl K

    2013-12-01

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

  16. Individual differences in neural activity during a facial expression vs. identity working memory task.

    PubMed

    Neta, Maital; Whalen, Paul J

    2011-06-01

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

  17. 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…

  18. [Active consciousness and the prefrontal cortex: a working-memory approach].

    PubMed

    Osaka, Naoyuki

    2007-02-01

    Biological studies of human consciousness based on recent neuroimaging experiments, i.e., functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET), were reviewed from the viewpoint of different functions of consciousness. A biological hierarchy of consciousness structured in three levels, i.e., arousal, awareness and self-consciousness, was reviewed in connection with working memory. We found that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC), anterior cingulate cortex, medial PFC, and parieto-temporal junction area play a crucial role in social cognition involving estimation of the mental states of other people. The ventrolateral PFC plays a role in language-based rehearsal/imitation in connection with a mirror system. Frontal pole and orbitofrontal areas are also likely to contribute to generation of self function, reward expectancy and internal planning of goal-directed behavior. Interestingly, we found that these various PFC and related areas strongly contribute to active consciousness based on the working memory system. Furthermore, we have shown that a theory-of-mind approach could be closely related to higher cognitive functions involved in working memory, which has a meta-recognition processes during mentalization.

  19. [Active consciousness and the prefrontal cortex: a working-memory approach].

    PubMed

    Osaka, Naoyuki

    2007-02-01

    Biological studies of human consciousness based on recent neuroimaging experiments, i.e., functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET), were reviewed from the viewpoint of different functions of consciousness. A biological hierarchy of consciousness structured in three levels, i.e., arousal, awareness and self-consciousness, was reviewed in connection with working memory. We found that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC), anterior cingulate cortex, medial PFC, and parieto-temporal junction area play a crucial role in social cognition involving estimation of the mental states of other people. The ventrolateral PFC plays a role in language-based rehearsal/imitation in connection with a mirror system. Frontal pole and orbitofrontal areas are also likely to contribute to generation of self function, reward expectancy and internal planning of goal-directed behavior. Interestingly, we found that these various PFC and related areas strongly contribute to active consciousness based on the working memory system. Furthermore, we have shown that a theory-of-mind approach could be closely related to higher cognitive functions involved in working memory, which has a meta-recognition processes during mentalization. PMID:17447465

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Correlations in background activity control persistent state stability and allow execution of working memory tasks

    PubMed Central

    Dipoppa, Mario; Gutkin, Boris S.

    2013-01-01

    Working memory (WM) requires selective information gating, active information maintenance, and rapid active updating. Hence performing a WM task needs rapid and controlled transitions between neural persistent activity and the resting state. We propose that changes in correlations in neural activity provides a mechanism for the required WM operations. As a proof of principle, we implement sustained activity and WM in recurrently coupled spiking networks with neurons receiving excitatory random background activity where background correlations are induced by a common noise source. We first characterize how the level of background correlations controls the stability of the persistent state. With sufficiently high correlations, the sustained state becomes practically unstable, so it cannot be initiated by a transient stimulus. We exploit this in WM models implementing the delay match to sample task by modulating flexibly in time the correlation level at different phases of the task. The modulation sets the network in different working regimes: more prompt to gate in a signal or clear the memory. We examine how the correlations affect the ability of the network to perform the task when distractors are present. We show that in a winner-take-all version of the model, where two populations cross-inhibit, correlations make the distractor blocking robust. In a version of the mode where no cross inhibition is present, we show that appropriate modulation of correlation levels is sufficient to also block the distractor access while leaving the relevant memory trace in tact. The findings presented in this manuscript can form the basis for a new paradigm about how correlations are flexibly controlled by the cortical circuits to execute WM operations. PMID:24155714

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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…

  9. Activity in human visual and parietal cortex reveals object-based attention in working memory.

    PubMed

    Peters, Benjamin; Kaiser, Jochen; Rahm, Benjamin; Bledowski, Christoph

    2015-02-25

    Visual attention enables observers to select behaviorally relevant information based on spatial locations, features, or objects. Attentional selection is not limited to physically present visual information, but can also operate on internal representations maintained in working memory (WM) in service of higher-order cognition. However, only little is known about whether attention to WM contents follows the same principles as attention to sensory stimuli. To address this question, we investigated in humans whether the typically observed effects of object-based attention in perception are also evident for object-based attentional selection of internal object representations in WM. In full accordance with effects in visual perception, the key behavioral and neuronal characteristics of object-based attention were observed in WM. Specifically, we found that reaction times were shorter when shifting attention to memory positions located on the currently attended object compared with equidistant positions on a different object. Furthermore, functional magnetic resonance imaging and multivariate pattern analysis of visuotopic activity in visual (areas V1-V4) and parietal cortex revealed that directing attention to one position of an object held in WM also enhanced brain activation for other positions on the same object, suggesting that attentional selection in WM activates the entire object. This study demonstrated that all characteristic features of object-based attention are present in WM and thus follows the same principles as in perception.

  10. Attention and working memory: a dynamical model of neuronal activity in the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Deco, Gustavo; Rolls, Edmund T

    2003-10-01

    Cognitive behaviour requires complex context-dependent mapping between sensory stimuli and actions. The same stimulus can lead to different behaviours depending on the situation, or the same behaviour may be elicited by different cueing stimuli. Neurons in the primate prefrontal cortex show task-specific firing activity during working memory delay periods. These neurons provide a neural substrate for mapping stimulus and response in a flexible, context- or rule-dependent, fashion. We describe here an integrate-and-fire network model to explain and investigate the different types of working-memory-related neuronal activity observed. The model contains different populations (or pools) of neurons (as found neurophysiologically) in attractor networks which respond in the delay period to the stimulus object, the stimulus position ('sensory pools'), to combinations of the stimulus sensory properties (e.g. the object identity or object location) and the response ('intermediate pools'), and to the response required (left or right) ('premotor pools'). The pools are arranged hierarchically, are linked by associative synaptic connections, and have global inhibition through inhibitory interneurons to implement competition. It is shown that a biasing attentional input to define the current rule applied to the intermediate pools enables the system to select the correct response in what is a biased competition model of attention. The integrate-and-fire model not only produces realistic spiking dynamicals very similar to the neuronal data but also shows how dopamine could weaken and shorten the persistent neuronal activity in the delay period; and allows us to predict more response errors when dopamine is elevated because there is less different activity in the different pools of competing neurons, resulting in more conflict.

  11. Dynamics of auditory working memory

    PubMed Central

    Kaiser, Jochen

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Distinct cortical networks activated by auditory attention and working memory load.

    PubMed

    Huang, Samantha; Seidman, Larry J; Rossi, Stephanie; Ahveninen, Jyrki

    2013-12-01

    Auditory attention and working memory (WM) allow for selection and maintenance of relevant sound information in our minds, respectively, thus underlying goal-directed functioning in everyday acoustic environments. It is still unclear whether these two closely coupled functions are based on a common neural circuit, or whether they involve genuinely distinct subfunctions with separate neuronal substrates. In a full factorial functional MRI (fMRI) design, we independently manipulated the levels of auditory-verbal WM load and attentional interference using modified Auditory Continuous Performance Tests. Although many frontoparietal regions were jointly activated by increases of WM load and interference, there was a double dissociation between prefrontal cortex (PFC) subareas associated selectively with either auditory attention or WM. Specifically, anterior dorsolateral PFC (DLPFC) and the right anterior insula were selectively activated by increasing WM load, whereas subregions of middle lateral PFC and inferior frontal cortex (IFC) were associated with interference only. Meanwhile, a superadditive interaction between interference and load was detected in left medial superior frontal cortex, suggesting that in this area, activations are not only overlapping, but reflect a common resource pool recruited by increased attentional and WM demands. Indices of WM-specific suppression of anterolateral non-primary auditory cortices (AC) and attention-specific suppression of primary AC were also found, possibly reflecting suppression/interruption of sound-object processing of irrelevant stimuli during continuous task performance. Our results suggest a double dissociation between auditory attention and working memory in subregions of anterior DLPFC vs. middle lateral PFC/IFC in humans, respectively, in the context of substantially overlapping circuits.

  13. Distinct cortical networks activated by auditory attention and working memory load

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Samantha; Seidman, Larry J.; Rossi, Stephanie; Ahveninen, Jyrki

    2013-01-01

    Auditory attention and working memory (WM) allow for selection and maintenance of relevant sound information in our minds, respectively, thus underlying goal-directed functioning in everyday acoustic environments. It is still unclear whether these two closely coupled functions are based on a common neural circuit, or whether they involve genuinely distinct subfunctions with separate neuronal substrates. In a full factorial functional MRI (fMRI) design, we independently manipulated the levels of auditory-verbal WM load and attentional interference using modified Auditory Continuous Performance Tests. Although many frontoparietal regions were jointly activated by increases of WM load and interference, there was a double dissociation between prefrontal cortex (PFC) subareas associated selectively with either auditory attention or WM. Specifically, anterior dorsolateral PFC (DLPFC) and the right anterior insula were selectively activated by increasing WM load, whereas subregions of middle lateral PFC and inferior frontal cortex (IFC) were associated with interference only. Meanwhile, a superadditive interaction between interference and load was detected in left medial superior frontal cortex, suggesting that in this area, activations are not only overlapping, but reflect a common resource pool recruited by increased attentional and WM demands. Indices of WM-specific suppression of anterolateral non-primary auditory cortices (AC) and attention-specific suppression of primary AC were also found, possibly reflecting suppression/interruption of sound-object processing of irrelevant stimuli during continuous task performance. Our results suggest a double dissociation between auditory attention and working memory in subregions of anterior DLPFC vs. middle lateral PFC/IFC in humans, respectively, in the context of substantially overlapping circuits. PMID:23921102

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-16

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

  2. Working memory training for adult hearing aid users: study protocol for a double-blind randomized active controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background One in ten people aged between 55 to 74 years have a significant hearing impairment in their better hearing ear (as defined by audiometric hearing thresholds). However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the challenges faced by older listeners cannot be explained by the audiogram alone. The ability for people with hearing loss to use cognition to support speech perception allows for compensation of the degraded auditory input. This in turn offers promise for new cognitive-based rehabilitative interventions. Working memory is known to be highly associated with language comprehension and recent evidence has shown significant generalization of learning from trained working memory tasks to improvements in sentence-repetition skills of children with severe to profound hearing loss. This evidence offers support for further investigation into the potential benefits of working memory training to improve speech perception abilities in other hearing impaired populations. Methods/Design This is a double-blind randomized active controlled trial aiming to assess whether a program of working memory training results in improvements in untrained measures of cognition, speech perception and self-reported hearing abilities in adult hearing aid users (aged 50 to 74 years) with mild-to-moderate hearing loss, compared with an active control group who receive a placebo version of the working memory training program. Discussion The present study aims to generate high-quality preliminary evidence for the efficacy of working memory training for adults with mild-to-moderate sensorineural hearing loss who are existing hearing aid users. This trial addresses a number of gaps in the published literature assessing training interventions for people with hearing loss, and in the general literature surrounding working memory training, such as the inclusion of an active control group, participant and tester blinding, and increased transparency in reporting. Trial registration

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Failing to deactivate: the association between brain activity during a working memory task and creativity.

    PubMed

    Takeuchi, Hikaru; Taki, Yasuyuki; Hashizume, Hiroshi; Sassa, Yuko; Nagase, Tomomi; Nouchi, Rui; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2011-03-15

    Working memory (WM) is an essential component for human higher order cognitive activities. Creativity has been essential to the development of human civilization. Previous studies from different fields have suggested creativity and capacity of WM have opposing characteristics possibly in terms of diffuse attention. However, despite a number of functional imaging studies on creativity, how creativity relates to brain activity during WM has never been investigated. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, we investigated this issue using an n-back WM paradigm and a psychometric measure of creativity (a divergent thinking test). A multiple regression analysis revealed that individual creativity was significantly and positively correlated with brain activity in the precuneus during the 2-back task (WM task), but not during the non-WM 0-back task. As the precuneus shows deactivation during cognitive tasks, our findings show that reduced task induced deactivation (TID) in the precuneus is associated with higher creativity measured by divergent thinking. The precuneus is included in the default mode network, which is deactivated during cognitive tasks. The magnitude of TID in the default mode network is considered to reflect the reallocation of cognitive resources from networks irrelevant to the performance of the task. Thus, our findings may indicate that individual creativity, as measured by the divergent thinking test, is related to the inefficient reallocation of attention, congruent with the idea that diffuse attention is associated with individual creativity.

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-11-01

    To investigate the involvement of frontal cortex in accessing and evaluating information in working memory, we used a variant of a Sternberg paradigm and compared brain activations between positive and negative responses (known to differentially tax access/evaluation processes). Participants remembered two trigrams in each trial and were then cued to discard one of them and maintain the other one as the target set. After a delay, a probe letter was presented and participants made decisions about whether or not it was in the target set. Several frontal areas--anterior cingulate (BA32), middle frontal gyrus (bilateral BA9, right BA10, and right BA46), and left inferior frontal gyrus (BA44/45)--showed increased activity when participants made correct negative responses relative to when they made correct positive responses. No areas activated significantly more for the positive responses than for the negative responses. It is suggested that the multiple frontal areas involved in the test phase of this task may reflect several component processes that underlie more general frontal functions. PMID:14642465

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-11-01

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

  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. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    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 to non-drug using controls. Within CD subjects, thalamic activation significantly correlated with treatment response. This study shows CD subjects in early abstinence have alteration 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

  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. 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

  16. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    The intraparietal sulcus (IPS) is recruited during tasks requiring attention, maintenance and manipulation of information in working memory (WM). While WM tasks often show broad bilateral engagement along the IPS, topographic maps of contralateral (CL) visual space have been identified along the IPS, similar to retinotopic maps in visual cortex. In the present study, we asked how these visuotopic IPS regions are differentially involved in the maintenance and manipulation of spatial information in WM. Visuotopic mapping was performed in 26 participants to define regions of interest along the IPS, corresponding to previously described IPS0-4. In a separate task, we showed that while maintaining the location of a briefly flashed target in WM preferentially engaged CL IPS, manipulation of spatial information by mentally rotating the target around a circle engaged bilateral IPS, peaking in IPS1 in most participants. Functional connectivity analyses showed increased interaction between the IPS and prefrontal regions during manipulation, as well as interhemispheric interactions. Two control tasks demonstrated that covert attention shifts, and nonspatial manipulation (arithmetic), engaged patterns of IPS activation and connectivity that were distinct from WM manipulation. These findings add to our understanding of the role of IPS in spatial WM maintenance and manipulation. PMID:24275831

  18. Working memory encoding and maintenance deficits in schizophrenia: neural evidence for activation and deactivation abnormalities.

    PubMed

    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.

  19. 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

  20. Working memory's workload capacity.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  1. How Does Working Memory Work in the Classroom?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alloway, Tracy Packiam

    2006-01-01

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

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Temporal dynamics of visual working memory.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Binding in haptics: integration of "what" and "where" information in working memory for active touch.

    PubMed

    Delogu, Franco; Bergmann Tiest, Wouter M; Nijboer, Tanja C W; Kappers, Astrid M L; Postma, Albert

    2013-01-01

    Information about the identity and the location of perceptual objects can be automatically integrated in perception and working memory (WM). Contrasting results in visual and auditory WM studies indicate that the characteristics of feature-to-location binding can vary according to the sensory modality of the input. The present study provides first evidence of binding between "what" and "where" information in WM for haptic stimuli. In an old-new recognition task, blindfolded participants were presented in their peripersonal space with sequences of three haptic stimuli varying in texture and location. They were then required to judge if a single probe stimulus was previously included in the sequence. Recall was measured both in a condition in which both texture and location were relevant for the task (Experiment 1) and in two conditions where only one feature had to be recalled (Experiment 2). Results showed that when both features were task-relevant, even if the association of location and texture was neither necessary nor required to perform the task, participants exhibited a recall advantage in conditions in which the location and the texture of the target probe was kept unaltered between encoding and recall. By contrast, when only one feature was task-relevant, the concurrent feature did not influence the recall of the target feature. We conclude that attention to feature binding is not necessary for the emergence of feature integration in haptic WM. For binding to take place, however, it is necessary to encode and maintain in memory both the identity and the location of items.

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Children with low working memory typically make poor educational progress, and it has been speculated that difficulties in meeting the heavy working memory demands of the classroom may be a contributory factor. Intensive working memory training has been shown to boost performance on untrained memory tasks in a variety of populations. This first randomized controlled trial with low working memory children investigated whether the benefits of training extend beyond standard working memory tasks to other more complex activities typical of the classroom in which working memory plays a role, as well as to other cognitive skills and developing academic abilities. Children aged 7–9 years received either adaptive working memory training, non-adaptive working memory training with low memory loads, or no training. Adaptive training was associated with selective improvements in multiple untrained tests of working memory, with no evidence of changes in classroom analogues of activities that tax working memory, or any other cognitive assessments. Gains in verbal working memory were sustained one year after training. Thus the benefits of working memory training delivered in this way may not extend beyond structured working memory tasks. PMID:24093880

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  17. Distinguishing short-term memory from working memory.

    PubMed

    Kail, R; Hall, L K

    2001-01-01

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

  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

  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. Can verbal working memory training improve reading?

    PubMed

    Banales, Erin; Kohnen, Saskia; McArthur, Genevieve

    2015-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Socioaffective factors modulate working memory in schizophrenia patients.

    PubMed

    Park, S; Gibson, C; McMichael, T

    2006-04-28

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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-15

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

  12. Working memory in middle-aged males: age-related brain activation changes and cognitive fatigue effects.

    PubMed

    Klaassen, Elissa B; Evers, Elisabeth A T; de Groot, Renate H M; Backes, Walter H; Veltman, Dick J; Jolles, Jelle

    2014-02-01

    We examined the effects of aging and cognitive fatigue on working memory (WM) related brain activation using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Age-related differences were investigated in 13 young and 16 middle-aged male school teachers. Cognitive fatigue was induced by sustained performance on cognitively demanding tasks (compared to a control condition). Results showed a main effect of age on left dorsolateral prefrontal and superior parietal cortex activation during WM encoding; greater activation was evident in middle-aged than young adults regardless of WM load or fatigue condition. An interaction effect was found in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC); WM load-dependent activation was elevated in middle-aged compared to young in the control condition, but did not differ in the fatigue condition due to a reduction in activation in middle-aged in contrast to an increase in activation in the young group. These findings demonstrate age-related activation differences and differential effects of fatigue on activation in young and middle-aged adults.

  13. Illumination influences working memory: an EEG study.

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  14. Correlation between prefrontal cortex activity during working memory tasks and natural mood independent of personality effects: an optical topography study.

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-30

    Interactions between mood and cognition have drawn much attention in the fields of psychology and neuroscience. Recent neuroimaging studies have examined a neural basis of the mood-cognition interaction that which emphasize the role of the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Although these studies have shown that natural mood variations among participants are correlated with PFC activity during cognitive tasks, they did not control for personality differences. Our aim in this study was to clarify the relationship between natural mood and PFC activity by partialling out the effects of personality. Forty healthy adults completed self-report questionnaires assessing natural mood (the Profile of Mood States) and personality (the NEO Five-Factor Inventory and the Behavioral Inhibition/Activation Systems scales). They performed verbal and spatial working memory (WM) tasks while their PFC activity was measured using optical topography, a non-invasive, low-constraint neuroimaging tool. Correlation analysis showed that the level of negative mood was inversely associated with PFC activity during the verbal WM task, which replicated our previous findings. Furthermore, the negative correlation between negative mood and PFC activity remained significant after controlling for participants' personality traits, suggesting that natural mood is an independent contributing factor of PFC activity during verbal WM tasks.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Spatial working memory over long retention intervals: dependence on sustained cholinergic activation in the septohippocampal or nucleus basalis magnocellularis-cortical pathways?

    PubMed

    Durkin, T P

    1994-10-01

    Previous direct neurochemical studies of the temporal dynamics of cholinergic activation in the septohippocampal and nucleus basalis magnocellularis-cortical pathways at various stages during repeated testing of mice with selective spatial reference or working memory protocols [Durkin and Toumane (1992), Behav. Brain Res. 50, 43-52] showed that the post-test durations of cholinergic activation in each pathway varied as a function of the type of memory tested and the level of task mastery. Since (i) the hippocampal formation is considered to constitute a critical component of a temporary memory buffer, and (ii) working memory items are not thought to be submitted to consolidation and permanent storage, we postulated that the duration of testing-induced cholinergic activation in the septohippocampal pathway may govern the maintenance of the working memory trace over the retention interval. In order to test directly this hypothesis C57 B1/6 mice were extensively trained (one trial/day, 25-30 days) on an identical selective working memory task to attain high levels of retention (> 80% correct), but using either 5 min (Group 1), or 60 min (Group 2) retention intervals. At various times (30 s-75 min) following the initial acquisition phase of the test, cholinergic activity in the hippocampus and frontal cortex was quantified using measures of high-affinity choline uptake. Whereas cholinergic activation was observed in both pathways at 30 s post-acquisition and throughout the 5 min retention interval in Group 1, the situation in Group 2 is different, activation of the septohippocampal pathway being maintained for only 15 min, while activation in the nucleus basalis magnocellularis-cortical pathway is maintained for the totality of the 1 h retention interval. The nucleus basalis magnocellularis-cortical cholinergic pathway, in addition to its role in long-term reference memory storage processes may, thus, via an intervention in the temporal encoding of information, also

  18. 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…

  19. 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,…

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Attentional priority determines working memory precision.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  4. Attentional priority determines working memory precision.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  5. 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

  6. Is working memory training effective?

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-01

    Working memory (WM) is a cognitive system that strongly relates to a person's ability to reason with novel information and direct attention to goal-relevant information. Due to the central role that WM plays in general cognition, it has become the focus of a rapidly growing training literature that seeks to affect broad cognitive change through prolonged training on WM tasks. Recent work has suggested that the effects of WM training extend to general fluid intelligence, attentional control, and reductions in symptoms of ADHD. We present a theoretically motivated perspective of WM and subsequently review the WM training literature in light of several concerns. These include (a) the tendency for researchers to define change to abilities using single tasks, (b) inconsistent use of valid WM tasks, (c) no-contact control groups, and (d) subjective measurement of change. The literature review highlights several findings that warrant further research but ultimately concludes that there is a need to directly demonstrate that WM capacity increases in response to training. Specifically, we argue that transfer of training to WM must be demonstrated using a wider variety of tasks, thus eliminating the possibility that results can be explained by task specific learning. Additionally, we express concern that many of the most promising results (e.g., increased intelligence) cannot be readily attributed to changes in WM capacity. Thus, a critical goal for future research is to uncover the mechanisms that lead to transfer of training.

  7. Working Memory Capacity, Confidence and Scientific Thinking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Al-Ahmadi, Fatheya; Oraif, Fatima

    2009-01-01

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

  8. Working memory capacity and controlled serial memory search.

    PubMed

    Mızrak, Eda; Öztekin, Ilke

    2016-08-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Mental imagery and visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Keogh, Rebecca; Pearson, Joel

    2011-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-05

    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.

  17. 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…

  18. Discrete Resource Allocation in Visual Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  19. Teaching Political Science through Memory Work

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jansson, Maria; Wendt, Maria; Ase, Cecilia

    2009-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Fluid intelligence, working memory and executive functioning.

    PubMed

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

    2006-11-01

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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-18

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

  9. The nature of working memory for Braille.

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-26

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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Some Forgotten Work on Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stigler, Stephen M.

    1978-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ricker, Timothy J.; Cowan, Nelson

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Working Memory and Binding in Sentence Recall

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  15. Which Working Memory Functions Predict Intelligence?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

  16. Working Memory, Fluid Intelligence, and Science Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2006-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yanmin; Verhaeghen, Paul; Cerella, John

    2011-01-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Apter, Brian J. B.

    2012-01-01

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

  2. fMRI characterization of visual working memory recognition.

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-15

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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  4. 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.

  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. 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

  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.

  9. 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.

  10. Working memory, situation models, and synesthesia

    DOE PAGES

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

    2013-03-04

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

  11. 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

  12. Working memory predicts the rejection of false memories.

    PubMed

    Leding, Juliana K

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Binding in Haptics: Integration of “What” and “Where” Information in Working Memory for Active Touch

    PubMed Central

    Delogu, Franco; Bergmann Tiest, Wouter M.; Nijboer, Tanja C. W.; Kappers, Astrid M. L.; Postma, Albert

    2013-01-01

    Information about the identity and the location of perceptual objects can be automatically integrated in perception and working memory (WM). Contrasting results in visual and auditory WM studies indicate that the characteristics of feature-to-location binding can vary according to the sensory modality of the input. The present study provides first evidence of binding between “what” and “where” information in WM for haptic stimuli. In an old-new recognition task, blindfolded participants were presented in their peripersonal space with sequences of three haptic stimuli varying in texture and location. They were then required to judge if a single probe stimulus was previously included in the sequence. Recall was measured both in a condition in which both texture and location were relevant for the task (Experiment 1) and in two conditions where only one feature had to be recalled (Experiment 2). Results showed that when both features were task-relevant, even if the association of location and texture was neither necessary nor required to perform the task, participants exhibited a recall advantage in conditions in which the location and the texture of the target probe was kept unaltered between encoding and recall. By contrast, when only one feature was task-relevant, the concurrent feature did not influence the recall of the target feature. We conclude that attention to feature binding is not necessary for the emergence of feature integration in haptic WM. For binding to take place, however, it is necessary to encode and maintain in memory both the identity and the location of items. PMID:23405177

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

  15. Working memory components in written sentence generation.

    PubMed

    Kellogg, Ronald T

    2004-01-01

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

  16. Working Memory Load Attenuates Emotional Enhancement in Recognition Memory

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  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. Task rules, working memory, and fluid intelligence.

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Ricker, Timothy J; Cowan, Nelson

    2014-03-01

    Understanding forgetting from working memory, the memory used in ongoing cognitive processing, is critical to understanding human cognition. In the past decade, a number of conflicting findings have been reported regarding the role of time in forgetting from working memory. This has led to a debate concerning whether longer retention intervals necessarily result in more forgetting. An obstacle to directly comparing conflicting reports is a divergence in methodology across studies. Studies that find no forgetting as a function of retention-interval duration tend to use sequential presentation of memory items, while studies that find forgetting as a function of retention-interval duration tend to use simultaneous presentation of memory items. Here, we manipulate the duration of retention and the presentation method of memory items, presenting items either sequentially or simultaneously. We find that these differing presentation methods can lead to different rates of forgetting because they tend to differ in the time available for consolidation into working memory. The experiments detailed here show that equating the time available for working memory consolidation equates the rates of forgetting across presentation methods. We discuss the meaning of this finding in the interpretation of previous forgetting studies and in the construction of working memory models. PMID:24059859

  7. 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

  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.

  9. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halford, Graeme S.

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Tu, Hsiao-Wei; Hampton, Robert R.

    2014-01-01

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

  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, 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

  13. Coordinating information from perception and working memory.

    PubMed

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

    1993-06-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    Bays, Paul M

    2014-03-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. Working Memory and Children's Mental Addition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adams, John W.; Hitch, Graham J.

    1997-01-01

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

  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. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. Working Memory Components and Intelligence in Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

  6. 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…

  7. Familiarity Enhances Visual Working Memory for Faces

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackson, Margaret C.; Raymond, Jane E.

    2008-01-01

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

  8. When Higher Working Memory Capacity Hinders Insight

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brady, Timothy F.; Tenenbaum, Joshua B.

    2013-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-23

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

  19. 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

  20. Working memory retrieval as a decision process

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. 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

  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.

    PubMed

    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. 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.

  5. Working memory, worry, and algebraic ability.

    PubMed

    Trezise, Kelly; Reeve, Robert A

    2014-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

  8. Prefrontal Activity Links Nonoverlapping Events in Memory

    PubMed Central

    Miyawaki, Hiroyuki; Helmstetter, Fred J.; Diba, Kamran

    2013-01-01

    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) plays an important role in memory. By maintaining a working memory buffer, neurons in prelimbic (PL) mPFC may selectively contribute to learning associations between stimuli that are separated in time, as in trace fear conditioning (TFC). Until now, evidence for this bridging role was largely descriptive. Here we used optogenetics to silence neurons in the PL mPFC of rats during learning in TFC. Memory formation was prevented when mPFC was silenced specifically during the interval separating the cue and shock. Our results provide support for a working memory function for these cells and indicate that associating two noncontiguous stimuli requires bridging activity in PL mPFC. PMID:23804110

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-18

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

  10. Working memory failures in children with arithmetical difficulties.

    PubMed

    Passolunghi, Maria Chiara; Cornoldi, Cesare

    2008-09-01

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

  11. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    1995-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Karbach, Julia; Verhaeghen, Paul

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-13

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

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

    PubMed

    Hayden, Benjamin Y; Gallant, Jack L

    2013-01-01

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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Zanto, Theodore P.; Gazzaley, Adam

    2009-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. A neurodynamical model for working memory.

    PubMed

    Pascanu, Razvan; Jaeger, Herbert

    2011-03-01

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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Language representation and working memory with bilinguals.

    PubMed

    Ardila, Alfredo

    2003-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    Acheson, Daniel J; Macdonald, Maryellen C

    2009-04-01

    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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. Past Experience Influences Object Representation in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2005-01-01

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

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  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. Value conditioning modulates visual working memory processes.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-10

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

  4. 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

  5. When working memory updating requires updating: analysis of serial position in a running memory task.

    PubMed

    Botto, Marta; Basso, Demis; Ferrari, Marcella; Palladino, Paola

    2014-05-01

    This study aimed to investigate updating in working memory (WM), analyzing the effects of task demand and memory resources on serial position curve (SPC), in a running memory task with slow pace presentation and a probed recognition procedure. These task conditions were supposed to produce an easier WM updating task, which may allow evidencing whether the task is performed through an active or a passive updating. Serial position curves were compared in conditions of high or low memory load, and with or without interference of a secondary (prospective memory, PM) task. With either a high WM load, or a high PM load, results showed a SPC with both primacy and recency effects, indicating the use of an active strategy. When resources were taken up by both PM task and high WM demand the usual pattern with only recency effect was obtained. Taken together, these findings support the ideas that 1--people can effectively update WM, and 2--the performance is dependent on both memory and executive resource availability.

  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

    2014-10-09

    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.

  8. 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

  9. BOLD Frequency Power Indexes Working Memory Performance.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Symbiosis of executive and selective attention in working memory.

    PubMed

    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.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    Cowan, Nelson

    2014-06-01

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

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-14

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

  18. Working memory storage is intrinsically domain specific.

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Greg D; Romano, Alexandra C

    2016-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. The modeling and simulation of visuospatial working memory

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Lina; Zhang, Zhikang

    2010-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Lifelong Caloric Restriction Increases Working Memory in Mice

    PubMed Central

    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

  8. 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

  9. Selection History Modulates Working Memory Capacity

    PubMed Central

    Kuo, Bo-Cheng

    2016-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Dynamic updating of working memory resources for visual objects

    PubMed Central

    Gorgoraptis, Nikos; Catalao, Raquel F.G.; Bays, Paul M.; Husain, Masud

    2011-01-01

    Recent neurophysiological and imaging studies have investigated how neural representations underlying working memory (WM) are dynamically updated for objects presented sequentially. Although such studies implicate information encoded in oscillatory activity, across distributed brain networks, interpretation of findings depends crucially on the underlying conceptual model of how memory resources are distributed. Here we quantify the fidelity of human memory for sequences of colored stimuli of different orientation. The precision with which each orientation was recalled declined with increases in total memory load, but also depended on when in the sequence it appeared. When one item was prioritized, its recall was enhanced, but with corresponding decrements in precision for other objects. Comparison with the same number of items presented simultaneously revealed an additional performance cost for sequential display that could not be explained by temporal decay. Memory precision was lower for sequential when compared to simultaneous presentation, even when each item in the sequence was presented at a different location. Importantly, stochastic modelling established this cost for sequential display was due to misbinding object features (color and orientation). These results support the view that WM resources can be dynamically and flexibly updated as new items have to be stored, but redistribution of resources with the addition of new items is associated with misbinding object features, providing important constraints and a framework for interpreting neural data. PMID:21653854

  12. Past experience influences object representation in working memory.

    PubMed

    Wagar, Brandon M; Dixon, Mike J

    2005-04-01

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

  13. Working memory for speech and music.

    PubMed

    Schulze, Katrin; Koelsch, Stefan

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Wright, Heather Harris; Fergadiotis, Gerasimos

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Elevations of Endogenous Kynurenic Acid Produce Spatial Working Memory Deficits

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

    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 α7-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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Working memory for braille is shaped by experience.

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

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

  8. Phonetic recalibration does not depend on working memory

    PubMed Central

    Baart, Martijn

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

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

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-12-01

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

  18. Working Memory Capacity as a Dynamic Process

    PubMed Central

    Simmering, Vanessa R.; Perone, Sammy

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Working memory management and predicted utility.

    PubMed

    Chatham, Christopher H; Badre, David

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Working Memory and Recollection Contribute to Academic Achievement

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. 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,…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Wolfe, Jeremy M

    2014-10-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Frontoparietal networks involved in categorization and item working memory.

    PubMed

    Braunlich, Kurt; Gomez-Lavin, Javier; Seger, Carol A

    2015-02-15

    Categorization and memory for specific items are fundamental processes that allow us to apply knowledge to novel stimuli. This study directly compares categorization and memory using delay match to category (DMC) and delay match to sample (DMS) tasks. In DMC participants view and categorize a stimulus, maintain the category across a delay, and at the probe phase view another stimulus and indicate whether it is in the same category or not. In DMS, a standard item working memory task, participants encode and maintain a specific individual item, and at probe decide if the stimulus is an exact match or not. Constrained Principal Components Analysis was used to identify and compare activity within neural networks associated with these tasks, and we relate these networks to those that have been identified with resting state-fMRI. We found that two frontoparietal networks of particular interest. The first network included regions associated with the dorsal attention network and frontoparietal salience network; this network showed patterns of activity consistent with a role in rapid orienting to and processing of complex stimuli. The second uniquely involved regions of the frontoparietal central-executive network; this network responded more slowly following each stimulus and showed a pattern of activity consistent with a general role in role in decision-making across tasks. Additional components were identified that were associated with visual, somatomotor and default mode networks. PMID:25482265

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. Updating Working Memory and Arithmetical Attainment in School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Iuculano, Teresa; Moro, Raffaella; Butterworth, Brian

    2011-01-01

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

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrouillet, Pierre; Portrat, Sophie; Camos, Valerie

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Working Memory and Cognitive Styles in Adolescents' Attainment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. Exploring Working Memory in Children with Low Arithmetical Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    D'Amico, A.; Guarnera, M.

    2005-01-01

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

  8. Escaping Capture: Bilingualism Modulates Distraction from Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. 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).…

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

    PubMed Central

    Marton, Klara; Kelmenson, Lyudmyla; Pinkhasova, Milana

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellis, Geertina Houthuijzen

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Spachtholz, Philipp; Kuhbandner, Christof; Pekrun, Reinhard

    2014-08-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-11-01

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

  19. Activating Attachments Reduces Memories of Traumatic Images.

    PubMed

    Bryant, Richard A; Foord, Rachael

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Activating Attachments Reduces Memories of Traumatic Images.

    PubMed

    Bryant, Richard A; Foord, Rachael

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Activating Attachments Reduces Memories of Traumatic Images

    PubMed Central

    Foord, Rachael

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Decoding complex flow-field patterns in visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Christophel, Thomas B; Haynes, John-Dylan

    2014-05-01

    There has been a long history of research on visual working memory. Whereas early studies have focused on the role of lateral prefrontal cortex in the storage of sensory information, this has been challenged by research in humans that has directly assessed the encoding of perceptual contents, pointing towards a role of visual and parietal regions during storage. In a previous study we used pattern classification to investigate the storage of complex visual color patterns across delay periods. This revealed coding of such contents in early visual and parietal brain regions. Here we aim to investigate whether the involvement of visual and parietal cortex is also observable for other types of complex, visuo-spatial pattern stimuli. Specifically, we used a combination of fMRI and multivariate classification to investigate the retention of complex flow-field stimuli defined by the spatial patterning of motion trajectories of random dots. Subjects were trained to memorize the precise spatial layout of these stimuli and to retain this information during an extended delay. We used a multivariate decoding approach to identify brain regions where spatial patterns of activity encoded the memorized stimuli. Content-specific memory signals were observable in motion sensitive visual area MT+ and in posterior parietal cortex that might encode spatial information in a modality independent manner. Interestingly, we also found information about the memorized visual stimulus in somatosensory cortex, suggesting a potential crossmodal contribution to memory. Our findings thus indicate that working memory storage of visual percepts might be distributed across unimodal, multimodal and even crossmodal brain regions.

  3. Modeling Brain Responses in an Arithmetic Working Memory Task

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamid, Aini Ismafairus Abd; Yusoff, Ahmad Nazlim; Mukari, Siti Zamratol-Mai Sarah; Mohamad, Mazlyfarina; Manan, Hanani Abdul; Hamid, Khairiah Abdul

    2010-07-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to investigate brain responses due to arithmetic working memory. Nine healthy young male subjects were given simple addition and subtraction instructions in noise and in quiet. The general linear model (GLM) and random field theory (RFT) were implemented in modelling the activation. The results showed that addition and subtraction evoked bilateral activation in Heschl's gyrus (HG), superior temporal gyrus (STG), inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), supramarginal gyrus (SG) and precentral gyrus (PCG). The HG, STG, SG and PCG activate higher number of voxels in noise as compared to in quiet for addition and subtraction except for IFG that showed otherwise. The percentage of signal change (PSC) in all areas is higher in quiet as compared to in noise. Surprisingly addition (not subtraction) exhibits stronger activation.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Examining working memory task acquisition in a disrupted neural network.

    PubMed

    Hillary, Frank G; Medaglia, John D; Gates, Kathleen; Molenaar, Peter C; Slocomb, Julia; Peechatka, Alyssa; Good, David C

    2011-05-01

    There is mounting literature that examines brain activation during tasks of working memory in individuals with neurological disorders such as traumatic brain injury. These studies represent a foundation for understanding the functional brain changes that occur after moderate and severe traumatic brain injury, but the focus on topographical brain-'activation' differences ignores potential alterations in how nodes communicate within a distributed neural network. The present study makes use of the most recently developed connectivity modelling (extended-unified structural equation model) to examine performance during a well-established working-memory task (the n-back) in individuals sustaining moderate and severe traumatic brain injury. The goal is to use the findings observed in topographical activation analysis as the basis for second-level effective connectivity modelling. Findings reveal important between-group differences in within-hemisphere connectivity during task acquisition, with the control sample demonstrating rapid within-left hemisphere connectivity increases and the traumatic brain injury sample demonstrating consistently elevated within-right hemisphere connectivity. These findings also point to important maturational effects from 'early' to 'late' during task performance, including diminished right prefrontal cortex involvement and an anterior to posterior shift in connectivity with increased task exposure. We anticipate that this approach to functional imaging data analysis represents an important future direction for understanding how neural plasticity is expressed in brain disorders.

  8. Working memory resources are shared across sensory modalities.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  9. Working memory resources are shared across sensory modalities.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  14. Flexibility of representational states in working memory.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maehara, Yukio; Saito, Satoru

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Williams, Melonie; Woodman, Geoffrey F

    2012-09-01

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

  17. Worrying Thoughts Limit Working Memory Capacity in Math Anxiety

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Zhan; Liu, Peiru

    2016-01-01

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

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Plancher, Gaen; Barrouillet, Pierre

    2013-01-01

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

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. A Metacognitive Visuospatial Working Memory Training for Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swanson, H. Lee

    2008-01-01

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

  14. Automatic Guidance of Visual Attention from Verbal Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Soto, David; Humphreys, Glyn W.

    2007-01-01

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

  15. 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…

  16. The Dynamics of Access to Groups in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farrell, Simon; Lelievre, Anna

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Imbo, Ineke; Vandierendonck, André; Vergauwe, Evie

    2007-07-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

    George, Elyse M; Coch, Donna

    2011-04-01

    While previous research has suggested that music training is associated with improvements in various cognitive and linguistic skills, the mechanisms mediating or underlying these associations are mostly unknown. Here, we addressed the hypothesis that previous music training is related to improved working memory. Using event-related potentials (ERPs) and a standardized test of working memory, we investigated both neural and behavioral aspects of working memory in college-aged, non-professional musicians and non-musicians. Behaviorally, musicians outperformed non-musicians on standardized subtests of visual, phonological, and executive memory. ERPs were recorded in standard auditory and visual oddball paradigms (participants responded to infrequent deviant stimuli embedded in lists of standard stimuli). Electrophysiologically, musicians demonstrated faster updating of working memory (shorter latency P300s) in both the auditory and visual domains and musicians allocated more neural resources to auditory stimuli (larger amplitude P300), showing increased sensitivity to the auditory standard/deviant difference and less effortful updating of auditory working memory. These findings demonstrate that long-term music training is related to improvements in working memory, in both the auditory and visual domains and in terms of both behavioral and ERP measures.

  20. Age-related differences in updating working memory.

    PubMed

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

    1994-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Bradley, Claire; Pearson, Joel

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Cognitive control in context: working memory capacity and proactive control.

    PubMed

    Redick, Thomas S

    2014-01-01

    Working memory is important for maintaining critical information in an active state to guide future behavior. The executive-attention theory of working memory capacity (WMC; Engle & Kane, 2004) argues that goal maintenance is important for response selection when stimuli are associated with competing responses. Braver, Burgess, and Gray (2007) have labeled this type of preparatory activity proactive control. Previous WMC studies have not allowed individuals to use goal information to prepare a specific response in advance of the stimulus. The current experiment used different versions of a cue-probe task to examine the relationship between individual differences in WMC and proactive control. Across three versions of the AX version of the Continuous Performance Test, the proportion of targets was manipulated to affect both the predictive validity of the A cue and the prepotency of the target response to X probes. The results indicated that the high-WMC individuals used the cue information to prepare responses in advance only when a specific probe was likely to occur. In contrast, the performance of the low-WMC individuals was less dependent upon the cue and more contingent upon overall response frequencies. The results indicate that individual differences in WMC are related to proactive control and anticipation, and important for translating cognition into action. PMID:24240136

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Balconi, Michela

    2013-06-01

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

  7. Working memory mechanism in proportional quantifier verification.

    PubMed

    Zajenkowski, Marcin; Szymanik, Jakub; Garraffa, Maria

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-11

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lewis-Peacock, Jarrod A; Norman, Kenneth A

    2014-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Spatial context learning survives interference from working memory load

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

    Repovs, G; Baddeley, A

    2006-04-28

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

  3. A working memory account of refixations in visual search.

    PubMed

    Shen, Kelly; McIntosh, Anthony R; Ryan, Jennifer D

    2014-12-19

    We tested the hypothesis that active exploration of the visual environment is mediated not only by visual attention but also by visual working memory (VWM) by examining performance in both a visual search and a change detection task. Subjects rarely fixated previously examined distracters during visual search, suggesting that they successfully retained those items. Change detection accuracy decreased with increasing set size, suggesting that subjects had a limited VWM capacity. Crucially, performance in the change detection task predicted visual search efficiency: Higher VWM capacity was associated with faster and more accurate responses as well as lower probabilities of refixation. We found no temporal delay for return saccades, suggesting that active vision is primarily mediated by VWM rather than by a separate attentional disengagement mechanism commonly associated with the inhibition-of-return (IOR) effect. Taken together with evidence that visual attention, VWM, and the oculomotor system involve overlapping neural networks, these data suggest that there exists a general capacity for cognitive processing.

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

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Meghan L.; Lieberman, Matthew D.

    2012-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

  10. Dissociation of working memory processing associated with native and second languages: PET investigation.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jae-Jin; Kim, Myung Sun; Lee, Jae Sung; Lee, Dong Soo; Lee, Myung Chul; Kwon, Jun Soo

    2002-04-01

    Verbal working memory plays a significant role in language comprehension and problem-solving. The prefrontal cortex has been suggested as a critical area in working memory. Given that domain-specific dissociations of working memory may exist within the prefrontal cortex, it is possible that there may also be further functional divisions within the verbal working memory processing. While differences in the areas of the brain engaged in native and second languages have been demonstrated, little is known about the dissociation of verbal working memory associated with native and second languages. We have used H2(15)O positron emission tomography in 14 normal subjects in order to identify the neural correlates selectively involved in working memory of native (Korean) and second (English) languages. All subjects were highly proficient in the native language but poorly proficient in the second language. Cognitive tasks were a two-back task for three kinds of visually presented objects: simple pictures, English words, and Korean words. The anterior portion of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the left superior temporal gyrus were activated in working memory for the native language, whereas the posterior portion of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the left inferior temporal gyrus were activated in working memory for the second language. The results suggest that the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and left temporal lobe may be organized into two discrete, language-related functional systems. Internal phonological processing seems to play a predominant role in working memory processing for the native language with a high proficiency, whereas visual higher order control does so for the second language with a low proficiency.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-16

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

    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 (LIs) 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    Grubaugh, Jordan; Rhea, Christopher K

    2014-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Zilli, Eric A; Hasselmo, Michael E

    2008-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Domain-related differentiation of working memory in the Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata) frontal cortex: a positron emission tomography study.

    PubMed

    Kojima, T; Onoe, H; Hikosaka, K; Tsutsui, K; Tsukada, H; Watanabe, M

    2007-04-01

    The lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) is important for working memory (WM) task performance. Neuropsychological and neurophysiological studies in monkeys suggest that the lateral prefrontal cortex is functionally segregated based on the working memory domain (spatial vs. non-spatial). However, this is not supported by most human neuroimaging studies, and the discrepancy might be due to differences in methods and/or species (monkey neuropsychology/physiology vs. human neuroimaging). We used positron emission topography to examine the functional segregation of the lateral prefrontal cortex of Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) that showed near 100% accuracy on spatial and non-spatial working memory tasks. Compared with activity during the non-working memory control tasks, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) was more active during the non-spatial, but not during the spatial, working memory task, although a muscimol microinjection into the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex significantly impaired the performance of both working memory tasks. A direct comparison of the brain activity between the two working memory tasks revealed no differences within the lateral prefrontal cortex, whereas the premotor area was more active during the spatial working memory task. Comparing the delay-specific activity, which did not include task-associated stimulus/response-related activity, revealed more spatial working memory-related activity in the posterior parietal and premotor areas, and more non-spatial working memory-related activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. These results suggest that working memory in the monkey brain is segregated based on domain, not within the lateral prefrontal cortex but rather between the posterior parietal-premotor areas and the dorsolateral prefrontal-hippocampus areas.

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. In competition for the attentional template: can multiple items within visual working memory guide attention?

    PubMed

    van Moorselaar, Dirk; Theeuwes, Jan; Olivers, Christian N L

    2014-08-01

    Recent studies have revealed that the deployment of attention can be biased by the content of visual working memory (VWM), but that stored memories do not always interact with attention. This has led to a model which proposes a division within VWM between a single active template that interacts with perception and multiple accessory representations that do not. The present study was designed to study whether multiple memory representations are able to bias attention. Participants performed a visual search task while maintaining a variable number of colors in VWM. Consistent with earlier findings, we observed increased attentional capture by memory related distractors when VWM was filled with a single item. However, memory related capture was no longer present for memory loads beyond a single item. The absence of memory related capture at higher VWM loads was independent of individual VWM capacity, nor was it attributable to weaker encoding, forgetting, or reduced precision of memory representations. When analyses were limited to those trials in which participants had a relatively precise memory, there was still no sign of attentional guidance at higher loads. However, when observers were cued toward a specific memory item after encoding, interference with search returned. These results are consistent with a distinction within VWM between representations that interact with perception and those that do not, and show that only a single VWM representation at a time can interact with visual attention.

  13. In competition for the attentional template: can multiple items within visual working memory guide attention?

    PubMed

    van Moorselaar, Dirk; Theeuwes, Jan; Olivers, Christian N L

    2014-08-01

    Recent studies have revealed that the deployment of attention can be biased by the content of visual working memory (VWM), but that stored memories do not always interact with attention. This has led to a model which proposes a division within VWM between a single active template that interacts with perception and multiple accessory representations that do not. The present study was designed to study whether multiple memory representations are able to bias attention. Participants performed a visual search task while maintaining a variable number of colors in VWM. Consistent with earlier findings, we observed increased attentional capture by memory related distractors when VWM was filled with a single item. However, memory related capture was no longer present for memory loads beyond a single item. The absence of memory related capture at higher VWM loads was independent of individual VWM capacity, nor was it attributable to weaker encoding, forgetting, or reduced precision of memory representations. When analyses were limited to those trials in which participants had a relatively precise memory, there was still no sign of attentional guidance at higher loads. However, when observers were cued toward a specific memory item after encoding, interference with search returned. These results are consistent with a distinction within VWM between representations that interact with perception and those that do not, and show that only a single VWM representation at a time can interact with visual attention. PMID:24730738

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

    PubMed

    Melby-Lervåg, Monica; Hulme, Charles

    2013-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Logie, Robert H; Cowan, Nelson

    2015-04-01

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

  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. 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

  19. Electrophysiological Evidence for a Sensory Recruitment Model of Somatosensory Working Memory.

    PubMed

    Katus, Tobias; Grubert, Anna; Eimer, Martin

    2015-12-01

    Sensory recruitment models of working memory assume that information storage is mediated by the same cortical areas that are responsible for the perceptual processing of sensory signals. To test this assumption, we measured somatosensory event-related brain potentials (ERPs) during a tactile delayed match-to-sample task. Participants memorized a tactile sample set at one task-relevant hand to compare it with a subsequent test set on the same hand. During the retention period, a sustained negativity (tactile contralateral delay activity, tCDA) was elicited over primary somatosensory cortex contralateral to the relevant hand. The amplitude of this component increased with memory load and was sensitive to individual limitations in memory capacity, suggesting that the tCDA reflects the maintenance of tactile information in somatosensory working memory. The tCDA was preceded by a transient negativity (N2cc component) with a similar contralateral scalp distribution, which is likely to reflect selection of task-relevant tactile stimuli at the encoding stage. The temporal sequence of N2cc and tCDA components mirrors previous observations from ERP studies of working memory in vision. The finding that the sustained somatosensory delay period activity varies as a function of memory load supports a sensory recruitment model for spatial working memory in touch.

  20. Effects of working memory load on visual selective attention: behavioral and electrophysiological evidence.

    PubMed

    Pratt, Nikki; Willoughby, Adrian; Swick, Diane

    2011-01-01

    Working memory and attention interact in a way that enables us to focus on relevant items and maintain current goals. The influence of working memory on attention has been noted in several studies using dual task designs. Multitasking increases the demands on working memory and reduces the amount of resources available for cognitive control functions such as resolving stimulus conflict. However, few studies have investigated the temporal activation of the cortex while multitasking. The present study addresses the extent to which working memory load influences early (P1) and late (P300) attention-sensitive event-related potential components using a dual task paradigm. Participants performed an arrow flanker task alone (single task condition) or concurrently with a Sternberg memory task (dual task condition). In the flanker task, participants responded to the direction of a central arrow surrounded by congruent or incongruent arrows. In the dual task condition, participants were presented with a Sternberg task that consisted of either four or seven consonants to remember prior to a short block of flanker trials. Participants were slower and less accurate on incongruent versus congruent trials. Furthermore, accuracy on incongruent trials was reduced in both dual task conditions. Likewise, P300 amplitude to incongruent flanker stimuli decreased when working memory load increased. These findings suggest that interference from incongruent flankers was more difficult to suppress when working memory was taxed. In addition, P1 amplitude was diminished on all flanker trials in the dual task condition. This result indicates that top-down attentional control over early visual processing is diminished by increasing demands on working memory. Both the behavioral and electrophysiological results suggest that working memory is critical in maintaining attentional focus and resolving conflict.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Previous research has indicated that the neural processes which underlie working memory change with age. Both age-related increases and decreases to cortical activity have been reported. This study investigated which stages of working memory are most vulnerable to age-related changes after midlife. To do this we examined age-differences in the 13 Hz steady state visually evoked potential (SSVEP) associated with a spatial working memory delayed response task. Participants were 130 healthy adults separated into a midlife (40–60 years) and an older group (61–82 years). Relative to the midlife group, older adults demonstrated greater bilateral frontal activity during encoding and this pattern of activity was related to better working memory performance. In contrast, evidence of age-related under activation was identified over left frontal regions during retrieval. Findings from this study suggest that after midlife, under-activation of frontal regions during retrieval contributes to age-related decline in working memory performance. PMID:24795625

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

  7. 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

  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.

  10. 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

  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. Acute stress and working memory in older people.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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…

  16. 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

  17. Grammatical sensitivity and working memory in children with language impairment

    PubMed Central

    Marton, Klara; Campanelli, Luca; Farkas, Lajos

    2013-01-01

    Children with primary language impairment (LI) show a deficit in processing different grammatical structures, verb inflections, and syntactically complex sentences among other things (Clahsen–Hansen 1997; Leonard et al. 1997). Cross-linguistic research has shown that the pattern of performance is language-specific. We examined grammatical sensitivity to word order and agreement violations in 50 Hungarian-speaking children with and without LI. The findings suggest a strong association between sensitivity to grammatical violations and working memory capacity. Variations in working memory performance predicted grammatical sensitivity. Hungarian participants with LI exhibited a weakness in detecting both agreement and word order violations. PMID:23440891

  18. Refreshing memory traces: thinking of an item improves retrieval from visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Souza, Alessandra S; Rerko, Laura; Oberauer, Klaus

    2015-03-01

    This article provides evidence that refreshing, a hypothetical attention-based process operating in working memory (WM), improves the accessibility of visual representations for recall. "Thinking of", one of several concurrently active representations, is assumed to refresh its trace in WM, protecting the representation from being forgotten. The link between refreshing and WM performance, however, has only been tenuously supported by empirical evidence. Here, we controlled which and how often individual items were refreshed in a color reconstruction task by presenting cues prompting participants to think of specific WM items during the retention interval. We show that the frequency with which an item is refreshed improves recall of this item from visual WM. Our study establishes a role of refreshing in recall from visual WM and provides a new method for studying the impact of refreshing on the amount of information we can keep accessible for ongoing cognition. PMID:25557544

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Models of verbal working memory capacity: what does it take to make them work?

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-01

    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 multiword units or chunks. Toward a more comprehensive theory of capacity limits, we examined models of forced-choice recognition of words within printed lists, using materials designed to produce multiword 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 interword 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 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.

  3. The neural bases of distracter-resistant working memory

    PubMed Central

    Wager, Tor D.; Spicer, Julie; Insler, Rachel; Smith, Edward E.

    2014-01-01

    A major difference between humans and other animals is our capacity to maintain information in working memory (WM) while performing secondary tasks, which enables sustained, complex cognition. A common assumption is that the lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) is critical for WM performance in the presence of distracters, but direct evidence is scarce. We assessed the relationship between fMRI activity and WM performance within-subjects, with performance matched across Distracter and No-distracter conditions. Activity in ventrolateral PFC during WM encoding and maintenance positively predicted performance in both conditions, whereas activity in the pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA) predicted performance only under distraction. Other parts of dorsolateral and ventrolateral PFC predicted performance only in the No-distracter condition. These findings challenge a lateral PFC-centered view of distracter-resistance, and suggest that the lateral PFC supports a type of WM representation that is efficient for dealing with task-irrelevant input but is nonetheless easily disrupted by dual-task demands. PMID:24366656

  4. Dysbindin-1 genotype effects on emotional working memory

    PubMed Central

    Wolf, Claudia; Jackson, Margaret C.; Kissling, Christian; Thome, Johannes; Linden, David E.J.

    2009-01-01

    We combined functional imaging and genetics to investigate the behavioral and neural effects of a dysbindin-1 (DTNBP1) genotype associated with the expression level of this important synaptic protein, which has been implicated in schizophrenia. On a working memory (WM) task for emotional faces, participants with the genotype related to increased expression showed higher WM capacity for happy faces compared to the genotype related to lower expression. Activity in several task-related brain areas with known DTNBP1 expression was increased, including hippocampus, temporal and frontal cortex. Although these increases occurred across emotions, they were mostly observed in areas whose activity correlated with performance for happy faces. This suggests effects of variability in DTNBP1 on emotion-specific WM capacity and region-specific task-related brain activation in humans. Synaptic effects of DTNBP1 implicate that altered dopaminergic and/or glutamatergic neurotransmission may be related to the increased WM capacity. The combination of imaging and genetics thus allows us to bridge the gap between the cellular/molecular and systems/behavioral level and extend the cognitive neuroscience approach to a comprehensive biology of cognition. PMID:20010894

  5. Working memory deficits in children with specific learning disorders.

    PubMed

    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 three subcomponents of working memory described by Baddeley (1986): phonological loop, visual-spatial sketchpad, and central executive. Children with dyscalculia show deficits in visual-spatial memory; children with dyslexia show deficits in phonological and central executive functioning. When controlling for the influence of the phonological loop on the performance of the central executive, however, the effect is no longer significant. Although children with both reading and arithmetic disorders are consistently outperformed by all other groups, there is no significant interaction between the factors dyscalculia and dyslexia. PMID:18625783

  6. Heterogeneity of Auditory Verbal Working Memory in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Bruder, Gerard E.; Alschuler, Daniel M.; Kroppmann, Christopher J.; Fekri, Shiva; Gil, Roberto; Jarskog, Lars F.; Harkavy-Friedman, Jill M.; Goetz, Raymond; Kayser, Jürgen; Wexler, Bruce E.

    2011-01-01

    The heterogeneity of schizophrenia remains an obstacle for understanding its pathophysiology. Studies using a tone discrimination screening test to classify patients have found evidence for two subgroups having either a specific deficit in verbal working memory (WM) or deficits on both verbal and nonverbal memory tests. This study aimed to: (1) replicate in larger samples differences between these subgroups on the word serial position test (WSPT); (2) further evaluate their performance on additional tests of verbal WM, explicit memory, and sustained attention; (3) determine the relation of verbal WM deficits to auditory hallucinations and other symptoms; and (4) examine medication effects. WSPT of verbal WM and tone discrimination performance did not differ between medicated (n=45) and unmedicated (n=38) patients. Patients with schizophrenia who passed the auditory screening test (discriminators, n=60) were compared to those who did not (nondiscriminators, n=23), and healthy controls (n=47). The discriminator subgroup showed poorer verbal WM than controls and a deficit in verbal but not visual memory on Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised, whereas the nondiscriminator subgroup showed overall poorer performance on both verbal and nonverbal tests and a marked deficit in sustained attention. Verbal WM deficits in discriminators on WSPT were correlated with auditory hallucinations but not with negative symptoms. The results are consistent with a verbal memory deficit in a subgroup of schizophrenia having intact auditory perception, which may stem from dysfunction of language-related cortical regions, and a more generalized cognitive deficit in a subgroup having auditory perceptual and attentional dysfunction. PMID:21319926

  7. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  9. 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

  10. Reactivation in Working Memory: An Attractor Network Model of Free Recall

    PubMed Central

    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

  11. 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

  12. Working memory-related hippocampal deactivation interferes with long-term memory formation.

    PubMed

    Axmacher, Nikolai; Elger, Christian E; Fell, Juergen

    2009-01-28

    Previous findings indicate that the hippocampus does not only play a role in long-term memory (LTM) encoding, but is important for working memory (WM) as well, in particular when multiple items are being processed. A recent study showed that maintenance of multiple items was associated with hippocampal activation (hippocampus-dependent WM), while maintenance of individual items induced hippocampal deactivations (hippocampus-independent WM). Here, we used two complimentary approaches to investigate whether WM-related activity patterns occur also during LTM encoding of sequentially presented items and whether they are related to the primacy effect, i.e., improved LTM encoding of items presented at the beginning of the list. Intracranial electroencephalogram in epilepsy patients and functional MRI in healthy subjects were recorded during a word-list learning task. As expected, the proportion of successfully encoded items was higher at the beginning of the list than at later list positions. Items at the beginning of the list which were subsequently forgotten were associated with negative blood oxygen level dependent responses and positive direct current slopes, corresponding to hippocampal deactivations, suggesting that they were not processed in hippocampus-dependent WM. These deactivations were absent for items later in the list and for subsequently remembered items. These data show that if processing of items at the beginning of the list is accompanied by hippocampal activity patterns previously observed during hippocampus-dependent WM, these items are subsequently remembered. However, deactivations of the hippocampus as previously observed during WM maintenance of individual items predicts failure of LTM encoding.

  13. 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…

  14. Reward associations impact both iconic and visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Infanti, Elisa; Hickey, Clayton; Turatto, Massimo

    2015-02-01

    Reward plays a fundamental role in human behavior. A growing number of studies have shown that stimuli associated with reward become salient and attract attention. The aim of the present study was to extend these results into the investigation of iconic memory and visual working memory. In two experiments we asked participants to perform a visual-search task where different colors of the target stimuli were paired with high or low reward. We then tested whether the pre-established feature-reward association affected performance on a subsequent visual memory task, in which no reward was provided. In this test phase participants viewed arrays of 8 objects, one of which had unique color that could match the color associated with reward during the previous visual-search task. A probe appeared at varying intervals after stimulus offset to identify the to-be-reported item. Our results suggest that reward biases the encoding of visual information such that items characterized by a reward-associated feature interfere with mnemonic representations of other items in the test display. These results extend current knowledge regarding the influence of reward on early cognitive processes, suggesting that feature-reward associations automatically interact with the encoding and storage of visual information, both in iconic memory and visual working memory.

  15. 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.

  16. 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 thr