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Sample records for attention working memory

  1. Interactions between working memory and selective attention

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Event-related potential (ERP) was used to examine the interactions between working memory and selective attention. We combined two unrelated tasks, one requiring working memory and the other selective attention, which were performed by some undergraduates. The ERP results revealed that both congruent and incongruent stimuli in the selective attention task evoked an N400 component, reaching the peak point at around 500 ms. The N400 evoked by incongruent stimuli was more negative than that of congruent, which indicated the difference of semantic N400. Furthermore, working memory load had a significant influence on the N400 evoked by selective attention task in parietal region. And working memory load showed difference in the ERPs of working memory retrieval in central and parietal regions. The ERPs of probe under high working memory load were more positive from 350 to 550 ms post-stimulus; however, stimulus type of selective attention had no influence on working memory retrieval. The present study shows that working memory does not play a major role in the selective attention, especially in ignoring distracter, but it influences the performance of the selective attention as the background. The congruency of target and distracter in the selective attention task does not influence the working memory retrieval.

  2. Attention to information in working memory

    OpenAIRE

    Oberauer Klaus; Hein Laura

    2012-01-01

    Working memory retains information and makes it available for processing. People often need to hold several chunks of information available while concentrating on only one of them. This process requires selective attention to the contents of working memory. In this article we summarize evidence for both a broad focus of attention with a capacity of approximately four chunks and a narrow focus of attention that selects a single chunk at a time.

  3. Joint Attention Enhances Visual Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matzel, Louis D; Kolata, Stefan

    2010-01-01

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

  5. Spatial working memory maintenance: does attention play a role?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chan, L.K.; Hayward, W.G.; Theeuwes, J.

    2009-01-01

    Recent studies have proposed that a common mechanism may underlie spatial attention and spatial working memory. One proposal is that spatial working memory is maintained by attention-based rehearsal [Awh, E., Jonides, J., & Reuter-Lorenz, P. A. (1998). Rehearsal in spatial working memory. Journal of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. Content-specific working memory modulation of the attentional blink

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Akyürek, Elkan G.; Abedian-Amiri, Ali; Ostermeier, Sonja M.

    2011-01-01

    Three experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of working memory content on temporal attention in a rapid serial visual presentation attentional blink paradigm. It was shown that categorical similarity between working memory content and the target stimuli pertaining to the attentional

  8. Components of working memory and visual selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

    Load theory (Lavie, N., Hirst, A., De Fockert, J. W., & Viding, E. [2004]. Load theory of selective attention and cognitive control. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 133, 339-354.) proposes that control of attention depends on the amount and type of load that is imposed by current processing. Specifically, perceptual load should lead to efficient distractor rejection, whereas working memory load (dual-task coordination) should hinder distractor rejection. Studies support load theory's prediction that working memory load will lead to larger distractor effects; however, these studies used secondary tasks that required only verbal working memory and the central executive. The present study examined which other working memory components (visual, spatial, and phonological) influence visual selective attention. Subjects completed an attentional capture task alone (single-task) or while engaged in a working memory task (dual-task). Results showed that along with the central executive, visual and spatial working memory influenced selective attention, but phonological working memory did not. Specifically, attentional capture was larger when visual or spatial working memory was loaded, but phonological working memory load did not affect attentional capture. The results are consistent with load theory and suggest specific components of working memory influence visual selective attention. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  9. Feature-based memory-driven attentional capture: Visual working memory content affects visual attention.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olivers, C.N.L.; Meijer, F.; Theeuwes, J.

    2006-01-01

    In 7 experiments, the authors explored whether visual attention (the ability to select relevant visual information) and visual working memory (the ability to retain relevant visual information) share the same content representations. The presence of singleton distractors interfered more strongly

  10. Evidence for Two Attentional Components in Visual Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Symbiosis of Executive and Selective Attention in Working Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    André eVandierendonck

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The notion of working memory 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 working memory system that controls task coordination. To that end, working memory 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 working memory activities. A model is proposed in which selective attention control is directly linked to the executive control part of the working memory system. The model assumes that apart from storage of declarative information, the system also includes an executive working memory 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 and attentional bias on reinforcing efficacy of food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, Katelyn A; Epstein, Leonard H

    2017-09-01

    Reinforcing efficacy of food, or the relationship between food prices and purchasing, is related to obesity status and energy intake in adults. Determining how to allocate resources for food is a decision making process influenced by executive functions. Attention to appetitive cues, as well as working memory capacity, or the ability to flexibly control attention while mentally retaining information, may be important executive functions involved in food purchasing decisions. In two studies, we examined how attention bias to food and working memory capacity are related to reinforcing efficacy of both high energy-dense and low energy-dense foods. The first study examined 48 women of varying body mass index (BMI) and found that the relationship between attentional processes and reinforcing efficacy was moderated by working memory capacity. Those who avoid food cues and had high working memory capacity had the lowest reinforcing efficacy, as compared to those with low working memory capacity. Study 2 systematically replicated the methods of study 1 with assessment of maintained attention in a sample of 48 overweight/obese adults. Results showed the relationship between maintained attention to food cues and reinforcing efficacy was moderated by working memory capacity. Those with a maintained attention to food and high working memory capacity had higher reinforcing efficacy than low working memory capacity individuals. These studies suggest working memory capacity moderated the relationship between different aspects of attention and food reinforcement. Understanding how decision making process are involved in reinforcing efficacy may help to identify future intervention targets. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. The role of working memory in auditory selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalton, Polly; Santangelo, Valerio; Spence, Charles

    2009-11-01

    A growing body of research now demonstrates that working memory plays an important role in controlling the extent to which irrelevant visual distractors are processed during visual selective attention tasks (e.g., Lavie, Hirst, De Fockert, & Viding, 2004). Recently, it has been shown that the successful selection of tactile information also depends on the availability of working memory (Dalton, Lavie, & Spence, 2009). Here, we investigate whether working memory plays a role in auditory selective attention. Participants focused their attention on short continuous bursts of white noise (targets) while attempting to ignore pulsed bursts of noise (distractors). Distractor interference in this auditory task, as measured in terms of the difference in performance between congruent and incongruent distractor trials, increased significantly under high (vs. low) load in a concurrent working-memory task. These results provide the first evidence demonstrating a causal role for working memory in reducing interference by irrelevant auditory distractors.

  14. Feature-Based Memory-Driven Attentional Capture: Visual Working Memory Content Affects Visual Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olivers, Christian N. L.; Meijer, Frank; Theeuwes, Jan

    2006-01-01

    In 7 experiments, the authors explored whether visual attention (the ability to select relevant visual information) and visual working memory (the ability to retain relevant visual information) share the same content representations. The presence of singleton distractors interfered more strongly with a visual search task when it was accompanied by…

  15. Working Memory, Controlled Attention and Task Switching

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Engle, Randall

    2000-01-01

    Eight sets of studies are reported that support a model my colleagues and I have developed which views WM as a system consisting of those long-term memory traces active above threshold, the procedures...

  16. Visual working memory as visual attention sustained internally over time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chun, Marvin M

    2011-05-01

    Visual working memory and visual attention are intimately related, such that working memory encoding and maintenance reflects actively sustained attention to a limited number of visual objects and events important for ongoing cognition and action. Although attention is typically considered to operate over perceptual input, a recent taxonomy proposes to additionally consider how attention can be directed to internal perceptual representations in the absence of sensory input, as well as other internal memories, choices, and thoughts (Chun, Golomb, & Turk-Browne, 2011). Such internal attention enables prolonged binding of features into integrated objects, along with enhancement of relevant sensory mechanisms. These processes are all limited in capacity, although different types of working memory and attention, such as spatial vs. object processing, operate independently with separate capacity. Overall, the success of maintenance depends on the ability to inhibit both external (perceptual) and internal (cognitive) distraction. Working memory is the interface by which attentional mechanisms select and actively maintain relevant perceptual information from the external world as internal representations within the mind. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  17. Interactions between working memory, attention and eye movements

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Theeuwes, J.; Belopolsky, A.V.; Olivers, C.N.L.

    2009-01-01

    This paper reviews the recent findings on working memory, attention and eye movements. We discuss the research that shows that many phenomena related to visual attention taking place when selecting relevant information from the environment are similar to processes needed to keep information active

  18. Working memory, attentional regulation and the Star Counting Test.

    OpenAIRE

    Das-Smaal, E.A.; Jong, de, P.F.; Koopmans, J.R.

    1993-01-01

    The Star Counting Test (SCT) has been developed to measure the regulatory function of attention. In a previous study it was shown that the SCT is suited for assessment of this attentional aspect with children. The present study concerns a more difficult version aimed at young adults. In the literature, the regulatory function of attention is increasingly stressed and it has been linked to working memory functioning. In order to further determine the validity of the SCT, performance was checke...

  19. Focusing on Attention: The Effects of Working Memory Capacity and Load on Selective Attention.

    OpenAIRE

    Ahmed, Lubna; de Fockert, Jan

    2012-01-01

    Background\\ud \\ud Working memory (WM) is imperative for effective selective attention. Distractibility is greater under conditions of high (vs. low) concurrent working memory load (WML), and in individuals with low (vs. high) working memory capacity (WMC). In the current experiments, we recorded the flanker task performance of individuals with high and low WMC during low and high WML, to investigate the combined effect of WML and WMC on selective attention.\\ud \\ud Methodology/Principal Findin...

  20. Attention on our mind: the role of spatial attention in visual working memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Theeuwes, J.; Kramer, A.F.; Irwin, D.E.

    2011-01-01

    The current study shows that spatial visual attention is used to retrieve information from visual working memory. Participants had to keep four colored circles in visual working memory. While keeping this information in memory we asked whether one of the colors was present in the array. While

  1. The allocation of attention and working memory in visual crowding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacigalupo, Felix; Luck, Steven J

    2015-06-01

    When the distance between a visual target and nearby flankers falls below a critical distance, target discrimination declines precipitously. This is called "crowding." Many researchers have proposed that selective attention plays a role in crowding. However, although some research has examined the effects of directing attention toward versus away from the targets, no previous research has assessed how attentional allocation varies as a function of target-flanker distance in crowding. Here, we used ERPs to assess the operation of attention during crowding, focusing on the attention-related N2pc component. We used a typical crowding task in which participants were asked to report the category (vowel/consonant) of a lateralized target letter flanked by distractor letters at different distances. We tested the hypothesis that attention fails when the target-flanker distance becomes too small for attention to operate effectively. Consistent with this hypothesis, we found that N2pc amplitude was maximal at intermediate target-flanker distances and decreased substantially when crowding became severe. In addition, we examined the sustained posterior contralateral negativity (SPCN), which reflects the amount of information being maintained in working memory. Unlike the N2pc component, the SPCN increased in amplitude at small target-flanker distances, suggesting that observers stored information about the target and flankers in working memory when attention failed to select the target. Together, the N2pc and SPCN results suggest that attention and working memory play distinctive roles in crowding: Attention operates to minimize interference from the flankers at intermediate target-flanker distances, whereas working memory may be recruited when attention fails to select the target at small target-flanker distances.

  2. Controlling attention to nociceptive stimuli with working memory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valéry Legrain

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Because pain often signals the occurrence of potential tissue damage, a nociceptive stimulus has the capacity to involuntarily capture attention and take priority over other sensory inputs. Whether distraction by nociception actually occurs may depend upon the cognitive characteristics of the ongoing activities. The present study tested the role of working memory in controlling the attentional capture by nociception. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Participants performed visual discrimination and matching tasks in which visual targets were shortly preceded by a tactile distracter. The two tasks were chosen because of the different effects the involvement of working memory produces on performance, in order to dissociate the specific role of working memory in the control of attention from the effect of general resource demands. Occasionally (i.e. 17% of the trials, tactile distracters were replaced by a novel nociceptive stimulus in order to distract participants from the visual tasks. Indeed, in the control conditions (no working memory, reaction times to visual targets were increased when the target was preceded by a novel nociceptive distracter as compared to the target preceded by a frequent tactile distracter, suggesting attentional capture by the novel nociceptive stimulus. However, when the task required an active rehearsal of the visual target in working memory, the novel nociceptive stimulus no longer induced a lengthening of reaction times to visual targets, indicating a reduction of the distraction produced by the novel nociceptive stimulus. This effect was independent of the overall task demands. CONCLUSION AND SIGNIFICANCE: Loading working memory with pain-unrelated information may reduce the ability of nociceptive input to involuntarily capture attention, and shields cognitive processing from nociceptive distraction. An efficient control of attention over pain is best guaranteed by the ability to maintain active goal

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furley, Philip A; Memmert, Daniel

    2012-06-01

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

  4. Attention and Visuospatial Working Memory Share the Same Processing Resources

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing eFeng

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Attention and visuospatial working memory (VWM share very similar characteristics; both have the same upper bound of about four items in capacity and they recruit overlapping brain regions. We examined whether both attention and visuospatial working memory share the same processing resources using a novel dual-task-costs approach based on a load-varying dual-task technique. With sufficiently large loads on attention and VWM, considerable interference between the two processes was observed. A further load increase on either process produced reciprocal increases in interference on both processes, indicating that attention and VWM share common resources. More critically, comparison among four experiments on the reciprocal interference effects, as measured by the dual-task costs, demonstrates no significant contribution from additional processing other than the shared processes. These results support the notion that attention and VWM share the same processing resources.

  5. How visual working memory contents influence priming of visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlisle, Nancy B; Kristjánsson, Árni

    2017-04-12

    Recent evidence shows that when the contents of visual working memory overlap with targets and distractors in a pop-out search task, intertrial priming is inhibited (Kristjánsson, Sævarsson & Driver, Psychon Bull Rev 20(3):514-521, 2013, Experiment 2, Psychonomic Bulletin and Review). This may reflect an interesting interaction between implicit short-term memory-thought to underlie intertrial priming-and explicit visual working memory. Evidence from a non-pop-out search task suggests that it may specifically be holding distractors in visual working memory that disrupts intertrial priming (Cunningham & Egeth, Psychol Sci 27(4):476-485, 2016, Experiment 2, Psychological Science). We examined whether the inhibition of priming depends on whether feature values in visual working memory overlap with targets or distractors in the pop-out search, and we found that the inhibition of priming resulted from holding distractors in visual working memory. These results are consistent with separate mechanisms of target and distractor effects in intertrial priming, and support the notion that the impact of implicit short-term memory and explicit visual working memory can interact when each provides conflicting attentional signals.

  6. Individual differences in working memory capacity predict visual attention allocation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bleckley, M Kathryn; Durso, Francis T; Crutchfield, Jerry M; Engle, Randall W; Khanna, Maya M

    2003-12-01

    To the extent that individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC) reflect differences in attention (Baddeley, 1993; Engle, Kane, & Tuholski, 1999), differences in WMC should predict performance on visual attention tasks. Individuals who scored in the upper and lower quartiles on the OSPAN working memory test performed a modification of Egly and Homa's (1984) selective attention task. In this task, the participants identified a central letter and localized a displaced letter flashed somewhere on one of three concentric rings. When the displaced letter occurred closer to fixation than the cue implied, high-WMC, but not low-WMC, individuals showed a cost in the letter localization task. This suggests that low-WMC participants allocated attention as a spotlight, whereas those with high WMC showed flexible allocation.

  7. Interactions between visual working memory and visual attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olivers, C.N.L.

    2008-01-01

    Visual attention is the collection of mechanisms by which relevant visual information is selected, and irrelevant visual information is ignored. Visual working memory is the mechanism by which relevant visual information is retained, and irrelevant information is suppressed. In addition to this

  8. Neuroscientific Insights: Attention, Working Memory, and Inhibitory Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raver, C. Cybele; Blair, Clancy

    2016-01-01

    In this article, Cybele Raver and Clancy Blair explore a group of cognitive processes called executive function (EF)--including the flexible control of attention, the ability to hold information through working memory, and the ability to maintain inhibitory control. EF processes are crucial for young children's learning. On the one hand, they can…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  10. Prioritizing Information during Working Memory: Beyond Sustained Internal Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, Nicholas E; Stokes, Mark G; Nobre, Anna C

    2017-06-01

    Working memory (WM) has limited capacity. This leaves attention with the important role of allowing into storage only the most relevant information. It is increasingly evident that attention is equally crucial for prioritizing representations within WM as the importance of individual items changes. Retrospective prioritization has been proposed to result from a focus of internal attention highlighting one of several representations. Here, we suggest an updated model, in which prioritization acts in multiple steps: first orienting towards and selecting a memory, and then reconfiguring its representational state in the service of upcoming task demands. Reconfiguration sets up an optimized perception-action mapping, obviating the need for sustained attention. This view is consistent with recent literature, makes testable predictions, and links WM with task switching and action preparation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Delayed working memory consolidation during the attentional blink.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, Edward K; Luck, Steven J

    2002-12-01

    After the detection of a target (T1) in a rapid stream of visual stimuli, there is a period of 400-600 msec during which a subsequent target (T2) is missed. This impairment in performance has been labeled the attentional blink. Recent theories propose that the attentional blink reflects a bottleneck in working memory consolidation such that T2 cannot be consolidated until after T1 is consolidated, and T2 is therefore masked by subsequent stimuli if it is presented while T1 is being consolidated. In support of this explanation, Giesbrecht & Di Lollo (1998) found that when T2 is the final item in the stimulus stream, no attentional blink is observed, because there are no subsequent stimuli that might mask T2. To provide a direct test of this explanation of the attentional blink, in the present study we used the P3 component of the event-related potential waveform to track the processing of T2. When T2 was followed by a masking item, we found that the P3 wave was completely suppressed during the attentional blink period, indicating that T2 was not consolidated in working memory. When T2 was the last item in the stimulus stream, however, we found that the P3 wave was delayed but not suppressed, indicating that T2 consolidation was not eliminated but simply delayed. These results are consistent with a fundamental limit on the consolidation of information in working memory.

  12. Working memory and flexibility in awareness and attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunting, Michael F; Cowan, Nelson

    2005-06-01

    We argue that attention and awareness form the basis of one type of working-memory storage. In contrast to models of working memory in which storage and retrieval occur effortlessly, we document that an attention-demanding goal conflict within a retrieval cue impairs recall from working memory. In a conceptual span task, semantic and color-name cues prompted recall of four consecutive words from a twelve-word list. The first-four, middle-four, and final-four words belonged to different semantic categories (e.g., body parts, animals, and tools) and were shown in different colors (e.g., red, blue, and green). In Experiment 1, the color of the cue matched that of cued items 75% of the time, and the rare mismatch impaired recall. In Experiment 2, though, the color of the cue matched that of the cued items only 25% of the time, and the now-more-frequent mismatches no longer mattered. These results are difficult to explain with passive storage alone and indicate that a processing difficulty impedes recall from working memory, presumably by distracting attention away from its storage function.

  13. Automatic capture of attention by conceptually generated working memory templates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Sol Z; Shen, Jenny; Shaw, Mark; Cant, Jonathan S; Ferber, Susanne

    2015-08-01

    Many theories of attention propose that the contents of working memory (WM) can act as an attentional template, which biases processing in favor of perceptually similar inputs. While support has been found for this claim, it is unclear how attentional templates are generated when searching real-world environments. We hypothesized that in naturalistic settings, attentional templates are commonly generated from conceptual knowledge, an idea consistent with sensorimotor models of knowledge representation. Participants performed a visual search task in the delay period of a WM task, where the item in memory was either a colored disk or a word associated with a color concept (e.g., "Rose," associated with red). During search, we manipulated whether a singleton distractor in the array matched the contents of WM. Overall, we found that search times were impaired in the presence of a memory-matching distractor. Furthermore, the degree of impairment did not differ based on the contents of WM. Put differently, regardless of whether participants were maintaining a perceptually colored disk identical to the singleton distractor, or whether they were simply maintaining a word associated with the color of the distractor, the magnitude of attentional capture was the same. Our results suggest that attentional templates can be generated from conceptual knowledge, in the physical absence of the visual feature.

  14. Working memory capacity and the scope and control of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shipstead, Zach; Harrison, Tyler L; Engle, Randall W

    2015-08-01

    Complex span and visual arrays are two common measures of working memory capacity that are respectively treated as measures of attention control and storage capacity. A recent analysis of these tasks concluded that (1) complex span performance has a relatively stronger relationship to fluid intelligence and (2) this is due to the requirement that people engage control processes while performing this task. The present study examines the validity of these conclusions by examining two large data sets that include a more diverse set of visual arrays tasks and several measures of attention control. We conclude that complex span and visual arrays account for similar amounts of variance in fluid intelligence. The disparity relative to the earlier analysis is attributed to the present study involving a more complete measure of the latent ability underlying the performance of visual arrays. Moreover, we find that both types of working memory task have strong relationships to attention control. This indicates that the ability to engage attention in a controlled manner is a critical aspect of working memory capacity, regardless of the type of task that is used to measure this construct.

  15. The effects of sequential attention shifts within visual working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qi eLi

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have shown conflicting data as to whether it is possible to sequentially shift spatial attention among visual working memory (VWM representations. The present study investigated this issue by asynchronously presenting attentional cues during the retention interval of a change detection task. In particular, we focused on two types of sequential attention shifts: 1 orienting attention to one location, and then withdrawing attention from it, and 2 switching the focus of attention from one location to another. In Experiment 1, a withdrawal cue was presented after a spatial retro-cue to measure the effect of withdrawing attention. The withdrawal cue significantly reduced the cost of invalid spatial cues, but surprisingly, did not attenuate the benefit of valid spatial cues. This indicates that the withdrawal cue only triggered the activation of facilitative components but not inhibitory components of attention. In Experiment 2, two spatial retro-cues were presented successively to examine the effect of switching the focus of attention. We observed benefits of both the first and second cues in sequential cueing, indicating that participants were able to reorient attention from one location to another within VWM, and the reallocation of attention did not attenuate memory at the first cued location. In Experiment 3, we found that reducing the validity of the preceding spatial cue did lead to a significant reduction in its benefit. However, performance at the first-cued location was still better than the neutral baseline or performance at the uncued locations, indicating that the first cue benefit might have been preserved both partially under automatic control and partially under voluntary control. Our findings revealed new properties of dynamic attentional control in VWM maintenance.

  16. The effects of sequential attention shifts within visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qi; Saiki, Jun

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have shown conflicting data as to whether it is possible to sequentially shift spatial attention among visual working memory (VWM) representations. The present study investigated this issue by asynchronously presenting attentional cues during the retention interval of a change detection task. In particular, we focused on two types of sequential attention shifts: (1) orienting attention to one location, and then withdrawing attention from it, and (2) switching the focus of attention from one location to another. In Experiment 1, a withdrawal cue was presented after a spatial retro-cue to measure the effect of withdrawing attention. The withdrawal cue significantly reduced the cost of invalid spatial cues, but surprisingly, did not attenuate the benefit of valid spatial cues. This indicates that the withdrawal cue only triggered the activation of facilitative components but not inhibitory components of attention. In Experiment 2, two spatial retro-cues were presented successively to examine the effect of switching the focus of attention. We observed equivalent benefits of the first and second spatial cues, suggesting that participants were able to reorient attention from one location to another within VWM, and the reallocation of attention did not attenuate memory at the first-cued location. In Experiment 3, we found that reducing the validity of the preceding spatial cue did lead to a significant reduction in its benefit. However, performance was still better at first-cued locations than at uncued and neutral locations, indicating that the first cue benefit might have been preserved both partially under automatic control and partially under voluntary control. Our findings revealed new properties of dynamic attentional control in VWM maintenance.

  17. The effects of sequential attention shifts within visual working memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qi; Saiki, Jun

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have shown conflicting data as to whether it is possible to sequentially shift spatial attention among visual working memory (VWM) representations. The present study investigated this issue by asynchronously presenting attentional cues during the retention interval of a change detection task. In particular, we focused on two types of sequential attention shifts: (1) orienting attention to one location, and then withdrawing attention from it, and (2) switching the focus of attention from one location to another. In Experiment 1, a withdrawal cue was presented after a spatial retro-cue to measure the effect of withdrawing attention. The withdrawal cue significantly reduced the cost of invalid spatial cues, but surprisingly, did not attenuate the benefit of valid spatial cues. This indicates that the withdrawal cue only triggered the activation of facilitative components but not inhibitory components of attention. In Experiment 2, two spatial retro-cues were presented successively to examine the effect of switching the focus of attention. We observed equivalent benefits of the first and second spatial cues, suggesting that participants were able to reorient attention from one location to another within VWM, and the reallocation of attention did not attenuate memory at the first-cued location. In Experiment 3, we found that reducing the validity of the preceding spatial cue did lead to a significant reduction in its benefit. However, performance was still better at first-cued locations than at uncued and neutral locations, indicating that the first cue benefit might have been preserved both partially under automatic control and partially under voluntary control. Our findings revealed new properties of dynamic attentional control in VWM maintenance. PMID:25237306

  18. Simultaneous attentional guidance by working-memory and selection history reveals two distinct sources of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwark, Jeremy D; Dolgov, Igor; Sandry, Joshua; Volkman, C Brooks

    2013-10-01

    Recent theories of attention have proposed that selection history is a separate, dissociable source of information that influences attention. The current study sought to investigate the simultaneous involvement of selection history and working-memory on attention during visual search. Experiments 1 and 2 used target feature probability to manipulate selection history and found significant effects of both working-memory and selection history, although working-memory dominated selection history when they cued different locations. Experiment 3 eliminated the contribution of voluntary refreshing of working-memory and replicated the main effects, although selection history became dominant. Using the same methodology, but with reduced probability cue validity, both effects were present in Experiment 4 and did not significantly differ in their contribution to attention. Effects of selection history and working-memory never interacted. These results suggest that selection history and working-memory are separate influences on attention and have little impact on each other. Theoretical implications for models of attention are discussed. © 2013.

  19. Action Planning Mediates Guidance of Visual Attention from Working Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias Feldmann-Wüstefeld

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Visual search is impaired when a salient task-irrelevant stimulus is presented together with the target. Recent research has shown that this attentional capture effect is enhanced when the salient stimulus matches working memory (WM content, arguing in favor of attention guidance from WM. Visual attention was also shown to be closely coupled with action planning. Preparing a movement renders action-relevant perceptual dimensions more salient and thus increases search efficiency for stimuli sharing that dimension. The present study aimed at revealing common underlying mechanisms for selective attention, WM, and action planning. Participants both prepared a specific movement (grasping or pointing and memorized a color hue. Before the movement was executed towards an object of the memorized color, a visual search task (additional singleton was performed. Results showed that distraction from target was more pronounced when the additional singleton had a memorized color. This WM-guided attention deployment was more pronounced when participants prepared a grasping movement. We argue that preparing a grasping movement mediates attention guidance from WM content by enhancing representations of memory content that matches the distractor shape (i.e., circles, thus encouraging attentional capture by circle distractors of the memorized color. We conclude that templates for visual search, action planning, and WM compete for resources and thus cause interferences.

  20. Action Planning Mediates Guidance of Visual Attention from Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feldmann-Wüstefeld, Tobias; Schubö, Anna

    2015-01-01

    Visual search is impaired when a salient task-irrelevant stimulus is presented together with the target. Recent research has shown that this attentional capture effect is enhanced when the salient stimulus matches working memory (WM) content, arguing in favor of attention guidance from WM. Visual attention was also shown to be closely coupled with action planning. Preparing a movement renders action-relevant perceptual dimensions more salient and thus increases search efficiency for stimuli sharing that dimension. The present study aimed at revealing common underlying mechanisms for selective attention, WM, and action planning. Participants both prepared a specific movement (grasping or pointing) and memorized a color hue. Before the movement was executed towards an object of the memorized color, a visual search task (additional singleton) was performed. Results showed that distraction from target was more pronounced when the additional singleton had a memorized color. This WM-guided attention deployment was more pronounced when participants prepared a grasping movement. We argue that preparing a grasping movement mediates attention guidance from WM content by enhancing representations of memory content that matches the distractor shape (i.e., circles), thus encouraging attentional capture by circle distractors of the memorized color. We conclude that templates for visual search, action planning, and WM compete for resources and thus cause interferences.

  1. The contribution of working memory to divided attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santangelo, Valerio; Macaluso, Emiliano

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have indicated that increasing working memory (WM) load can affect the attentional selection of signals originating from one object/location. Here we assessed whether WM load affects also the selection of multiple objects/locations (divided attention). Participants monitored either two object-categories (vs. one category; object-based divided attention) or two locations (vs. one location; space-based divided attention) while maintaining in WM either a variable number of objects (object-based WM load) or locations (space-based WM load). Behavioural results showed that WM load affected attentional performance irrespective of divided or focused attention. However, fMRI results showed that the activity associated with object-based divided attention increased linearly with increasing object-based WM load in the left and right intraparietal sulcus (IPS); while, in the same areas, activity associated with space-based divided attention was not affected by any type of WM load. These findings support the hypothesis that WM contributes to the maintenance of resource-demanding attentional sets in a domain-specific manner. Moreover, the dissociable impact of WM load on performance and brain activity suggests that increased IPS activation reflects a recruitment of additional, domain-specific processing resources that enable dual-task performance under conditions of high WM load and high attentional demand. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Common neural substrates for visual working memory and attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Jutta S; Bittner, Robert A; Nikolić, Danko; Bledowski, Christoph; Goebel, Rainer; Linden, David E J

    2007-06-01

    Humans are severely limited in their ability to memorize visual information over short periods of time. Selective attention has been implicated as a limiting factor. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to test the hypothesis that this limitation is due to common neural resources shared by visual working memory (WM) and selective attention. We combined visual search and delayed discrimination of complex objects and independently modulated the demands on selective attention and WM encoding. Participants were presented with a search array and performed easy or difficult visual search in order to encode one or three complex objects into visual WM. Overlapping activation for attention-demanding visual search and WM encoding was observed in distributed posterior and frontal regions. In the right prefrontal cortex and bilateral insula blood oxygen-level-dependent activation additively increased with increased WM load and attentional demand. Conversely, several visual, parietal and premotor areas showed overlapping activation for the two task components and were severely reduced in their WM load response under the condition with high attentional demand. Regions in the left prefrontal cortex were selectively responsive to WM load. Areas selectively responsive to high attentional demand were found within the right prefrontal and bilateral occipital cortex. These results indicate that encoding into visual WM and visual selective attention require to a high degree access to common neural resources. We propose that competition for resources shared by visual attention and WM encoding can limit processing capabilities in distributed posterior brain regions.

  4. Guidance of attention by information held in working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calleja, Marissa Ortiz; Rich, Anina N

    2013-05-01

    Information held in working memory (WM) can guide attention during visual search. The authors of recent studies have interpreted the effect of holding verbal labels in WM as guidance of visual attention by semantic information. In a series of experiments, we tested how attention is influenced by visual features versus category-level information about complex objects held in WM. Participants either memorized an object's image or its category. While holding this information in memory, they searched for a target in a four-object search display. On exact-match trials, the memorized item reappeared as a distractor in the search display. On category-match trials, another exemplar of the memorized item appeared as a distractor. On neutral trials, none of the distractors were related to the memorized object. We found attentional guidance in visual search on both exact-match and category-match trials in Experiment 1, in which the exemplars were visually similar. When we controlled for visual similarity among the exemplars by using four possible exemplars (Exp. 2) or by using two exemplars rated as being visually dissimilar (Exp. 3), we found attentional guidance only on exact-match trials when participants memorized the object's image. The same pattern of results held when the target was invariant (Exps. 2-3) and when the target was defined semantically and varied in visual features (Exp. 4). The findings of these experiments suggest that attentional guidance by WM requires active visual information.

  5. Working memory operates over the same representations as attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Ke; Ye, Yanyan; Xie, Jiushu; Xia, Tiansheng; Mo, Lei

    2017-01-01

    A recent study observed a working memory (WM) Stroop effect with a magnitude equivalent to that of the classic Stroop effect, indicating that WM operates over the same representations as attention. However, more research is needed to examine this proposal. One unanswered question is whether the WM Stroop effect occurs when the WM item and the perceptual task do not have an overlapping response set. We addressed this question in Experiment 1 by conducting an attentional word-color task and a WM word-color task. The results showed that a WM Stroop effect also occurred in that condition, as a word that only indirectly evoked a color representation could interfere with the color judgement in both the attentional task and WM task. In Experiment 2, we used a classic Simon task and a WM Simon task to examine whether holding visuo-spatial information rather than verbal information in WM could interfere with perceptual judgment as well. We observed a WM Simon effect of equivalent magnitude to that of the classic Simon effect. The well-known stimulus-response compatibility effect also existed in the WM domain. The two experiments together demonstrated that WM operates over the same representations as attention, which sheds new light on the hypothesis that working memory is internally directed attention.

  6. The influence of lapses of attention on working memory capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unsworth, Nash; Robison, Matthew K

    2016-02-01

    In three experiments, the influence of lapses of attention on working memory (WM) capacity measures was examined. Participants performed various change detection tasks while also reporting whether they were focused on the current task or whether they were unfocused and mind-wandering. Participants reported that they were mind-wandering roughly 27% of the time, and when participants reported mind-wandering, their performance was worse compared to when they reported being on-task. Low WM capacity individuals reported more mind-wandering and lapses of attention than high WM capacity individuals, and mind-wandering and filtering abilities were shown to make independent contributions to capacity estimates. These results provide direct support for the notion that the ability to focus attention on-task and prevent lapses of attention is an important contributor to performance on measures of WM capacity.

  7. Neurofeedback training improves attention and working memory performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jinn-Rong; Hsieh, Shulan

    2013-12-01

    The present study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of the frontal-midline theta (fmθ) activity uptraining protocol on attention and working memory performance of older and younger participants. Thirty-two participants were recruited. Participants within each age group were randomly assigned to either the neurofeedback training (fmθ uptraining) group or the sham-neurofeedback training group. There was a significant improvement in orienting scores in the older neurofeedback training group. In addition, there was a significant improvement in conflict scores in both the older and young neurofeedback training groups. However, alerting scores failed to increase. In addition, the fmθ training was found to improve working memory function in the older participants. The results further showed that fmθ training can modulate resting EEG for both neurofeedback groups. Our study demonstrated that fmθ uptraining improved attention and working memory performance and theta activity in the resting state for normal aging adults. In addition, younger participants also benefited from the present protocol in terms of improving their executive function. The current findings contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying neurofeedback training in cognitive function, and suggest that the fmθ uptraining protocol is an effective intervention program for cognitive aging. Copyright © 2013 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Executive attention and working memory in narcoleptic outpatients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirleny Moraes

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: This pioneering study aimed to evaluate executive attention and working memory in Brazilian narcoleptic outpatients. METHODS: Narcoleptic group: 19 treated narcoleptic outpatients (13 F; 6 M (mean age=37.58; SD = 8.93; control group: 19 subjects (15 F; 4 M (mean age=34.42; SD=12.31. INSTRUMENTS: Epworth Sleepiness Scale - Brazilian Portuguese Version (ESS-BR, Victoria Stroop Test (VST, Trail Making Test (TMT and Letter-Number Sequencing (LNS of WAIS-III. RESULTS: Significant difference at Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS (p<0.001 and at working memory (p=0.009 with worse results for narcoleptic patients. Patients were slower at VST-1 (p=0.002, VST-2 (p=0.045 and at TMT-A (p=0.016, TMT-B (p=0.006 and B-A (p=0.024. CONCLUSION: Narcoleptic patients showed higher degrees of EDS, an impaired executive attention at a temporal level and lower performance in working memory when compared to normal controls.

  9. Attention mediates the flexible allocation of visual working memory resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emrich, Stephen M; Lockhart, Holly A; Al-Aidroos, Naseem

    2017-07-01

    Though it is clear that it is impossible to store an unlimited amount of information in visual working memory (VWM), the limiting mechanisms remain elusive. While several models of VWM limitations exist, these typically characterize changes in performance as a function of the number of to-be-remembered items. Here, we examine whether changes in spatial attention could better account for VWM performance, independent of load. Across 2 experiments, performance was better predicted by the prioritization of memory items (i.e., attention) than by the number of items to be remembered (i.e., memory load). This relationship followed a power law, and held regardless of whether performance was assessed based on overall precision or any of 3 measures in a mixture model. Moreover, at large set sizes, even minimally attended items could receive a small proportion of resources, without any evidence for a discrete-capacity on the number of items that could be maintained in VWM. Finally, the observed data were best fit by a variable-precision model in which response error was related to the proportion of resources allocated to each item, consistent with a model of VWM in which performance is determined by the continuous allocation of attentional resources during encoding. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  10. The time course of working memory effects on visual attention differs depending on memory type

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dombrowe, I.; Olivers, C.N.L.; Donk, M.

    2010-01-01

    Previous work has generated inconsistent results with regard to what extent working memory (WM) content guides visual attention. Some studies found effects of easy to verbalize stimuli, whereas others only found an influence of visual memory content. To resolve this, we compared the time courses of

  11. Attention bias modification training under working memory load increases the magnitude of change in attentional bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Patrick J F; Branson, Sonya; Chen, Nigel T M; Van Bockstaele, Bram; Salemink, Elske; MacLeod, Colin; Notebaert, Lies

    2017-12-01

    Attention bias modification (ABM) procedures have shown promise as a therapeutic intervention, however current ABM procedures have proven inconsistent in their ability to reliably achieve the requisite change in attentional bias needed to produce emotional benefits. This highlights the need to better understand the precise task conditions that facilitate the intended change in attention bias in order to realise the therapeutic potential of ABM procedures. Based on the observation that change in attentional bias occurs largely outside conscious awareness, the aim of the current study was to determine if an ABM procedure delivered under conditions likely to preclude explicit awareness of the experimental contingency, via the addition of a working memory load, would contribute to greater change in attentional bias. Bias change was assessed among 122 participants in response to one of four ABM tasks given by the two experimental factors of ABM training procedure delivered either with or without working memory load, and training direction of either attend-negative or avoid-negative. Findings revealed that avoid-negative ABM procedure under working memory load resulted in significantly greater reductions in attentional bias compared to the equivalent no-load condition. The current findings will require replication with clinical samples to determine the utility of the current task for achieving emotional benefits. These present findings are consistent with the position that the addition of a working memory load may facilitate change in attentional bias in response to an ABM training procedure. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Spatial Working Memory Interferes with Explicit, but Not Probabilistic Cuing of Spatial Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Won, Bo-Yeong; Jiang, Yuhong V.

    2015-01-01

    Recent empirical and theoretical work has depicted a close relationship between visual attention and visual working memory. For example, rehearsal in spatial working memory depends on spatial attention, whereas adding a secondary spatial working memory task impairs attentional deployment in visual search. These findings have led to the proposal…

  13. On the interplay between working memory consolidation and attentional selection in controlling conscious access : Parallel processing at a cost-a comment on 'The interplay of attention and consciousness in visual search, attentional blink and working memory consolidation'

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wyble, Brad; Bowman, Howard; Nieuwenstein, Mark

    On the interplay between working memory consolidation and attentional selection in controlling conscious access: parallel processing at a cost-a comment on 'The interplay of attention and consciousness in visual search, attentional blink and working memory consolidation'

  14. Multiple foci of spatial attention in multimodal working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katus, Tobias; Eimer, Martin

    2016-11-15

    The maintenance of sensory information in working memory (WM) is mediated by the attentional activation of stimulus representations that are stored in perceptual brain regions. Using event-related potentials (ERPs), we measured tactile and visual contralateral delay activity (tCDA/CDA components) in a bimodal WM task to concurrently track the attention-based maintenance of information stored in anatomically segregated (somatosensory and visual) brain areas. Participants received tactile and visual sample stimuli on both sides, and in different blocks, memorized these samples on the same side or on opposite sides. After a retention delay, memory was unpredictably tested for touch or vision. In the same side blocks, tCDA and CDA components simultaneously emerged over the same hemisphere, contralateral to the memorized tactile/visual sample set. In opposite side blocks, these two components emerged over different hemispheres, but had the same sizes and onset latencies as in the same side condition. Our results reveal distinct foci of tactile and visual spatial attention that were concurrently maintained on task-relevant stimulus representations in WM. The independence of spatially-specific biasing mechanisms for tactile and visual WM content suggests that multimodal information is stored in distributed perceptual brain areas that are activated through modality-specific processes that can operate simultaneously and largely independently of each other. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Comparison of working memory, divided and selective attention in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Introduction: Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity are among the most common behavioral disorders in children which include three subgroups including inattention, hyperactivity - impulsivity (disinhibition) and mixed form. Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder might be along with basic symptoms in memory and attention ...

  16. Are there multiple ways to direct attention in working memory?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, Amy L; Berry, Ed D J; Waterman, Amanda H; Baddeley, Alan D; Hitch, Graham J; Allen, Richard J

    2018-04-10

    In visual working memory tasks, memory for an item is enhanced if participants are told that the item is relatively more valuable than others presented within the same trial. Experiment 1 explored whether these probe value boosts (termed prioritization effects in previous literature) are affected by probe frequency (i.e., how often the more valuable item is tested). Participants were presented with four colored shapes sequentially and asked to recall the color of one probed item following a delay. They were informed that the first item was more valuable (differential probe value) or as valuable as the other items (equal probe value), and that this item would be tested more frequently (differential probe frequency) or as frequently (equal probe frequency) as the other items. Probe value and probe frequency boosts were observed at the first position, though both were accompanied by costs to other items. Probe value and probe frequency boosts were additive, suggesting the manipulations yield independent effects. Further supporting this, experiment 2 revealed that probe frequency boosts are not reliant on executive resources, directly contrasting with previous findings regarding probe value. Taken together, these outcomes suggest there may be several ways in which attention can be directed in working memory. © 2018 The Authors. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of New York Academy of Sciences.

  17. Examining the Relative Contribution of Memory Updating, Attention Focus Switching, and Sustained Attention to Children’s Verbal Working Memory Span

    OpenAIRE

    Beula M. Magimairaj; James W. Montgomery

    2013-01-01

    Whereas considerable developmental memory research has examined the contributions of short-term memory, processing efficiency, retention duration, and scope of attention to complex memory span, little is known about the influence of controlled attention. The present study investigated the relative influence of three understudied attention mechanisms on the verbal working memory span of school-age children: memory updating; attention focus switching; and sustained attention. Results of general...

  18. Focusing on attention: the effects of working memory capacity and load on selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Lubna; de Fockert, Jan W

    2012-01-01

    Working memory (WM) is imperative for effective selective attention. Distractibility is greater under conditions of high (vs. low) concurrent working memory load (WML), and in individuals with low (vs. high) working memory capacity (WMC). In the current experiments, we recorded the flanker task performance of individuals with high and low WMC during low and high WML, to investigate the combined effect of WML and WMC on selective attention. In Experiment 1, distractibility from a distractor at a fixed distance from the target was greater when either WML was high or WMC was low, but surprisingly smaller when both WML was high and WMC low. Thus we observed an inverted-U relationship between reductions in WM resources and distractibility. In Experiment 2, we mapped the distribution of spatial attention as a function of WMC and WML, by recording distractibility across several target-to-distractor distances. The pattern of distractor effects across the target-to-distractor distances demonstrated that the distribution of the attentional window becomes dispersed as WM resources are limited. The attentional window was more spread out under high compared to low WML, and for low compared to high WMC individuals, and even more so when the two factors co-occurred (i.e., under high WML in low WMC individuals). The inverted-U pattern of distractibility effects in Experiment 1, replicated in Experiment 2, can thus be explained by differences in the spread of the attentional window as a function of WM resource availability. The current findings show that limitations in WM resources, due to either WML or individual differences in WMC, affect the spatial distribution of attention. The difference in attentional constraining between high and low WMC individuals demonstrated in the current experiments helps characterise the nature of previously established associations between WMC and controlled attention.

  19. Focusing on attention: the effects of working memory capacity and load on selective attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lubna Ahmed

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Working memory (WM is imperative for effective selective attention. Distractibility is greater under conditions of high (vs. low concurrent working memory load (WML, and in individuals with low (vs. high working memory capacity (WMC. In the current experiments, we recorded the flanker task performance of individuals with high and low WMC during low and high WML, to investigate the combined effect of WML and WMC on selective attention. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In Experiment 1, distractibility from a distractor at a fixed distance from the target was greater when either WML was high or WMC was low, but surprisingly smaller when both WML was high and WMC low. Thus we observed an inverted-U relationship between reductions in WM resources and distractibility. In Experiment 2, we mapped the distribution of spatial attention as a function of WMC and WML, by recording distractibility across several target-to-distractor distances. The pattern of distractor effects across the target-to-distractor distances demonstrated that the distribution of the attentional window becomes dispersed as WM resources are limited. The attentional window was more spread out under high compared to low WML, and for low compared to high WMC individuals, and even more so when the two factors co-occurred (i.e., under high WML in low WMC individuals. The inverted-U pattern of distractibility effects in Experiment 1, replicated in Experiment 2, can thus be explained by differences in the spread of the attentional window as a function of WM resource availability. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The current findings show that limitations in WM resources, due to either WML or individual differences in WMC, affect the spatial distribution of attention. The difference in attentional constraining between high and low WMC individuals demonstrated in the current experiments helps characterise the nature of previously established associations between WMC and controlled

  20. Exogenous and endogenous spatial attention effects on visuospatial working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botta, Fabiano; Santangelo, Valerio; Raffone, Antonino; Lupiáñez, Juan; Belardinelli, Marta Olivetti

    2010-08-01

    In this study, we investigate how exogenous and endogenous orienting of spatial attention affect visuospatial working memory (VSWM). Specifically, we focused on two attentional effects and their consequences on storage in VSWM, when exogenous (Experiment 1) or endogenous (Experiment 2) orienting cues were used. The first effect, known as the meridian effect, is given by a decrement in behavioural performance when spatial cues and targets are presented in locations separated by vertical and/or horizontal meridians. The second effect, known as the distance effect, is given by a decrement in the orienting effects as a function of the spatial distance between cues and targets. Our results revealed a dissociation between exogenous and endogenous orienting mechanisms in terms of both meridian and distance effects. We found that meridian crossing affects performance only when endogenous cues were used. Specifically, VSWM performance with endogenous cueing depended more on the number of meridian crossings than on distance between cue and target. By contrast, a U-shaped distance dependency was observed using exogenous cues. Our findings therefore suggest that exogenous and endogenous orienting mechanisms lead to different forms of attentional bias for storage in VSWM.

  1. The role of prefrontal catecholamines in attention and working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Behrad eNoudoost

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available While much progress has been made in identifying the brain regions and neurochemical systems involved in the cognitive processes disrupted in mental illnesses, To date, the level of detail at which neurobiologists can describe the chain of events giving rise to cognitive functions is very rudimentary. Much of the intense interest in understanding cognitive functions is motivated by the hope that it might be possible to understand these complex functions at the level of neurons and neural circuits. Here, we review the current state of the literature regarding how modulations in catecholamine levels within the prefrontal cortex alter the neuronal and behavioral correlates of cognitive functions, particularly attention and working memory.

  2. The role of prefrontal catecholamines in attention and working memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Kelsey L.; Noudoost, Behrad

    2014-01-01

    While much progress has been made in identifying the brain regions and neurochemical systems involved in the cognitive processes disrupted in mental illnesses, to date, the level of detail at which neurobiologists can describe the chain of events giving rise to cognitive functions is very rudimentary. Much of the intense interest in understanding cognitive functions is motivated by the hope that it might be possible to understand these complex functions at the level of neurons and neural circuits. Here, we review the current state of the literature regarding how modulations in catecholamine levels within the prefrontal cortex (PFC) alter the neuronal and behavioral correlates of cognitive functions, particularly attention and working memory. PMID:24782714

  3. How to assess gaming-induced benefits on attention and working memory

    OpenAIRE

    Mishra, Jyoti; Bavelier, Daphné; Gazzaley, Adam

    2012-01-01

    Our daily actions are driven by our goals in the moment, constantly forcing us to choose among various options. Attention and working memory are key enablers of that process. Attention allows for selective processing of goal-relevant information and rejecting task-irrelevant information. Working memory functions to maintain goal-relevant information in memory for brief periods of time for subsequent recall and/or manipulation. Efficient attention and working memory thus support the best extra...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    Attentional control and working memory capacity are important cognitive abilities that substantially vary between individuals. Although much is known about how attentional control and working memory capacity relate to each other and to constructs like fluid intelligence, little is known about how trial-by-trial fluctuations in attentional engagement impact trial-by-trial working memory performance. Here, we employ a novel whole-report memory task that allowed us to distinguish between varying...

  5. Selective attention on representations in working memory: cognitive and neural mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ku, Yixuan

    2018-01-01

    Selective attention and working memory are inter-dependent core cognitive functions. It is critical to allocate attention on selected targets during the capacity-limited working memory processes to fulfill the goal-directed behavior. The trends of research on both topics are increasing exponentially in recent years, and it is considered that selective attention and working memory share similar underlying neural mechanisms. Different types of attention orientation in working memory are introduced by distinctive cues, and the means using retrospective cues are strengthened currently as it is manipulating the representation in memory, instead of the perceptual representation. The cognitive and neural mechanisms of the retro-cue effects are further reviewed, as well as the potential molecular mechanism. The frontal-parietal network that is involved in both attention and working memory is also the neural candidate for attention orientation during working memory. Neural oscillations in the gamma and alpha/beta oscillations may respectively be employed for the feedforward and feedback information transfer between the sensory cortices and the association cortices. Dopamine and serotonin systems might interact with each other subserving the communication between memory and attention. In conclusion, representations which attention shifts towards are strengthened, while representations which attention moves away from are degraded. Studies on attention orientation during working memory indicates the flexibility of the processes of working memory, and the beneficial way that overcome the limited capacity of working memory.

  6. Selective attention on representations in working memory: cognitive and neural mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yixuan Ku

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Selective attention and working memory are inter-dependent core cognitive functions. It is critical to allocate attention on selected targets during the capacity-limited working memory processes to fulfill the goal-directed behavior. The trends of research on both topics are increasing exponentially in recent years, and it is considered that selective attention and working memory share similar underlying neural mechanisms. Different types of attention orientation in working memory are introduced by distinctive cues, and the means using retrospective cues are strengthened currently as it is manipulating the representation in memory, instead of the perceptual representation. The cognitive and neural mechanisms of the retro-cue effects are further reviewed, as well as the potential molecular mechanism. The frontal-parietal network that is involved in both attention and working memory is also the neural candidate for attention orientation during working memory. Neural oscillations in the gamma and alpha/beta oscillations may respectively be employed for the feedforward and feedback information transfer between the sensory cortices and the association cortices. Dopamine and serotonin systems might interact with each other subserving the communication between memory and attention. In conclusion, representations which attention shifts towards are strengthened, while representations which attention moves away from are degraded. Studies on attention orientation during working memory indicates the flexibility of the processes of working memory, and the beneficial way that overcome the limited capacity of working memory.

  7. Working-memory consolidation : Insights from studies on attention and working memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ricker, Timothy; Nieuwenstein, Mark; Bayliss, Donna; Barrouillet, Pierre

    2018-01-01

    Working memory, the system that maintains a limited set of representations for immediate use in cognition, is a central part of human cognition. Three processes have recently been proposed to govern information storage in working memory: Consolidation, refreshing and removal. Here we discuss in

  8. Effects of load on the guidance of visual attention from working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Bao; Zhang, John X; Huang, Sai; Kong, Lingyue; Wang, Suiping

    2011-12-08

    An active recent line of research on working memory and attention has shown that the visual attention can be top-down guided by working memory contents. The present study examined whether the guidance effect is modulated by memory load, i.e., the amount of information maintained in working memory. In a set of three experiments, participants were asked to perform a visual search task while maintaining several objects in working memory. The memory-driven attentional guidance effect was observed in all experiments when there were spare working memory resources. When memory load was increased from one item to two items, there was no sign that the guidance effect was attenuated. When load was further increased to four items, the guidance effect disappeared completely, indicating a clear impact of memory load on attentional guidance. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Remembered but Unused: The Accessory Items in Working Memory that Do Not Guide Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Judith C.; Goebel, Rainer; Roelfsema, Pieter R.

    2009-01-01

    If we search for an item, a representation of this item in our working memory guides attention to matching items in the visual scene. We can hold multiple items in working memory. Do all these items guide attention in parallel? We asked participants to detect a target object in a stream of objects while they maintained a second item in memory for…

  10. Release of Inattentional Blindness by High Working Memory Load: Elucidating the Relationship between Working Memory and Selective Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  11. The Contribution of Attentional Control and Working Memory to Reading Comprehension and Decoding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arrington, C. Nikki; Kulesz, Paulina A.; Francis, David J.; Fletcher, Jack M.; Barnes, Marcia A.

    2014-01-01

    Little is known about how specific components of working memory, namely, attentional processes including response inhibition, sustained attention, and cognitive inhibition, are related to reading decoding and comprehension. The current study evaluated the relations of reading comprehension, decoding, working memory, and attentional control in…

  12. Attention is required for maintenance of feature binding in visual working memory

    OpenAIRE

    Zokaei, Nahid; Heider, Maike; Husain, Masud

    2013-01-01

    Working memory and attention are intimately connected. However, understanding the relationship between the two is challenging. Currently, there is an important controversy about whether objects in working memory are maintained automatically or require resources that are also deployed for visual or auditory attention. Here we investigated the effects of loading attention resources on precision of visual working memory, specifically on correct maintenance of feature-bound objects, using a dual-...

  13. Working memory-driven attention improves spatial resolution: Support for perceptual enhancement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Yi; Luo, Qianying; Cheng, Min

    2016-08-01

    Previous research has indicated that attention can be biased toward those stimuli matching the contents of working memory and thereby facilitates visual processing at the location of the memory-matching stimuli. However, whether this working memory-driven attentional modulation takes place on early perceptual processes remains unclear. Our present results showed that working memory-driven attention improved identification of a brief Landolt target presented alone in the visual field. Because the suprathreshold target appeared without any external noise added (i.e., no distractors or masks), the results suggest that working memory-driven attention enhances the target signal at early perceptual stages of visual processing. Furthermore, given that performance in the Landolt target identification task indexes spatial resolution, this attentional facilitation indicates that working memory-driven attention can boost early perceptual processing via enhancement of spatial resolution at the attended location.

  14. Spatial attention interacts with serial-order retrieval from verbal working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dijck, Jean-Philippe; Abrahamse, Elger L; Majerus, Steve; Fias, Wim

    2013-09-01

    The ability to maintain the serial order of events is recognized as a major function of working memory. Although general models of working memory postulate a close link between working memory and attention, such a link has so far not been proposed specifically for serial-order working memory. The present study provided the first empirical demonstration of a direct link between serial order in verbal working memory and spatial selective attention. We show that the retrieval of later items of a sequence stored in working memory-compared with that of earlier items-produces covert attentional shifts toward the right. This observation suggests the conceptually surprising notion that serial-order working memory, even for nonspatially defined verbal items, draws on spatial attention.

  15. Working Memory and Fluid Intelligence: Capacity, Attention Control, and Secondary Memory Retrieval

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Several theories have been put forth to explain the relation between working memory (WM) and gF. Unfortunately, no single factor has been shown to fully account for the relation between these two important constructs. In the current study we tested whether multiple factors (capacity, attention control, and secondary memory) would collectively account for the relation. A large number of participants performed multiple measures of each construct and latent variable analyses were used to examine the data. The results demonstrated that capacity, attention control, and secondary memory were uniquely related to WM storage, WM processing, and gF. Importantly, the three factors completely accounted for the relation between WM (both processing and storage) and gF. Thus, although storage and processing make independent contributions to gF, both of these contributions are accounted for by variation in capacity, attention control and secondary memory. These results are consistent with the multifaceted view of WM, suggesting that individual differences in capacity, attention control, and secondary memory jointly account for individual differences in WM and its relation with gF. PMID:24531497

  16. Working memory and fluid intelligence: capacity, attention control, and secondary memory retrieval.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

    Several theories have been put forth to explain the relation between working memory (WM) and gF. Unfortunately, no single factor has been shown to fully account for the relation between these two important constructs. In the current study we tested whether multiple factors (capacity, attention control, and secondary memory) would collectively account for the relation. A large number of participants performed multiple measures of each construct and latent variable analyses were used to examine the data. The results demonstrated that capacity, attention control, and secondary memory were uniquely related to WM storage, WM processing, and gF. Importantly, the three factors completely accounted for the relation between WM (both processing and storage) and gF. Thus, although storage and processing make independent contributions to gF, both of these contributions are accounted for by variation in capacity, attention control and secondary memory. These results are consistent with the multifaceted view of WM, suggesting that individual differences in capacity, attention control, and secondary memory jointly account for individual differences in WM and its relation with gF. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Memory-based attention capture when multiple items are maintained in visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollingworth, Andrew; Beck, Valerie M

    2016-07-01

    Efficient visual search requires that attention is guided strategically to relevant objects, and most theories of visual search implement this function by means of a target template maintained in visual working memory (VWM). However, there is currently debate over the architecture of VWM-based attentional guidance. We contrasted a single-item-template hypothesis with a multiple-item-template hypothesis, which differ in their claims about structural limits on the interaction between VWM representations and perceptual selection. Recent evidence from van Moorselaar, Theeuwes, and Olivers (2014) indicated that memory-based capture during search, an index of VWM guidance, is not observed when memory set size is increased beyond a single item, suggesting that multiple items in VWM do not guide attention. In the present study, we maximized the overlap between multiple colors held in VWM and the colors of distractors in a search array. Reliable capture was observed when 2 colors were held in VWM and both colors were present as distractors, using both the original van Moorselaar et al. singleton-shape search task and a search task that required focal attention to array elements (gap location in outline square stimuli). In the latter task, memory-based capture was consistent with the simultaneous guidance of attention by multiple VWM representations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  18. Working Memory and Parent-Rated Components of Attention in Middle Childhood: A Behavioral Genetic Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deater-Deckard, Kirby; Cutting, Laurie; Thompson, Lee A.; Petrill, Stephen A.

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of the current study was to investigate potential genetic and environmental correlations between working memory and three behavioral aspects of the attention network (i.e., executive, alerting, and orienting) using a twin design. Data were from 90 monozygotic (39% male) and 112 same-sex dizygotic (41% male) twins. Individual differences in working memory performance (digit span) and parent-rated measures of executive, alerting, and orienting attention included modest to moderate genetic variance, modest shared environmental variance, and modest to moderate nonshared environmental variance. As hypothesized, working memory performance was correlated with executive and alerting attention, but not orienting attention. The correlation between working memory, executive attention, and alerting attention was completely accounted for by overlapping genetic covariance, suggesting a common genetic mechanism or mechanisms underlying the links between working memory and certain parent-rated indicators of attentive behavior. PMID:21948215

  19. Where to start? Bottom-up attention improves working memory by determining encoding order.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravizza, Susan M; Uitvlugt, Mitchell G; Hazeltine, Eliot

    2016-12-01

    The present study aimed to characterize the mechanism by which working memory is enhanced for items that capture attention because of their novelty or saliency-that is, via bottom-up attention. The first experiment replicated previous research by corroborating that bottom-up attention directed to an item is sufficient for enhancing working memory and, moreover, generalized the effect to the domain of verbal working memory. The subsequent 3 experiments sought to determine how bottom-up attention affects working memory. We considered 2 hypotheses: (1) Bottom-up attention enhances the encoded representation of the stimulus, similar to how voluntary attention functions, or (2) It affects the order of encoding by shifting priority onto the attended stimulus. By manipulating how stimuli were presented (simultaneous/sequential display) and whether the cue predicted the tested items, we found evidence that bottom-up attention improves working memory performance via the order of encoding hypothesis. This finding was observed across change detection and free recall paradigms. In contrast, voluntary attention improved working memory regardless of encoding order and showed greater effects on working memory. We conclude that when multiple information sources compete, bottom-up attention prioritizes the location at which encoding should begin. When encoding order is set, bottom-up attention has little or no benefit to working memory. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  20. Attentional and Executive Function Behaviours in Children with Poor Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gathercole, Susan E.; Alloway, Tracy P.; Kirkwood, Hannah J.; Elliott, Julian G.; Holmes, Joni; Hilton, Kerry A.

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore the profiles of classroom behaviour relating to attention and executive functions in children with very poor working memory, and to test the hypothesis that inattentive behaviour and working memory problems co-occur. Teachers rated problem behaviours of 52 children with low working memory scores aged 5/6…

  1. Attentional control activation relates to working memory in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgess, Gregory C; Depue, Brendan E; Ruzic, Luka; Willcutt, Erik G; Du, Yiping P; Banich, Marie T

    2010-04-01

    Attentional control difficulties in individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) might reflect poor working memory (WM) ability, especially because WM ability and attentional control rely on similar brain regions. The current study examined whether WM ability might explain group differences in brain activation between adults with ADHD and normal control subjects during attentional demand. Participants were 20 adults with ADHD combined subtype with no comorbid psychiatric or learning disorders and 23 control subjects similar in age, IQ, and gender. The WM measures were obtained from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III and Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised. Brain activation was assessed with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while performing a Color-Word Stroop task. Group differences in WM ability explained a portion of the activation in left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), which has been related to the creation and maintenance of an attentional set for task-relevant information. In addition, greater WM ability predicted increased activation of brain regions related to stimulus-driven attention and response selection processes in the ADHD group but not in the control group. The inability to maintain an appropriate task set in young adults with combined type ADHD, associated with decreased activity in left DLPFC, might in part be due to poor WM ability. Furthermore, in individuals with ADHD, higher WM ability might relate to increased recruitment of stimulus-driven attention and response selection processes, perhaps as a compensatory strategy. Copyright 2010 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Beyond the magic number four: Remapping high-capacity, pre-attentive, fragile working memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zerr, P.; Gayet, S.; Mulder, K.T.; Sligte, I.G.; Stigchel, S. van der

    2017-01-01

    Visual short term memory allows us to access visual information after termination of its retinal input. Generally, a distinction is made between a robust, capacity-limited form (working memory, WM) and high-capacity, pre-attentive, maskable forms (sensory memory, e.g. fragile memory, FM). Eye

  3. Attention, working memory, and phenomenal experience of WM content: memory levels determined by different types of top-down modulation

    OpenAIRE

    Jacob, Jane; Jacobs, Christianne; Silvanto, Juha

    2015-01-01

    What is the role of top-down attentional modulation in consciously accessing working memory (WM) content? In influential WM models, information can exist in different states, determined by allocation of attention; placing the original memory representation in the center of focused attention gives rise to conscious access. Here we discuss various lines of evidence indicating that such attentional modulation is not sufficient for memory content to be phenomenally experienced. We propose that, i...

  4. Working Memory Capacity: Attention Control, Secondary Memory, or Both? A Direct Test of the Dual-Component Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unsworth, Nash; Spillers, Gregory J.

    2010-01-01

    The current study examined the extent to which attention control abilities, secondary memory abilities, or both accounted for variation in working memory capacity (WMC) and its relation to fluid intelligence. Participants performed various attention control, secondary memory, WMC, and fluid intelligence measures. Confirmatory factor analyses…

  5. Attention to Attributes and Objects in Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Individual working memory capacity is uniquely correlated with feature-based attention when combined with spatial attention

    OpenAIRE

    Bengson, Jesse J.; Mangun, George R.

    2011-01-01

    A growing literature suggests that working memory and attention are closely related constructs. Both involve the selection of task-relevant information, and both are characterized by capacity limits. Furthermore, studies using a variety of methodological approaches have demonstrated convergent working memory and attention-related processing at the individual, neural and behavioral level. Given the varieties of both constructs, the specific kinds of attention and WM must be considered. We find...

  7. Effects of working memory load on visual selective attention: Behavioral and electrophysiological evidence

    OpenAIRE

    Nikki ePratt; Adrian eWilloughby; Diane eSwick; Diane eSwick

    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 pre...

  8. Effects of Working Memory Load on Visual Selective Attention: Behavioral and Electrophysiological Evidence

    OpenAIRE

    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 presen...

  9. Do the Contents of Working Memory Capture Attention? Yes, but Cognitive Control Matters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Suk Won; Kim, Min-Shik

    2009-01-01

    There has been a controversy on whether working memory can guide attentional selection. Some researchers have reported that the contents of working memory guide attention automatically in visual search (D. Soto, D. Heinke, G. W. Humphreys, & M. J. Blanco, 2005). On the other hand, G.F. Woodman and S. J. Luck (2007) reported that they could not…

  10. Remembered but unused: the accessory items in working memory that do not guide attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peters, Judith C.; Goebel, Rainer; Roelfsema, Pieter R.

    2009-01-01

    If we search for an item, a representation of this item in our working memory guides attention to matching items in the visual scene. We can hold multiple items in working memory. Do all these items guide attention in parallel? We asked participants to detect a target object in a stream of objects

  11. No functional role of attention-based rehearsal in maintenance of spatial working memory representations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Belopolsky, A.V.; Theeuwes, J.

    2009-01-01

    The present study systematically examined the role of attention in maintenance of spatial representations in working memory as proposed by the attention-based rehearsal hypothesis [Awh, E., Jonides, J., & Reuter-Lorenz, P. A. (1998). Rehearsal in spatial working memory. Journal of Experimental

  12. Concurrent Working Memory Load Can Facilitate Selective Attention: Evidence for Specialized Load

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Soojin; Kim, Min-Shik; Chun, Marvin M.

    2007-01-01

    Load theory predicts that concurrent working memory load impairs selective attention and increases distractor interference (N. Lavie, A. Hirst, J. W. de Fockert, & E. Viding, see record 2004-17825-003). Here, the authors present new evidence that the type of concurrent working memory load determines whether load impairs selective attention or not.…

  13. The interplay of attention and consciousness in visual search, attentional blink and working memory consolidation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raffone, Antonino; Srinivasan, Narayanan; van Leeuwen, Cees

    2014-05-05

    Despite the acknowledged relationship between consciousness and attention, theories of the two have mostly been developed separately. Moreover, these theories have independently attempted to explain phenomena in which both are likely to interact, such as the attentional blink (AB) and working memory (WM) consolidation. Here, we make an effort to bridge the gap between, on the one hand, a theory of consciousness based on the notion of global workspace (GW) and, on the other, a synthesis of theories of visual attention. We offer a theory of attention and consciousness (TAC) that provides a unified neurocognitive account of several phenomena associated with visual search, AB and WM consolidation. TAC assumes multiple processing stages between early visual representation and conscious access, and extends the dynamics of the global neuronal workspace model to a visual attentional workspace (VAW). The VAW is controlled by executive routers, higher-order representations of executive operations in the GW, without the need for explicit saliency or priority maps. TAC leads to newly proposed mechanisms for illusory conjunctions, AB, inattentional blindness and WM capacity, and suggests neural correlates of phenomenal consciousness. Finally, the theory reconciles the all-or-none and graded perspectives on conscious representation.

  14. The interplay of attention and consciousness in visual search, attentional blink and working memory consolidation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raffone, Antonino; Srinivasan, Narayanan; van Leeuwen, Cees

    2014-01-01

    Despite the acknowledged relationship between consciousness and attention, theories of the two have mostly been developed separately. Moreover, these theories have independently attempted to explain phenomena in which both are likely to interact, such as the attentional blink (AB) and working memory (WM) consolidation. Here, we make an effort to bridge the gap between, on the one hand, a theory of consciousness based on the notion of global workspace (GW) and, on the other, a synthesis of theories of visual attention. We offer a theory of attention and consciousness (TAC) that provides a unified neurocognitive account of several phenomena associated with visual search, AB and WM consolidation. TAC assumes multiple processing stages between early visual representation and conscious access, and extends the dynamics of the global neuronal workspace model to a visual attentional workspace (VAW). The VAW is controlled by executive routers, higher-order representations of executive operations in the GW, without the need for explicit saliency or priority maps. TAC leads to newly proposed mechanisms for illusory conjunctions, AB, inattentional blindness and WM capacity, and suggests neural correlates of phenomenal consciousness. Finally, the theory reconciles the all-or-none and graded perspectives on conscious representation. PMID:24639586

  15. Working memory distortions of duration perception are modulated by attentional tags.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Yi; Hou, Xiu

    2016-03-01

    Recent research has shown that the contents of working memory can alter our perceptual experiences of visual matching stimuli. However, it is possible that different kinds of working memory representations may distort visual perception in different ways. In the present study, we associated working memory representations with different attentional tags and then examined their effects on perceived duration. The results showed that working memory representations prolonged apparent duration when they were tagged as a target and shortened perceived duration when they were tagged as a distractor. This is the first demonstration that attentional tags can modulate working memory effects on perceptual experience. We conclude that the influences of working memory on visual perception are determined not only by what information to be held in memory, but also by how the information is represented in memory. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Spatial working memory interferes with explicit, but not probabilistic cuing of spatial attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Won, Bo-Yeong; Jiang, Yuhong V.

    2014-01-01

    Recent empirical and theoretical work has depicted a close relationship between visual attention and visual working memory. For example, rehearsal in spatial working memory depends on spatial attention, whereas adding a secondary spatial working memory task impairs attentional deployment in visual search. These findings have led to the proposal that working memory is attention directed toward internal representations. Here we show that the close relationship between these two constructs is limited to some but not all forms of spatial attention. In five experiments, participants held color arrays, dot locations, or a sequence of dots in working memory. During the memory retention interval they performed a T-among-L visual search task. Crucially, the probable target location was cued either implicitly through location probability learning, or explicitly with a central arrow or verbal instruction. Our results showed that whereas imposing a visual working memory load diminished the effectiveness of explicit cuing, it did not interfere with probability cuing. We conclude that spatial working memory shares similar mechanisms with explicit, goal-driven attention but is dissociated from implicitly learned attention. PMID:25401460

  17. Examining the Relative Contribution of Memory Updating, Attention Focus Switching, and Sustained Attention to Children’s Verbal Working Memory Span

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beula M. Magimairaj

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Whereas considerable developmental memory research has examined the contributions of short-term memory, processing efficiency, retention duration, and scope of attention to complex memory span, little is known about the influence of controlled attention. The present study investigated the relative influence of three understudied attention mechanisms on the verbal working memory span of school-age children: memory updating; attention focus switching; and sustained attention. Results of general linear modeling revealed that, after controlling for age, only updating accuracy emerged as a significant predictor of verbal working memory span. Memory updating speed (that subsumed attention focus switching speed also contributed but was mediated by age. The results extend the developmental memory literature by implicating the mechanism of memory updating and developmental improvement in speed of attention focus switching and updating as critical contributors to children’s verbal working memory. Theoretically, the results provide substantively new information about the role of domain-general executive attention in children’s verbal working memory.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Evaluation of the attentional capacities and working memory of early and late blind persons

    OpenAIRE

    PIGEON, Caroline; MARIN-LAMELLET, Claude

    2015-01-01

    Although attentional processes and working memory seem to be significantly involved in the daily activities (particularly during navigating) of persons who are blind and who use these abilities to compensate for their lack of vision, few studies have investigated these mechanisms in this population. The aim of this study is to evaluate the selective, sustained and divided attention, attentional inhibition and switching and working memory of blind persons. Early blind, late blind and sighted p...

  20. The Benefits of Working Memory Capacity on Attentional Control under Pressure

    OpenAIRE

    Xiaoxiao Luo; Liwei Zhang; Jin Wang

    2017-01-01

    The present study aimed to examine the effects of working memory capacity (WMC) and state anxiety (SA) on attentional control. WMC was manipulated by (a) dividing participants into low- and high-WMC groups (Experiment 1), and (b) using working memory training to improve WMC (Experiment 2). SA was manipulated by creating low- and high-SA conditions. Attentional control was evaluated by using antisaccade task. Results demonstrated that (a) higher WMC indicated better attentional control (Experi...

  1. Early, Involuntary Top-Down Guidance of Attention From Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto, David; Heinke, Dietmar; Humphreys, Glyn W.; Blanco, Manuel J.

    2005-01-01

    Four experiments explored the interrelations between working memory, attention, and eye movements. Observers had to identify a tilted line amongst vertical distractors. Each line was surrounded by a colored shape that could be precued by a matching item held in memory. Relative to a neutral baseline, in which no shapes matched the memory item,…

  2. Automatic and strategic effects in the guidance of attention by working memory representations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlisle, Nancy B; Woodman, Geoffrey F

    2011-06-01

    Theories of visual attention suggest that working memory representations automatically guide attention toward memory-matching objects. Some empirical tests of this prediction have produced results consistent with working memory automatically guiding attention. However, others have shown that individuals can strategically control whether working memory representations guide visual attention. Previous studies have not independently measured automatic and strategic contributions to the interactions between working memory and attention. In this study, we used a classic manipulation of the probability of valid, neutral, and invalid cues to tease apart the nature of such interactions. This framework utilizes measures of reaction time (RT) to quantify the costs and benefits of attending to memory-matching items and infer the relative magnitudes of automatic and strategic effects. We found both costs and benefits even when the memory-matching item was no more likely to be the target than other items, indicating an automatic component of attentional guidance. However, the costs and benefits essentially doubled as the probability of a trial with a valid cue increased from 20% to 80%, demonstrating a potent strategic effect. We also show that the instructions given to participants led to a significant change in guidance distinct from the actual probability of events during the experiment. Together, these findings demonstrate that the influence of working memory representations on attention is driven by both automatic and strategic interactions. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Verbal makes it positive, spatial makes it negative: working memory biases judgments, attention, and moods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storbeck, Justin; Watson, Philip

    2014-12-01

    Prior research has suggested that emotion and working memory domains are integrated, such that positive affect enhances verbal working memory, whereas negative affect enhances spatial working memory (Gray, 2004; Storbeck, 2012). Simon (1967) postulated that one feature of emotion and cognition integration would be reciprocal connectedness (i.e., emotion influences cognition and cognition influences emotion). We explored whether affective judgments and attention to affective qualities are biased by the activation of verbal and spatial working memory mind-sets. For all experiments, participants completed a 2-back verbal or spatial working memory task followed by an endorsement task (Experiments 1 & 2), word-pair selection task (Exp. 3), or attentional dot-probe task (Exp. 4). Participants who had an activated verbal, compared with spatial, working memory mind-set were more likely to endorse pictures (Exp. 1) and words (Exp. 2) as being more positive and to select the more positive word pair out of a set of word pairs that went 'together best' (Exp. 3). Additionally, people who completed the verbal working memory task took longer to disengage from positive stimuli, whereas those who completed the spatial working memory task took longer to disengage from negative stimuli (Exp. 4). Interestingly, across the 4 experiments, we observed higher levels of self-reported negative affect for people who completed the spatial working memory task, which was consistent with their endorsement and attentional bias toward negative stimuli. Therefore, emotion and working memory may have a reciprocal connectedness allowing for bidirectional influence.

  4. Behavioral decoding of working memory items inside and outside the focus of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallett, Remington; Lewis-Peacock, Jarrod A

    2018-03-31

    How we attend to our thoughts affects how we attend to our environment. Holding information in working memory can automatically bias visual attention toward matching information. By observing attentional biases on reaction times to visual search during a memory delay, it is possible to reconstruct the source of that bias using machine learning techniques and thereby behaviorally decode the content of working memory. Can this be done when more than one item is held in working memory? There is some evidence that multiple items can simultaneously bias attention, but the effects have been inconsistent. One explanation may be that items are stored in different states depending on the current task demands. Recent models propose functionally distinct states of representation for items inside versus outside the focus of attention. Here, we use behavioral decoding to evaluate whether multiple memory items-including temporarily irrelevant items outside the focus of attention-exert biases on visual attention. Only the single item in the focus of attention was decodable. The other item showed a brief attentional bias that dissipated until it returned to the focus of attention. These results support the idea of dynamic, flexible states of working memory across time and priority. © 2018 New York Academy of Sciences.

  5. Selective attention supports working memory maintenance by modulating perceptual processing of distractors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sreenivasan, Kartik K; Jha, Amishi P

    2007-01-01

    Selective attention has been shown to bias sensory processing in favor of relevant stimuli and against irrelevant or distracting stimuli in perceptual tasks. Increasing evidence suggests that selective attention plays an important role during working memory maintenance, possibly by biasing sensory processing in favor of to-be-remembered items. In the current study, we investigated whether selective attention may also support working memory by biasing processing against irrelevant and potentially distracting information. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded while subjects (n = 22) performed a delayed-recognition task for faces and shoes. The delay period was filled with face or shoe distractors. Behavioral performance was impaired when distractors were congruent with the working memory domain (e.g., face distractor during working memory for faces) relative to when distractors were incongruent with the working memory domain (e.g., face distractor during shoe working memory). If attentional biasing against distractor processing is indeed functionally relevant in supporting working memory maintenance, perceptual processing of distractors is predicted to be attenuated when distractors are more behaviorally intrusive relative to when they are nonintrusive. As such, we predicted that perceptual processing of distracting faces, as measured by the face-sensitive N170 ERP component, would be reduced in the context of congruent (face) working memory relative to incongruent (shoe) working memory. The N170 elicited by distracting faces demonstrated reduced amplitude during congruent versus incongruent working memory. These results suggest that perceptual processing of distracting faces may be attenuated due to attentional biasing against sensory processing of distractors that are most behaviorally intrusive during working memory maintenance.

  6. When memory is not enough: Electrophysiological evidence for goal-dependent use of working memory representations in guiding visual attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlisle, Nancy B.; Woodman, Geoffrey F.

    2014-01-01

    Biased competition theory proposes that representations in working memory drive visual attention to select similar inputs. However, behavioral tests of this hypothesis have led to mixed results. These inconsistent findings could be due to the inability of behavioral measures to reliably detect the early, automatic effects on attentional deployment that the memory representations exert. Alternatively, executive mechanisms may govern how working memory representations influence attention based on higher-level goals. In the present study, we tested these hypotheses using the N2pc component of participants’ event-related potentials (ERPs) to directly measure the early deployments of covert attention. Participants searched for a target in an array that sometimes contained a memory-matching distractor. In Experiments 1–3, we manipulated the difficulty of the target discrimination and the proximity of distractors, but consistently observed that covert attention was deployed to the search targets and not the memory-matching distractors. In Experiment 4, we showed that when participants’ goal involved attending to memory-matching items that these items elicited a large and early N2pc. Our findings demonstrate that working memory representations alone are not sufficient to guide early deployments of visual attention to matching inputs and that goal-dependent executive control mediates the interactions between working memory representations and visual attention. PMID:21254796

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

    Attention allocation, updating working memory, and language processing are interdependent cognitive tasks related to the focused direction of limited resources, refreshing and substituting information in the current focus of attention, and receiving/sending verbal communication, respectively. The current study systematically examined the relationship among executive attention, working memory executive skills, and language abilities while adjusting for individual differences in short-term memory. School-age children completed a selective attention task requiring them to recall whether a presented shape was in the same place as a previous target shape shown in an array imposing a low or high working memory load. Results revealed a selective attention cost when working above but not within memory span capacity. Measures of general working memory were positively related to overall task performance, whereas language abilities were related to response time. In particular, higher language skills were associated with faster responses under low load conditions. These findings suggest that attentional control and storage demands have an additive impact on working memory resources but provide only limited evidence for a domain-general mechanism in language learning. Crown Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Object-based Encoding in Visual Working Memory: Evidence from Memory-driven Attentional Capture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Zaifeng; Yu, Shixian; Zhu, Chengfeng; Shui, Rende; Weng, Xuchu; Li, Peng; Shen, Mowei

    2016-03-09

    Visual working memory (VWM) adopts a specific manner of object-based encoding (OBE) to extract perceptual information: Whenever one feature-dimension is selected for entry into VWM, the others are also extracted. Currently most studies revealing OBE probed an 'irrelevant-change distracting effect', where changes of irrelevant-features dramatically affected the performance of the target feature. However, the existence of irrelevant-feature change may affect participants' processing manner, leading to a false-positive result. The current study conducted a strict examination of OBE in VWM, by probing whether irrelevant-features guided the deployment of attention in visual search. The participants memorized an object's colour yet ignored shape and concurrently performed a visual-search task. They searched for a target line among distractor lines, each embedded within a different object. One object in the search display could match the shape, colour, or both dimensions of the memory item, but this object never contained the target line. Relative to a neutral baseline, where there was no match between the memory and search displays, search time was significantly prolonged in all match conditions, regardless of whether the memory item was displayed for 100 or 1000 ms. These results suggest that task-irrelevant shape was extracted into VWM, supporting OBE in VWM.

  9. Different states in visual working memory: when it guides attention and when it does not

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olivers, Christian N. L.; Peters, Judith; Houtkamp, Roos; Roelfsema, Pieter R.

    2011-01-01

    Recent studies have revealed a strong relationship between visual working memory and selective attention, such that attention is biased by what is currently on our mind. However, other data show that not all memorized items influence the deployment of attention, thus calling for a distinction within

  10. Attention and Working Memory Capacity: Insights from Blocking, Highlighting, and Knowledge Restructuring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sewell, David K.; Lewandowsky, Stephan

    2012-01-01

    The concept of attention is central to theorizing in learning as well as in working memory. However, research to date has yet to establish how attention as construed in one domain maps onto the other. We investigate two manifestations of attention in category- and cue-learning to examine whether they might provide common ground between learning…

  11. Seven-year-olds allocate attention like adults unless working memory is overloaded

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cowan, Nelson; Morey, Candice C.; AuBuchon, Angela M.; Zwilling, Christopher E.; Gilchrist, Amanda L.

    Previous studies have indicated that visual working memory performance increases with age in childhood, but it is not clear why. One main hypothesis has been that younger children are less efficient in their attention; specifically, they are less able to exclude irrelevant items from working memory

  12. Object Selection Costs in Visual Working Memory: A Diffusion Model Analysis of the Focus of Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sewell, David K.; Lilburn, Simon D.; Smith, Philip L.

    2016-01-01

    A central question in working memory research concerns the degree to which information in working memory is accessible to other cognitive processes (e.g., decision-making). Theories assuming that the focus of attention can only store a single object at a time require the focus to orient to a target representation before further processing can…

  13. The Active Pupil: Pupil size in attention, working memory, and active vision

    OpenAIRE

    Mathôt, Sebastiaan

    2015-01-01

    Slides for the following talk: Mathôt, S. (2015, June). The Active Pupil: Pupil Size in Attention, Working Memory, and Active Vision. Talk presented at the Laboratoire de Psychologie de la Perception, Paris, France.

  14. Beyond perceptual load and dilution: a review of the role of working memory in selective attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Fockert, Jan W.

    2013-01-01

    The perceptual load and dilution models differ fundamentally in terms of the proposed mechanism underlying variation in distractibility during different perceptual conditions. However, both models predict that distracting information can be processed beyond perceptual processing under certain conditions, a prediction that is well-supported by the literature. Load theory proposes that in such cases, where perceptual task aspects do not allow for sufficient attentional selectivity, the maintenance of task-relevant processing depends on cognitive control mechanisms, including working memory. The key prediction is that working memory plays a role in keeping clear processing priorities in the face of potential distraction, and the evidence reviewed and evaluated in a meta-analysis here supports this claim, by showing that the processing of distracting information tends to be enhanced when load on a concurrent task of working memory is high. Low working memory capacity is similarly associated with greater distractor processing in selective attention, again suggesting that the unavailability of working memory during selective attention leads to an increase in distractibility. Together, these findings suggest that selective attention against distractors that are processed beyond perception depends on the availability of working memory. Possible mechanisms for the effects of working memory on selective attention are discussed. PMID:23734139

  15. Beyond perceptual load and dilution: a review of the role of working memory in selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Fockert, Jan W

    2013-01-01

    The perceptual load and dilution models differ fundamentally in terms of the proposed mechanism underlying variation in distractibility during different perceptual conditions. However, both models predict that distracting information can be processed beyond perceptual processing under certain conditions, a prediction that is well-supported by the literature. Load theory proposes that in such cases, where perceptual task aspects do not allow for sufficient attentional selectivity, the maintenance of task-relevant processing depends on cognitive control mechanisms, including working memory. The key prediction is that working memory plays a role in keeping clear processing priorities in the face of potential distraction, and the evidence reviewed and evaluated in a meta-analysis here supports this claim, by showing that the processing of distracting information tends to be enhanced when load on a concurrent task of working memory is high. Low working memory capacity is similarly associated with greater distractor processing in selective attention, again suggesting that the unavailability of working memory during selective attention leads to an increase in distractibility. Together, these findings suggest that selective attention against distractors that are processed beyond perception depends on the availability of working memory. Possible mechanisms for the effects of working memory on selective attention are discussed.

  16. Beyond perceptual load and dilution: a review of the role of working memory in selective attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan W. De Fockert

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The perceptual load and dilution models differ fundamentally in terms of the proposed mechanism underlying variation in distractibility during different perceptual conditions. However, both models predict that distracting information can be processed beyond perceptual processing under certain conditions, a prediction that is well-supported by the literature. Load theory proposes that in such cases, where perceptual task aspects do not allow for sufficient attentional selectivity, the maintenance of task-relevant processing depends on cognitive control mechanisms, including working memory. The key prediction is that working memory plays a role in keeping clear processing priorities in the face of potential distraction, and the evidence reviewed and evaluated in a meta-analysis here supports this claim, by showing that the processing of distracting information tends to be enhanced when load on a concurrent task of working memory is high. Low working memory capacity is similarly associated with greater distractor processing in selective attention, again suggesting that the unavailability of working memory during selective attention leads to an increase in distractibility. Together, these findings suggest that selective attention against distractors that are processed beyond perception depends on the availability of working memory. Possible mechanisms for the effects of working memory on selective attention are discussed.

  17. Does Contralateral Delay Activity Reflect Working Memory Storage or the Current Focus of Spatial Attention within Visual Working Memory?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berggren, Nick; Eimer, Martin

    2016-12-01

    During the retention of visual information in working memory, event-related brain potentials show a sustained negativity over posterior visual regions contralateral to the side where memorized stimuli were presented. This contralateral delay activity (CDA) is generally believed to be a neural marker of working memory storage. In two experiments, we contrasted this storage account of the CDA with the alternative hypothesis that the CDA reflects the current focus of spatial attention on a subset of memorized items set up during the most recent encoding episode. We employed a sequential loading procedure where participants memorized four task-relevant items that were presented in two successive memory displays (M1 and M2). In both experiments, CDA components were initially elicited contralateral to task-relevant items in M1. Critically, the CDA switched polarity when M2 displays appeared on the opposite side. In line with the attentional activation account, these reversed CDA components exclusively reflected the number of items that were encoded from M2 displays, irrespective of how many M1 items were already held in working memory. On trials where M1 and M2 displays were presented on the same side and on trials where M2 displays appeared nonlaterally, CDA components elicited in the interval after M2 remained sensitive to a residual trace of M1 items, indicating that some activation of previously stored items was maintained across encoding episodes. These results challenge the hypothesis that CDA amplitudes directly reflect the total number of stored objects and suggest that the CDA is primarily sensitive to the activation of a subset of working memory representations within the current focus of spatial attention.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron T. Mattfeld

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. Dissociable Decoding of Spatial Attention and Working Memory from EEG Oscillations and Sustained Potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bae, Gi-Yeul; Luck, Steven J

    2018-01-10

    In human scalp EEG recordings, both sustained potentials and alpha-band oscillations are present during the delay period of working memory tasks and may therefore reflect the representation of information in working memory. However, these signals may instead reflect support mechanisms rather than the actual contents of memory. In particular, alpha-band oscillations have been tightly tied to spatial attention and may not reflect location-independent memory representations per se. To determine how sustained and oscillating EEG signals are related to attention and working memory, we attempted to decode which of 16 orientations was being held in working memory by human observers (both women and men). We found that sustained EEG activity could be used to decode the remembered orientation of a stimulus, even when the orientation of the stimulus varied independently of its location. Alpha-band oscillations also carried clear information about the location of the stimulus, but they provided little or no information about orientation independently of location. Thus, sustained potentials contain information about the object properties being maintained in working memory, consistent with previous evidence of a tight link between these potentials and working memory capacity. In contrast, alpha-band oscillations primarily carry location information, consistent with their link to spatial attention. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Working memory plays a key role in cognition, and working memory is impaired in several neurological and psychiatric disorders. Previous research has suggested that human scalp EEG recordings contain signals that reflect the neural representation of information in working memory. However, to conclude that a neural signal actually represents the object being remembered, it is necessary to show that the signal contains fine-grained information about that object. Here, we show that sustained voltages in human EEG recordings contain fine-grained information about the

  2. Attention is required for maintenance of feature binding in visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zokaei, Nahid; Heider, Maike; Husain, Masud

    2014-01-01

    Working memory and attention are intimately connected. However, understanding the relationship between the two is challenging. Currently, there is an important controversy about whether objects in working memory are maintained automatically or require resources that are also deployed for visual or auditory attention. Here we investigated the effects of loading attention resources on precision of visual working memory, specifically on correct maintenance of feature-bound objects, using a dual-task paradigm. Participants were presented with a memory array and were asked to remember either direction of motion of random dot kinematograms of different colour, or orientation of coloured bars. During the maintenance period, they performed a secondary visual or auditory task, with varying levels of load. Following a retention period, they adjusted a coloured probe to match either the motion direction or orientation of stimuli with the same colour in the memory array. This allowed us to examine the effects of an attention-demanding task performed during maintenance on precision of recall on the concurrent working memory task. Systematic increase in attention load during maintenance resulted in a significant decrease in overall working memory performance. Changes in overall performance were specifically accompanied by an increase in feature misbinding errors: erroneous reporting of nontarget motion or orientation. Thus in trials where attention resources were taxed, participants were more likely to respond with nontarget values rather than simply making random responses. Our findings suggest that resources used during attention-demanding visual or auditory tasks also contribute to maintaining feature-bound representations in visual working memory-but not necessarily other aspects of working memory.

  3. Attention, working memory, and phenomenal experience of WM content: memory levels determined by different types of top-down modulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacob, Jane; Jacobs, Christianne; Silvanto, Juha

    2015-01-01

    What is the role of top-down attentional modulation in consciously accessing working memory (WM) content? In influential WM models, information can exist in different states, determined by allocation of attention; placing the original memory representation in the center of focused attention gives rise to conscious access. Here we discuss various lines of evidence indicating that such attentional modulation is not sufficient for memory content to be phenomenally experienced. We propose that, in addition to attentional modulation of the memory representation, another type of top-down modulation is required: suppression of all incoming visual information, via inhibition of early visual cortex. In this view, there are three distinct memory levels, as a function of the top-down control associated with them: (1) Nonattended, nonconscious associated with no attentional modulation; (2) attended, phenomenally nonconscious memory, associated with attentional enhancement of the actual memory trace; (3) attended, phenomenally conscious memory content, associated with enhancement of the memory trace and top-down suppression of all incoming visual input.

  4. Mobility of persons who are blind: How the attentional processes and working memory are involved?

    OpenAIRE

    PIGEON, Caroline; MARIN-LAMELLET, Claude

    2015-01-01

    Although navigation without vision seems to strongly mobilize the attentional processes and the working memory, few studies seem to be conducted about the link between these processes and the mobility of people who are blind. The main aim of this PhD work is to consider the attentional and working memory capacities of people who are blind and investigate the attentional processes involved during the navigation activity. In the first part of this PhD work, blind participants (early and late) p...

  5. Working memory and attention deficits in adolescent offspring of schizophrenia or bipolar patients: comparing vulnerability markers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diwadkar, Vaibhav A; Goradia, Dhruman; Hosanagar, Avinash; Mermon, Diana; Montrose, Debra M; Birmaher, Boris; Axelson, David; Rajarathinem, R; Haddad, Luay; Amirsadri, Ali; Zajac-Benitez, Caroline; Rajan, Usha; Keshavan, Matcheri S

    2011-07-01

    Working memory deficits abound in schizophrenia and attention deficits have been documented in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Adolescent offspring of patients may inherit vulnerabilities in brain circuits that subserve these cognitive domains. Here we assess impairments in offspring of schizophrenia (SCZ-Offspring) or bipolar (BP-Offspring) patients compared to controls (HC) with no family history of mood or psychotic disorders to the second degree. Three groups (n=100 subjects; range: 10-20 yrs) of HC, SCZ-Offspring and BP-Offspring gave informed consent. Working memory was assessed using a delayed spatial memory paradigm with two levels of delay (2s & 12s); sustained attention processing was assessed using the Continuous Performance Task-Identical Pairs version. SCZ-Offspring (but not BP-Offspring) showed impairments in working memory (relative to HC) at the longer memory delay indicating a unique deficit. Both groups showed reduced sensitivity during attention but only BP-Offspring significantly differed from controls. These results suggest unique (working memory/dorsal frontal cortex) and potentially overlapping (attention/fronto-striatal cortex) vulnerability pathways in adolescent offspring of patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Working memory and attention assessments in these offspring may assist in the clinical characterization of the adolescents vulnerable to SCZ or BP. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. The Benefits of Working Memory Capacity on Attentional Control under Pressure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Xiaoxiao; Zhang, Liwei; Wang, Jin

    2017-01-01

    The present study aimed to examine the effects of working memory capacity (WMC) and state anxiety (SA) on attentional control. WMC was manipulated by (a) dividing participants into low- and high-WMC groups (Experiment 1), and (b) using working memory training to improve WMC (Experiment 2). SA was manipulated by creating low- and high-SA conditions. Attentional control was evaluated by using antisaccade task. Results demonstrated that (a) higher WMC indicated better attentional control (Experiments 1 and 2); (b) the effects of SA on attentional control were inconsistent because SA impaired attentional control in Experiment 1, but favored attentional control in Experiment 2; and (c) the interaction of SA and WMC was not significant (Experiments 1 and 2). This study directly manipulated WMC by working memory training, which provided more reliable evidence for controlled attention view of WMC and new supportive evidence for working memory training (i.e., far transfer effect on attentional control). And the refinement of the relationship between anxiety and attentional control proposed by Attentional Control Theory was also discussed.

  7. The Benefits of Working Memory Capacity on Attentional Control under Pressure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoxiao Luo

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The present study aimed to examine the effects of working memory capacity (WMC and state anxiety (SA on attentional control. WMC was manipulated by (a dividing participants into low- and high-WMC groups (Experiment 1, and (b using working memory training to improve WMC (Experiment 2. SA was manipulated by creating low- and high-SA conditions. Attentional control was evaluated by using antisaccade task. Results demonstrated that (a higher WMC indicated better attentional control (Experiments 1 and 2; (b the effects of SA on attentional control were inconsistent because SA impaired attentional control in Experiment 1, but favored attentional control in Experiment 2; and (c the interaction of SA and WMC was not significant (Experiments 1 and 2. This study directly manipulated WMC by working memory training, which provided more reliable evidence for controlled attention view of WMC and new supportive evidence for working memory training (i.e., far transfer effect on attentional control. And the refinement of the relationship between anxiety and attentional control proposed by Attentional Control Theory was also discussed.

  8. Iconic memory requires attention

    OpenAIRE

    Persuh, Marjan; Genzer, Boris; Melara, Robert D.

    2012-01-01

    Two experiments investigated whether attention plays a role in iconic memory, employing either a change detection paradigm (Experiment 1) or a partial-report paradigm (Experiment 2). In each experiment, attention was taxed during initial display presentation, focusing the manipulation on consolidation of information into iconic memory, prior to transfer into working memory. Observers were able to maintain high levels of performance (accuracy of change detection or categorization) even when co...

  9. Working Memory Capacity and Focused and Sustained Attention

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Engle, Randall

    2003-01-01

    .... We see WM as a system consisting of those long-term memory traces active above threshold, the procedures and skills necessary to achieve and maintain that activation and, what we call executive...

  10. A working memory account of the interaction between numbers and spatial attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dijck, Jean-Philippe; Abrahamse, Elger L; Acar, Freya; Ketels, Boris; Fias, Wim

    2014-01-01

    Rather than reflecting the long-term memory construct of a mental number line, it has been proposed that the relation between numbers and space is of a more temporary nature and constructed in working memory during task execution. In three experiments we further explored the viability of this working memory account. Participants performed a speeded dot detection task with dots appearing left or right, while maintaining digits or letters in working memory. Just before presentation of the dot, these digits or letters were used as central cues. These experiments show that the "attentional SNARC-effect" (where SNARC is the spatial-numerical association of response codes) is not observed when only the lastly perceived number cue--and no serially ordered sequence of cues--is maintained in working memory (Experiment 1). It is only when multiple items (numbers in Experiment 2; letters in Experiment 3) are stored in working memory in a serially organized way that the attentional cueing effect is observed as a function of serial working memory position. These observations suggest that the "attentional SNARC-effect" is strongly working memory based. Implications for theories on the mental representation of numbers are discussed.

  11. Attention is required for maintenance of feature binding in visual working memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heider, Maike; Husain, Masud

    2013-01-01

    Working memory and attention are intimately connected. However, understanding the relationship between the two is challenging. Currently, there is an important controversy about whether objects in working memory are maintained automatically or require resources that are also deployed for visual or auditory attention. Here we investigated the effects of loading attention resources on precision of visual working memory, specifically on correct maintenance of feature-bound objects, using a dual-task paradigm. Participants were presented with a memory array and were asked to remember either direction of motion of random dot kinematograms of different colour, or orientation of coloured bars. During the maintenance period, they performed a secondary visual or auditory task, with varying levels of load. Following a retention period, they adjusted a coloured probe to match either the motion direction or orientation of stimuli with the same colour in the memory array. This allowed us to examine the effects of an attention-demanding task performed during maintenance on precision of recall on the concurrent working memory task. Systematic increase in attention load during maintenance resulted in a significant decrease in overall working memory performance. Changes in overall performance were specifically accompanied by an increase in feature misbinding errors: erroneous reporting of nontarget motion or orientation. Thus in trials where attention resources were taxed, participants were more likely to respond with nontarget values rather than simply making random responses. Our findings suggest that resources used during attention-demanding visual or auditory tasks also contribute to maintaining feature-bound representations in visual working memory—but not necessarily other aspects of working memory. PMID:24266343

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vandenbroucke, A.R.E.; Sligte, I.G.; Lamme, V.A.F.

    2011-01-01

    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

  13. Working memory, attentional regulation and the Star Counting Test.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Das-Smaal, E.A.; Jong, de P.F.; Koopmans, J.R.

    1993-01-01

    The Star Counting Test (SCT) has been developed to measure the regulatory function of attention. In a previous study it was shown that the SCT is suited for assessment of this attentional aspect with children. The present study concerns a more difficult version aimed at young adults. In the

  14. Effects of working memory load on visual selective attention: Behavioral and electrophysiological evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nikki ePratt

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available 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 (ERP 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 4 or 7 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.

  15. The Effect of Programmed Physical Exercise to Attention and Working Memory Score in Medical Students

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    Kevin Fachri Muhammad

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: Attention and working memory are two cognitive domain crucial for activities of daily living. Physical exercise increases the level of BDNF, IGF-1, and VEGF which contributes in attention and working memory processes.This study was conducted to analyze improvement of attention and working memory after programmed physical exercise of Pendidikan Dasar XXI Atlas Medical Pioneer (Pendas XXI AMP. Methods: An analytic observational study was conducted on 47 students from Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Padjadjaran during September-November 2012. Attention was assessed using digit span backward test, stroop test, visual search task, and trail making test. Working memory was assessed using digit span forward test and digit symbol test. Assessment was done on the 11th and 19th week of Pendas XXI AMP. Data distribution was tested first using a test of normality, and then analyzed using T-Dependent Test and Wilcoxon Test Results: Significant improvement was noted for attention in males based on working time for stroop test (26.50±5.66 to 22.03±3.78 seconds, working memory in males based on digit symbol test score (43.96±6.14 to 53.36±5.26 points, attention in females based on reaction time of visual search task for target absent (0.92±0.07 to 0.87±0.07 seconds, and working memory in females based on digit span forward score (5.42±1.30 to 6.63±1.07 points and digit symbol test score (42.47±5.95 to 53.84±5.33 points. Conclusions: Exercise in Pendas XXI AMP improves attention and working memory for college students in Faculty of Medicine Universitas Padjadjaran.

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

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    Mishra, Jyoti; Bavelier, Daphne; Gazzaley, Adam

    2012-06-01

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

  17. The influence of aging on attentional refreshing and articulatory rehearsal during working memory on later episodic memory performance.

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    Loaiza, Vanessa M; McCabe, David P

    2013-01-01

    We investigated age-related changes in two proposed mechanisms of maintenance in working memory, articulatory rehearsal, and attentional refreshing, by examining the consequences of manipulating the opportunity for each on delayed recall. Both experiments utilized modified operation span tasks to vary the opportunity for articulatory rehearsal (Experiment 1) and attentional refreshing opportunities (Experiment 2). In both experiments, episodic memory was tested for items that had been initially studied during the respective operation span task. Older adults' episodic memory benefited less from opportunities for refreshing than younger adults. In contrast, articulatory rehearsal opportunities did not influence episodic memory for either age group. The results suggest that attentional refreshing, and not articulatory rehearsal, is important during working memory in order to bind more accessible traces at later tests, which appears to be more deficient in older adults than younger adults.

  18. Reconciling conflicting electrophysiological findings on the guidance of attention by working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlisle, Nancy B; Woodman, Geoffrey F

    2013-10-01

    Maintaining a representation in working memory has been proposed to be sufficient for the execution of top-down attentional control. Two recent electrophysiological studies that recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) during similar paradigms have tested this proposal, but have reported contradictory findings. The goal of the present study was to reconcile these previous reports. To this end, we used the stimuli from one study (Kumar, Soto, & Humphreys, 2009) combined with the task manipulations from the other (Carlisle & Woodman, 2011b). We found that when an item matching a working memory representation was presented in a visual search array, we could use ERPs to quantify the size of the covert attention effect. When the working memory matches were consistently task-irrelevant, we observed a weak attentional bias to these items. However, when the same item indicated the location of the search target, we found that the covert attention effect was approximately four times larger. This shows that simply maintaining a representation in working memory is not equivalent to having a top-down attentional set for that item. Our findings indicate that high-level goals mediate the relationship between the contents of working memory and perceptual attention.

  19. Individual Differences in Working Memory Capacity and Attention, and Their Relationship with Students' Approaches to Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyndt, Eva; Cascallar, Eduardo; Dochy, Filip

    2012-01-01

    Past research has shown that working memory capacity, attention and students' approaches to learning are all important predictors for educational achievement. In this study the interrelations between these three variables are investigated. Participants were 128 university students. Results show a negative relationship between attention and deep…

  20. Object selection costs in visual working memory: A diffusion model analysis of the focus of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sewell, David K; Lilburn, Simon D; Smith, Philip L

    2016-11-01

    A central question in working memory research concerns the degree to which information in working memory is accessible to other cognitive processes (e.g., decision-making). Theories assuming that the focus of attention can only store a single object at a time require the focus to orient to a target representation before further processing can occur. The need to orient the focus of attention implies that single-object accounts typically predict response time costs associated with object selection even when working memory is not full (i.e., memory load is less than 4 items). For other theories that assume storage of multiple items in the focus of attention, predictions depend on specific assumptions about the way resources are allocated among items held in the focus, and how this affects the time course of retrieval of items from the focus. These broad theoretical accounts have been difficult to distinguish because conventional analyses fail to separate components of empirical response times related to decision-making from components related to selection and retrieval processes associated with accessing information in working memory. To better distinguish these response time components from one another, we analyze data from a probed visual working memory task using extensions of the diffusion decision model. Analysis of model parameters revealed that increases in memory load resulted in (a) reductions in the quality of the underlying stimulus representations in a manner consistent with a sample size model of visual working memory capacity and (b) systematic increases in the time needed to selectively access a probed representation in memory. The results are consistent with single-object theories of the focus of attention. The results are also consistent with a subset of theories that assume a multiobject focus of attention in which resource allocation diminishes both the quality and accessibility of the underlying representations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016

  1. Impaired contingent attentional capture predicts reduced working memory capacity in schizophrenia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jutta S Mayer

    Full Text Available Although impairments in working memory (WM are well documented in schizophrenia, the specific factors that cause these deficits are poorly understood. In this study, we hypothesized that a heightened susceptibility to attentional capture at an early stage of visual processing would result in working memory encoding problems. 30 patients with schizophrenia and 28 demographically matched healthy participants were presented with a search array and asked to report the orientation of the target stimulus. In some of the trials, a flanker stimulus preceded the search array that either matched the color of the target (relevant-flanker capture or appeared in a different color (irrelevant-flanker capture. Working memory capacity was determined in each individual using the visual change detection paradigm. Patients needed considerably more time to find the target in the no-flanker condition. After adjusting the individual exposure time, both groups showed equivalent capture costs in the irrelevant-flanker condition. However, in the relevant-flanker condition, capture costs were increased in patients compared to controls when the stimulus onset asynchrony between the flanker and the search array was high. Moreover, the increase in relevant capture costs correlated negatively with working memory capacity. This study demonstrates preserved stimulus-driven attentional capture but impaired contingent attentional capture associated with low working memory capacity in schizophrenia. These findings suggest a selective impairment of top-down attentional control in schizophrenia, which may impair working memory encoding.

  2. Impaired contingent attentional capture predicts reduced working memory capacity in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Jutta S; Fukuda, Keisuke; Vogel, Edward K; Park, Sohee

    2012-01-01

    Although impairments in working memory (WM) are well documented in schizophrenia, the specific factors that cause these deficits are poorly understood. In this study, we hypothesized that a heightened susceptibility to attentional capture at an early stage of visual processing would result in working memory encoding problems. 30 patients with schizophrenia and 28 demographically matched healthy participants were presented with a search array and asked to report the orientation of the target stimulus. In some of the trials, a flanker stimulus preceded the search array that either matched the color of the target (relevant-flanker capture) or appeared in a different color (irrelevant-flanker capture). Working memory capacity was determined in each individual using the visual change detection paradigm. Patients needed considerably more time to find the target in the no-flanker condition. After adjusting the individual exposure time, both groups showed equivalent capture costs in the irrelevant-flanker condition. However, in the relevant-flanker condition, capture costs were increased in patients compared to controls when the stimulus onset asynchrony between the flanker and the search array was high. Moreover, the increase in relevant capture costs correlated negatively with working memory capacity. This study demonstrates preserved stimulus-driven attentional capture but impaired contingent attentional capture associated with low working memory capacity in schizophrenia. These findings suggest a selective impairment of top-down attentional control in schizophrenia, which may impair working memory encoding.

  3. The temporal locus of the interaction between working memory consolidation and the attentional blink.

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    Akyürek, Elkan G; Leszczyński, Marcin; Schubö, Anna

    2010-11-01

    An increase in concurrent working memory load has been shown to amplify the attentional blink. The present study investigated the temporal locus of this phenomenon, by using a dual rapid serial visual presentation paradigm that enabled the measurement of lateralized event-related potentials. The P3 component was shown to be affected by both working memory load and the lag between the target stimuli, consistent with current models of temporal attention and a functional explanation of the P3 in terms of memory consolidation. P3 amplitude was reduced for short target lags and high memory loads. The P2 component was affected by lag only, and not memory load. Importantly, the N2pc component was modulated also by both lag and memory load. The results showed that early attentional processing (as marked by the N2pc) was suppressed by increased involvement of working memory, a phenomenon not well predicted by many current theories of temporal attention. Copyright © 2010 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  4. Reaction Times to Consecutive Automation Failures: A Function of Working Memory and Sustained Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jipp, Meike

    2016-12-01

    This study explored whether working memory and sustained attention influence cognitive lock-up, which is a delay in the response to consecutive automation failures. Previous research has demonstrated that the information that automation provides about failures and the time pressure that is associated with a task influence cognitive lock-up. Previous research has also demonstrated considerable variability in cognitive lock-up between participants. This is why individual differences might influence cognitive lock-up. The present study tested whether working memory-including flexibility in executive functioning-and sustained attention might be crucial in this regard. Eighty-five participants were asked to monitor automated aircraft functions. The experimental manipulation consisted of whether or not an initial automation failure was followed by a consecutive failure. Reaction times to the failures were recorded. Participants' working-memory and sustained-attention abilities were assessed with standardized tests. As expected, participants' reactions to consecutive failures were slower than their reactions to initial failures. In addition, working-memory and sustained-attention abilities enhanced the speed with which participants reacted to failures, more so with regard to consecutive than to initial failures. The findings highlight that operators with better working memory and sustained attention have small advantages when initial failures occur, but their advantages increase across consecutive failures. The results stress the need to consider personnel selection strategies to mitigate cognitive lock-up in general and training procedures to enhance the performance of low ability operators. © 2016, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

    The probability of inattentional blindness, the failure to notice an unexpected object when attention is engaged on some primary task, is influenced by contextual factors like task demands, features of the unexpected object, and the observer's attention set. However, predicting who will notice an unexpected object and who will remain inattentionally blind has proven difficult, and the evidence that individual differences in cognition affect noticing remains ambiguous. We hypothesized that greater working memory capacity might modulate the effect of attention sets on noticing because working memory is associated with the ability to focus attention selectively. People with greater working memory capacity might be better able to attend selectively to target items, thereby increasing the chances of noticing unexpected objects that were similar to the attended items while decreasing the odds of noticing unexpected objects that differed from the attended items. Our study (N = 120 participants) replicated evidence that task-induced attention sets modulate noticing but found no link between noticing and working memory capacity. Our results are largely consistent with the idea that individual differences in working memory capacity do not predict noticing of unexpected objects in an inattentional blindness task. © The Author(s) 2015.

  6. Evaluation of the attentional capacities and working memory of early and late blind persons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigeon, Caroline; Marin-Lamellet, Claude

    2015-02-01

    Although attentional processes and working memory seem to be significantly involved in the daily activities (particularly during navigating) of persons who are blind and who use these abilities to compensate for their lack of vision, few studies have investigated these mechanisms in this population. The aim of this study is to evaluate the selective, sustained and divided attention, attentional inhibition and switching and working memory of blind persons. Early blind, late blind and sighted participants completed neuropsychological tests that were designed or adapted to be achievable in the absence of vision. The results revealed that the early blind participants outperformed the sighted ones in selective, sustained and divided attention and working memory tests, and the late blind participants outperformed the sighted participants in selective, sustained and divided attention. However, no differences were found between the blind groups and the sighted group in the attentional inhibition and switching tests. Furthermore, no differences were found between the early and late blind participants in this set of tests. These results suggest that early and late blind persons can compensate for the lack of vision by an enhancement of the attentional and working memory capacities. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Both a Nicotinic Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) and a Noradrenergic SNP Modulate Working Memory Performance when Attention Is Manipulated

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenwood, Pamela M.; Sundararajan, Ramya; Lin, Ming-Kuan; Kumar, Reshma; Fryxell, Karl J.; Parasuraman, Raja

    2009-01-01

    We investigated the relation between the two systems of visuospatial attention and working memory by examining the effect of normal variation in cholinergic and noradrenergic genes on working memory performance under attentional manipulation. We previously reported that working memory for location was impaired following large location precues,…

  8. The Focus of Spatial Attention Determines the Number and Precision of Face Representations in Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Towler, John; Kelly, Maria; Eimer, Martin

    2016-06-01

    The capacity of visual working memory for faces is extremely limited, but the reasons for these limitations remain unknown. We employed event-related brain potential measures to demonstrate that individual faces have to be focally attended in order to be maintained in working memory, and that attention is allocated to only a single face at a time. When 2 faces have to be memorized simultaneously in a face identity-matching task, the focus of spatial attention during encoding predicts which of these faces can be successfully maintained in working memory and matched to a subsequent test face. We also show that memory representations of attended faces are maintained in a position-dependent fashion. These findings demonstrate that the limited capacity of face memory is directly linked to capacity limits of spatial attention during the encoding and maintenance of individual face representations. We suggest that the capacity and distribution of selective spatial attention is a dynamic resource that constrains the capacity and fidelity of working memory for faces. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. Attentional and non-attentional systems in the maintenance of verbal information in working memory: the executive and phonological loops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camos, Valérie; Barrouillet, Pierre

    2014-01-01

    Working memory is the structure devoted to the maintenance of information at short term during concurrent processing activities. In this respect, the question regarding the nature of the mechanisms and systems fulfilling this maintenance function is of particular importance and has received various responses in the recent past. In the time-based resource-sharing (TBRS) model, we suggest that only two systems sustain the maintenance of information at the short term, counteracting the deleterious effect of temporal decay and interference. A non-attentional mechanism of verbal rehearsal, similar to the one described by Baddeley in the phonological loop model, uses language processes to reactivate phonological memory traces. Besides this domain-specific mechanism, an executive loop allows the reconstruction of memory traces through an attention-based mechanism of refreshing. The present paper reviews evidence of the involvement of these two independent systems in the maintenance of verbal memory items.

  10. Attentional and non-attentional systems in the maintenance of verbal information in working memory: the executive and phonological loops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camos, Valérie; Barrouillet, Pierre

    2014-01-01

    Working memory is the structure devoted to the maintenance of information at short term during concurrent processing activities. In this respect, the question regarding the nature of the mechanisms and systems fulfilling this maintenance function is of particular importance and has received various responses in the recent past. In the time-based resource-sharing (TBRS) model, we suggest that only two systems sustain the maintenance of information at the short term, counteracting the deleterious effect of temporal decay and interference. A non-attentional mechanism of verbal rehearsal, similar to the one described by Baddeley in the phonological loop model, uses language processes to reactivate phonological memory traces. Besides this domain-specific mechanism, an executive loop allows the reconstruction of memory traces through an attention-based mechanism of refreshing. The present paper reviews evidence of the involvement of these two independent systems in the maintenance of verbal memory items. PMID:25426049

  11. Attentional and non-attentional systems in the maintenance of verbal information in working memory: the executive and phonological loops.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valerie eCamos

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Working memory is the structure devoted to the maintenance of information at short term during concurrent processing activities. In this respect, the question regarding the nature of the mechanisms and systems fulfilling this maintenance function is of particular importance and has received various responses in the recent past. In the time-based resource-sharing model, we suggest that only two systems sustain the maintenance of information at the short term, counteracting the deleterious effect of temporal decay and interference. A non-attentional mechanism of verbal rehearsal, similar to the one described by Baddeley in the phonological loop model, uses language processes to reactivate phonological memory traces. Besides this domain-specific mechanism, an executive loop allows the reconstruction of memory traces through an attention-based mechanism of refreshing. The present paper reviews evidence of the involvement of these two independent systems in the maintenance of verbal memory items.

  12. Enhancing Spatial Attention and Working Memory in Younger and Older Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolle, Camarin E; Anguera, Joaquin A; Skinner, Sasha N; Voytek, Bradley; Gazzaley, Adam

    2017-09-01

    Daily experiences demand both focused and broad allocation of attention for us to interact efficiently with our complex environments. Many types of attention have shown age-related decline, although there is also evidence that such deficits may be remediated with cognitive training. However, spatial attention abilities have shown inconsistent age-related differences, and the extent of potential enhancement of these abilities remains unknown. Here, we assessed spatial attention in both healthy younger and older adults and trained this ability in both age groups for 5 hr over the course of 2 weeks using a custom-made, computerized mobile training application. We compared training-related gains on a spatial attention assessment and spatial working memory task to age-matched controls who engaged in expectancy-matched, active placebo computerized training. Age-related declines in spatial attention abilities were observed regardless of task difficulty. Spatial attention training led to improved focused and distributed attention abilities as well as improved spatial working memory in both younger and older participants. No such improvements were observed in either of the age-matched control groups. Note that these findings were not a function of improvements in simple response time, as basic motoric function did not change after training. Furthermore, when using change in simple response time as a covariate, all findings remained significant. These results suggest that spatial attention training can lead to enhancements in spatial working memory regardless of age.

  13. Enhancing Spatial Attention and Working Memory in Younger and Older Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolle, Camarin E.; Anguera, Joaquin A.; Skinner, Sasha N.; Voytek, Bradley; Gazzaley, Adam

    2018-01-01

    Daily experiences demand both focused and broad allocation of attention for us to interact efficiently with our complex environments. Many types of attention have shown age-related decline, although there is also evidence that such deficits may be remediated with cognitive training. However, spatial attention abilities have shown inconsistent age-related differences, and the extent of potential enhancement of these abilities remains unknown. Here, we assessed spatial attention in both healthy younger and older adults and trained this ability in both age groups for 5 hr over the course of 2 weeks using a custom-made, computerized mobile training application. We compared training-related gains on a spatial attention assessment and spatial working memory task to age-matched controls who engaged in expectancy-matched, active placebo computerized training. Age-related declines in spatial attention abilities were observed regardless of task difficulty. Spatial attention training led to improved focused and distributed attention abilities as well as improved spatial working memory in both younger and older participants. No such improvements were observed in either of the age-matched control groups. Note that these findings were not a function of improvements in simple response time, as basic motoric function did not change after training. Furthermore, when using change in simple response time as a covariate, all findings remained significant. These results suggest that spatial attention training can lead to enhancements in spatial working memory regardless of age. PMID:28654361

  14. Presentation format effects in working memory: the role of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foos, Paul W; Goolkasian, Paula

    2005-04-01

    Four experiments are reported in which participants attempted to remember three or six concrete nouns, presented as pictures, spoken words, or printed words, while also verifying the accuracy of sentences. Hypotheses meant to explain the higher recall of pictures and spoken words over printed words were tested. Increasing the difficulty and changing the type of processing task from arithmetic to a visual/spatial reasoning task did not influence recall. An examination of long-term modality effects showed that those effects were not sufficient to explain the superior performance with spoken words and pictures. Only when we manipulated the allocation of attention to the items in the storage task by requiring the participants to articulate the items and by presenting the stimulus items under a degraded condition were we able to reduce or remove the effect of presentation format. The findings suggest that the better recall of pictures and spoken words over printed words result from the fact that under normal presentation conditions, printed words receive less processing attention than pictures and spoken words do.

  15. Retro-cue benefits in working memory without sustained focal attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

    In working memory (WM) tasks, performance can be boosted by directing attention to one memory object: When a retro-cue in the retention interval indicates which object will be tested, responding is faster and more accurate (the retro-cue benefit). We tested whether the retro-cue benefit in WM depends on sustained attention to the cued object by inserting an attention-demanding interruption task between the retro-cue and the memory test. In the first experiment, the interruption task required participants to shift their visual attention away from the cued representation and to a visual classification task on colors. In the second and third experiments, the interruption task required participants to shift their focal attention within WM: Attention was directed away from the cued representation by probing another representation from the memory array prior to probing the cued object. The retro-cue benefit was not attenuated by shifts of perceptual attention or by shifts of attention within WM. We concluded that sustained attention is not needed to maintain the cued representation in a state of heightened accessibility.

  16. Exploring the Effects of Working Memory on Time Perception in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hom-Yi; Yang, En-Lin

    2018-01-01

    Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are often reported to have deficits of time perception. However, there is a strong relation between performance on tasks of working memory and time perception. Thus, it is possible that the poor performance of children with ADHD on time perception results from their deficit of working memory. In this study, the working memory of participants was separately assessed; therefore, we could explore the relationship between working memory and time perception of children with ADHD. Fifty-six children with ADHD and those of healthy controls completed tasks measuring working memory and time perception. The results showed that the time discrimination ability of children with ADHD was poorer than that of controls. However, there was a strong association between time perception and working memory. After controlling working memory and intelligence, the time discrimination ability of children with ADHD was not significantly poorer than that of controls. We suggest that there is an interdependent relationship between time perception and working memory for children with ADHD.

  17. The Focus of Attention in Visual Working Memory: Protection of Focused Representations and Its Individual Variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heuer, Anna; Schubö, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Visual working memory can be modulated according to changes in the cued task relevance of maintained items. Here, we investigated the mechanisms underlying this modulation. In particular, we studied the consequences of attentional selection for selected and unselected items, and the role of individual differences in the efficiency with which attention is deployed. To this end, performance in a visual working memory task as well as the CDA/SPCN and the N2pc, ERP components associated with visual working memory and attentional processes, were analysed. Selection during the maintenance stage was manipulated by means of two successively presented retrocues providing spatial information as to which items were most likely to be tested. Results show that attentional selection serves to robustly protect relevant representations in the focus of attention while unselected representations which may become relevant again still remain available. Individuals with larger retrocueing benefits showed higher efficiency of attentional selection, as indicated by the N2pc, and showed stronger maintenance-associated activity (CDA/SPCN). The findings add to converging evidence that focused representations are protected, and highlight the flexibility of visual working memory, in which information can be weighted according its relevance.

  18. No functional role of attention-based rehearsal in maintenance of spatial working memory representations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belopolsky, Artem V; Theeuwes, Jan

    2009-10-01

    The present study systematically examined the role of attention in maintenance of spatial representations in working memory as proposed by the attention-based rehearsal hypothesis [Awh, E., Jonides, J., & Reuter-Lorenz, P. A. (1998). Rehearsal in spatial working memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology--Human Perception and Performance, 24(3), 780-790]. Three main issues were examined. First, Experiments 1-3 demonstrated that inhibition and not facilitation of visual processing is often observed at the memorized location during the retention interval. This inhibition was caused by keeping a location in memory and not by the exogenous nature of the memory cue. Second, Experiment 4 showed that inhibition of the memorized location does not lead to any significant impairment in memory accuracy. Finally, Experiment 5 connected current results to the previous findings and demonstrated facilitation of processing at the memorized location. Importantly, facilitation of processing did not lead to more accurate memory performance. The present results challenge the functional role of attention in maintenance of spatial working memory representations.

  19. Selective Attention, Working Memory, and Executive Function as Potential Independent Sources of Cognitive Dysfunction in Schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gold, James M; Robinson, Benjamin; Leonard, Carly J; Hahn, Britta; Chen, Shuo; McMahon, Robert P; Luck, Steven J

    2017-11-11

    People with schizophrenia demonstrate impairments in selective attention, working memory, and executive function. Given the overlap in these constructs, it is unclear if these represent distinct impairments or different manifestations of one higher-order impairment. To examine this question, we administered tasks from the basic cognitive neuroscience literature to measure visual selective attention, working memory capacity, and executive function in 126 people with schizophrenia and 122 healthy volunteers. Patients demonstrated deficits on all tasks with the exception of selective attention guided by strong bottom-up inputs. Although the measures of top-down control of selective attention, working memory, and executive function were all intercorrelated, several sources of evidence indicate that working memory and executive function are separate sources of variance. Specifically, both working memory and executive function independently contributed to the discrimination of group status and independently accounted for variance in overall general cognitive ability as assessed by the MATRICS battery. These two cognitive functions appear to be separable features of the cognitive impairments observed in schizophrenia. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. The contributions of visual and central attention to visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Alessandra S; Oberauer, Klaus

    2017-10-01

    We investigated the role of two kinds of attention-visual and central attention-for the maintenance of visual representations in working memory (WM). In Experiment 1 we directed attention to individual items in WM by presenting cues during the retention interval of a continuous delayed-estimation task, and instructing participants to think of the cued items. Attending to items improved recall commensurate with the frequency with which items were attended (0, 1, or 2 times). Experiments 1 and 3 further tested which kind of attention-visual or central-was involved in WM maintenance. We assessed the dual-task costs of two types of distractor tasks, one tapping sustained visual attention and one tapping central attention. Only the central attention task yielded substantial dual-task costs, implying that central attention substantially contributes to maintenance of visual information in WM. Experiment 2 confirmed that the visual-attention distractor task was demanding enough to disrupt performance in a task relying on visual attention. We combined the visual-attention and the central-attention distractor tasks with a multiple object tracking (MOT) task. Distracting visual attention, but not central attention, impaired MOT performance. Jointly, the three experiments provide a double dissociation between visual and central attention, and between visual WM and visual object tracking: Whereas tracking multiple targets across the visual filed depends on visual attention, visual WM depends mostly on central attention.

  1. Attention and Working Memory in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Functional MRI Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahko, Jukka S; Vuontela, Virve A; Carlson, Synnöve; Nikkinen, Juha; Hurtig, Tuula M; Kuusikko-Gauffin, Sanna; Mattila, Marja-Leena; Jussila, Katja K; Remes, Jukka J; Jansson-Verkasalo, Eira M; Aronen, Eeva T; Pauls, David L; Ebeling, Hanna E; Tervonen, Osmo; Moilanen, Irma K; Kiviniemi, Vesa J

    2016-06-01

    The present study examined attention and memory load-dependent differences in the brain activation and deactivation patterns between adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and typically developing (TD) controls using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Attentional (0-back) and working memory (WM; 2-back) processing and load differences (0 vs. 2-back) were analysed. WM-related areas activated and default mode network deactivated normally in ASDs as a function of task load. ASDs performed the attentional 0-back task similarly to TD controls but showed increased deactivation in cerebellum and right temporal cortical areas and weaker activation in other cerebellar areas. Increasing task load resulted in multiple responses in ASDs compared to TD and in inadequate modulation of brain activity in right insula, primary somatosensory, motor and auditory cortices. The changes during attentional task may reflect compensatory mechanisms enabling normal behavioral performance. The inadequate memory load-dependent modulation of activity suggests diminished compensatory potential in ASD.

  2. Attention and working memory training: A feasibility study in children with neurodevelopmental disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerns, Kimberly A; Macoun, Sarah; MacSween, Jenny; Pei, Jacqueline; Hutchison, Marnie

    2017-01-01

    The current study investigated the efficacy of a game-based process specific intervention for improving attention and working memory in children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The Caribbean Quest (CQ) is a 'serious game' that consists of five hierarchically structured tasks, delivered in an adaptive format, targeting different aspects of attention and/or working memory. In addition to game play, the intervention incorporates metacognitive strategies provided by trained educational assistants (EAs), to facilitate generalization and far transfer to academic and daily skills. EAs delivered the intervention to children (ages 6-13) during their regular school day, providing children with instruction in metacognitive strategies to improve game play, with participants completing approximately 12 hours of training over an 8 to 12 school week period. Pre- and post-test analyses revealed significant improvement on measures of working memory and attention, including reduced distractibility and improved divided attention skills. Additionally, children showed significant gains in performance on an academic measure of reading fluency, suggesting that training-related gains in attention and working memory transferred to classroom performance. Exit interviews with EAs revealed that the intervention was easily delivered within the school day, that children enjoyed the intervention, and that children transferred metacognitive strategies learned in game play into the classroom. Preliminary results support this game-based process specific intervention as a potentially effective treatment and useful tool for supporting cognitive improvements in children with FASD or ASD, when delivered as part of an overall treatment plan.

  3. Challenges in the Detection of Working Memory and Attention Decrements among Overweight Adolescent Girls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, Lance O; Manning, Kevin J

    2016-01-01

    The present study is unique in employing unusually difficult attention and working memory tasks to reveal subtle cognitive decrements among overweight/obese adolescents. It evaluated novel measures of background electroencephalographic (EEG) activity during one of the tasks and tested correlations of these and other measures with psychological and psychiatric predictors of obesity maintenance or progression. Working memory and sustained attention tasks were presented to 158 female adolescents who were rated on dichotomous (body mass index percentile working memory task. During the sustained attention task, overweight/obese adolescents exhibited more EEG frontal beta power as well as greater intraindividual variability in reaction time and beta power across task periods than their normal-weight peers. Secondary analyses showed that frontal beta power during the sustained attention task was positively correlated with anxiety, panic, borderline personality features, drug abuse, and loss of control over food intake. The findings suggest that working memory and sustained attention decrements do exist among overweight/obese adolescent girls. The reliable detection of the decrements may depend on the difficulty of the tasks as well as the manner in which performance and brain activity are measured. Future studies should examine the relevance of these decrements to dietary education efforts and treatment response. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  4. Iconic memory requires attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Persuh, Marjan; Genzer, Boris; Melara, Robert D

    2012-01-01

    Two experiments investigated whether attention plays a role in iconic memory, employing either a change detection paradigm (Experiment 1) or a partial-report paradigm (Experiment 2). In each experiment, attention was taxed during initial display presentation, focusing the manipulation on consolidation of information into iconic memory, prior to transfer into working memory. Observers were able to maintain high levels of performance (accuracy of change detection or categorization) even when concurrently performing an easy visual search task (low load). However, when the concurrent search was made difficult (high load), observers' performance dropped to almost chance levels, while search accuracy held at single-task levels. The effects of attentional load remained the same across paradigms. The results suggest that, without attention, participants consolidate in iconic memory only gross representations of the visual scene, information too impoverished for successful detection of perceptual change or categorization of features.

  5. Iconic memory requires attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marjan ePersuh

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Two experiments investigated whether attention plays a role in iconic memory, employing either a change-detection paradigm (Experiment 1 or a partial-report paradigm (Experiment 2. In each experiment, attention was taxed during initial display presentation, focusing the manipulation on consolidation of information into iconic memory, prior to transfer into working memory. Observers were able to maintain high levels of performance (accuracy of change detection or categorization even when concurrently performing an easy visual search task (low load. However, when the concurrent search was made difficult (high load, observers’ performance dropped to almost chance levels, while search accuracy held at single-task levels. The effects of attentional load remained the same across paradigms. The results suggest that, without attention, participants consolidate in iconic memory only gross representations of the visual scene, information too impoverished for successful detection of perceptual change or categorization of features.

  6. Cross-Modal Decoding of Neural Patterns Associated with Working Memory: Evidence for Attention-Based Accounts of Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majerus, Steve; Cowan, Nelson; Péters, Frédéric; Van Calster, Laurens; Phillips, Christophe; Schrouff, Jessica

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies suggest common neural substrates involved in verbal and visual working memory (WM), interpreted as reflecting shared attention-based, short-term retention mechanisms. We used a machine-learning approach to determine more directly the extent to which common neural patterns characterize retention in verbal WM and visual WM. Verbal WM was assessed via a standard delayed probe recognition task for letter sequences of variable length. Visual WM was assessed via a visual array WM task involving the maintenance of variable amounts of visual information in the focus of attention. We trained a classifier to distinguish neural activation patterns associated with high- and low-visual WM load and tested the ability of this classifier to predict verbal WM load (high-low) from their associated neural activation patterns, and vice versa. We observed significant between-task prediction of load effects during WM maintenance, in posterior parietal and superior frontal regions of the dorsal attention network; in contrast, between-task prediction in sensory processing cortices was restricted to the encoding stage. Furthermore, between-task prediction of load effects was strongest in those participants presenting the highest capacity for the visual WM task. This study provides novel evidence for common, attention-based neural patterns supporting verbal and visual WM. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. The scope and control of attention: Sources of variance in working memory capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chow, Michael; Conway, Andrew R A

    2015-04-01

    Working memory capacity is a strong positive predictor of many cognitive abilities, across various domains. The pattern of positive correlations across domains has been interpreted as evidence for a unitary source of inter-individual differences in behavior. However, recent work suggests that there are multiple sources of variance contributing to working memory capacity. The current study (N = 71) investigates individual differences in the scope and control of attention, in addition to the number and resolution of items maintained in working memory. Latent variable analyses indicate that the scope and control of attention reflect independent sources of variance and each account for unique variance in general intelligence. Also, estimates of the number of items maintained in working memory are consistent across tasks and related to general intelligence whereas estimates of resolution are task-dependent and not predictive of intelligence. These results provide insight into the structure of working memory, as well as intelligence, and raise new questions about the distinction between number and resolution in visual short-term memory.

  8. Impairments of spatial working memory and attention following acute psychosocial stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olver, James S; Pinney, Myra; Maruff, Paul; Norman, Trevor R

    2015-04-01

    Few studies have investigated the effect of an acute psychosocial stress paradigm on impaired attention and working memory in humans. Further, the duration of any stress-related cognitive impairment remains unclear. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of an acute psychosocial stress paradigm, the Trier Social Stress, on cognitive function in healthy volunteers. Twenty-three healthy male and female subjects were exposed to an acute psychosocial stress task. Physiological measures (salivary cortisol, heart rate and blood pressure) and subjective stress ratings were measured at baseline, in anticipation of stress, immediately post-stress and after a period of rest. A neuropsychological test battery including spatial working memory and verbal memory was administered at each time point. Acute psychosocial stress produced significant increases in cardiovascular and subjective measures in the anticipatory and post-stress period, which recovered to baseline after rest. Salivary cortisol steadily declined over the testing period. Acute psychosocial stress impaired delayed verbal recall, attention and spatial working memory. Attention remained impaired, and delayed verbal recall continued to decline after rest. Acute psychosocial stress is associated with an impairment of a broad range of cognitive functions in humans and with prolonged abnormalities in attention and memory. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  9. The precision of spatial selection into the focus of attention in working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Alessandra S; Thalmann, Mirko; Oberauer, Klaus

    2018-04-23

    Attention helps manage the information held in visual working memory (vWM). Perceptual attention selects the stimuli to be represented in vWM, whereas internal attention prioritizes information already in vWM. In the present study we assessed the spatial precision of perceptual and internal attention in vWM. Participants encoded eight colored dots for a local-recognition test. To manipulate attention, a cue indicated the item most likely to be tested (~65% validity). The cue appeared either before the onset of the memory array (precue) or during the retention interval (retrocue). The precue guides perceptual attention to gate encoding into vWM, whereas the retrocue guides internal attention to prioritize the cued item within vWM. If attentional selection is spatially imprecise, attention should be preferentially allocated to the cued location, with a gradual drop-off of attention over space to nearby uncued locations. In this case, memory for uncued locations should vary as a function of their distance from the cued location. As compared to a no-cue condition, memory was better for validly cued items but worse for uncued items. The spatial distance between the uncued and cued locations modulated the cuing costs: Items close in space to the cued location were insulated from cuing costs. The extension of this spatial proximity effect was larger for precues than for retrocues, mostly because the benefits of attention were larger for precues. These results point to similar selection principles between perceptual and internal attention and to a critical role of spatial distance in the selection of visual representations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  11. Focus of Attention in Children's Motor Learning: Examining the Role of Age and Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brocken, J E A; Kal, E C; van der Kamp, J

    2016-01-01

    The authors investigated the relative effectiveness of different attentional focus instructions on motor learning in primary school children. In addition, we explored whether the effect of attentional focus on motor learning was influenced by children's age and verbal working memory capacity. Novice 8-9-year old children (n = 30) and 11-12-year-old children (n = 30) practiced a golf putting task. For each age group, half the participants received instructions to focus (internally) on the swing of their arm, while the other half was instructed to focus (externally) on the swing of the club. Children's verbal working memory capacity was assessed with the Automated Working Memory Assessment. Consistent with many reports on adult's motor learning, children in the external groups demonstrated greater improvements in putting accuracy than children who practiced with an internal focus. This effect was similar across age groups. Verbal working memory capacity was not found to be predictive of motor learning, neither for children in the internal focus groups nor for children in the external focus groups. In conclusion, primary school children's motor learning is enhanced by external focus instructions compared to internal focus instructions. The purported modulatory roles of children's working memory, attentional capacity, or focus preferences require further investigation.

  12. Developmental trajectories for attention and working memory in healthy Japanese school-aged children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egami, Chiyomi; Yamashita, Yushiro; Tada, Yasuhiro; Anai, Chiduru; Mukasa, Akiko; Yuge, Kotaro; Nagamitsu, Shinichiro; Matsuishi, Toyojiro

    2015-10-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the developmental trajectories of attention, short-term memory, and working memory in school-aged children using a 10 min test battery of cognitive function. Participants comprised 144 typically developing children (TDC) aged 7-12 years and 24 healthy adults, divided according to age into seven groups (12 males and 12 females for each age group). Participants were assessed using CogHealth, which is a computer-based measure composed of five tasks. We measured attention, short-term memory, and working memory (WM) with visual stimulation. Each task was analyzed for age-related differences in reaction time and accuracy rate. Attention tasks were faster in stages from the age of 7-10 years. Accuracy rate of short-term memory gradually increased from 12 years of age and suddenly increased and continued to increase at 22 years of age. Accuracy rate of working memory increased until 12 years of age. Correlations were found between the ages and reaction time, and between ages and accuracy rate of the tasks. These results indicate that there were rapid improvements in attention, short-term memory, and WM performance between 7 and 10 years of age followed by gradual improvement until 12 years of age. Increase in short-term memory continued until 22 years of age. In our experience CogHealth was an easy and useful measure for the evaluation of cognitive function in school-age children. Copyright © 2015 The Japanese Society of Child Neurology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Spatial working memory and attention skills are predicted by maternal stress during pregnancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plamondon, André; Akbari, Emis; Atkinson, Leslie; Steiner, Meir; Meaney, Michael J; Fleming, Alison S

    2015-01-01

    Experimental evidence in rodents shows that maternal stress during pregnancy (MSDP) negatively impacts spatial learning and memory in the offspring. We aim to investigate the association between MSDP (i.e., life events) and spatial working memory, as well as attention skills (attention shifting and attention focusing), in humans. The moderating roles of child sex, maternal anxiety during pregnancy and postnatal care are also investigated. Participants were 236 mother-child dyads that were followed from the second trimester of pregnancy until 4 years postpartum. Measurements included questionnaires and independent observations. MSDP was negatively associated with attention shifting at 18 months when concurrent maternal anxiety was low. MSDP was associated with poorer spatial working memory at 4 years of age, but only for boys who experienced poorer postnatal care. Consistent with results observed in rodents, MSDP was found to be associated with spatial working memory and attention skills. These results point to postnatal care and maternal anxiety during pregnancy as potential targets for interventions that aim to buffer children from the detrimental effects of MSDP. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/353360-10$15.00/0.

  15. Both a Nicotinic Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) and a Noradrenergic SNP Modulate Working Memory Performance when Attention is Manipulated

    OpenAIRE

    Greenwood, Pamela M.; Sundararajan, Ramya; Lin, Ming-Kuan; Kumar, Reshma; Fryxell, Karl J.; Parasuraman, Raja

    2009-01-01

    We investigated the relation between the two systems of visuospatial attention and working memory by examining the effect of normal variation in cholinergic and noradrenergic genes on working memory performance under attentional manipulation. We previously reported that working memory for location was impaired following large location precues, indicating the scale of visuospatial attention has a role in forming the mental representation of the target. In one of the first studies to compare ef...

  16. Retrospective attention enhances visual working memory in the young but not the old: an ERP study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duarte, Audrey; Hearons, Patricia; Jiang, Yashu; Delvin, Mary Courtney; Newsome, Rachel N.; Verhaeghen, Paul

    2013-01-01

    Behavioral evidence from the young suggests spatial cues that orient attention toward task relevant items in visual working memory (VWM) enhance memory capacity. Whether older adults can also use retrospective cues (“retro-cues”) to enhance VWM capacity is unknown. In the current event-related potential (ERP) study, young and old adults performed a VWM task in which spatially informative retro-cues were presented during maintenance. Young but not older adults’ VWM capacity benefitted from retro-cueing. The contralateral delay activity (CDA) ERP index of VWM maintenance was attenuated after the retro-cue, which effectively reduced the impact of memory load. CDA amplitudes were reduced prior to retro-cue onset in the old only. Despite a preserved ability to delete items from VWM, older adults may be less able to use retrospective attention to enhance memory capacity when expectancy of impending spatial cues disrupts effective VWM maintenance. PMID:23445536

  17. Individual differences in working memory capacity predict learned control over attentional capture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robison, Matthew K; Unsworth, Nash

    2017-11-01

    Although individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC) typically predict susceptibility to attentional capture in various paradigms (e.g., Stroop, antisaccade, flankers), it sometimes fails to correlate with the magnitude of attentional capture effects in visual search (e.g., Stokes, 2016), which is 1 of the most frequently studied tasks to study capture (Theeuwes, 2010). But some studies have shown that search modes can mitigate the effects of attentional capture (Leber & Egeth, 2006). Therefore, the present study examined whether or not the relationship between WMC and attentional capture changes as a function of the search modes available. In Experiment 1, WMC was unrelated to attentional capture, but only 1 search mode (singleton-detection) could be employed. In Experiment 2, greater WMC predicted smaller attentional capture effects, but only when multiple search modes (feature-search and singleton-detection) could be employed. Importantly this relationship was entirely independent of variation in attention control, which suggests that this effect is driven by WMC-related long-term memory differences (Cosman & Vecera, 2013a, 2013b). The present set of findings help to further our understanding of the nuanced ways in which memory and attention interact. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  18. The temporal locus of the interaction between working memory consolidation and the attentional blink

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Akyürek, E.G.; Leszczyński, Marcin; Schubö, Anna

    2010-01-01

    An increase in concurrent working memory load has been shown to amplify the attentional blink. The present study investigated the temporal locus of this phenomenon, by using a dual rapid serial visual presentation paradigm that enabled the measurement of lateralized event-related potentials. The P3

  19. A Split-Attention Effect in Multimedia Learning: Evidence for Dual Processing Systems in Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Richard E.; Moreno, Roxana

    1998-01-01

    Multimedia learners (n=146 college students) were able to integrate words and computer-presented pictures more easily when the words were presented aurally rather than visually. This split-attention effect is consistent with a dual-processing model of working memory. (SLD)

  20. Medial Prefrontal Lesions in Mice Impair Sustained Attention but Spare Maintenance of Information in Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahn, Julia B.; Ward, Ryan D.; Kahn, Lora W.; Rudy, Nicole M.; Kandel, Eric R.; Balsam, Peter D.; Simpson, Eleanor H.

    2012-01-01

    Working memory and attention are complex cognitive functions that are disrupted in several neuropsychiatric disorders. Mouse models of such human diseases are commonly subjected to maze-based tests that can neither distinguish between these cognitive functions nor isolate specific aspects of either function. Here, we have adapted a simple visual…

  1. Efficiency of the Prefrontal Cortex during Working Memory in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheridan, Margaret A.; Hinshaw, Stephen; D'Esposito, Mark

    2007-01-01

    Objective: Previous research has demonstrated that during task conditions requiring an increase in inhibitory function or working memory, children and adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) exhibit greater and more varied prefrontal cortical(PFC) activation compared to age-matched control participants. This pattern may reflect…

  2. A Meta-Analysis of Working Memory Impairments in Children with Attention-Deficit/hyperactivity Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinussen, Rhonda; Hayden, Jill; Hogg-Johnson, Sheilah; Tannock, Rosemary

    2005-01-01

    Objective: To determine the empirical evidence for deficits in working memory (WM) processes in children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Method: Exploratory meta-analytic procedures were used to investigate whether children with ADHD exhibit WM impairments. Twenty-six empirical research studies published from…

  3. The Role of Attention in Item-Item Binding in Visual Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Dwight J.; Naveh-Benjamin, Moshe

    2017-01-01

    An important yet unresolved question regarding visual working memory (VWM) relates to whether or not binding processes within VWM require additional attentional resources compared with processing solely the individual components comprising these bindings. Previous findings indicate that binding of surface features (e.g., colored shapes) within VWM…

  4. Neural correlates of visuospatial working memory in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and healthy controls

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Ewijk, Hanneke; Weeda, Wouter D.; Heslenfeld, Dirk J.; Luman, Marjolein; Hartman, Catharina A.; Hoekstra, Pieter J.; Faraone, Stephen V.; Franke, Barbara; Buitelaar, Jan K.; Oosterlaan, Jaap

    2015-01-01

    Impaired visuospatial working memory (VSWM) is suggested to be a core neurocognitive deficit in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), yet the underlying neural activation patterns are poorly understood. Furthermore, it is unclear to what extent age and gender effects may play a role in

  5. Focus of spatial attention during spatial working memory maintenance : Evidence from pupillary light response

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fabius, J. H.; Mathôt, Sebastiaan; Schut, M. J.; Nijboer, T. C.W.; Van der Stigchel, S.

    2017-01-01

    In this experiment, we demonstrate modulation of the pupillary light response by spatial working memory (SWM). The pupillary light response has previously been shown to reflect the focus of covert attention, as demonstrated by smaller pupil sizes when a subject covertly attends a location on a

  6. Paying attention to working memory: Similarities in the spatial distribution of attention in mental and physical space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahan, Muhammet Ikbal; Verguts, Tom; Boehler, Carsten Nicolas; Pourtois, Gilles; Fias, Wim

    2016-08-01

    Selective attention is not limited to information that is physically present in the external world, but can also operate on mental representations in the internal world. However, it is not known whether the mechanisms of attentional selection operate in similar fashions in physical and mental space. We studied the spatial distributions of attention for items in physical and mental space by comparing how successfully distractors were rejected at varying distances from the attended location. The results indicated very similar distribution characteristics of spatial attention in physical and mental space. Specifically, we found that performance monotonically improved with increasing distractor distance relative to the attended location, suggesting that distractor confusability is particularly pronounced for nearby distractors, relative to distractors farther away. The present findings suggest that mental representations preserve their spatial configuration in working memory, and that similar mechanistic principles underlie selective attention in physical and in mental space.

  7. Cortical mechanisms of cognitive control for shifting attention in vision and working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamber-Rosenau, Benjamin J; Esterman, Michael; Chiu, Yu-Chin; Yantis, Steven

    2011-10-01

    Organisms operate within both a perceptual domain of objects and events, and a mnemonic domain of past experiences and future goals. Each domain requires a deliberate selection of task-relevant information, through deployments of external (perceptual) and internal (mnemonic) attention, respectively. Little is known about the control of attention shifts in working memory, or whether voluntary control of attention in these two domains is subserved by a common or by distinct functional networks. We used human fMRI to examine the neural basis of cognitive control while participants shifted attention in vision and in working memory. We found that these acts of control recruit in common a subset of the dorsal fronto-parietal attentional control network, including the medial superior parietal lobule, intraparietal sulcus, and superior frontal sulcus/gyrus. Event-related multivoxel pattern classification reveals, however, that these regions exhibit distinct spatio-temporal patterns of neural activity during internal and external shifts of attention, respectively. These findings constrain theoretical accounts of selection in working memory and perception by showing that populations of neurons in dorsal fronto-parietal network regions exhibit selective tuning for acts of cognitive control in different cognitive domains.

  8. A randomised controlled trial investigating the benefits of adaptive working memory training for working memory capacity and attentional control in high worriers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hotton, Matthew; Derakshan, Nazanin; Fox, Elaine

    2018-01-01

    The process of worry has been associated with reductions in working memory capacity and availability of resources necessary for efficient attentional control. This, in turn, can lead to escalating worry. Recent investigations into working memory training have shown improvements in attentional control and cognitive performance in high trait-anxious individuals and individuals with sub-clinical depression. The current randomised controlled trial investigated the effects of 15 days of adaptive n-back working memory training, or an active control task, on working memory capacity, attentional control and worry in a sample of high worriers. Pre-training, post-training and one-month follow-up measures of working memory capacity were assessed using a Change Detection task, while a Flanker task was used to assess attentional control. A breathing focus task was used as a behavioural measure of worry in addition to a number of self-report assessments of worry and anxiety. Overall there was no difference between the active training and the active control condition with both groups demonstrating similar improvements in working memory capacity and worry, post-training and at follow-up. However, training-related improvements on the n-back task were associated with gains in working memory capacity and reductions in worry symptoms in the active training condition. These results highlight the need for further research investigating the role of individual differences in working memory training. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  9. More than a filter: Feature-based attention regulates the distribution of visual working memory resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dube, Blaire; Emrich, Stephen M; Al-Aidroos, Naseem

    2017-10-01

    Across 2 experiments we revisited the filter account of how feature-based attention regulates visual working memory (VWM). Originally drawing from discrete-capacity ("slot") models, the filter account proposes that attention operates like the "bouncer in the brain," preventing distracting information from being encoded so that VWM resources are reserved for relevant information. Given recent challenges to the assumptions of discrete-capacity models, we investigated whether feature-based attention plays a broader role in regulating memory. Both experiments used partial report tasks in which participants memorized the colors of circle and square stimuli, and we provided a feature-based goal by manipulating the likelihood that 1 shape would be probed over the other across a range of probabilities. By decomposing participants' responses using mixture and variable-precision models, we estimated the contributions of guesses, nontarget responses, and imprecise memory representations to their errors. Consistent with the filter account, participants were less likely to guess when the probed memory item matched the feature-based goal. Interestingly, this effect varied with goal strength, even across high probabilities where goal-matching information should always be prioritized, demonstrating strategic control over filter strength. Beyond this effect of attention on which stimuli were encoded, we also observed effects on how they were encoded: Estimates of both memory precision and nontarget errors varied continuously with feature-based attention. The results offer support for an extension to the filter account, where feature-based attention dynamically regulates the distribution of resources within working memory so that the most relevant items are encoded with the greatest precision. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  10. Different cortical mechanisms for spatial vs. feature-based attentional selection in visual working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Heuer

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The limited capacity of visual working memory necessitates attentional mechanisms that selectively update and maintain only the most task-relevant content. Psychophysical experiments have shown that the retroactive selection of memory content can be based on visual properties such as location or shape, but the neural basis for such differential selection is unknown. For example, it is not known if there are different cortical modules specialized for spatial versus feature-based mnemonic attention, in the same way that has been demonstrated for attention to perceptual input. Here, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS to identify areas in human parietal and occipital cortex involved in the selection of objects from memory based on cues to their location (spatial information or their shape (featural information. We found that TMS over the supramarginal gyrus (SMG selectively facilitated spatial selection, whereas TMS over the lateral occipital cortex selectively enhanced feature-based selection for remembered objects in the contralateral visual field. Thus, different cortical regions are responsible for spatial vs. feature-based selection of working memory representations. Since the same regions are involved in attention to external events, these new findings indicate overlapping mechanisms for attentional control over perceptual input and mnemonic representations.

  11. Visual-Spatial Attention Aids the Maintenance of Object Representations in Visual Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Melonie; Pouget, Pierre; Boucher, Leanne; Woodman, Geoffrey F.

    2013-01-01

    Theories have proposed that the maintenance of object representations in visual working memory is aided by a spatial rehearsal mechanism. In this study, we used two different approaches to test the hypothesis that overt and covert visual-spatial attention mechanisms contribute to the maintenance of object representations in visual working memory. First, we tracked observers’ eye movements while remembering a variable number of objects during change-detection tasks. We observed that during the blank retention interval, participants spontaneously shifted gaze to the locations that the objects had occupied in the memory array. Next, we hypothesized that if attention mechanisms contribute to the maintenance of object representations, then drawing attention away from the object locations during the retention interval would impair object memory during these change-detection tasks. Supporting this prediction, we found that attending to the fixation point in anticipation of a brief probe stimulus during the retention interval reduced change-detection accuracy even on the trials in which no probe occurred. These findings support models of working memory in which visual-spatial selection mechanisms contribute to the maintenance of object representations. PMID:23371773

  12. The focus of attention in working memory – from metaphors to mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klaus eOberauer

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Many verbal theories describe working memory in terms of physical metaphors such as information flow or information containers. These metaphors are often useful but can also be misleading. This article contrasts the verbal version of the author’s three-embedded-component theory with a computational implementation of the theory. The analysis focuses on phenomena that have been attributed to the focus of attention in working memory. The verbal theory characterizes the focus of attention by a container metaphor, which gives rise to questions such as: How many items fit into the focus? The computational model explains the same phenomena mechanistically through a combination of strengthened bindings between items and their retrieval cues, and priming of these cues. The author applies the computational model to three findings that have been used to argue about how many items can be held in the focus of attention (Gilchrist & Cowan, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 2011; Oberauer & Bialkova, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 2009; Oberauer & Bialkova, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 2011. The modeling results imply a new interpretation of those findings: The different patterns of results across those studies don’t imply different capacity estimates for the focus of attention; they rather reflect to what extent retrieval from working memory is parallel or serial.

  13. The effect of items in working memory on the deployment of attention and the eyes during visual search

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Houtkamp, R.; Roelfsema, P. R.

    2006-01-01

    Paying attention to an object facilitates its storage in working memory. The authors investigate whether the opposite is also true: whether items in working memory influence the deployment of attention. Participants performed a search for a prespecified target while they held another item in working

  14. Reduced prefrontal efficiency for visuospatial working memory in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bédard, Anne-Claude V; Newcorn, Jeffrey H; Clerkin, Suzanne M; Krone, Beth; Fan, Jin; Halperin, Jeffrey M; Schulz, Kurt P

    2014-09-01

    Visuospatial working memory impairments have been implicated in the pathophysiology of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, most ADHD research has focused on the neural correlates of nonspatial mnemonic processes. This study examined brain activation and functional connectivity for visuospatial working memory in youth with and without ADHD. Twenty-four youth with ADHD and 21 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing an N-back test of working memory for spatial position. Block-design analyses contrasted activation and functional connectivity separately for high (2-back) and low (1-back) working memory load conditions versus the control condition (0-back). The effect of working memory load was modeled with linear contrasts. The 2 groups performed comparably on the task and demonstrated similar patterns of frontoparietal activation, with no differences in linear gains in activation as working memory load increased. However, youth with ADHD showed greater activation in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and left posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), greater functional connectivity between the left DLPFC and left intraparietal sulcus, and reduced left DLPFC connectivity with left midcingulate cortex and PCC for the high load contrast compared to controls (p 100 voxels). Reanalysis using a more conservative statistical approach (p 100 voxels) yielded group differences in PCC activation and DLPFC-midcingulate connectivity. Youth with ADHD show decreased efficiency of DLPFC for high-load visuospatial working memory and greater reliance on posterior spatial attention circuits to store and update spatial position than healthy control youth. Findings should be replicated in larger samples. Copyright © 2014 American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Accessing Information in Working Memory: Can the Focus of Attention Grasp Two Elements at the Same Time?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberauer, Klaus; Bialkova, Svetlana

    2009-01-01

    Processing information in working memory requires selective access to a subset of working-memory contents by a focus of attention. Complex cognition often requires joint access to 2 items in working memory. How does the focus select 2 items? Two experiments with an arithmetic task and 1 with a spatial task investigate time demands for successive…

  16. Accessing information in working memory: Can the focus of attention grasp two elements at the same time?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oberauer, K.; Bialkova, S.E.

    2009-01-01

    Processing information in working memory requires selective access to a subset of working-memory contents by a focus of attention. Complex cognition often requires joint access to 2 items in working memory. How does the focus select 2 items? Two experiments with an arithmetic task and 1 with a

  17. Working memory load can both improve and impair selective attention: evidence from the Navon paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Lubna; de Fockert, Jan W

    2012-10-01

    Selective attention to relevant targets has been shown to depend on the availability of working memory (WM). Under conditions of high WM load, processing of irrelevant distractors is enhanced. Here we showed that this detrimental effect of WM load on selective attention efficiency is reversed when the task requires global- rather than local-level processing. Participants were asked to attend to either the local or the global level of a hierarchical Navon stimulus while keeping either a low or a high load in WM. In line with previous findings, during attention to the local level, distractors at the global level produced more interference under high than under low WM load. By contrast, loading WM had the opposite effect of improving selective attention during attention to the global level. The findings demonstrate that the impact of WM load on selective attention is not invariant, but rather is dependent on the level of the to-be-attended information.

  18. The where and how of attention-based rehearsal in spatial working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Postle, B R; Awh, E; Jonides, J; Smith, E E; D'Esposito, M

    2004-07-01

    Rehearsal in human spatial working memory is accomplished, in part, via covert shifts of spatial selective attention to memorized locations ("attention-based rehearsal"). We addressed two outstanding questions about attention-based rehearsal: the topography of the attention-based rehearsal effect, and the mechanism by which it operates. Using event-related fMRI and a procedure that randomized the presentation of trials with delay epochs that were either filled with a flickering checkerboard or unfilled, we localized the effect to extrastriate areas 18 and 19, and confirmed its absence in striate cortex. Delay-epoch activity in these extrastriate regions, as well as in superior parietal lobule and intraparietal sulcus, was also lateralized on unfilled trials, suggesting that attention-based rehearsal produces a baseline shift in areas representing the to-be-remembered location in space. No frontal regions (including frontal eye fields) demonstrated lateralized activity consistent with a role in attention-based rehearsal.

  19. Attention and working memory in elderly: the influence of a distracting environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Pedro F S; Pandeirada, Josefa N S

    2015-02-01

    The present work investigated the effect of a distracting environment in the performance of attentional and working memory (WM) tasks in elderly participants. To this end, forty elderly performed two attentional tasks (simple reaction time and go/no-go tasks), and three WM tasks (arithmetic, memory for digits and sequences of letters and numbers). Each participant performed the tasks in a distracting and a non-distracting environment, with an interval of 14-21 days between sessions. The results revealed better performance in the attentional tasks when these were done in the non-distracting environment, as compared to when they were done in the distracting environment. Specifically, participants provided more accurate responses, fewer false alarms and omissions when responding in the non-distracting environment than when responding in the distracting environment. Participants were also faster at providing correct responses in the go/no-go task when it was performed in the non-distracting environment. As for the memory tasks, the effect of type of environment was significant only in the memory for digits in a forward direction task. Our data suggest the need to consider the potential damaging consequences of distracting environments when the elderly have to perform tasks that demand their attention. Specific examples of such situations are presented in the discussion (e.g., distracting effect of environment on medical and on psychological evaluations).

  20. Magnesium sulfate therapy affects attention and working memory in patients undergoing preterm labor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghia, N; Spong, C Y; Starbuck, V N; Scialli, A R; Ghidini, A

    2000-10-01

    Patients commonly consent to undergoing invasive procedures while receiving magnesium sulfate therapy. This study evaluated the effects of magnesium sulfate on attention, comprehension, and memory in patients undergoing preterm labor. Consenting patients were studied while receiving(study) and not receiving (control) intravenous magnesium sulfate tocolysis for preterm labor. Excluded were patients with possible preeclampsia, imminent delivery, sedative administration, or prior mental illness. Patient comprehension was assessed with the Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination. Level of attention and working memory were evaluated with the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test. Verbal learning, short-term memory, and recognition were determined with the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test. Gross mental-neurologic deficits were evaluated with the Mini-Mental Status Examination. The tests were administered by the same examiner. Control testing was performed >24 hours after intravenous magnesium sulfate was discontinued. Magnesium levels were obtained at the time of testing. The primary outcome measure was the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test score because of its ability to elicit subtle differences in attention capacity. Statistical analysis included the paired t test and the McNemar test. Fifteen patients completed the study. Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test scores were significantly higher (ie, more errors were made) during magnesium sulfate therapy than periods without therapy (14 +/- 8 vs 7 +/- 7; P term memory (Hopkins Verbal Learning Test) or gross mental-neurologic deficits between the 2 groups (all P >.1). Magnesium sulfate therapy appears to have an effect on attention and working memory but not on long-term memory or comprehension. The significant differences in Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test scores reveal deficits in information-processing ability in patients on a regimen of magnesium sulfate therapy.

  1. Working memory as internal attention: toward an integrative account of internal and external selection processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiyonaga, Anastasia; Egner, Tobias

    2013-04-01

    Working memory (WM) and attention have been studied as separate cognitive constructs, although it has long been acknowledged that attention plays an important role in controlling the activation, maintenance, and manipulation of representations in WM. WM has, conversely, been thought of as a means of maintaining representations to voluntarily guide perceptual selective attention. It has more recently been observed, however, that the contents of WM can capture visual attention, even when such internally maintained representations are irrelevant, and often disruptive, to the immediate external task. Thus, the precise relationship between WM and attention remains unclear, but it appears that they may bidirectionally impact one another, whether or not internal representations are consistent with the external perceptual goals. This reciprocal relationship seems, further, to be constrained by limited cognitive resources to handle demands in either maintenance or selection. We propose here that the close relationship between WM and attention may be best described as a give-and-take interdependence between attention directed toward either actively maintained internal representations (traditionally considered WM) or external perceptual stimuli (traditionally considered selective attention), underpinned by their shared reliance on a common cognitive resource. Put simply, we argue that WM and attention should no longer be considered as separate systems or concepts, but as competing and influencing one another because they rely on the same limited resource. This framework can offer an explanation for the capture of visual attention by irrelevant WM contents, as well as a straightforward account of the underspecified relationship between WM and attention.

  2. Working Memory as Internal Attention: Toward an Integrative Account of Internal and External Selection Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiyonaga, Anastasia; Egner, Tobias

    2012-01-01

    Working memory (WM) and attention have been studied as separate cognitive constructs, although it has long been acknowledged that attention plays an important role in controlling the activation, maintenance, and manipulation of representations in WM. WM has, conversely, been thought of as a means of maintaining representations to voluntarily guide perceptual selective attention. It has more recently been observed, however, that the contents of WM can capture visual attention, even when such internally maintained representations are irrelevant, and often disruptive, to the immediate external task. Thus the precise relationship between WM and attention remains unclear, but it appears that they may bi-directionally impact one another, whether or not internal representations are consistent with external perceptual goals. This reciprocal relationship seems, further, to be constrained by limited cognitive resources to handle demands in either maintenance or selection. We propose here that the close relationship between WM and attention may be best described as a give-and-take interdependence between attention directed toward actively maintained internal representations (traditionally considered WM) versus external perceptual stimuli (traditionally considered selective attention), underpinned by their shared reliance on a common cognitive resource. Put simply, we argue that WM and attention should no longer be considered as separate systems or concepts, but as competing and impacting one another because they rely on the same limited resource. This framework can offer an explanation for the capture of visual attention by irrelevant WM contents, as well as a straightforward account of the underspecified relationship between WM and attention. PMID:23233157

  3. Brain systems underlying attentional control and emotional distraction during working memory encoding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziaei, Maryam; Peira, Nathalie; Persson, Jonas

    2014-02-15

    Goal-directed behavior requires that cognitive operations can be protected from emotional distraction induced by task-irrelevant emotional stimuli. The brain processes involved in attending to relevant information while filtering out irrelevant information are still largely unknown. To investigate the neural and behavioral underpinnings of attending to task-relevant emotional stimuli while ignoring irrelevant stimuli, we used fMRI to assess brain responses during attentional instructed encoding within an emotional working memory (WM) paradigm. We showed that instructed attention to emotion during WM encoding resulted in enhanced performance, by means of increased memory performance and reduced reaction time, compared to passive viewing. A similar performance benefit was also demonstrated for recognition memory performance, although for positive pictures only. Functional MRI data revealed a network of regions involved in directed attention to emotional information for both positive and negative pictures that included medial and lateral prefrontal cortices, fusiform gyrus, insula, the parahippocampal gyrus, and the amygdala. Moreover, we demonstrate that regions in the striatum, and regions associated with the default-mode network were differentially activated for emotional distraction compared to neutral distraction. Activation in a sub-set of these regions was related to individual differences in WM and recognition memory performance, thus likely contributing to performing the task at an optimal level. The present results provide initial insights into the behavioral and neural consequences of instructed attention and emotional distraction during WM encoding. © 2013.

  4. Object-based Encoding in Visual Working Memory: Evidence from Memory-driven Attentional Capture

    OpenAIRE

    Gao, Zaifeng; Yu, Shixian; Zhu, Chengfeng; Shui, Rende; Weng, Xuchu; Li, Peng; Shen, Mowei

    2016-01-01

    Visual working memory (VWM) adopts a specific manner of object-based encoding (OBE) to extract perceptual information: Whenever one feature-dimension is selected for entry into VWM, the others are also extracted. Currently most studies revealing OBE probed an ?irrelevant-change distracting effect?, where changes of irrelevant-features dramatically affected the performance of the target feature. However, the existence of irrelevant-feature change may affect participants? processing manner, lea...

  5. Spatially selective alpha oscillations reveal moment-by-moment trade-offs between working memory and attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Moorselaar, Dirk; Foster, Joshua J.; Sutterer, David W.; Theeuwes, Jan; Olivers, Christian N.L.; Awh, Edward

    Current theories assume a functional role for covert attention in the maintenance of spatial information in working memory. Consistent with this view, both the locus of attention and positions stored in working memory can be decoded based on the topography of oscillatory alpha-band (8-12 Hz)

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

    Neuronal activity in early visual cortex depends on attention shifts but the contribution to working memory has remained unclear. Here, we examine neuronal activity in the different layers of the primary visual cortex (V1) in an attention-demanding and a working memory task. A current-source density

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Kerkoerle, Timo; Self, M.W.; Roelfsema, P.R.

    2017-01-01

    Neuronal activity in early visual cortex depends on attention shifts but the contribution to working memory has remained unclear. Here, we examine neuronal activity in the different layers of the primary visual cortex (V1) in an attention-demanding and a working memory task. A current-source density

  8. "Whom should I pass to?" the more options the more attentional guidance from working memory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip Furley

    Full Text Available Three experiments investigated the predictions of the biased competition theory of selective attention in a computer based sport task. According to this theory objects held in the circuitry of working memory (WM automatically bias attention to objects in a visual scene that match or are related to the WM representation. Specifically, we investigated whether certain players that are activated in the circuitry of WM automatically draw attention and receive a competitive advantage in a computer based sport task. In all three experiments participants had to hold an image of a certain player in WM while engaged in a speeded sport task. In Experiment 1 participants had to identify as quickly as possible which player was in possession of the ball. In Experiment 2 and 3 participants had to decide to which player they would pass to in a cartoon team handball situation and a photo picture basketball situation. The results support the biased competition theory of selective attention and suggest that certain decision options receive a competitive advantage if they are associated with the activated contents in the circuitry of WM and that this effect is more pronounced when more decision options compete for attention. A further extension compared to previous research was that the contents of working memory not only biased attention but also actual decisions that can lead to passing errors in sport. We critically discuss the applied implications of the findings.

  9. Functional MRI study of verbal working memory in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lu Youran; Geng Daoying; Feng Xiaoyuan; Du Yasong; Zhao Zhimin

    2006-01-01

    Objective: To study the verbal working memory of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as well as to explore the characteristics of functional areas of verbal working memory with blood oxygenation level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Method: Eighteen children were selected in the study. There were 9 ADHD children with inattention subtype and 9 healthy subjects. All patients and healthy subjects completed the cognitive examination and the block- designed N-block verbal working memory task using a GE 3.0 T MR. Data were analyzed by AFNI software. Result: The neural activations of ADHD's children are lower than that of control under verbal working memory. Especially in the areas of bilateral middle frontal gyri and inferior frontal gyri, bilateral superior parietal lobules and inferior parietal lobules, right basal ganglia in the 1-BACK task. And bilateral middle frontal gyri and inferior frontal gyri, bilateral superior parietal lobules, left cortex inferior parietallobule, right basal ganglia, anterior cingulatecortex in the 2-BACK task. Conclusion: The hypofunctional areas of verbal working memory (including bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and parietal cortex) can be seen in the ADHD children especially who also has lower activation of anterior cingulate cortex under 2-BACK task. (authors)

  10. A culture of striving augments use of working memory? Implications for attention control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buszard, Tim; Masters, Rich S W

    2017-01-01

    A culture of striving was notable in the developmental background of many of the elite and super elite athletes in the Hardy et al. Critically, a culture of striving was credited with a positive influence on a range of issues relevant to elite sports performance, including performance under pressure. Of the six athletes who did not reveal a culture of striving, five reported the greatest difficulty performing in high-pressure situations. We suspect that a culture of striving facilitates the development of attention control ability, which subsequently assists performance under pressure. We discuss attention control from the perspective of working memory and hypothesize that a culture of striving trains individuals to maximize their working memory capacity. © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Association Between Sluggish Cognitive Tempo Symptoms and Attentional Network and Working Memory in Primary Schoolchildren.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camprodon-Rosanas, E; Ribas-Fitó, N; Batlle, S; Persavento, C; Alvarez-Pedrerol, M; Sunyer, J; Forns, J

    2017-04-01

    Few consistent data are available in relation to the cognitive and neuropsychological processes involved in sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT) symptoms. The objective of this study was to determine the association of working memory and attentional networks with SCT symptoms in primary schoolchildren. The participants were schoolchildren aged 7 to 10 years ( n = 183) from primary schools in Catalonia (Spain). All the participants completed a working memory task (n-back) and an attentional network task (ANT). Their parents completed an SCT-Child Behavior Checklist self-report and a questionnaire concerning sociodemographic variables. Teachers of the participants provided information on ADHD symptoms and learning determinants. SCT symptoms were correlated with lower scores in both the n-back and ANT. In multivariate regression analysis, SCT symptoms were associated with slower hit reaction times from the ANT. Our results suggest that SCT symptoms are associated with a neuropsychological profile that is different from the classical ADHD profile and characterized by slower reaction times.

  12. The Competitive Influences of Perceptual Load and Working Memory Guidance on Selective Attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinfeng Tan

    Full Text Available The perceptual load theory in selective attention literature proposes that the interference from task-irrelevant distractor is eliminated when perceptual capacity is fully consumed by task-relevant information. However, the biased competition model suggests that the contents of working memory (WM can guide attentional selection automatically, even when this guidance is detrimental to visual search. An intriguing but unsolved question is what will happen when selective attention is influenced by both perceptual load and WM guidance. To study this issue, behavioral performances and event-related potentials (ERPs were recorded when participants were presented with a cue to either identify or hold in memory and had to perform a visual search task subsequently, under conditions of low or high perceptual load. Behavioural data showed that high perceptual load eliminated the attentional capture by WM. The ERP results revealed an obvious WM guidance effect in P1 component with invalid trials eliciting larger P1 than neutral trials, regardless of the level of perceptual load. The interaction between perceptual load and WM guidance was significant for the posterior N1 component. The memory guidance effect on N1 was eliminated by high perceptual load. Standardized Low Resolution Electrical Tomography Analysis (sLORETA showed that the WM guidance effect and the perceptual load effect on attention can be localized into the occipital area and parietal lobe, respectively. Merely identifying the cue produced no effect on the P1 or N1 component. These results suggest that in selective attention, the information held in WM could capture attention at the early stage of visual processing in the occipital cortex. Interestingly, this initial capture of attention by WM could be modulated by the level of perceptual load and the parietal lobe mediates target selection at the discrimination stage.

  13. The Competitive Influences of Perceptual Load and Working Memory Guidance on Selective Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Jinfeng; Zhao, Yuanfang; Wang, Lijun; Tian, Xia; Cui, Yan; Yang, Qian; Pan, Weigang; Zhao, Xiaoyue; Chen, Antao

    2015-01-01

    The perceptual load theory in selective attention literature proposes that the interference from task-irrelevant distractor is eliminated when perceptual capacity is fully consumed by task-relevant information. However, the biased competition model suggests that the contents of working memory (WM) can guide attentional selection automatically, even when this guidance is detrimental to visual search. An intriguing but unsolved question is what will happen when selective attention is influenced by both perceptual load and WM guidance. To study this issue, behavioral performances and event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded when participants were presented with a cue to either identify or hold in memory and had to perform a visual search task subsequently, under conditions of low or high perceptual load. Behavioural data showed that high perceptual load eliminated the attentional capture by WM. The ERP results revealed an obvious WM guidance effect in P1 component with invalid trials eliciting larger P1 than neutral trials, regardless of the level of perceptual load. The interaction between perceptual load and WM guidance was significant for the posterior N1 component. The memory guidance effect on N1 was eliminated by high perceptual load. Standardized Low Resolution Electrical Tomography Analysis (sLORETA) showed that the WM guidance effect and the perceptual load effect on attention can be localized into the occipital area and parietal lobe, respectively. Merely identifying the cue produced no effect on the P1 or N1 component. These results suggest that in selective attention, the information held in WM could capture attention at the early stage of visual processing in the occipital cortex. Interestingly, this initial capture of attention by WM could be modulated by the level of perceptual load and the parietal lobe mediates target selection at the discrimination stage.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Marchetti, Giorgio

    2014-01-01

    Various kinds of observations show that the ability of human beings to both consciously relive past events – episodic memory – and conceive future events, entails an active process of construction. This construction process also underpins many other important aspects of conscious human life, such as perceptions, language, and conscious thinking. This article provides an explanation of what makes the constructive process possible and how it works. The process mainly relies on attentional activ...

  15. Resource-sharing between internal maintenance and external selection modulates attentional capture by working memory content

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anastasia eKiyonaga

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available It is unclear why and under what circumstances working memory (WM and attention interact. Here, we apply the logic of the time-based resource-sharing (TBRS model of WM (e.g., Barrouillet, Bernardin, & Camos, 2004 to explore the mixed findings of a separate, but related, literature that studies the guidance of visual attention by WM contents. Specifically, we hypothesize that the linkage between WM representations and visual attention is governed by a time-shared cognitive resource that alternately refreshes internal (WM and selects external (visual attention information. If this were the case, WM content should guide visual attention (involuntarily, but only when there is time for it to be refreshed in an internal focus of attention. To provide an initial test for this hypothesis, we examined whether the amount of unoccupied time during a WM delay could impact the magnitude of attentional capture by WM contents. Participants were presented with a series of visual search trials while they maintained a WM cue for a delayed-recognition test. WM cues could coincide with the search target, a distracter, or neither. We varied both the number of searches to be performed, and the amount of available time to perform them. Slowing of visual search by a WM matching distracter—and facilitation by a matching target—were curtailed when the delay was filled with fast-paced (refreshing-preventing search trials, as was subsequent memory probe accuracy. WM content may, therefore, only capture visual attention when it can be refreshed, suggesting that internal (WM and external attention demands reciprocally impact one another because they share a limited resource. The TBRS rationale can thus be applied in a novel context to explain why WM contents capture attention, and under what conditions that effect should be observed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

    Working memory load reduces the late positive potential (LPP), consistent with the notion that functional activation of the DLPFC attenuates neural indices of sustained attention. Visual attention also modulates the LPP. In the present study, we sought to determine whether working memory load might exert its influence on ERPs by reducing fixations to arousing picture regions. We simultaneously recorded eye-tracking and EEG while participants performed a working memory task interspersed with the presentation of task-irrelevant fearful and neutral faces. As expected, fearful compared to neutral faces elicited larger N170 and LPP amplitudes; in addition, working memory load reduced the N170 and the LPP. Participants made more fixations to arousing regions of neutral faces and faces presented under high working memory load. Therefore, working memory load did not induce avoidance of arousing picture regions and visual attention cannot explain load effects on the N170 and LPP. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. At the intersection of attention and memory: the mechanistic role of the posterior parietal lobe in working memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berryhill, Marian E.; Chein, Jason; Olson, Ingrid R.

    2011-01-01

    Portions of the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) play a role in working memory (WM) yet the precise mechanistic function of this region remains poorly understood. The pure storage hypothesis proposes that this region functions as a short-lived modality-specific memory store. Alternatively, the internal attention hypothesis proposes that the PPC functions as an attention-based storage and refreshing mechanism deployable as an alternative to material-specific rehearsal. These models were tested in patients with bilateral PPC lesions. Our findings discount the pure storage hypothesis because variables indexing storage capacity and longevity were not disproportionately affected by PPC damage. Instead, our data support the internal attention account by showing that (a) normal participants tend to use a rehearsal-based WM maintenance strategy for recall tasks but not for recognition tasks; (b) patients with PPC lesions performed normally on WM tasks that relied on material-specific rehearsal strategies but poorly on WM tasks that relied on attention-based maintenance strategies and patient strategy usage could be shifted by task or instructions; (c) patients’ memory deficits extended into the long-term domain. These findings suggest that the PPC maintains or shifts internal attention among the representations of items in WM. PMID:21345344

  18. At the intersection of attention and memory: the mechanistic role of the posterior parietal lobe in working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berryhill, Marian E; Chein, Jason; Olson, Ingrid R

    2011-04-01

    Portions of the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) play a role in working memory (WM) yet the precise mechanistic function of this region remains poorly understood. The pure storage hypothesis proposes that this region functions as a short-lived modality-specific memory store. Alternatively, the internal attention hypothesis proposes that the PPC functions as an attention-based storage and refreshing mechanism deployable as an alternative to material-specific rehearsal. These models were tested in patients with bilateral PPC lesions. Our findings discount the pure storage hypothesis because variables indexing storage capacity and longevity were not disproportionately affected by PPC damage. Instead, our data support the internal attention account by showing that (a) normal participants tend to use a rehearsal-based WM maintenance strategy for recall tasks but not for recognition tasks; (b) patients with PPC lesions performed normally on WM tasks that relied on material-specific rehearsal strategies but poorly on WM tasks that relied on attention-based maintenance strategies and patient strategy usage could be shifted by task or instructions; (c) patients' memory deficits extended into the long-term domain. These findings suggest that the PPC maintains or shifts internal attention among the representations of items in WM. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. The Importance of Arousal for Variation in Working Memory Capacity and Attention Control: A Latent Variable Pupillometry Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unsworth, Nash; Robison, Matthew K.

    2017-01-01

    A great deal of prior research has examined the relation between working memory capacity (WMC) and attention control. The current study explored the role of arousal in individual differences in WMC and attention control. Participants performed multiple WMC and attention control tasks. During the attention control tasks participants were…

  20. The temporal dynamics of visual working memory guidance of selective attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinfeng eTan

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The biased competition model proposes that there is top-down directing of attention to a stimulus matching the contents of working memory (WM, even when the maintenance of a WM representation is detrimental to target relevant performance. Despite many studies elucidating that spatial WM guidance can be present early in the visual processing system, whether visual WM guidance also influences perceptual selection remains poorly understood. Here, we investigated the electrophysiological correlates of early guidance of attention by WM in humans. Participants were required to perform a visual search task while concurrently maintaining object representations in their visual working memory. Behavioral results showed that response times (RTs were longer when the distractor in the visual search task was held in WM. The earliest WM guidance effect was observed in the P1 component (90-130 ms, with match trials eliciting larger P1 amplitude than mismatch trials. A similar result was also found in the N1 component (160-200 ms. These P1 and N1 effects could not be attributed to bottom-up perceptual priming from the presentation of a memory cue, because there was no significant difference in early ERP component when the cue was merely perceptually identified but not actively held in working memory. Standardized Low Resolution Electrical Tomography Analysis (sLORETA showed that the early WM guidance occurred in the occipital lobe and the N1-related activation occurred in the parietal gyrus. Time-frequency data suggested that alpha-band event-related spectral perturbation (ERSP magnitudes increased under the match condition compared with the mismatch condition. In conclusion, the present study suggests that the reappearance of a stimulus held in WM enhanced activity in the occipital area. Subsequently, this initial capture of attention by WM could be inhibited by competing visual inputs through attention re-orientation, reflecting by the alpha-band rhythm.

  1. Testing a Dynamic Field Account of Interactions between Spatial Attention and Spatial Working Memory

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    Johnson, Jeffrey S.; Spencer, John P.

    2016-01-01

    Studies examining the relationship between spatial attention and spatial working memory (SWM) have shown that discrimination responses are faster for targets appearing at locations that are being maintained in SWM, and that location memory is impaired when attention is withdrawn during the delay. These observations support the proposal that sustained attention is required for successful retention in SWM: if attention is withdrawn, memory representations are likely to fail, increasing errors. In the present study, this proposal is reexamined in light of a neural process model of SWM. On the basis of the model's functioning, we propose an alternative explanation for the observed decline in SWM performance when a secondary task is performed during retention: SWM representations drift systematically toward the location of targets appearing during the delay. To test this explanation, participants completed a color-discrimination task during the delay interval of a spatial recall task. In the critical shifting attention condition, the color stimulus could appear either toward or away from the memorized location relative to a midline reference axis. We hypothesized that if shifting attention during the delay leads to the failure of SWM representations, there should be an increase in the variance of recall errors but no change in directional error, regardless of the direction of the shift. Conversely, if shifting attention induces drift of SWM representations—as predicted by the model—there should be systematic changes in the pattern of spatial recall errors depending on the direction of the shift. Results were consistent with the latter possibility—recall errors were biased toward the location of discrimination targets appearing during the delay. PMID:26810574

  2. Testing a dynamic-field account of interactions between spatial attention and spatial working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Jeffrey S; Spencer, John P

    2016-05-01

    Studies examining the relationship between spatial attention and spatial working memory (SWM) have shown that discrimination responses are faster for targets appearing at locations that are being maintained in SWM, and that location memory is impaired when attention is withdrawn during the delay. These observations support the proposal that sustained attention is required for successful retention in SWM: If attention is withdrawn, memory representations are likely to fail, increasing errors. In the present study, this proposal was reexamined in light of a neural-process model of SWM. On the basis of the model's functioning, we propose an alternative explanation for the observed decline in SWM performance when a secondary task is performed during retention: SWM representations drift systematically toward the location of targets appearing during the delay. To test this explanation, participants completed a color discrimination task during the delay interval of a spatial-recall task. In the critical shifting-attention condition, the color stimulus could appear either toward or away from the midline reference axis, relative to the memorized location. We hypothesized that if shifting attention during the delay leads to the failure of SWM representations, there should be an increase in the variance of recall errors, but no change in directional errors, regardless of the direction of the shift. Conversely, if shifting attention induces drift of SWM representations-as predicted by the model-systematic changes in the patterns of spatial-recall errors should occur that would depend on the direction of the shift. The results were consistent with the latter possibility-recall errors were biased toward the locations of discrimination targets appearing during the delay.

  3. The scope and control of attention as separate aspects of working memory.

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    Shipstead, Zach; Redick, Thomas S; Hicks, Kenny L; Engle, Randall W

    2012-01-01

    The present study examines two varieties of working memory (WM) capacity task: visual arrays (i.e., a measure of the amount of information that can be maintained in working memory) and complex span (i.e., a task that taps WM-related attentional control). Using previously collected data sets we employ confirmatory factor analysis to demonstrate that visual arrays and complex span tasks load on separate, but correlated, factors. A subsequent series of structural equation models and regression analyses demonstrate that these factors contribute both common and unique variance to the prediction of general fluid intelligence (Gf). However, while visual arrays does contribute uniquely to higher cognition, its overall correlation to Gf is largely mediated by variance associated with the complex span factor. Thus we argue that visual arrays performance is not strictly driven by a limited-capacity storage system (e.g., the focus of attention; Cowan, 2001), but may also rely on control processes such as selective attention and controlled memory search.

  4. Pupillary correlates of covert shifts of attention during working memory maintenance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unsworth, Nash; Robison, Matthew K

    2017-04-01

    The pupillary light reflex (PLR) was used to track covert shifts of attention to items maintained in visual working memory (VWM). In three experiments, participants performed a change detection task in which rectangles appeared on either side of fixation and at test participants indicated if the cued rectangle changed its orientation. Prior to presentation or during the delay, participants were cued to the light or dark side of the screen. When cued to the light side, the pupil constricted, and when cued to the dark side, the pupil dilated, suggesting that the PLR tracked covert shifts of attention. Similar covert shifts of attention were seen when the target stimuli remained onscreen and during a blank delay period, suggesting similar effects for attention to perceptual stimuli and attention to stimuli maintained in VWM. Furthermore, similar effects were demonstrated when participants were pre-cued or retro-cued to the prioritized location, suggesting that shifts of covert attention can occur both before and after target presentation. These results are consistent with prior research, suggesting an important role of covert shifts of attention during VWM maintenance and that the PLR can be used to track these covert shifts of attention.

  5. Object-based attention underlies the rehearsal of feature binding in visual working memory.

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    Shen, Mowei; Huang, Xiang; Gao, Zaifeng

    2015-04-01

    Feature binding is a core concept in many research fields, including the study of working memory (WM). Over the past decade, it has been debated whether keeping the feature binding in visual WM consumes more visual attention than the constituent single features. Previous studies have only explored the contribution of domain-general attention or space-based attention in the binding process; no study so far has explored the role of object-based attention in retaining binding in visual WM. We hypothesized that object-based attention underlay the mechanism of rehearsing feature binding in visual WM. Therefore, during the maintenance phase of a visual WM task, we inserted a secondary mental rotation (Experiments 1-3), transparent motion (Experiment 4), or an object-based feature report task (Experiment 5) to consume the object-based attention available for binding. In line with the prediction of the object-based attention hypothesis, Experiments 1-5 revealed a more significant impairment for binding than for constituent single features. However, this selective binding impairment was not observed when inserting a space-based visual search task (Experiment 6). We conclude that object-based attention underlies the rehearsal of binding representation in visual WM. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved.

  6. Consciousness and the prefrontal parietal network: insights from attention, working memory, and chunking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bor, Daniel; Seth, Anil K

    2012-01-01

    Consciousness has of late become a "hot topic" in neuroscience. Empirical work has centered on identifying potential neural correlates of consciousness (NCCs), with a converging view that the prefrontal parietal network (PPN) is closely associated with this process. Theoretical work has primarily sought to explain how informational properties of this cortical network could account for phenomenal properties of consciousness. However, both empirical and theoretical research has given less focus to the psychological features that may account for the NCCs. The PPN has also been heavily linked with cognitive processes, such as attention. We describe how this literature is under-appreciated in consciousness science, in part due to the increasingly entrenched assumption of a strong dissociation between attention and consciousness. We argue instead that there is more common ground between attention and consciousness than is usually emphasized: although objects can under certain circumstances be attended to in the absence of conscious access, attention as a content selection and boosting mechanism is an important and necessary aspect of consciousness. Like attention, working memory and executive control involve the interlinking of multiple mental objects and have also been closely associated with the PPN. We propose that this set of cognitive functions, in concert with attention, make up the core psychological components of consciousness. One related process, chunking, exploits logical or mnemonic redundancies in a dataset so that it can be recoded and a given task optimized. Chunking has been shown to activate PPN particularly robustly, even compared with other cognitively demanding tasks, such as working memory or mental arithmetic. It is therefore possible that chunking, as a tool to detect useful patterns within an integrated set of intensely processed (attended) information, has a central role to play in consciousness. Following on from this, we suggest that a key

  7. Consciousness and the prefrontal parietal network: Insights from attention, working memory and chunking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel eBor

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Consciousness has of late become a hot topic in neuroscience. Empirical work has centred on identifying potential neural correlates of consciousness (NCCs, with a converging view that the prefrontal parietal network (PPN is closely associated with this process. Theoretical work has primarily sought to explain how informational properties of this cortical network could account for phenomenal properties of consciousness. However, both empirical and theoretical research has given less focus to the psychological features that may account for the NCCs. The PPN has also been heavily linked with cognitive processes, such as attention. We describe how this literature is under-appreciated in consciousness science, in part due to the increasingly entrenched assumption of a strong dissociation between attention and consciousness. We argue instead that there is more common ground between attention and consciousness than is usually emphasized: although objects can under certain circumstances be attended to in the absence of conscious access, attention as a content selection and boosting mechanism is an important and necessary aspect of consciousness. Like attention, working memory and executive control involve the interlinking of multiple mental objects and have also been closely associated with the PPN. We propose that this set of cognitive functions, in concert with attention, make up the core psychological components of consciousness. One related process, chunking, has been shown to activate PPN particularly robustly, even compared with other cognitively demanding tasks, such as working memory or mental arithmetic. It is therefore possible that chunking, as a tool to detect useful patterns within an integrated set of intensely processed (attended information, has a central role to play in consciousness. Following on from this, we suggest that the main evolutionary purpose of consciousness may be to provide innovative solutions to complex or novel problems.

  8. Auditory and Visual Working Memory Functioning in College Students with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and/or Learning Disabilities.

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    Liebel, Spencer W; Nelson, Jason M

    2017-12-01

    We investigated the auditory and visual working memory functioning in college students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities, and clinical controls. We examined the role attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder subtype status played in working memory functioning. The unique influence that both domains of working memory have on reading and math abilities was investigated. A sample of 268 individuals seeking postsecondary education comprise four groups of the present study: 110 had an attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder diagnosis only, 72 had a learning disability diagnosis only, 35 had comorbid attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and learning disability diagnoses, and 60 individuals without either of these disorders comprise a clinical control group. Participants underwent a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation, and licensed psychologists employed a multi-informant, multi-method approach in obtaining diagnoses. In the attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder only group, there was no difference between auditory and visual working memory functioning, t(100) = -1.57, p = .12. In the learning disability group, however, auditory working memory functioning was significantly weaker compared with visual working memory, t(71) = -6.19, p attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder only group, there were no auditory or visual working memory functioning differences between participants with either a predominantly inattentive type or a combined type diagnosis. Visual working memory did not incrementally contribute to the prediction of academic achievement skills. Individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder did not demonstrate significant working memory differences compared with clinical controls. Individuals with a learning disability demonstrated weaker auditory working memory than individuals in either the attention-deficit/hyperactivity or clinical control groups. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University

  9. The role of attention in item-item binding in visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Dwight J; Naveh-Benjamin, Moshe

    2017-09-01

    An important yet unresolved question regarding visual working memory (VWM) relates to whether or not binding processes within VWM require additional attentional resources compared with processing solely the individual components comprising these bindings. Previous findings indicate that binding of surface features (e.g., colored shapes) within VWM is not demanding of resources beyond what is required for single features. However, it is possible that other types of binding, such as the binding of complex, distinct items (e.g., faces and scenes), in VWM may require additional resources. In 3 experiments, we examined VWM item-item binding performance under no load, articulatory suppression, and backward counting using a modified change detection task. Binding performance declined to a greater extent than single-item performance under higher compared with lower levels of concurrent load. The findings from each of these experiments indicate that processing item-item bindings within VWM requires a greater amount of attentional resources compared with single items. These findings also highlight an important distinction between the role of attention in item-item binding within VWM and previous studies of long-term memory (LTM) where declines in single-item and binding test performance are similar under divided attention. The current findings provide novel evidence that the specific type of binding is an important determining factor regarding whether or not VWM binding processes require attention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  10. Working memory and executive function: the influence of content and load on the control of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hester, Robert; Garavan, Hugh

    2005-03-01

    In a series of three experiments, increasing working memory (WM) load was demonstrated to reduce the executive control of attention, measured via task-switching and inhibitory control paradigms. Uniquely, our paradigms allowed comparison of the ability to exert executive control when the stimulus was either part of the currently rehearsed memory set or an unrelated distractor item. The results demonstrated a content-specific effect-insofar as switching attention away from, or exerting inhibitory control over, items currently held in WM was especially difficult-compounded by increasing WM load. This finding supports the attentional control theory that active maintenance of competing task goals is critical to executive function and WM capacity; however, it also suggests that the increased salience provided to the contents of WM through active rehearsal exerts a content-specific influence on attentional control. These findings are discussed in relation to cue-induced ruminations, where active rehearsal of evocative information (e.g., negative thoughts in depression or drug-related thoughts in addiction) in WM typically results from environmental cuing. The present study has demonstrated that when information currently maintained in WM is reencountered, it is harder to exert executive control over it. The difficulty with suppressing the processing of these stimuli presumably reinforces the maintenance of these items in WM, due to the greater level of attention they are afforded, and may help to explain how the cue-induced craving/rumination cycle is perpetuated.

  11. The Effects of Incentives on Visual-Spatial Working Memory in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiels, Keri; Hawk, Larry W., Jr.; Lysczek, Cynthia L.; Tannock, Rosemary; Pelham, William E., Jr.; Spencer, Sarah V.; Gangloff, Brian P.; Waschbusch, Daniel A.

    2008-01-01

    Working memory is one of several putative core neurocognitive processes in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The present work seeks to determine whether visual-spatial working memory is sensitive to motivational incentives, a laboratory analogue of behavioral treatment. Participants were 21 children (ages 7-10) with a diagnosis of…

  12. Visual working memory gives up attentional control early in learning: ruling out interhemispheric cancellation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinhart, Robert M G; Carlisle, Nancy B; Woodman, Geoffrey F

    2014-08-01

    Current research suggests that we can watch visual working memory surrender the control of attention early in the process of learning to search for a specific object. This inference is based on the observation that the contralateral delay activity (CDA) rapidly decreases in amplitude across trials when subjects search for the same target object. Here, we tested the alternative explanation that the role of visual working memory does not actually decline across learning, but instead lateralized representations accumulate in both hemispheres across trials and wash out the lateralized CDA. We show that the decline in CDA amplitude occurred even when the target objects were consistently lateralized to a single visual hemifield. Our findings demonstrate that reductions in the amplitude of the CDA during learning are not simply due to the dilution of the CDA from interhemispheric cancellation. Copyright © 2014 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  13. Modulation of alpha and gamma oscillations related to retrospectively orienting attention within working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poch, Claudia; Campo, Pablo; Barnes, Gareth R

    2014-07-01

    Selective attention mechanisms allow us to focus on information that is relevant to the current behavior and, equally important, ignore irrelevant information. An influential model proposes that oscillatory neural activity in the alpha band serves as an active functional inhibitory mechanism. Recent studies have shown that, in the same way that attention can be selectively oriented to bias sensory processing in favor of relevant stimuli in perceptual tasks, it is also possible to retrospectively orient attention to internal representations held in working memory. However, these studies have not explored the associated oscillatory phenomena. In the current study, we analysed the patterns of neural oscillatory activity recorded with magnetoencephalography while participants performed a change detection task, in which a spatial retro-cue was presented during the maintenance period, indicating which item or items were relevant for subsequent retrieval. Participants benefited from retro-cues in terms of accuracy and reaction time. Retro-cues also modulated oscillatory activity in the alpha and gamma frequency bands. We observed greater alpha activity in a ventral visual region ipsilateral to the attended hemifield, thus supporting its suppressive role, i.e., a functional disengagement of task-irrelevant regions. Accompanying this modulation, we found an increase in gamma activity contralateral to the attended hemifield, which could reflect attentional orienting and selective processing. These findings suggest that the oscillatory mechanisms underlying attentional orienting to representations held in working memory are similar to those engaged when attention is oriented in the perceptual space. © 2014 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience published by Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Working Memory Capacity and the Top-Down Control of Visual Search: Exploring the Boundaries of "Executive Attention"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kane, Michael J.; Poole, Bradley J.; Tuholski, Stephen W.; Engle, Randall W.

    2006-01-01

    The executive attention theory of working memory capacity (WMC) proposes that measures of WMC broadly predict higher order cognitive abilities because they tap important and general attention capabilities (R. W. Engle & M. J. Kane, 2004). Previous research demonstrated WMC-related differences in attention tasks that required restraint of habitual…

  15. Bindings in working memory: The role of object-based attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Zaifeng; Wu, Fan; Qiu, Fangfang; He, Kaifeng; Yang, Yue; Shen, Mowei

    2017-02-01

    Over the past decade, it has been debated whether retaining bindings in working memory (WM) requires more attention than retaining constituent features, focusing on domain-general attention and space-based attention. Recently, we proposed that retaining bindings in WM needs more object-based attention than retaining constituent features (Shen, Huang, & Gao, 2015, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, doi: 10.1037/xhp0000018 ). However, only unitized visual bindings were examined; to establish the role of object-based attention in retaining bindings in WM, more emperical evidence is required. We tested 4 new bindings that had been suggested requiring no more attention than the constituent features in the WM maintenance phase: The two constituent features of binding were stored in different WM modules (cross-module binding, Experiment 1), from auditory and visual modalities (cross-modal binding, Experiment 2), or temporally (cross-time binding, Experiments 3) or spatially (cross-space binding, Experiments 4-6) separated. In the critical condition, we added a secondary object feature-report task during the delay interval of the change-detection task, such that the secondary task competed for object-based attention with the to-be-memorized stimuli. If more object-based attention is required for retaining bindings than for retaining constituent features, the secondary task should impair the binding performance to a larger degree relative to the performance of constituent features. Indeed, Experiments 1-6 consistently revealed a significantly larger impairment for bindings than for the constituent features, suggesting that object-based attention plays a pivotal role in retaining bindings in WM.

  16. Component deficits of visual neglect: "Magnetic" attraction of attention vs. impaired spatial working memory.

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    Toba, Monica N; Rabuffetti, Marco; Duret, Christophe; Pradat-Diehl, Pascale; Gainotti, Guido; Bartolomeo, Paolo

    2018-01-31

    Visual neglect is a disabling consequence of right hemisphere damage, whereby patients fail to detect left-sided objects. Its precise mechanisms are debated, but there is some consensus that distinct component deficits may variously associate and interact in different patients. Here we used a touch-screen based procedure to study two putative component deficits of neglect, rightward "magnetic" attraction of attention and impaired spatial working memory, in a group of 47 right brain-damaged patients, of whom 33 had signs of left neglect. Patients performed a visual search task on three distinct conditions, whereby touched targets could (1) be tagged, (2) disappear or (3) show no change. Magnetic attraction of attention was defined as more left neglect on the tag condition than on the disappear condition, where right-sided disappeared targets could not capture patients' attention. Impaired spatial working memory should instead produce more neglect on the no change condition, where no external cue indicated that a target had already been explored, than on the tag condition. Using a specifically developed analysis algorithm, we identified significant differences of performance between the critical conditions. Neglect patients as a group performed better on the disappear condition than on the no change condition and also better in the tag condition comparing with the no change condition. No difference was found between the tag condition and the disappear condition. Some of our neglect patients had dissociated patterns of performance, with predominant magnetic attraction or impaired spatial working memory. Anatomical results issued from both grey matter analysis and fiber tracking were consistent with the typical patterns of fronto-parietal and occipito-frontal disconnection in neglect, but did not identify lesional patterns specifically associated with one or another deficit, thus suggesting the possible co-localization of attentional and working memory processes in

  17. Top down modulation of attention to food cues via working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higgs, Suzanne; Rutters, Femke; Thomas, Jason M; Naish, Katherine; Humphreys, Glyn W

    2012-08-01

    Attentional biases towards food cues may be linked to the development of obesity. The present study investigated the mechanisms underlying attentional biases to food cues by assessing the role of top down influences, such as working memory (WM). We assessed whether attention in normal-weight, sated participants was drawn to food items specifically when that food item was held in WM. Twenty-three participants (15 f/8 m, age 23.4±5 year, BMI 23.5±4 kg/m(2)) took part in a laboratory based study assessing reaction times to food and non-food stimuli. Participants were presented with an initial cue stimulus to either hold in WM or to merely attend to, and then searched for the target (a circle) in a two-item display. On valid trials the target was flanked by a picture matching the cue, on neutral trials the display did not contain a picture matching the cue, and on invalid trials the distractor (a square) was flanked by a picture matching the cue. Cues were food, cars or stationery items. We observed that, relative to the effects with non-food stimuli, food items in WM strongly affected attention when the memorised cue re-appeared in the search display. In particular there was an enhanced response on valid trials, when the re-appearance of the memorised cue coincided with the search target. There were no effects of cue category on attentional guidance when the cues were merely attended to but not held in WM. These data point towards food having a strong effect on top-down guidance of search from working memory, and suggest a mechanism whereby individuals who are preoccupied with thoughts of food, for example obese individuals, show facilitated detection of food cues in the environment. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Towards an Artificial Phonological Loop: An Assistive Device for Working Memory and Attentional Control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Bogen

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available We describe the initial development of an artificial phonological loop (APL, a new technology to assist individuals with impairment of the working memory system. The phonological loop, along with the visuospatial sketchpad, is one of the two slave short-term memory subsystems that comprise working memory, a cognitive function closely associated with the control of attention. In the phonological loop, phonological (speech information lasting for 1–2 second is maintained active by repetitive, subvocal (silent speech rehearsal. Deficits in working memory, specifically in the phonological loop, occur in many disorders, including attention-deficit disorder and Alzheimer’s disease. In these disorders, it appears that the ability for phonological rehearsal is intact, but the regulation or triggering of the rehearsal process is inadequate, thus causing the contents of working memory to be lost. The purpose, then, of the APL is to facilitate the phonological loop by artificially extending the duration of phonological rehearsals. The APL mimics the natural phonological loop by providing audible vocal echoes to take the place of subvocal rehearsals. In this system, the user talks to him/herself in short (1–2 second phrases; the device records these phrases, stores them in electronic memory, and then repeats— i.e., echoes—the phrases multiple times over an extended period. Two versions of this device have been developed: the Echo-APL and the Rearticulation-APL. In the Echo-APL, only echoing is involved. In the Rearticulation-APL, however, the user re-vocalizes (rearticulates the phrase in response to an audible cue. The device repeats the cue until it detects (hears the re-vocalization. Future research and development of the APL will require extensive testing and careful evaluation of possible echo-schedules: the predefined program controlling inter-echo time intervals and echo-amplitude (echo loudness. The APL essentially exteriorizes the silent

  19. Daily variability in working memory is coupled with negative affect: the role of attention and motivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brose, Annette; Schmiedek, Florian; Lövdén, Martin; Lindenberger, Ulman

    2012-06-01

    Across days, individuals experience varying levels of negative affect, control of attention, and motivation. We investigated whether this intraindividual variability was coupled with daily fluctuations in working memory (WM) performance. In 100 days, 101 younger individuals worked on a spatial N-back task and rated negative affect, control of attention, and motivation. Results showed that individuals differed in how reliably WM performance fluctuated across days, and that subjective experiences were primarily linked to performance accuracy. WM performance was lower on days with higher levels of negative affect, reduced control of attention, and reduced task-related motivation. Thus, variables that were found to predict WM in between-subjects designs showed important relationships to WM at the within-person level. In addition, there was shared predictive variance among predictors of WM. Days with increased negative affect and reduced performance were also days with reduced control of attention and reduced motivation to work on tasks. These findings are in line with proposed mechanisms linking negative affect and cognitive performance.

  20. Attention, Working Memory, and Long-Term Memory in Multimedia Learning: An Integrated Perspective Based on Process Models of Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  1. Heterogeneity in development of aspects of working memory predicts longitudinal attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptom change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karalunas, Sarah L; Gustafsson, Hanna C; Dieckmann, Nathan F; Tipsord, Jessica; Mitchell, Suzanne H; Nigg, Joel T

    2017-08-01

    The role of cognitive mechanisms in the clinical course of neurodevelopmental disorders is poorly understood. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is emblematic in that numerous alterations in cognitive development are apparent, yet how they relate to changes in symptom expression with age is unclear. To resolve the role of cognitive mechanisms in ADHD, a developmental perspective that takes into account expected within-group heterogeneity is needed. The current study uses an accelerated longitudinal design and latent trajectory growth mixture models in a sample of children ages 7-13 years carefully characterized as with (n = 437) and without (n = 297) ADHD to (a) identify heterogeneous developmental trajectories for response inhibition, visual spatial working memory maintenance, and delayed reward discounting and (b) to assess the relationships between these cognitive trajectories and ADHD symptom change. Best-fitting models indicated multiple trajectory classes in both the ADHD and typically developing samples, as well as distinct relationships between each cognitive process and ADHD symptom change. Developmental change in response inhibition and delayed reward discounting were unrelated to ADHD symptom change, while individual differences in the rate of visual spatial working memory maintenance improvement predicted symptom remission in ADHD. Characterizing heterogeneity in cognitive development will be crucial for clarifying mechanisms of symptom persistence and recovery. Results here suggest working memory maintenance may be uniquely related to ADHD symptom improvement. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  2. Effects of a Computerized Working Memory Training Program on Working Memory, Attention, and Academics in Adolescents with Severe LD and Comorbid ADHD: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, S. A.; Chaban, P.; Martinussen, R.; Goldberg, R.; Gotlieb, H.; Kronitz, R.; Hockenberry, M.; Tannock, R.

    2012-01-01

    Background: Youths with coexisting learning disabilities (LD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at risk for poor academic and social outcomes. The underlying cognitive deficits, such as poor working memory (WM), are not well targeted by current treatments for either LD or ADHD. Emerging evidence suggests that WM might be…

  3. Long-term effects of frequent cannabis use on working memory and attention: an fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jager, Gerry; Kahn, Rene S; Van Den Brink, Wim; Van Ree, Jan M; Ramsey, Nick F

    2006-04-01

    Excessive use of cannabis may have long-term effects on cognitive abilities. Mild impairments have been found in several cognitive domains, particularly in memory and attention. It is not clear, however, whether these effects also occur with moderate, recreational use of cannabis. Furthermore, little is known about underlying brain correlates. The aim of this study is to assess brain function in frequent but relatively moderate cannabis users in the domains of working memory and selective attention. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to examine verbal working memory and visuo-auditory selective attention in ten frequent cannabis users (after 1 week of abstinence) and ten non-using healthy controls. Groups were similar in age, gender and estimated IQ. Cannabis users and controls performed equally well during the working memory task and the selective attention task. Furthermore, cannabis users did not differ from controls in terms of overall patterns of brain activity in the regions involved in these cognitive functions. However, for working memory, a more specific region-of-interest analysis showed that, in comparison to the controls, cannabis users displayed a significant alteration in brain activity in the left superior parietal cortex. No evidence was found for long-term deficits in working memory and selective attention in frequent cannabis users after 1 week of abstinence. Nonetheless, frequent cannabis use may affect brain function, as indicated by altered neurophysiological dynamics in the left superior parietal cortex during working memory processing.

  4. A locus coeruleus-norepinephrine account of individual differences in working memory capacity and attention control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unsworth, Nash; Robison, Matthew K

    2017-08-01

    Studies examining individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC) have suggested that low WMC individuals have particular deficits in attention control processes compared to high WMC individuals. In the current article we suggest that part of the WMC-attention control relation is due to variation in the functioning of the locus coeruleus-norepinephrine system (LC-NE). Specifically, we suggest that because of dysregulation of LC-NE functioning, the fronto-parietal control network for low WMC individuals is only weakly activated, resulting in greater default-mode network activity (and greater mind-wandering) for low WMC individuals compared to high WMC individuals. This results in disrupted attention control and overall more erratic performance (more lapses of attention) for low WMC individuals than for high WMC individuals. This framework is used to examine previous studies of individual differences in WMC and attention control, and new evidence is examined on the basis of predictions of the framework to pupillary responses as an indirect marker of LC-NE functioning.

  5. Attention training improves aberrant neural dynamics during working memory processing in veterans with PTSD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDermott, Timothy J; Badura-Brack, Amy S; Becker, Katherine M; Ryan, Tara J; Bar-Haim, Yair; Pine, Daniel S; Khanna, Maya M; Heinrichs-Graham, Elizabeth; Wilson, Tony W

    2016-12-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with executive functioning deficits, including disruptions in working memory (WM). Recent studies suggest that attention training reduces PTSD symptomatology, but the underlying neural mechanisms are unknown. We used high-density magnetoencephalography (MEG) to evaluate whether attention training modulates brain regions serving WM processing in PTSD. Fourteen veterans with PTSD completed a WM task during a 306-sensor MEG recording before and after 8 sessions of attention training treatment. A matched comparison sample of 12 combat-exposed veterans without PTSD completed the same WM task during a single MEG session. To identify the spatiotemporal dynamics, each group's data were transformed into the time-frequency domain, and significant oscillatory brain responses were imaged using a beamforming approach. All participants exhibited activity in left hemispheric language areas consistent with a verbal WM task. Additionally, veterans with PTSD and combat-exposed healthy controls each exhibited oscillatory responses in right hemispheric homologue regions (e.g., right Broca's area); however, these responses were in opposite directions. Group differences in oscillatory activity emerged in the theta band (4-8 Hz) during encoding and in the alpha band (9-12 Hz) during maintenance and were significant in right prefrontal and right supramarginal and inferior parietal regions. Importantly, following attention training, these significant group differences were reduced or eliminated. This study provides initial evidence that attention training improves aberrant neural activity in brain networks serving WM processing.

  6. Listening to polyphonic music recruits domain-general attention and working memory circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janata, Petr; Tillmann, Barbara; Bharucha, Jamshed J

    2002-06-01

    Polyphonic music combines multiple auditory streams to create complex auditory scenes, thus providing a tool for investigating the neural mechanisms that orient attention in natural auditory contexts. Across two fMRI experiments, we varied stimuli and task demands in order to identify the cortical areas that are activated during attentive listening to real music. In individual experiments and in a conjunction analysis of the two experiments, we found bilateral blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal increases in temporal (the superior temporal gyrus), parietal (the intraparietal sulcus), and frontal (the precentral sulcus, the inferior frontal sulcus and gyrus, and the frontal operculum) areas during selective and global listening, as compared with passive rest without musical stimulation. Direct comparisons of the listening conditions showed significant differences between attending to single timbres (instruments) and attending across multiple instruments, although the patterns that were observed depended on the relative demands of the tasks being compared. The overall pattern of BOLD signal increases indicated that attentive listening to music recruits neural circuits underlying multiple forms of working memory, attention, semantic processing, target detection, and motor imagery. Thus, attentive listening to music appears to be enabled by areas that serve general functions, rather than by music-specific cortical modules.

  7. Trait anxiety and impaired control of reflective attention in working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoshino, Takatoshi; Tanno, Yoshihiko

    2016-01-01

    The present study investigated whether the control of reflective attention in working memory (WM) is impaired in high trait anxiety individuals. We focused on the consequences of refreshing-a simple reflective process of thinking briefly about a just-activated representation in mind-on the subsequent processing of verbal stimuli. Participants performed a selective refreshing task, in which they initially refreshed or read one word from a three-word set, and then refreshed a non-selected item from the initial phrase or read aloud a new word. High trait anxiety individuals exhibited greater latencies when refreshing a word after experiencing the refreshing of a word from the same list of semantic associates. The same pattern was observed for reading a new word after prior refreshing. These findings suggest that high trait anxiety individuals have difficulty resolving interference from active distractors when directing reflective attention towards contents in WM or processing a visually presented word.

  8. Object formation in visual working memory: Evidence from object-based attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Jifan; Zhang, Haihang; Ding, Xiaowei; Shui, Rende; Shen, Mowei

    2016-09-01

    We report on how visual working memory (VWM) forms intact perceptual representations of visual objects using sub-object elements. Specifically, when objects were divided into fragments and sequentially encoded into VWM, the fragments were involuntarily integrated into objects in VWM, as evidenced by the occurrence of both positive and negative object-based attention effects: In Experiment 1, when subjects' attention was cued to a location occupied by the VWM object, the target presented at the location of that object was perceived as occurring earlier than that presented at the location of a different object. In Experiment 2, responses to a target were significantly slower when a distractor was presented at the same location as the cued object (Experiment 2). These results suggest that object fragments can be integrated into objects within VWM in a manner similar to that of visual perception. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Learning to echolocate in sighted people: a correlational study on attention, working memory and spatial abilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ekkel, M R; van Lier, R; Steenbergen, B

    2017-03-01

    Echolocation can be beneficial for the orientation and mobility of visually impaired people. Research has shown considerable individual differences for acquiring this skill. However, individual characteristics that affect the learning of echolocation are largely unknown. In the present study, we examined individual factors that are likely to affect learning to echolocate: sustained and divided attention, working memory, and spatial abilities. To that aim, sighted participants with normal hearing performed an echolocation task that was adapted from a previously reported size-discrimination task. In line with existing studies, we found large individual differences in echolocation ability. We also found indications that participants were able to improve their echolocation ability. Furthermore, we found a significant positive correlation between improvement in echolocation and sustained and divided attention, as measured in the PASAT. No significant correlations were found with our tests regarding working memory and spatial abilities. These findings may have implications for the development of guidelines for training echolocation that are tailored to the individual with a visual impairment.

  10. Subtle persistent working memory and selective attention deficits in women with premenstrual syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slyepchenko, Anastasiya; Lokuge, Sonali; Nicholls, Brianne; Steiner, Meir; Hall, Geoffrey B C; Soares, Claudio N; Frey, Benicio N

    2017-03-01

    As a recurrent, cyclical phenomenon, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) affects a significant proportion of women of the reproductive age, and leads to regular monthly days of functional impairment. Symptoms of PMS include somatic and psychological symptoms, such as headaches, sleep disturbances, social withdrawal and mood changes, during the late luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, which alleviate during the follicular phase. This study investigated neurocognitive functioning in women with moderate to severe PMS symptoms (n=13) compared to women with mild/no PMS (n=27) through administration of a battery of neuropsychological tests during the asymptomatic follicular phase of the menstrual cycle. Relative to women with mild/no PMS symptoms, women with moderate to severe PMS showed significantly poorer accuracy and more errors of omission on the N-0-back, as well as more errors of omission on the N-2-back task, indicating the presence of impairment in selective attention and working memory. This study provides evidence of persistent, subtle working memory and selective attention difficulties in those with moderate to severe PMS during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. How attention can create synaptic tags for the learning of working memories in sequential tasks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaldert O Rombouts

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Intelligence is our ability to learn appropriate responses to new stimuli and situations. Neurons in association cortex are thought to be essential for this ability. During learning these neurons become tuned to relevant features and start to represent them with persistent activity during memory delays. This learning process is not well understood. Here we develop a biologically plausible learning scheme that explains how trial-and-error learning induces neuronal selectivity and working memory representations for task-relevant information. We propose that the response selection stage sends attentional feedback signals to earlier processing levels, forming synaptic tags at those connections responsible for the stimulus-response mapping. Globally released neuromodulators then interact with tagged synapses to determine their plasticity. The resulting learning rule endows neural networks with the capacity to create new working memory representations of task relevant information as persistent activity. It is remarkably generic: it explains how association neurons learn to store task-relevant information for linear as well as non-linear stimulus-response mappings, how they become tuned to category boundaries or analog variables, depending on the task demands, and how they learn to integrate probabilistic evidence for perceptual decisions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Alessandra S

    2016-08-01

    Maintenance of information in mind to the moment-to-moment cognition is accomplished by working memory (WM). WM capacity is reduced in old age, but the nature of this decline is yet not clear. The current study examined the hypothesis that the decline in visual WM performance with age is related to a reduced ability to use attention to control the contents of WM. Young (M = 26 years) and old (M = 71 years) adults performed a color reproduction task in which the precise color of a set of dots had to be maintained in mind over a brief interval and later reproduced using a continuous color wheel. Attention was manipulated by presenting a spatial cue before the onset of the memory array (a precue) or during the maintenance phase (retro-cue). The cue indicated with 100% certainty the item to be tested at the end of the trial. A precue allows the selective encoding of only the relevant item to WM, whereas a retro-cue allows WM contents to be updated by refreshing the relevant (cued) item and removing nonrelevant (noncued) items. Aging was associated with a lower capacity in the baseline (no-cue) condition. Precues and (to a smaller extent) retro-cues improved WM performance (in terms of probability of recall and memory precision). Critically, the benefits of cueing were of similar magnitude in young and older adults showing that the ability to use attention to selectively encode and update the contents of WM is preserved with aging. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  13. A Pilot Classroom-Based Study of Attention and Working Memory Strategies for Primary-Aged Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colmar, Susan; Davis, Nash; Sheldon, Linda

    2016-01-01

    An exploratory applied study, using a set of attention and working memory strategies specifically developed for students and named Memory Mates, was completed with normally developing students attending a primary school. Students in one classroom received the intervention, while the other classroom functioned as a control group. The study was…

  14. Relationships between divided attention and working memory impairment in people with schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Bradley E; Hahn, Britta; Robinson, Benjamin; Harvey, Alex; Leonard, Carly J; Luck, Steven J; Gold, James M

    2014-11-01

    Recent studies suggest that people with schizophrenia (PSZ) have difficulty distributing their attention broadly. Other research suggests that PSZ have reduced working memory (WM) capacity. This study tested whether these findings reflect a common underlying deficit. We measured the ability to distribute attention by means of the Useful Field of View (UFOV) task, in which participants must distribute attention so that they can discriminate a foveal target and simultaneously localize a peripheral target. Participants included 50 PSZ and 52 healthy control subjects. We found that PSZ exhibited severe impairments in UFOV performance, that UFOV performance was highly correlated with WM capacity in PSZ (r = -.61), and that UFOV impairments could not be explained by either impaired low-level processing or a generalized deficit. These results suggest that a common mechanism explains deficits in the ability to distribute attention broadly, reduced WM capacity, and other aspects of impaired cognition in schizophrenia. We hypothesize that this mechanism may involve abnormal local circuit dynamics that cause a hyperfocusing of resources onto a small number of internal representations. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Visual unimodal grouping mediates auditory attentional bias in visuo-spatial working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botta, Fabiano; Lupiáñez, Juan; Sanabria, Daniel

    2013-09-01

    Audiovisual links in spatial attention have been reported in many previous studies. However, the effectiveness of auditory spatial cues in biasing the information encoding into visuo-spatial working memory (VSWM) is still relatively unknown. In this study, we addressed this issue by combining a cuing paradigm with a change detection task in VSWM. Moreover, we manipulated the perceptual organization of the to-be-remembered visual stimuli. We hypothesized that the auditory effect on VSWM would depend on the perceptual association between the auditory cue and the visual probe. Results showed, for the first time, a significant auditory attentional bias in VSWM. However, the effect was observed only when the to-be-remembered visual stimuli were organized in two distinctive visual objects. We propose that these results shed new light on audio-visual crossmodal links in spatial attention suggesting that, apart from the spatio-temporal contingency, the likelihood of perceptual association between the auditory cue and the visual target can have a large impact on crossmodal attentional biases. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. The temporal dynamics of visual working memory guidance of selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Jinfeng; Zhao, Yuanfang; Wu, Shanshan; Wang, Lijun; Hitchman, Glenn; Tian, Xia; Li, Ming; Hu, Li; Chen, Antao

    2014-01-01

    The biased competition model proposes that there is top-down directing of attention to a stimulus matching the contents of working memory (WM), even when the maintenance of a WM representation is detrimental to target relevant performance. Despite many studies elucidating that spatial WM guidance can be present early in the visual processing system, whether visual WM guidance also influences perceptual selection remains poorly understood. Here, we investigated the electrophysiological correlates of early guidance of attention by WM in humans. Participants were required to perform a visual search task while concurrently maintaining object representations in their visual WM. Behavioral results showed that response times (RTs) were longer when the distractor in the visual search task was held in WM. The earliest WM guidance effect was observed in the P1 component (90-130 ms), with match trials eliciting larger P1 amplitude than mismatch trials. A similar result was also found in the N1 component (160-200 ms). These P1 and N1 effects could not be attributed to bottom-up perceptual priming from the presentation of a memory cue, because there was no significant difference in early event-related potential (ERP) component when the cue was merely perceptually identified but not actively held in WM. Standardized Low Resolution Electrical Tomography Analysis (sLORETA) showed that the early WM guidance occurred in the occipital lobe and the N1-related activation occurred in the parietal gyrus. Time-frequency data suggested that alpha-band event-related spectral perturbation (ERSP) magnitudes increased under the match condition compared with the mismatch condition only when the cue was held in WM. In conclusion, the present study suggests that the reappearance of a stimulus held in WM enhanced activity in the occipital area. Subsequently, this initial capture of attention by WM could be inhibited by competing visual inputs through attention re-orientation, reflecting by the

  17. Executive control of stimulus-driven and goal-directed attention in visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

    We examined the role of executive control in stimulus-driven and goal-directed attention in visual working memory using probed recall of a series of objects, a task that allows study of the dynamics of storage through analysis of serial position data. Experiment 1 examined whether executive control underlies goal-directed prioritization of certain items within the sequence. Instructing participants to prioritize either the first or final item resulted in improved recall for these items, and an increase in concurrent task difficulty reduced or abolished these gains, consistent with their dependence on executive control. Experiment 2 examined whether executive control is also involved in the disruption caused by a post-series visual distractor (suffix). A demanding concurrent task disrupted memory for all items except the most recent, whereas a suffix disrupted only the most recent items. There was no interaction when concurrent load and suffix were combined, suggesting that deploying selective attention to ignore the distractor did not draw upon executive resources. A final experiment replicated the independent interfering effects of suffix and concurrent load while ruling out possible artifacts. We discuss the results in terms of a domain-general episodic buffer in which information is retained in a transient, limited capacity privileged state, influenced by both stimulus-driven and goal-directed processes. The privileged state contains the most recent environmental input together with goal-relevant representations being actively maintained using executive resources.

  18. Impaired working memory capacity is not caused by failures of selective attention in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erickson, Molly A; Hahn, Britta; Leonard, Carly J; Robinson, Benjamin; Gray, Brad; Luck, Steven J; Gold, James

    2015-03-01

    The cognitive impairments associated with schizophrenia have long been known to involve deficits in working memory (WM) capacity. To date, however, the causes of WM capacity deficits remain unknown. The present study examined selective attention impairments as a putative contributor to observed capacity deficits in this population. To test this hypothesis, we used an experimental paradigm that assesses the role of selective attention in WM encoding and has been shown to involve the prefrontal cortex and the basal ganglia. In experiment 1, participants were required to remember the locations of 3 or 5 target items (red circles). In another condition, 3-target items were accompanied by 2 distractor items (yellow circles), which participants were instructed to ignore. People with schizophrenia (PSZ) exhibited significant impairment in memory for the locations of target items, consistent with reduced WM capacity, but PSZ and healthy control subjects did not differ in their ability to filter the distractors. This pattern was replicated in experiment 2 for distractors that were more salient. Taken together, these results demonstrate that reduced WM capacity in PSZ is not attributable to a failure of filtering irrelevant distractors. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Competition for the focus of attention in visual working memory: perceptual recency versus executive control.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-10

    Previous research on memory for a short sequence of visual stimuli indicates that access to the focus of attention (FoA) can be achieved in either of two ways. The first is automatic and is indexed by the recency effect, the enhanced retention of the final item. The second is strategic and based on instructions to prioritize items differentially, a process that draws on executive capacity and boosts retention of information deemed important. In both cases, the increased level of retention can be selectively reduced by presenting a poststimulus distractor (or suffix). We manipulated these variables across three experiments. Experiment 1 generalized previous evidence that prioritizing a single item enhances its retention and increases its vulnerability to interference from a poststimulus suffix. A second experiment showed that the enhancement from prioritizing one or two items comes at a cost to the recency effect. A third experiment showed that prioritizing two items renders memory for both vulnerable to interference from an irrelevant suffix. The results suggest that some but not all items in working memory compete to occupy a narrow FoA and that this competition is determined by a combination of perceptually driven recency and internal executive control. © 2018 New York Academy of Sciences.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katus, Tobias; Müller, Matthias M

    2016-03-01

    Working memory (WM) recruits neural circuits that also perform perception- and action-related functions. Among the functions that are shared between the domains of WM and perception is selective attention, which supports the maintenance of task-relevant information during the retention delay of WM tasks. The tactile contralateral delay activity (tCDA) component of the event-related potential (ERP) marks the attention-based rehearsal of tactile information in somatosensory brain regions. We tested whether the tCDA reflects the competition for shared attention resources between a WM task and a perceptual task under dual-task conditions. The two tasks were always performed on opposite hands. In different blocks, the WM task had higher or lower priority than the perceptual task. The tCDA's polarity consistently reflected the hand where the currently prioritized task was performed. This suggests that the process indexed by the tCDA is not specific to the domain of WM, but mediated by a domain-unspecific attention mechanism. The analysis of transient ERP components evoked by stimuli in the two tasks further supports the interpretation that the tCDA marks a goal-directed bias in the allocation of selective attention. Larger spatially selective modulations were obtained for stimulus material related to the high-, as compared to low-priority, task. While our results generally indicate functional overlap between the domains of WM and perception, we also found evidence suggesting that selection in internal (mnemonic) and external (perceptual) stimulus representations involves processes that are not active during shifts of preparatory attention. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. The Relationship between Visual Attention and Visual Working Memory Encoding: A Dissociation between Covert and Overt Orienting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tas, A. Caglar; Luck, Steven J.; Hollingworth, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    There is substantial debate over whether visual working memory (VWM) and visual attention constitute a single system for the selection of task-relevant perceptual information or whether they are distinct systems that can be dissociated when their representational demands diverge. In the present study, we focused on the relationship between visual attention and the encoding of objects into visual working memory (VWM). Participants performed a color change-detection task. During the retention interval, a secondary object, irrelevant to the memory task, was presented. Participants were instructed either to execute an overt shift of gaze to this object (Experiments 1–3) or to attend it covertly (Experiments 4 and 5). Our goal was to determine whether these overt and covert shifts of attention disrupted the information held in VWM. We hypothesized that saccades, which typically introduce a memorial demand to bridge perceptual disruption, would lead to automatic encoding of the secondary object. However, purely covert shifts of attention, which introduce no such demand, would not result in automatic memory encoding. The results supported these predictions. Saccades to the secondary object produced substantial interference with VWM performance, but covert shifts of attention to this object produced no interference with VWM performance. These results challenge prevailing theories that consider attention and VWM to reflect a common mechanism. In addition, they indicate that the relationship between attention and VWM is dependent on the memorial demands of the orienting behavior. PMID:26854532

  2. Direct evidence for a role of working memory in the attentional blink

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Akyürek, Elkan G; Hommel, Bernhard; Jolicœur, Pierre

    Theories of selective attention often have a central memory component, which is commonly thought to be limited in some way and is thereby a potential bottleneck in the attentional process. There have been only a few attempts to validate this assertion, and they have produced mixed results. This

  3. ERP correlates of selective attention and working memory capacities in children with ADHD and/or PDD-NOS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gomarus, H. Karin; Wijers, Albertus A.; Minderaa, Ruud B.; Althaus, Monika

    Objective: We examined whether children (8-11 years) diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) showing primarily hyperactive behavior, differed in selective attention and working memory (WM) abilities.

  4. Do the Contents of Visual Working Memory Automatically Influence Attentional Selection During Visual Search?

    OpenAIRE

    Woodman, Geoffrey F.; Luck, Steven J.

    2007-01-01

    In many theories of cognition, researchers propose that working memory and perception operate interactively. For example, in previous studies researchers have suggested that sensory inputs matching the contents of working memory will have an automatic advantage in the competition for processing resources. The authors tested this hypothesis by requiring observers to perform a visual search task while concurrently maintaining object representations in visual working memory. The hypothesis that ...

  5. The effectiveness of neurofeedback with computrized training in improving working memory in adults with attention deficit disorder/ hyperactivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    lila Heydarinasab

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Background : Attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder, is a common psychological disorder in persons, that continues from childhood into adulthood and leads to problem in various aspects of  their  life, such as personal, social, professional, and executive function such as working memory. Several studies indicate a close relationship between working memory deficits and attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder. Given the lack of studies on the effectiveness of neurofeedback in improving working memory in adults with ADHD, this study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of neurofeedback in working memory. Materials and Methods: Research design was experimental with pre-test and post-test and control group and carried out on adults with attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder referred to the Atieh clinic in Tehran .After reviewing inclusion and exclusion criteria,16 persons based on purposive sampling were selected in 2 groups of 8 cases as experimental and control groups. The research instruments were the Beck Anxiety Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory, Inventory adult attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder of Barkley, vital cns test, auditory and visual integrated test signs. Data analysis, through SPSS software using U Mann-Whitney, was performed. The independent t-test, Wilcoxon and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used also for complementary results. The protocol  used in this study, was increasing of beta waves on FZ. Results: The results showed that neurofeedback was led to a significant increase in working memory in experimental group. Conclusion: According to the results of this study, which is consistent with results of the researches done in this field, neurofeedback increases frontal lobe activity and activation of neural circuits involved in executive function and working memory, and improve executive function and working memory deficits in patients with attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder. As a result, given the

  6. Attention and Working Memory-Related EEG Markers of Subtle Cognitive Deterioration in Healthy Elderly Individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deiber, Marie-Pierre; Meziane, Hadj Boumediene; Hasler, Roland; Rodriguez, Cristelle; Toma, Simona; Ackermann, Marine; Herrmann, François; Giannakopoulos, Panteleimon

    2015-01-01

    Future treatments of Alzheimer's disease need the identification of cases at high risk at the preclinical stage of the disease before the development of irreversible structural damage. We investigated here whether subtle cognitive deterioration in a population of healthy elderly individuals could be predicted by EEG signals at baseline under cognitive activation. Continuous EEG was recorded in 97 elderly control subjects and 45 age-matched mild cognitive impairment (MCI) cases during a simple attentional and a 2-back working memory task. Upon 18-month neuropsychological follow-up, the final sample included 55 stable (sCON) and 42 deteriorated (dCON) controls. We examined the P1, N1, P3, and PNwm event-related components as well as the oscillatory activities in the theta (4-7 Hz), alpha (8-13 Hz), and beta (14-25 Hz) frequency ranges (ERD/ERS: event-related desynchronization/synchronization, and ITC: inter-trial coherence). Behavioral performance, P1, and N1 components were comparable in all groups. The P3, PNwm, and all oscillatory activity indices were altered in MCI cases compared to controls. Only three EEG indices distinguished the two control groups: alpha and beta ERD (dCON >  sCON) and beta ITC (dCON memory processes but mostly affects attention, resulting in an enhanced recruitment of attentional resources. In addition, cognitive decline alters neural firing synchronization at high frequencies (14-25 Hz) at early stages, and possibly affects lower frequencies (4-13 Hz) only at more severe stages.

  7. Focused attention improves working memory: implications for flexible-resource and discrete-capacity models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Alessandra S; Rerko, Laura; Lin, Hsuan-Yu; Oberauer, Klaus

    2014-10-01

    Performance in working memory (WM) tasks depends on the capacity for storing objects and on the allocation of attention to these objects. Here, we explored how capacity models need to be augmented to account for the benefit of focusing attention on the target of recall. Participants encoded six colored disks (Experiment 1) or a set of one to eight colored disks (Experiment 2) and were cued to recall the color of a target on a color wheel. In the no-delay condition, the recall-cue was presented after a 1,000-ms retention interval, and participants could report the retrieved color immediately. In the delay condition, the recall-cue was presented at the same time as in the no-delay condition, but the opportunity to report the color was delayed. During this delay, participants could focus attention exclusively on the target. Responses deviated less from the target's color in the delay than in the no-delay condition. Mixture modeling assigned this benefit to a reduction in guessing (Experiments 1 and 2) and transposition errors (Experiment 2). We tested several computational models implementing flexible or discrete capacity allocation, aiming to explain both the effect of set size, reflecting the limited capacity of WM, and the effect of delay, reflecting the role of attention to WM representations. Both models fit the data better when a spatially graded source of transposition error is added to its assumptions. The benefits of focusing attention could be explained by allocating to this object a higher proportion of the capacity to represent color.

  8. Retrospective Attention Interacts with Stimulus Strength to Shape Working Memory Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wildegger, Theresa; Humphreys, Glyn; Nobre, Anna C

    2016-01-01

    Orienting attention retrospectively to selective contents in working memory (WM) influences performance. A separate line of research has shown that stimulus strength shapes perceptual representations. There is little research on how stimulus strength during encoding shapes WM performance, and how effects of retrospective orienting might vary with changes in stimulus strength. We explore these questions in three experiments using a continuous-recall WM task. In Experiment 1 we show that benefits of cueing spatial attention retrospectively during WM maintenance (retrocueing) varies according to stimulus contrast during encoding. Retrocueing effects emerge for supraliminal but not sub-threshold stimuli. However, once stimuli are supraliminal, performance is no longer influenced by stimulus contrast. In Experiments 2 and 3 we used a mixture-model approach to examine how different sources of error in WM are affected by contrast and retrocueing. For high-contrast stimuli (Experiment 2), retrocues increased the precision of successfully remembered items. For low-contrast stimuli (Experiment 3), retrocues decreased the probability of mistaking a target with distracters. These results suggest that the processes by which retrospective attentional orienting shape WM performance are dependent on the quality of WM representations, which in turn depends on stimulus strength during encoding.

  9. Retrospective Attention Interacts with Stimulus Strength to Shape Working Memory Performance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Theresa Wildegger

    Full Text Available Orienting attention retrospectively to selective contents in working memory (WM influences performance. A separate line of research has shown that stimulus strength shapes perceptual representations. There is little research on how stimulus strength during encoding shapes WM performance, and how effects of retrospective orienting might vary with changes in stimulus strength. We explore these questions in three experiments using a continuous-recall WM task. In Experiment 1 we show that benefits of cueing spatial attention retrospectively during WM maintenance (retrocueing varies according to stimulus contrast during encoding. Retrocueing effects emerge for supraliminal but not sub-threshold stimuli. However, once stimuli are supraliminal, performance is no longer influenced by stimulus contrast. In Experiments 2 and 3 we used a mixture-model approach to examine how different sources of error in WM are affected by contrast and retrocueing. For high-contrast stimuli (Experiment 2, retrocues increased the precision of successfully remembered items. For low-contrast stimuli (Experiment 3, retrocues decreased the probability of mistaking a target with distracters. These results suggest that the processes by which retrospective attentional orienting shape WM performance are dependent on the quality of WM representations, which in turn depends on stimulus strength during encoding.

  10. Shifting attention among working memory representations: testing cue type, awareness, and strategic control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berryhill, Marian E; Richmond, Lauren L; Shay, Cara S; Olson, Ingrid R

    2012-01-01

    It is well known that visual working memory (VWM) performance is modulated by attentional cues presented during encoding. Interestingly, retrospective cues presented after encoding, but prior to the test phase also improve performance. This improvement in performance is termed the retro-cue benefit. We investigated whether the retro-cue benefit is sensitive to cue type, whether participants were aware of their improvement in performance due to the retro-cue, and whether the effect was under strategic control. Experiment 1 compared the potential cueing benefits of abrupt onset retro-cues relying on bottom-up attention, number retro-cues relying on top-down attention, and arrow retro-cues, relying on a mixture of both. We found a significant retro-cue effect only for arrow retro-cues. In Experiment 2, we tested participants' awareness of their use of the informative retro-cue and found that they were aware of their improved performance. In Experiment 3, we asked whether participants have strategic control over the retro-cue. The retro-cue was difficult to ignore, suggesting that strategic control is low. The retro-cue effect appears to be within conscious awareness but not under full strategic control.

  11. Cognitive predictors of a common multitasking ability: Contributions from working memory, attention control, and fluid intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redick, Thomas S; Shipstead, Zach; Meier, Matthew E; Montroy, Janelle J; Hicks, Kenny L; Unsworth, Nash; Kane, Michael J; Hambrick, D Zachary; Engle, Randall W

    2016-11-01

    Previous research has identified several cognitive abilities that are important for multitasking, but few studies have attempted to measure a general multitasking ability using a diverse set of multitasks. In the final dataset, 534 young adult subjects completed measures of working memory (WM), attention control, fluid intelligence, and multitasking. Correlations, hierarchical regression analyses, confirmatory factor analyses, structural equation models, and relative weight analyses revealed several key findings. First, although the complex tasks used to assess multitasking differed greatly in their task characteristics and demands, a coherent construct specific to multitasking ability was identified. Second, the cognitive ability predictors accounted for substantial variance in the general multitasking construct, with WM and fluid intelligence accounting for the most multitasking variance compared to attention control. Third, the magnitude of the relationships among the cognitive abilities and multitasking varied as a function of the complexity and structure of the various multitasks assessed. Finally, structural equation models based on a multifaceted model of WM indicated that attention control and capacity fully mediated the WM and multitasking relationship. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  12. Working memory benefits creative insight, musical improvisation, and original ideation through maintained task-focused attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Dreu, Carsten K W; Nijstad, Bernard A; Baas, Matthijs; Wolsink, Inge; Roskes, Marieke

    2012-05-01

    Anecdotes from creative eminences suggest that executive control plays an important role in creativity, but scientific evidence is sparse. Invoking the Dual Pathway to Creativity Model, the authors hypothesize that working memory capacity (WMC) relates to creative performance because it enables persistent, focused, and systematic combining of elements and possibilities (persistence). Study 1 indeed showed that under cognitive load, participants performed worse on a creative insight task. Study 2 revealed positive associations between time-on-task and creativity among individuals high but not low in WMC, even after controlling for general intelligence. Study 3 revealed that across trials, semiprofessional cellists performed increasingly more creative improvisations when they had high rather than low WMC. Study 4 showed that WMC predicts original ideation because it allows persistent (rather than flexible) processing. The authors conclude that WMC benefits creativity because it enables the individual to maintain attention focused on the task and prevents undesirable mind wandering.

  13. A simple spatial working memory and attention test on paired symbols shows developmental deficits in schizophrenia patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Wei; Zhang, Kai; Sun, Jinhua; Ma, Lina; Jesse, Forrest Fabian; Teng, Xiaochun; Zhou, Ying; Bao, Hechen; Chen, Shiqing; Wang, Shuai; Yang, Beimeng; Chu, Xixia; Ding, Wenhua; Du, Yasong; Cheng, Zaohuo; Wu, Bin; Chen, Shanguang; He, Guang; He, Lin; Chen, Xiaoping; Li, Weidong

    2013-01-01

    People with neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia often display deficits in spatial working memory and attention. Evaluating working memory and attention in schizophrenia patients is usually based on traditional tasks and the interviewer's judgment. We developed a simple Spatial Working Memory and Attention Test on Paired Symbols (SWAPS). It takes only several minutes to complete, comprising 101 trials for each subject. In this study, we tested 72 schizophrenia patients and 188 healthy volunteers in China. In a healthy control group with ages ranging from 12 to 60, the efficiency score (accuracy divided by reaction time) reached a peak in the 20-27 age range and then declined with increasing age. Importantly, schizophrenia patients failed to display this developmental trend in the same age range and adults had significant deficits compared to the control group. Our data suggests that this simple Spatial Working Memory and Attention Test on Paired Symbols can be a useful tool for studies of spatial working memory and attention in neuropsychiatric disorders.

  14. A Simple Spatial Working Memory and Attention Test on Paired Symbols Shows Developmental Deficits in Schizophrenia Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Song

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available People with neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia often display deficits in spatial working memory and attention. Evaluating working memory and attention in schizophrenia patients is usually based on traditional tasks and the interviewer’s judgment. We developed a simple Spatial Working Memory and Attention Test on Paired Symbols (SWAPS. It takes only several minutes to complete, comprising 101 trials for each subject. In this study, we tested 72 schizophrenia patients and 188 healthy volunteers in China. In a healthy control group with ages ranging from 12 to 60, the efficiency score (accuracy divided by reaction time reached a peak in the 20–27 age range and then declined with increasing age. Importantly, schizophrenia patients failed to display this developmental trend in the same age range and adults had significant deficits compared to the control group. Our data suggests that this simple Spatial Working Memory and Attention Test on Paired Symbols can be a useful tool for studies of spatial working memory and attention in neuropsychiatric disorders.

  15. Early Auditory Evoked Potential Is Modulated by Selective Attention and Related to Individual Differences in Visual Working Memory Capacity

    OpenAIRE

    Giuliano, Ryan J.; Karns, Christina M.; Neville, Helen J.; Hillyard, Steven A.

    2014-01-01

    A growing body of research suggests that the predictive power of working memory (WM) capacity for measures of intellectual aptitude is due to the ability to control attention and select relevant information. Crucially, attentional mechanisms implicated in controlling access to WM are assumed to be domain-general, yet reports of enhanced attentional abilities in individuals with larger WM capacities are primarily within the visual domain. Here, we directly test the link between WM capacity and...

  16. Do the Contents of Visual Working Memory Automatically Influence Attentional Selection during Visual Search?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodman, Geoffrey F.; Luck, Steven J.

    2007-01-01

    In many theories of cognition, researchers propose that working memory and perception operate interactively. For example, in previous studies researchers have suggested that sensory inputs matching the contents of working memory will have an automatic advantage in the competition for processing resources. The authors tested this hypothesis by…

  17. Working Memory Encoding Delays Top-Down Attention to Visual Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scalf, Paige E.; Dux, Paul E.; Marois, Rene

    2011-01-01

    The encoding of information from one event into working memory can delay high-level, central decision-making processes for subsequent events [e.g., Jolicoeur, P., & Dell'Acqua, R. The demonstration of short-term consolidation. "Cognitive Psychology, 36", 138-202, 1998, doi:10.1006/cogp.1998.0684]. Working memory, however, is also believed to…

  18. The relationship between visual attention and visual working memory encoding: A dissociation between covert and overt orienting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tas, A Caglar; Luck, Steven J; Hollingworth, Andrew

    2016-08-01

    There is substantial debate over whether visual working memory (VWM) and visual attention constitute a single system for the selection of task-relevant perceptual information or whether they are distinct systems that can be dissociated when their representational demands diverge. In the present study, we focused on the relationship between visual attention and the encoding of objects into VWM. Participants performed a color change-detection task. During the retention interval, a secondary object, irrelevant to the memory task, was presented. Participants were instructed either to execute an overt shift of gaze to this object (Experiments 1-3) or to attend it covertly (Experiments 4 and 5). Our goal was to determine whether these overt and covert shifts of attention disrupted the information held in VWM. We hypothesized that saccades, which typically introduce a memorial demand to bridge perceptual disruption, would lead to automatic encoding of the secondary object. However, purely covert shifts of attention, which introduce no such demand, would not result in automatic memory encoding. The results supported these predictions. Saccades to the secondary object produced substantial interference with VWM performance, but covert shifts of attention to this object produced no interference with VWM performance. These results challenge prevailing theories that consider attention and VWM to reflect a common mechanism. In addition, they indicate that the relationship between attention and VWM is dependent on the memorial demands of the orienting behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  19. Social exclusion weakens storage capacity and attentional filtering ability in visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Mengsi; Qiao, Lei; Qi, Senqing; Li, Zhiai; Diao, Liuting; Fan, Lingxia; Zhang, Lijie; Yang, Dong

    2018-01-01

    Social exclusion has been found to impair visual working memory (WM), while the underlying neural processes are currently unclear. Using two experiments, we tested whether the poor WM performance caused by exclusion was due to reduced storage capacity, impaired attentional filtering ability or both. The Cyberball game was used to manipulate social exclusion. Seventy-four female participants performed WM tasks while event-related potentials were recorded. In Experiment 1, participants were made to remember the orientations of red rectangles while ignoring salient green rectangles. Results showed that exclusion impaired the ability to filter out irrelevant items from WM, as reflected by the similar contralateral delay activity (CDA) amplitudes for one-target-one-distractor condition and two-targets condition, as well as the similar CDA amplitudes for two-targets-two-distractors condition and four-targets condition in excluded individuals. In Experiment 2, participants were asked to remember 1-5 colored squares. Results showed that exclusion reduced storage capacity, as the CDA amplitudes reached asymptote at loads of two items for exclusion group and at loads of three items for inclusion group. Together, these two experiments provided complementary evidence that WM deficits caused by social exclusion were due to reduced storage capacity and impaired attentional filtering ability. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press.

  20. The control of single-colour and multiple-colour visual search by attentional templates in working memory and in long-term memory

    OpenAIRE

    Grubert, Anna; Carlisle, N.; Eimer, Martin

    2016-01-01

    The question whether target selection in visual search can be effectively controlled by simultaneous attentional templates for multiple features is still under dispute. We investigated whether multiple-colour attentional guidance is possible when target colours remain constant and can thus be represented in long-term memory but not when they change frequently and have to be held in working memory. Participants searched for one, two, or three possible target colours that were specified by cue ...

  1. Exploring the switching of the focus of attention within working memory: A combined event-related potential and behavioral study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frenken, Marius; Berti, Stefan

    2018-04-01

    Working memory enables humans to maintain selected information for cognitive processes and ensures instant access to the memorized contents. Theories suggest that switching the focus of attention between items within working memory realizes the access. This is reflected in object-switching costs in response times when the item for the task processing is to be changed. Another correlate of attentional allocation in working memory is the P3a-component of the human event-related potential. The aim of this study was to demonstrate that switching of attention within working memory is a separable processing step. Participants completed a cued memory-updating task in which they were instructed to update one memory item at a time out of a memory list of four digits by applying a mathematical operation indicated by a target sign. The hypotheses predicted (1) prolonged updating times in switch (different item compared to previous trial) versus repetition trials (same item), (2) an influence of cues (valid/neutral) presented before the mathematical target on switching costs, and (3) that the P3a-component is more pronounced in the cue-target interval in the valid cue condition and more pronounced in the post-target interval in the neutral cue condition. A student's t-test verified the first hypothesis, repeated-measurement analyses of variance demonstrated that hypotheses 2 and 3 should be rejected. Results suggest that switching of attention within working memory could not be separated from further processing steps and retro-cue benefits are not due to a head start of retrieval as well as that switch costs represent internal processes. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Auditory working memory load impairs visual ventral stream processing: toward a unified model of attentional load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klemen, Jane; Büchel, Christian; Bühler, Mira; Menz, Mareike M; Rose, Michael

    2010-03-01

    Attentional interference between tasks performed in parallel is known to have strong and often undesired effects. As yet, however, the mechanisms by which interference operates remain elusive. A better knowledge of these processes may facilitate our understanding of the effects of attention on human performance and the debilitating consequences that disruptions to attention can have. According to the load theory of cognitive control, processing of task-irrelevant stimuli is increased by attending in parallel to a relevant task with high cognitive demands. This is due to the relevant task engaging cognitive control resources that are, hence, unavailable to inhibit the processing of task-irrelevant stimuli. However, it has also been demonstrated that a variety of types of load (perceptual and emotional) can result in a reduction of the processing of task-irrelevant stimuli, suggesting a uniform effect of increased load irrespective of the type of load. In the present study, we concurrently presented a relevant auditory matching task [n-back working memory (WM)] of low or high cognitive load (1-back or 2-back WM) and task-irrelevant images at one of three object visibility levels (0%, 50%, or 100%). fMRI activation during the processing of the task-irrelevant visual stimuli was measured in the lateral occipital cortex and found to be reduced under high, compared to low, WM load. In combination with previous findings, this result is suggestive of a more generalized load theory, whereby cognitive load, as well as other types of load (e.g., perceptual), can result in a reduction of the processing of task-irrelevant stimuli, in line with a uniform effect of increased load irrespective of the type of load.

  3. Working Memory Training in the Form of Structured Games in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalili Kermani, Fatemeh; Mohammadi, Mohammad Reza; Yadegari, Fariba; Haresabadi, Fatemeh; Sadeghi, Seyed Mehdi

    2016-10-01

    Objective: In this study, a new training method of working memory (WM) was used in the form of structured games, and the effect of training was evaluated with a controlled design. The training method of WM in the form of structured games includes 20 sets of structured games that can improve WM and performance of executive functions. Method: Sixty children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) aged 8.5 to 11.2 years (35 boys), using no stimulant medication were selected. We randomly assigned 30 participants to the experimental group and provided them with WM training. The training was in the form of structured games and was offered to the participants in two 60-minute sessions weekly for 12 weeks. Other participants were assigned to the control group, receiving no treatment. All the participants were also evaluated at follow-up 6 months later. The main measures were the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), the Digit Span and Symbol Search B subscale of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-IV); and scores of dictation and mathematics were used in terms of pre and post-test. Results: The results of the t-test revealed a significant improvement in the post-test measures as well as a significant reduction of parents' reports of inattentiveness, and improvement in academic performance in the experimental group. However, no significant changes were found in the control group. Conclusion : The academic and working memory improvements were primarily due to the training method of WM. Our findings suggest that the training method of WM in the form of structured games may be a practical method for treating children with ADHD, but it needs to be further investigated.

  4. Attention and Working Memory in Female Adolescents With Chronic Pain and Pain-free Female Adolescents: A Preliminary Pilot Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mifflin, Katherine; Chorney, Jill; Dick, Bruce

    2016-07-01

    Adolescents with chronic pain often report inattention and poor memory. There has been little research on cognitive function in this population. The goal of this preliminary pilot study was to examine differences in cognitive function between adolescents with chronic pain to pain-free adolescents. All participants completed baseline assessments of pain, school absences, depression, anxiety, and sleep habits. Standardized neurocognitive tests were used to examine cognitive function with a focus on working memory and attention. Recruitment from the chronic pain clinic resulted in a female sample of 13 individuals (largely reflective of the clinical population). Pain-free age-matched and sex-matched individuals (n=12) were therefore also recruited as controls. Individuals with chronic pain had significantly lower working memory scores than controls. Differences were found between groups on the most difficult selective attention task and not on tests of sustained attention, divided attention, or attentional switching. In a stepwise regression with baseline characteristics entered in the first step, pain accounted for approximately 15% of the variance in working memory and medication score counted for 49% of the variance. This pilot study is the first study to examine differences in working memory and attention between participants with chronic pain and pain-free adolescents. Our findings suggest that chronic pain may negatively affect adolescents' working memory function and highlights the risk for cognitive difficulties and problems with educational progression in addition to negative health and social effects associated with chronic pain. The study provides a starting point for more research and has the potential to direct better identification and treatment of these cognitive deficits.

  5. The role of attention during retrieval in working-memory span: a dual-task study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Healey, M Karl; Miyake, Akira

    2009-04-01

    We tested the hypothesis that retrieving target words in operation span (OSpan) involves attention-demanding processes. Participants completed the standard OSpan task and a modified version in which all equations preceded all target words. Recall took place under either full attention or easy versus hard divided-attention conditions. Recall suffered under divided attention with the recall decrement being greater for the hard secondary task. Moreover, secondary-task performance was disrupted more by the standard OSpan task than by the modified version with the hard secondary task showing the larger decrement. Finally, the time taken to start recalling the first word was considerably longer for the standard version than for the modified version. These results are consistent with the proposal that successful OSpan task performance in part involves the attention-demanding retrieval of targets from long-term memory.

  6. Adaptive choice between articulatory rehearsal and attentional refreshing in verbal working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camos, Valérie; Mora, Gerome; Oberauer, Klaus

    2011-02-01

    Because both articulatory rehearsal and attentional refreshing aid in the maintenance of verbal information in the short term, the present study evaluated the adaptive use of these mechanisms, using a complex span paradigm. In Experiment 1, the phonological similarity of memory list words and the attentional demand of concurrent processing were manipulated. As was predicted, a phonological similarity effect (PSE) appeared only when the concurrent task was attention demanding, thus impairing the use of refreshing and encouraging rehearsal. To verify that PSE indicates the use of rehearsal, participants were instructed to use one of the two mechanisms in Experiments 2 and 3. In accordance wih Experiment 1, the PSE was observed only under rehearsal. Thus, adults could adaptively choose between the two mechanisms. When remembering phonologically confusable materials, they prefer refreshing in order to reduce the impact of phonological characteristics. When available attention is reduced, they favor a less attention-demanding mechanism, rehearsal.

  7. A Comparative Study of the Effects of the Neurocognitive-Based Model and the Conventional Model on Learner Attention, Working Memory and Mood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srikoon, Sanit; Bunterm, Tassanee; Nethanomsak, Teerachai; Ngang, Tang Keow

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: The attention, working memory, and mood of learners are the most important abilities in the learning process. This study was concerned with the comparison of contextualized attention, working memory, and mood through a neurocognitive-based model (5P) and a conventional model (5E). It sought to examine the significant change in attention,…

  8. The Development of Memory Maintenance: Children's Use of Phonological Rehearsal and Attentional Refreshment in Working Memory Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tam, Helen; Jarrold, Christopher; Baddeley, Alan D.; Sabatos-DeVito, Maura

    2010-01-01

    Past research suggests that children begin to phonologically rehearse at around 7 years of age. Less is known regarding the development of refreshment, an attention-based maintenance mechanism. Therefore, the use of these two maintenance methods by 6- and 8-year-olds was assessed using memory span tasks that varied in their opportunities for…

  9. Visual working memory capacity increases between ages 3 and 8 years, controlling for gains in attention, perception, and executive control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pailian, Hrag; Libertus, Melissa E; Feigenson, Lisa; Halberda, Justin

    2016-08-01

    Research in adults has aimed to characterize constraints on the capacity of Visual Working Memory (VWM), in part because of the system's broader impacts throughout cognition. However, less is known about how VWM develops in childhood. Existing work has reached conflicting conclusions as to whether VWM storage capacity increases after infancy, and if so, when and by how much. One challenge is that previous studies did not control for developmental changes in attention and executive processing, which also may undergo improvement. We investigated the development of VWM storage capacity in children from 3 to 8 years of age, and in adults, while controlling for developmental change in exogenous and endogenous attention and executive control. Our results reveal that, when controlling for improvements in these abilities, VWM storage capacity increases across development and approaches adult-like levels between ages 6 and 8 years. More generally, this work highlights the value of estimating working memory, attention, perception, and decision-making components together.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  11. Attention to multiple locations is limited by spatial working memory capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Close, Alex; Sapir, Ayelet; Burnett, Katherine; d'Avossa, Giovanni

    2014-08-21

    What limits the ability to attend several locations simultaneously? There are two possibilities: Either attention cannot be divided without incurring a cost, or spatial memory is limited and observers forget which locations to monitor. We compared motion discrimination when attention was directed to one or multiple locations by briefly presented central cues. The cues were matched for the amount of spatial information they provided. Several random dot kinematograms (RDKs) followed the spatial cues; one of them contained task-relevant, coherent motion. When four RDKs were presented, discrimination accuracy was identical when one and two locations were indicated by equally informative cues. However, when six RDKs were presented, discrimination accuracy was higher following one rather than multiple location cues. We examined whether memory of the cued locations was diminished under these conditions. Recall of the cued locations was tested when participants attended the cued locations and when they did not attend the cued locations. Recall was inaccurate only when the cued locations were attended. Finally, visually marking the cued locations, following one and multiple location cues, equalized discrimination performance, suggesting that participants could attend multiple locations when they did not have to remember which ones to attend. We conclude that endogenously dividing attention between multiple locations is limited by inaccurate recall of the attended locations and that attention poses separate demands on the same central processes used to remember spatial information, even when the locations attended and those held in memory are the same. © 2014 ARVO.

  12. Distinct contributions of attention and working memory to visual statistical learning and ensemble processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Michelle G; Mattingley, Jason B; Dux, Paul E

    2015-08-01

    The brain exploits redundancies in the environment to efficiently represent the complexity of the visual world. One example of this is ensemble processing, which provides a statistical summary of elements within a set (e.g., mean size). Another is statistical learning, which involves the encoding of stable spatial or temporal relationships between objects. It has been suggested that ensemble processing over arrays of oriented lines disrupts statistical learning of structure within the arrays (Zhao, Ngo, McKendrick, & Turk-Browne, 2011). Here we asked whether ensemble processing and statistical learning are mutually incompatible, or whether this disruption might occur because ensemble processing encourages participants to process the stimulus arrays in a way that impedes statistical learning. In Experiment 1, we replicated Zhao and colleagues' finding that ensemble processing disrupts statistical learning. In Experiments 2 and 3, we found that statistical learning was unimpaired by ensemble processing when task demands necessitated (a) focal attention to individual items within the stimulus arrays and (b) the retention of individual items in working memory. Together, these results are consistent with an account suggesting that ensemble processing and statistical learning can operate over the same stimuli given appropriate stimulus processing demands during exposure to regularities. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  13. Visual features for perception, attention, and working memory: Toward a three-factor framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Liqiang

    2015-12-01

    Visual features are the general building blocks for attention, perception, and working memory. Here, I explore the factors which can quantitatively predict all the differences they make in various paradigms. I tried to combine the strengths of experimental and correlational approaches in a novel way by developing an individual-item differences analysis to extract the factors from 16 stimulus types on the basis of their roles in eight tasks. A large sample size (410) ensured that all eight tasks had a reliability (Cronbach's α) of no less than 0.975, allowing the factors to be precisely determined. Three orthogonal factors were identified which correspond respectively to featural strength (i.e., how close a stimulus is to a basic feature), visual strength (i.e., visual quality of the stimulus), and spatial strength (i.e., how well a stimulus can be represented as a spatial structure). Featural strength helped substantially in all the tasks but moderately less so in perceptual discrimination; visual strength helped substantially in low-level tasks but not in high-level tasks; and spatial strength helped change detection but hindered ensemble matching and visual search. Jointly, these three factors explained 96.4% of all the variances of the eight tasks, making it clear that they account for almost everything about the roles of these 16 stimulus types in these eight tasks. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Functional neuroimaging of visuospatial working memory tasks enables accurate detection of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rubi Hammer

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Finding neurobiological markers for neurodevelopmental disorders, such as attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, is a major objective of clinicians and neuroscientists. We examined if functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI data from a few distinct visuospatial working memory (VSWM tasks enables accurately detecting cases with ADHD. We tested 20 boys with ADHD combined type and 20 typically developed (TD boys in four VSWM tasks that differed in feedback availability (feedback, no-feedback and reward size (large, small. We used a multimodal analysis based on brain activity in 16 regions of interest, significantly activated or deactivated in the four VSWM tasks (based on the entire participants' sample. Dimensionality of the data was reduced into 10 principal components that were used as the input variables to a logistic regression classifier. fMRI data from the four VSWM tasks enabled a classification accuracy of 92.5%, with high predicted ADHD probability values for most clinical cases, and low predicted ADHD probabilities for most TDs. This accuracy level was higher than those achieved by using the fMRI data of any single task, or the respective behavioral data. This indicates that task-based fMRI data acquired while participants perform a few distinct VSWM tasks enables improved detection of clinical cases.

  15. Creativity and Working Memory in Gifted Students with and without Characteristics of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder: Lifting the Mask

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fugate, C. Matthew; Zentall, Sydney S.; Gentry, Marcia

    2013-01-01

    There have been some behavioral indicators and some types of task performance that suggest greater creativity in students with attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD). This evidence would appear counterintuitive given that lower working memory (i.e., holding information in mind for novel recombinations) has often been documented in students…

  16. [Formula: see text]Working memory and attention in pediatric brain tumor patients treated with and without radiation therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raghubar, Kimberly P; Mahone, E Mark; Yeates, Keith Owen; Cecil, Kim M; Makola, Monwabisi; Ris, M Douglas

    2017-08-01

    Children are at risk for cognitive difficulties following the diagnosis and treatment of a brain tumor. Longitudinal studies have consistently demonstrated declines on measures of intellectual functioning, and recently it has been proposed that specific neurocognitive processes underlie these changes, including working memory, processing speed, and attention. However, a fine-grained examination of the affected neurocognitive processes is required to inform intervention efforts. Radiation therapy (RT) impacts white matter integrity, likely affecting those cognitive processes supported by distributed neural networks. This study examined working memory and attention in children during the early delayed stages of recovery following surgical resection and RT. The participants included 27 children diagnosed with pediatric brain tumor, treated with (n = 12) or without (n = 15) RT, who completed experimental and standardized measures of working memory and attention (n-back and digit span tasks). Children treated with radiation performed less well than those who did not receive radiation on the n-back measure, though performance at the 0-back level was considerably poorer than would be expected for both groups, perhaps suggesting difficulties with more basic processes such as vigilance. Along these lines, marginal differences were noted on digit span forward. The findings are discussed with respect to models of attention and working memory, and the interplay between the two.

  17. Flexible attention allocation to visual and auditory working memory tasks : manipulating reward induces a trade-off

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Morey, Candice Coker; Cowan, Nelson; Morey, Richard D.; Rouder, Jeffery N.

    Prominent roles for general attention resources are posited in many models of working memory, but the manner in which these can be allocated differs between models or is not sufficiently specified. We varied the payoffs for correct responses in two temporally-overlapping recognition tasks, a visual

  18. Common Cognitive Deficits in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Autism: Working Memory and Visual-Motor Integration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Englund, Julia A.; Decker, Scott L.; Allen, Ryan A.; Roberts, Alycia M.

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive deficits in working memory (WM) are characteristic features of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and autism. However, few studies have investigated cognitive deficits using a wide range of cognitive measures. We compared children with ADHD ("n" = 49) and autism ("n" = 33) with a demographically matched…

  19. Cognitive training for children with ADHD: a randomized controlled trial of cogmed working memory training and 'paying attention in class'

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Donk, Marthe; Hiemstra-Beernink, Anne-Claire; Tjeenk-Kalff, Ariane; van der Leij, Aryan; Lindauer, Ramón

    2015-01-01

    The goal of this randomized controlled trial was to replicate and extend previous studies of Cogmed Working Memory Training (CWMT) in children with Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). While a large proportion of children with ADHD suffer from academic difficulties, only few previous

  20. Ignoring versus updating in working memory reveal differential roles of attention and feature binding

    OpenAIRE

    Fallon, SJ; Mattiesing, RM; Dolfen, N; Manohar, SGM; Husain, M

    2017-01-01

    Ignoring distracting information and updating current contents are essential components of working memory (WM). Yet, although both require controlling irrelevant information, it is unclear whether they have the same effects on recall and produce the same level of misbinding errors (incorrectly joining the features of different memoranda). Moreover, the likelihood of misbinding may be affected by the feature similarity between the items already encoded into memory and the information that has ...

  1. Effects of pleasant visual simulation on attention, working memory, and anxiety in college students

    OpenAIRE

    Gago, Débora Freitas; Almeida, Rosa Maria Martins de

    2013-01-01

    Different emotional reactions can be induced by the presentation of visual stimuli with affective content. Emotional stimuli are processed and linked with cognitive functions, such as attention, memory, and anxiety, and have implications in the mental health field. Previous studies have reported that positive and negative emotions tend to change cognitive processes in individuals, ultimately resulting in better and worse performance, respectively. Many studies have emphasized the crucial role...

  2. Effects of pleasant visual stimulation on attention, working memory, and anxiety in college students

    OpenAIRE

    Gago, Débora; Almeida, Rosa Maria Martins de

    2013-01-01

    Different emotional reactions can be induced by the presentation of visual stimuli with affective content. Emotional stimuli are processed and linked with cognitive functions, such as attention, memory, and anxiety, and have implications in the mental health field. Previous studies have reported that positive and negative emotions tend to change cognitive processes in individuals, ultimately resulting in better and worse performance, respectively. Many studies have emphasized the crucial role...

  3. Attentional and non-attentional systems in the maintenance of verbal information in working memory: the executive and phonological loops

    OpenAIRE

    Camos Valerie; Barrouillet Pierre

    2014-01-01

    Working memory is the structure devoted to the maintenance of information at short term during concurrent processing activities. In this respect, the question regarding the nature of the mechanisms and systems fulfilling this maintenance function is of particular importance and has received various responses in the recent past. In the time-based resource-sharing (TBRS) model, we suggest that only two systems sustain the maintenance of information at the short term, counteracting the deleterio...

  4. Feature binding and attention in working memory: a resolution of previous contradictory findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    We aimed to resolve an apparent contradiction between previous experiments from different laboratories, using dual-task methodology to compare effects of a concurrent executive load on immediate recognition memory for colours or shapes of items or their colour-shape combinations. Results of two experiments confirmed previous evidence that an irrelevant attentional load interferes equally with memory for features and memory for feature bindings. Detailed analyses suggested that previous contradictory evidence arose from limitations in the way recognition memory was measured. The present findings are inconsistent with an earlier suggestion that feature binding takes place within a multimodal episodic buffer Baddeley, ( 2000 ) and support a subsequent account in which binding takes place automatically prior to information entering the episodic buffer Baddeley, Allen, & Hitch, ( 2011 ). Methodologically, the results suggest that different measures of recognition memory performance (A', d', corrected recognition) give a converging picture of main effects, but are less consistent in detecting interactions. We suggest that this limitation on the reliability of measuring recognition should be taken into account in future research so as to avoid problems of replication that turn out to be more apparent than real.

  5. White matter integrity of the medial forebrain bundle and attention and working memory deficits following traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owens, Jacqueline A; Spitz, Gershon; Ponsford, Jennie L; Dymowski, Alicia R; Ferris, Nicholas; Willmott, Catherine

    2017-02-01

    The medial forebrain bundle (MFB) contains ascending catecholamine fibers that project to the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Damage to these fibers following traumatic brain injury (TBI) may alter extracellular catecholamine levels in the PFC and impede attention and working memory ability. This study investigated white matter microstructure of the medial MFB, specifically the supero-lateral branch (slMFB), following TBI, and its association with performance on attention and working memory tasks. Neuropsychological measures of attention and working memory were administered to 20 moderate-severe participants with TBI (posttraumatic amnesia M  = 40.05 ± 37.10 days, median time since injury 10.48 months, range 3.72-87.49) and 20 healthy controls. Probabilistic tractography was used to obtain fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) values for 17 participants with TBI and 20 healthy controls. When compared to controls, participants with TBI were found to have significantly lower FA ( p  attention task, n -back, and Symbol Digit Modalities Test. This study was the first to demonstrate microstructural white matter damage within the slMFB following TBI. However, no evidence was found for an association of alterations to this tract and performance on attentional tasks.

  6. Using psilocybin to investigate the relationship between attention, working memory, and the serotonin 1A and 2A receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, Olivia L; Burr, David C; Pettigrew, John D; Wallis, Guy M; Hasler, Felix; Vollenweider, Franz X

    2005-10-01

    Increasing evidence suggests a link between attention, working memory, serotonin (5-HT), and prefrontal cortex activity. In an attempt to tease out the relationship between these elements, this study tested the effects of the hallucinogenic mixed 5-HT1A/2A receptor agonist psilocybin alone and after pretreatment with the 5-HT2A antagonist ketanserin. Eight healthy human volunteers were tested on a multiple-object tracking task and spatial working memory task under the four conditions: placebo, psilocybin (215 microg/kg), ketanserin (50 mg), and psilocybin and ketanserin. Psilocybin significantly reduced attentional tracking ability, but had no significant effect on spatial working memory, suggesting a functional dissociation between the two tasks. Pretreatment with ketanserin did not attenuate the effect of psilocybin on attentional performance, suggesting a primary involvement of the 5-HT1A receptor in the observed deficit. Based on physiological and pharmacological data, we speculate that this impaired attentional performance may reflect a reduced ability to suppress or ignore distracting stimuli rather than reduced attentional capacity. The clinical relevance of these results is also discussed.

  7. The attentional blink reveals serial working memory encoding: evidence from virtual and human event-related potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craston, Patrick; Wyble, Brad; Chennu, Srivas; Bowman, Howard

    2009-03-01

    Observers often miss a second target (T2) if it follows an identified first target item (T1) within half a second in rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP), a finding termed the attentional blink. If two targets are presented in immediate succession, however, accuracy is excellent (Lag 1 sparing). The resource sharing hypothesis proposes a dynamic distribution of resources over a time span of up to 600 msec during the attentional blink. In contrast, the ST(2) model argues that working memory encoding is serial during the attentional blink and that, due to joint consolidation, Lag 1 is the only case where resources are shared. Experiment 1 investigates the P3 ERP component evoked by targets in RSVP. The results suggest that, in this context, P3 amplitude is an indication of bottom-up strength rather than a measure of cognitive resource allocation. Experiment 2, employing a two-target paradigm, suggests that T1 consolidation is not affected by the presentation of T2 during the attentional blink. However, if targets are presented in immediate succession (Lag 1 sparing), they are jointly encoded into working memory. We use the ST(2) model's neural network implementation, which replicates a range of behavioral results related to the attentional blink, to generate "virtual ERPs" by summing across activation traces. We compare virtual to human ERPs and show how the results suggest a serial nature of working memory encoding as implied by the ST(2) model.

  8. Effect of Training Focused on Executive Functions (attention, inhibition and working memory in Preschoolers exhibiting ADHD symptoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Maria Re

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The development of early intervention strategies for children with symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD is important because it provides an opportunity to prevent severe problems in the future. The main purpose of this investigation was to determine the efficacy of a group training for the control of attention, working memory and impulsive behaviors, involving five-year-old children with ADHD symptoms. Twenty-six children with ADHD symptoms and 26 with typical development were randomly divided in two conditions. 13 children in each group were assigned to the training condition and the other to the business as usual condition (normal class activity. Children who participated in the intervention showed an improvement in the tasks measuring their control of attention, impulsive behavior and working memory. Moreover, children with typical development who attended the training also improved their competencies. The results confirm the importance of an early intervention for preschool-age children with ADHD symptoms.

  9. Cerebral networks of sustained attention and working memory: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study based on the Continuous Performance Test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartés-Serrallonga, M; Adan, A; Solé-Casals, J; Caldú, X; Falcón, C; Pérez-Pàmies, M; Bargalló, N; Serra-Grabulosa, J M

    2014-04-01

    One of the most used paradigms in the study of attention is the Continuous Performance Test (CPT). The identical pairs version (CPT-IP) has been widely used to evaluate attention deficits in developmental, neurological and psychiatric disorders. However, the specific locations and the relative distribution of brain activation in networks identified with functional imaging, varies significantly with differences in task design. To design a task to evaluate sustained attention using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and thus to provide data for research concerned with the role of these functions. Forty right-handed, healthy students (50% women; age range: 18-25 years) were recruited. A CPT-IP implemented as a block design was used to assess sustained attention during the fMRI session. The behavioural results from the CPT-IP task showed a good performance in all subjects, higher than 80% of hits. fMRI results showed that the used CPT-IP task activates a network of frontal, parietal and occipital areas, and that these are related to executive and attentional functions. In relation to the use of the CPT to study of attention and working memory, this task provides normative data in healthy adults, and it could be useful to evaluate disorders which have attentional and working memory deficits.

  10. Efficacy of Medication and Nonmedication Methods on Working Memory of Children With Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmadpanah

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Background Working memory is the ability to keep and manipulate information in a short time. Children with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD are among the people suffering from deficiency in the active memory, and this deficiency has been attributed to the problem of frontal lobe. This study utilized a new approach with suitable tasks and methods for training active memory and assessment of its effects. Objectives This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of medicinal and behavioral therapies on working memory of children with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder. Patients and Methods The children participating in this study were 7 - 15 years old, and were diagnosed with ADHD by the psychiatrist and psychologist based on DSM-IV criteria. The intervention group comprised 8 boys and 6 girls with the average age of 11 (± 2 years, and the control group comprised 2 girls and 5 boys with an average age of 11.4 (± 3. Three children in the test group and 2 in the control group were under medicinal therapy. Results Training of working memory significantly improved the performance in nontrained areas as visual-spatial working memory as well as the performance in Raven progressive tests which are a perfect example of nonverbal, complicated reasoning tasks. Conclusions The performance of working memory improved through training, and these trainings extended to other areas of cognition functions not receiving any training. Trainings resulted in the improvement of performance in the tasks related to prefrontal area. They had also a positive and significant impact on the movement activities of hyperactive children.

  11. Working Memory, Attention, and Mathematical Problem Solving: A Longitudinal Study of Elementary School Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swanson, H. Lee

    2011-01-01

    The role of working memory (WM) in children's growth in mathematical problem solving was examined in a longitudinal study of children (N = 127). A battery of tests was administered that assessed problem solving, achievement, WM, and cognitive processing (inhibition, speed, phonological coding) in Grade 1 children, with follow-up testing in Grades…

  12. Working Memory Benefits Creative Insight, Musical Improvisation, and Original Ideation Through Maintained Task-Focused Attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Dreu, Carsten K. W.; Nijstad, Bernard A.; Baas, Matthijs; Wolsink, Inge; Roskes, Marieke

    Anecdotes from creative eminences suggest that executive control plays an important role in creativity, but scientific evidence is sparse. Invoking the Dual Pathway to Creativity Model, the authors hypothesize that working memory capacity (WMC) relates to creative performance because it enables

  13. Interference within the Focus of Attention: Working Memory Tasks Reflect More than Temporary Maintenance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shipstead, Zach; Engle, Randall W.

    2013-01-01

    One approach to understanding working memory (WM) holds that individual differences in WM capacity arise from the amount of information a person can store in WM over short periods of time. This view is especially prevalent in WM research conducted with the visual arrays task. Within this tradition, many researchers have concluded that the average…

  14. Working Memory, Attention Control, and the N-Back Task: A Question of Construct Validity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kane, Michael J.; Conway, Andrew R. A.; Miura, Timothy K.; Colflesh, Gregory J. H.

    2007-01-01

    The n-back task requires participants to decide whether each stimulus in a sequence matches the one that appeared n items ago. Although n-back has become a standard "executive" working memory (WM) measure in cognitive neuroscience, it has been subjected to few behavioral tests of construct validity. A combined experimental-correlational study…

  15. The Control of Single-color and Multiple-color Visual Search by Attentional Templates in Working Memory and in Long-term Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grubert, Anna; Carlisle, Nancy B; Eimer, Martin

    2016-12-01

    The question whether target selection in visual search can be effectively controlled by simultaneous attentional templates for multiple features is still under dispute. We investigated whether multiple-color attentional guidance is possible when target colors remain constant and can thus be represented in long-term memory but not when they change frequently and have to be held in working memory. Participants searched for one, two, or three possible target colors that were specified by cue displays at the start of each trial. In constant-color blocks, the same colors remained task-relevant throughout. In variable-color blocks, target colors changed between trials. The contralateral delay activity (CDA) to cue displays increased in amplitude as a function of color memory load in variable-color blocks, which indicates that cued target colors were held in working memory. In constant-color blocks, the CDA was much smaller, suggesting that color representations were primarily stored in long-term memory. N2pc components to targets were measured as a marker of attentional target selection. Target N2pcs were attenuated and delayed during multiple-color search, demonstrating less efficient attentional deployment to color-defined target objects relative to single-color search. Importantly, these costs were the same in constant-color and variable-color blocks. These results demonstrate that attentional guidance by multiple-feature as compared with single-feature templates is less efficient both when target features remain constant and can be represented in long-term memory and when they change across trials and therefore have to be maintained in working memory.

  16. Barkley's Parent Training Program, Working Memory Training and their Combination for Children with ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zahra Hosainzadeh Maleki

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the current study was to examine the effectiveness of Barkley's parent training program, working memory training and the combination of these two interventions for children with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD.In this study, 36 participants with ADHD (aged 6 to 12 years were selected by convenience sampling. Revision of the Swanson, Nolan and Pelham (SNAP questionnaire (SNAP-IV, Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL and clinical interviews were employed to diagnose ADHD. Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Fourth Edition was also implemented. The participants were randomly assigned to the three intervention groups of Barkley's parent training program, working memory training and the combined group. SNAP-IV and CBCL were used as pre-tests and post-tests across all three groups. Data were analyzed using MANCOVA (SPSS version18.There was a significant difference (p< 0.05 in the decline of attention deficit and hyperactivity /impulsivity symptoms between the combined treatment group and working memory training group and also between the combined treatment group and the parent training group in SNAP. In terms of attention problems (experience-based subscales of CBCL, there was a significant difference (p< 0.001 between the combined treatment group and working memory training group. Furthermore, compared to the working memory training and parent training groups, the combined group demonstrated a significant decline (p< 0.01 in clinical symptoms of ADHD (based on DSM.It was revealed that combined treatment in comparison with the other two methods suppressed the clinical symptoms of ADHD more significantly.

  17. Working memory - not processing speed - mediates fluid intelligence deficits associated with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brydges, Christopher R; Ozolnieks, Krista L; Roberts, Gareth

    2017-09-01

    Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a psychological condition characterized by inattention and hyperactivity. Cognitive deficits are commonly observed in ADHD patients, including impaired working memory, processing speed, and fluid intelligence, the three of which are theorized to be closely associated with one another. In this study, we aimed to determine if decreased fluid intelligence was associated with ADHD, and was mediated by deficits in working memory and processing speed. This study tested 142 young adults from the general population on a range of working memory, processing speed, and fluid intelligence tasks, and an ADHD self-report symptoms questionnaire. Results showed that total and hyperactive ADHD symptoms correlated significantly and negatively with fluid intelligence, but this association was fully mediated by working memory. However, inattentive symptoms were not associated with fluid intelligence. Additionally, processing speed was not associated with ADHD symptoms at all, and was not uniquely predictive of fluid intelligence. The results provide implications for working memory training programs for ADHD patients, and highlight potential differences between the neuropsychological profiles of ADHD subtypes. © 2015 The British Psychological Society.

  18. The Cognition of Multiaircraft Control (MAC): Cognitive Ability Predictors, Working Memory, Interference, and Attention Control in Radio Communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-03-26

    The digital file containing the survey and data collection results, as well as the study write-up will be secured on a password-protected computer...Sep 30, 2014. PROFESSIONAL AND HONOR SOCIETIES 2012 - Present Psi Chi, Psychology Honors Society, Vice President 2014 - Present Sigma Iota Epsilon...Multiaircraft Control, Attention control, Working memory, Proactive interference 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: 17. LIMITATION OF ABSTRACT UU or SAR

  19. ViSA: a neurodynamic model for visuo-spatial working memory, attentional blink, and conscious access.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simione, Luca; Raffone, Antonino; Wolters, Gezinus; Salmas, Paola; Nakatani, Chie; Belardinelli, Marta Olivetti; van Leeuwen, Cees

    2012-10-01

    Two separate lines of study have clarified the role of selectivity in conscious access to visual information. Both involve presenting multiple targets and distracters: one simultaneously in a spatially distributed fashion, the other sequentially at a single location. To understand their findings in a unified framework, we propose a neurodynamic model for Visual Selection and Awareness (ViSA). ViSA supports the view that neural representations for conscious access and visuo-spatial working memory are globally distributed and are based on recurrent interactions between perceptual and access control processors. Its flexible global workspace mechanisms enable a unitary account of a broad range of effects: It accounts for the limited storage capacity of visuo-spatial working memory, attentional cueing, and efficient selection with multi-object displays, as well as for the attentional blink and associated sparing and masking effects. In particular, the speed of consolidation for storage in visuo-spatial working memory in ViSA is not fixed but depends adaptively on the input and recurrent signaling. Slowing down of consolidation due to weak bottom-up and recurrent input as a result of brief presentation and masking leads to the attentional blink. Thus, ViSA goes beyond earlier 2-stage and neuronal global workspace accounts of conscious processing limitations. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved.

  20. Stressing the mind: the effect of cognitive load and articulatory suppression on attentional guidance from working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto, David; Humphreys, Glyn W

    2008-07-01

    Four experiments explored the effect of cognitive load on the time course of top-down guidance of attention from working memory (WM). Observers had to search for a target presented among several distractors, with the target and distractor stimuli embedded inside different objects. On half of the trials, one of the distractor objects was cued by a matching item held in WM. When a single item was maintained in memory, search performance was impaired relative to a neutral baseline, where the memory and search displays did not match. These effects of WM on subsequent search were reduced by including a verbal suppression task during the WM and search displays, and by varying the WM load. The degree of competition for resources in WM is a key factor in determining the time course and magnitude of the interaction between WM and visual selection.

  1. Limited near and far transfer effects of Jungle Memory working memory training on learning mathematics in children with attentional and mathematical difficulties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michel Nelwan

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The goal of this randomized controlled trial was to investigate whether Jungle Memory working memory training (JM affects performance on working memory tasks, performance in mathematics and gains made on a mathematics training (MT in school aged children between 9-12 years old (N = 64 with both difficulties in mathematics, as well as in attention and working memory. Children were randomly assigned to three groups and were trained in two periods: (1 JM first, followed by MT, (2 MT first, followed by JM, and (3 a control group that received MT only. Bayesian analyses showed possible short term effects of JM on near transfer measures of verbal working memory, but none on visual working memory. Furthermore, support was found for the hypothesis that children that received JM first, performed better after MT than children who did not follow JM first or did not train with JM at all. However, these effects could be explained at least partly by frequency of training effects, possibly due to motivational issues, and training-specific factors. Furthermore, it remains unclear whether the effects found on math improvement were actually mediated by gains in working memory. It is argued that JM might not train the components of working memory involved in mathematics sufficiently. Another possible explanation can be found in the training’s lack of adaptivity, therefore failing to provide the children with tailored instruction and feedback. Finally, it was hypothesized that, since effect sizes are generally small, training effects are bound to a critical period in development.

  2. Double dissociation of working memory and attentional processes in smokers and non-smokers with and without nicotine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grundey, Jessica; Amu, Rosa; Ambrus, Géza Gergely; Batsikadze, Georgi; Paulus, Walter; Nitsche, Michael A

    2015-07-01

    Nicotine has been shown to affect cortical excitability measured using transcranial magnetic stimulation in smoking and non-smoking subjects in different ways. In tobacco-deprived smokers, administration of nicotine restores compromised cortical facilitation while in non-smokers, it enhances cortical inhibition. As cortical excitability and activity are closely linked to cognitive processes, we aimed to explore whether nicotine-induced physiological alterations in non-smokers and smokers are associated with cognitive changes. Specifically, we assessed the impact of nicotine on working memory performance (n-back letter task) and on attentional processes (Stroop interference test) in healthy smokers and non-smokers. Both tasks have been shown to rely on prefrontal areas, and nicotinic receptors are relevantly involved in prefrontal function. Sixteen smoking and 16 non-smoking subjects participated in the 3-back letter task and 21 smoking and 21 non-smoking subjects in the Stroop test after the respective application of placebo or nicotine patches. The results show that working memory and attentional processes are compromised in nicotine-deprived smokers compared to non-smoking individuals. After administration of nicotine, working memory performance in smokers improved, while non-smoking subjects displayed decreased accuracy with increased number of errors. The effects have been shown to be more apparent for working memory performance than attentional processes. In summary, cognitive functions can be restored by nicotine in deprived smokers, whereas non-smokers do not gain additional benefit. The respective changes are in accordance with related effects of nicotine on cortical excitability in both groups.

  3. Performance in working memory and attentional control is associated with the rs2180619 SNP in the CNR1 gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Contreras, A E; Carrillo-Sánchez, K; Ortega-Mora, I; Barrera-Tlapa, M A; Román-López, T V; Rosas-Escobar, C B; Flores-Barrera, L; Caballero-Sánchez, U; Muñoz-Torres, Z; Romero-Hidalgo, S; Hernández-Morales, S; González-Barrios, J A; Vadillo-Ortega, F; Méndez-Díaz, M; Aguilar-Roblero, R; Prospéro-García, O

    2014-02-01

    Individual differences in cognitive performance are partly dependent, on genetic polymporhisms. One of the single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) of the CNR1 gene, which codes for cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R), is the rs2180619, located in a regulatory region of this gene (6q14-q15). The alleles of the rs2180619 are A > G; the G allele has been associated with addiction and high levels of anxiety (when the G allele interacts with the SS genotype of the 5-HTTLPR gene). However, GG genotype is observed also in healthy subjects. Considering G allele as risk for 'psychopathological conditions', it is possible that GG healthy subjects do not be addicted or anxious, but would have reduced performance, compared to AA subjects, in attentional control and working memory processing. One hundred and sixty-four healthy young Mexican-Mestizo subjects (100 women and 64, men; mean age: 22.86 years, SD=2.72) participated in this study, solving a task where attentional control and working memory were required. GG subjects, compared to AA subjects showed: (1) a general lower performance in the task (P = 0.02); (2) lower performance only when a high load of information was held in working memory (P = 0.02); and (3) a higher vulnerability to distractors (P = 0.03). Our results suggest that, although the performance of GG subjects was at normal levels, a lower efficiency of the endocannabinoid system, probably due to a lowered expression of CB1R, produced a reduction in the performance of these subjects when attentional control and working memory processing is challenged. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.

  4. Early auditory evoked potential is modulated by selective attention and related to individual differences in visual working memory capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giuliano, Ryan J; Karns, Christina M; Neville, Helen J; Hillyard, Steven A

    2014-12-01

    A growing body of research suggests that the predictive power of working memory (WM) capacity for measures of intellectual aptitude is due to the ability to control attention and select relevant information. Crucially, attentional mechanisms implicated in controlling access to WM are assumed to be domain-general, yet reports of enhanced attentional abilities in individuals with larger WM capacities are primarily within the visual domain. Here, we directly test the link between WM capacity and early attentional gating across sensory domains, hypothesizing that measures of visual WM capacity should predict an individual's capacity to allocate auditory selective attention. To address this question, auditory ERPs were recorded in a linguistic dichotic listening task, and individual differences in ERP modulations by attention were correlated with estimates of WM capacity obtained in a separate visual change detection task. Auditory selective attention enhanced ERP amplitudes at an early latency (ca. 70-90 msec), with larger P1 components elicited by linguistic probes embedded in an attended narrative. Moreover, this effect was associated with greater individual estimates of visual WM capacity. These findings support the view that domain-general attentional control mechanisms underlie the wide variation of WM capacity across individuals.

  5. In search of the focus of attention in working memory: 13 years of the retro-cue effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Alessandra S; Oberauer, Klaus

    2016-10-01

    The concept of attention has a prominent place in cognitive psychology. Attention can be directed not only to perceptual information, but also to information in working memory (WM). Evidence for an internal focus of attention has come from the retro-cue effect: Performance in tests of visual WM is improved when attention is guided to the test-relevant contents of WM ahead of testing them. The retro-cue paradigm has served as a test bed to empirically investigate the functions and limits of the focus of attention in WM. In this article, we review the growing body of (behavioral) studies on the retro-cue effect. We evaluate the degrees of experimental support for six hypotheses about what causes the retro-cue effect: (1) Attention protects representations from decay, (2) attention prioritizes the selected WM contents for comparison with a probe display, (3) attended representations are strengthened in WM, (4) not-attended representations are removed from WM, (5) a retro-cue to the retrieval target provides a head start for its retrieval before decision making, and (6) attention protects the selected representation from perceptual interference. The extant evidence provides support for the last four of these hypotheses.

  6. Early Auditory Evoked Potential Is Modulated by Selective Attention and Related to Individual Differences in Visual Working Memory Capacity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giuliano, Ryan J.; Karns, Christina M.; Neville, Helen J.; Hillyard, Steven A.

    2015-01-01

    A growing body of research suggests that the predictive power of working memory (WM) capacity for measures of intellectual aptitude is due to the ability to control attention and select relevant information. Crucially, attentional mechanisms implicated in controlling access to WM are assumed to be domain-general, yet reports of enhanced attentional abilities in individuals with larger WM capacities are primarily within the visual domain. Here, we directly test the link between WM capacity and early attentional gating across sensory domains, hypothesizing that measures of visual WM capacity should predict an individual’s capacity to allocate auditory selective attention. To address this question, auditory ERPs were recorded in a linguistic dichotic listening task, and individual differences in ERP modulations by attention were correlated with estimates of WM capacity obtained in a separate visual change detection task. Auditory selective attention enhanced ERP amplitudes at an early latency (ca. 70–90 msec), with larger P1 components elicited by linguistic probes embedded in an attended narrative. Moreover, this effect was associated with greater individual estimates of visual WM capacity. These findings support the view that domain-general attentional control mechanisms underlie the wide variation of WM capacity across individuals. PMID:25000526

  7. Disruptions of working memory and inhibition mediate the association between exposure to institutionalization and symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tibu, F; Sheridan, M A; McLaughlin, K A; Nelson, C A; Fox, N A; Zeanah, C H

    2016-02-01

    Young children raised in institutions are exposed to extreme psychosocial deprivation that is associated with elevated risk for psychopathology and other adverse developmental outcomes. The prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is particularly high in previously institutionalized children, yet the mechanisms underlying this association are poorly understood. We investigated whether deficits in executive functioning (EF) explain the link between institutionalization and ADHD. A sample of 136 children (aged 6-30 months) was recruited from institutions in Bucharest, Romania, and 72 never institutionalized community children matched for age and gender were recruited through general practitioners' offices. At 8 years of age, children's performance on a number of EF components (working memory, response inhibition and planning) was evaluated. Teachers completed the Health and Behavior Questionnaire, which assesses two core features of ADHD, inattention and impulsivity. Children with history of institutionalization had higher inattention and impulsivity than community controls, and exhibited worse performance on working memory, response inhibition and planning tasks. Lower performances on working memory and response inhibition, but not planning, partially mediated the association between early institutionalization and inattention and impulsivity symptom scales at age 8 years. Institutionalization was associated with decreased EF performance and increased ADHD symptoms. Deficits in working memory and response inhibition were specific mechanisms leading to ADHD in previously institutionalized children. These findings suggest that interventions that foster the development of EF might reduce risk for psychiatric problems in children exposed to early deprivation.

  8. The development of memory maintenance: children's use of phonological rehearsal and attentional refreshment in working memory tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tam, Helen; Jarrold, Christopher; Baddeley, Alan D; Sabatos-DeVito, Maura

    2010-11-01

    Past research suggests that children begin to phonologically rehearse at around 7 years of age. Less is known regarding the development of refreshment, an attention-based maintenance mechanism. Therefore, the use of these two maintenance methods by 6- and 8-year-olds was assessed using memory span tasks that varied in their opportunities for maintenance activity. Experiment 1 showed that nonverbal processing impaired both groups' performance to similar extents. Experiment 2 employed phonologically similar or dissimilar memory items and compared the effects of verbal versus nonverbal processing on recall. Both groups showed evidence of phonological maintenance under nonverbal processing but not under verbal processing. Furthermore, nonverbal processing again impaired recall. Verbal processing was also more detrimental to performance in 8-year-olds than in 6-year-olds. Together, the results suggest that nonverbal processing impairs recall by obstructing refreshment and that developmental change in maintenance between 6 and 8 years of age consists primarily of an increase in phonological rehearsal. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Working memory capacity and the top-down control of visual search: Exploring the boundaries of "executive attention".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kane, Michael J; Poole, Bradley J; Tuholski, Stephen W; Engle, Randall W

    2006-07-01

    The executive attention theory of working memory capacity (WMC) proposes that measures of WMC broadly predict higher order cognitive abilities because they tap important and general attention capabilities (R. W. Engle & M. J. Kane, 2004). Previous research demonstrated WMC-related differences in attention tasks that required restraint of habitual responses or constraint of conscious focus. To further specify the executive attention construct, the present experiments sought boundary conditions of the WMC-attention relation. Three experiments correlated individual differences in WMC, as measured by complex span tasks, and executive control of visual search. In feature-absence search, conjunction search, and spatial configuration search, WMC was unrelated to search slopes, although they were large and reliably measured. Even in a search task designed to require the volitional movement of attention (J. M. Wolfe, G. A. Alvarez, & T. S. Horowitz, 2000), WMC was irrelevant to performance. Thus, WMC is not associated with all demanding or controlled attention processes, which poses problems for some general theories of WMC. Copyright 2006 APA, all rights reserved.

  10. Is working memory still working?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baddeley, A D

    2001-11-01

    The current state of A. D. Baddeley and G. J. Hitch's (1974) multicomponent working memory model is reviewed. The phonological and visuospatial subsystems have been extensively investigated, leading both to challenges over interpretation of individual phenomena and to more detailed attempts to model the processes underlying the subsystems. Analysis of the controlling central executive has proved more challenging, leading to a proposed clarification in which the executive is assumed to be a limited capacity attentional system, aided by a newly postulated fourth system, the episodic buffer. Current interest focuses most strongly on the link between working memory and long-term memory and on the processes allowing the integration of information from the component subsystems. The model has proved valuable in accounting for data from a wide range of participant groups under a rich array of task conditions. Working memory does still appear to be working.

  11. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: the impact of methylphenidate on working memory, inhibition capacity and mental flexibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolfer, Cristiana; Pacheco, Sandra Pasquali; Tsunemi, Miriam Harumi; Carreira, Walter Souza; Casella, Beatriz Borba; Casella, Erasmo Barbante

    2017-04-01

    To compare children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), before and after the use of methylphenidate, and a control group, using tests of working memory, inhibition capacity and mental flexibility. Neuropsychological tests were administrated to 53 boys, 9-12 years old: the WISC-III digit span backward, and arithmetic; Stroop Color; and Trail Making Tests. The case group included 23 boys with ADHD, who were combined type, treatment-naive, and with normal intelligence without comorbidities. The control group (n = 30) were age and gender matched. After three months on methylphenidate, the ADHD children were retested. The control group was also retested after three months. Before treatment, ADHD children had lower scores than the control group on the tests (p ≤ 0.001) and after methylphenidate had fewer test errors than before (p ≤ 0.001). Methylphenidate treatment improves the working memory, inhibitory control and mental flexibility of ADHD boys.

  12. Independent Attention Mechanisms Control the Activation of Tactile and Visual Working Memory Representations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katus, Tobias; Eimer, Martin

    2018-05-01

    Working memory (WM) is limited in capacity, but it is controversial whether these capacity limitations are domain-general or are generated independently within separate modality-specific memory systems. These alternative accounts were tested in bimodal visual/tactile WM tasks. In Experiment 1, participants memorized the locations of simultaneously presented task-relevant visual and tactile stimuli. Visual and tactile WM load was manipulated independently (one, two, or three items per modality), and one modality was unpredictably tested after each trial. To track the activation of visual and tactile WM representations during the retention interval, the visual contralateral delay activity (CDA) and tactile CDA (tCDA) were measured over visual and somatosensory cortex, respectively. CDA and tCDA amplitudes were selectively affected by WM load in the corresponding (tactile or visual) modality. The CDA parametrically increased when visual load increased from one to two and to three items. The tCDA was enhanced when tactile load increased from one to two items and showed no further enhancement for three tactile items. Critically, these load effects were strictly modality-specific, as substantiated by Bayesian statistics. Increasing tactile load did not affect the visual CDA, and increasing visual load did not modulate the tCDA. Task performance at memory test was also unaffected by WM load in the other (untested) modality. This was confirmed in a second behavioral experiment where tactile and visual loads were either two or four items, unimodal baseline conditions were included, and participants performed a color change detection task in the visual modality. These results show that WM capacity is not limited by a domain-general mechanism that operates across sensory modalities. They suggest instead that WM storage is mediated by distributed modality-specific control mechanisms that are activated independently and in parallel during multisensory WM.

  13. Between-person and within-person associations among processing speed, attention switching, and working memory in younger and older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stawski, Robert S; Sliwinski, Martin J; Hofer, Scott M

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND/STUDY CONTEXT: Theories of cognitive aging predict associations among processes that transpire within individuals, but are often tested by examining between-person relationships. The authors provide an empirical demonstration of how associations among measures of processing speed, attention switching, and working memory are different when considered between persons versus within persons over time. A sample of 108 older adults (M (age) = 80.8, range = 66-95) and 68 younger adults (M (age) = 20.2, range = 18-24) completed measures of processing speed, attention switching, and working memory on six occasions over a 14-day period. Multilevel modeling was used to examine processing speed and attention switching performance as predictors of working memory performance simultaneously across days (within-person) and across individuals (between-person). The findings indicates that simple comparison and response speed predicted working memory better than attention switching between persons, whereas attention switching predicted working memory better than simple comparison and response speed within persons over time. Furthermore, the authors did not observe strong evidence of age differences in these associations either within or between persons. The findings of the current study suggest that processing speed is important for understanding between-person and age-related differences in working memory, whereas attention switching is more important for understanding within-person variation in working memory. The authors conclude that theories of cognitive aging should be evaluated by analysis of within-person processes, not exclusively age-related individual differences.

  14. Working-memory capacity predicts the executive control of visual search among distractors: the influences of sustained and selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poole, Bradley J; Kane, Michael J

    2009-07-01

    Variation in working-memory capacity (WMC) predicts individual differences in only some attention-control capabilities. Whereas higher WMC subjects outperform lower WMC subjects in tasks requiring the restraint of prepotent but inappropriate responses, and the constraint of attentional focus to target stimuli against distractors, they do not differ in prototypical visual-search tasks, even those that yield steep search slopes and engender top-down control. The present three experiments tested whether WMC, as measured by complex memory span tasks, would predict search latencies when the 1-8 target locations to be searched appeared alone, versus appearing among distractor locations to be ignored, with the latter requiring selective attentional focus. Subjects viewed target-location cues and then fixated on those locations over either long (1,500-1,550 ms) or short (300 ms) delays. Higher WMC subjects identified targets faster than did lower WMC subjects only in the presence of distractors and only over long fixation delays. WMC thus appears to affect subjects' ability to maintain a constrained attentional focus over time.

  15. Why Does Working Memory Capacity Predict Variation in Reading Comprehension? On the Influence of Mind Wandering and Executive Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    McVay, Jennifer C.; Kane, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

    Some people are better readers than others, and this variation in comprehension ability is predicted by measures of working memory capacity (WMC). The primary goal of this study was to investigate the mediating role of mind wandering experiences in the association between WMC and normal individual differences in reading comprehension, as predicted by the executive-attention theory of WMC (e.g., Engle & Kane, 2004). We used a latent-variable, structural-equation-model approach, testing skilled adult readers on three WMC span tasks, seven varied reading comprehension tasks, and three attention-control tasks. Mind wandering was assessed using experimenter-scheduled thought probes during four different tasks (two reading, two attention-control tasks). The results support the executive-attention theory of WMC. Mind wandering across the four tasks loaded onto a single latent factor, reflecting a stable individual difference. Most importantly, mind wandering was a significant mediator in the relationship between WMC and reading comprehension, suggesting that the WMC-comprehension correlation is driven, in part, by attention control over intruding thoughts. We discuss implications for theories of WMC, attention control, and reading comprehension. PMID:21875246

  16. Why does working memory capacity predict variation in reading comprehension? On the influence of mind wandering and executive attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McVay, Jennifer C; Kane, Michael J

    2012-05-01

    Some people are better readers than others, and this variation in comprehension ability is predicted by measures of working memory capacity (WMC). The primary goal of this study was to investigate the mediating role of mind-wandering experiences in the association between WMC and normal individual differences in reading comprehension, as predicted by the executive-attention theory of WMC (e.g., Engle & Kane, 2004). We used a latent-variable, structural-equation-model approach, testing skilled adult readers on 3 WMC span tasks, 7 varied reading-comprehension tasks, and 3 attention-control tasks. Mind wandering was assessed using experimenter-scheduled thought probes during 4 different tasks (2 reading, 2 attention-control). The results support the executive-attention theory of WMC. Mind wandering across the 4 tasks loaded onto a single latent factor, reflecting a stable individual difference. Most important, mind wandering was a significant mediator in the relationship between WMC and reading comprehension, suggesting that the WMC-comprehension correlation is driven, in part, by attention control over intruding thoughts. We discuss implications for theories of WMC, attention control, and reading comprehension.

  17. A case-matched study of neurophysiological correlates to attention/working memory in people with somatic hypervigilance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berryman, Carolyn; Wise, Vikki; Stanton, Tasha R; McFarlane, Alexander; Moseley, G Lorimer

    2017-02-01

    Somatic hypervigilance describes a clinical presentation in which people report more, and more intense, bodily sensations than is usual. Most explanations of somatic hypervigilance implicate altered information processing, but strong empirical data are lacking. Attention and working memory are critical for information processing, and we aimed to evaluate brain activity during attention/working memory tasks in people with and without somatic hypervigilance. Data from 173 people with somatic hypervigilance and 173 controls matched for age, gender, handedness, and years of education were analyzed. Event-related potential (ERP) data, extracted from the continuous electroencephalograph recordings obtained during performance of the Auditory Oddball task, and the Two In A Row (TIAR) task, for N1, P2, N2, and P3, were used in the analysis. Between-group differences for P3 amplitude and N2 amplitude and latency were assessed with two-tailed independent t tests. Between-group differences for N1 and P2 amplitude and latency were assessed using mixed, repeated measures analyses of variance (ANOVAs) with group and Group × Site factors. Linear regression analysis investigated the relationship between anxiety and depression and any outcomes of significance. People with somatic hypervigilance showed smaller P3 amplitudes-Auditory Oddball task: t(285) = 2.32, 95% confidence interval, CI [3.48, 4.47], p = .026, d = 0.27; Two-In-A-Row (TIAR) task: t(334) = 2.23, 95% CI [2.20; 3.95], p = .021, d = 0.24-than case-matched controls. N2 amplitude was also smaller in people with somatic hypervigilance-TIAR task: t(318) = 2.58, 95% CI [0.33, 2.47], p = .010, d = 0.29-than in case-matched controls. Neither depression nor anxiety was significantly associated with any outcome. People with somatic hypervigilance demonstrated an event-related potential response to attention/working memory tasks that is consistent with altered information processing.

  18. Attention to memory: orienting attention to sound object representations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Backer, Kristina C; Alain, Claude

    2014-01-01

    Despite a growing acceptance that attention and memory interact, and that attention can be focused on an active internal mental representation (i.e., reflective attention), there has been a paucity of work focusing on reflective attention to 'sound objects' (i.e., mental representations of actual sound sources in the environment). Further research on the dynamic interactions between auditory attention and memory, as well as its degree of neuroplasticity, is important for understanding how sound objects are represented, maintained, and accessed in the brain. This knowledge can then guide the development of training programs to help individuals with attention and memory problems. This review article focuses on attention to memory with an emphasis on behavioral and neuroimaging studies that have begun to explore the mechanisms that mediate reflective attentional orienting in vision and more recently, in audition. Reflective attention refers to situations in which attention is oriented toward internal representations rather than focused on external stimuli. We propose four general principles underlying attention to short-term memory. Furthermore, we suggest that mechanisms involved in orienting attention to visual object representations may also apply for orienting attention to sound object representations.

  19. The lasting memory enhancements of retrospective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reaves, Sarah; Strunk, Jonathan; Phillips, Shekinah; Verhaeghen, Paul; Duarte, Audrey

    2016-07-01

    Behavioral research has shown that spatial cues that orient attention toward task relevant items being maintained in visual short-term memory (VSTM) enhance item memory accuracy. However, it is unknown if these retrospective attentional cues ("retro-cues") enhance memory beyond typical short-term memory delays. It is also unknown whether retro-cues affect the spatial information associated with VSTM representations. Emerging evidence suggests that processes that affect short-term memory maintenance may also affect long-term memory (LTM) but little work has investigated the role of attention in LTM. In the current event-related potential (ERP) study, we investigated the duration of retrospective attention effects and the impact of retrospective attention manipulations on VSTM representations. Results revealed that retro-cueing improved both VSTM and LTM memory accuracy and that posterior maximal ERPs observed during VSTM maintenance predicted subsequent LTM performance. N2pc ERPs associated with attentional selection were attenuated by retro-cueing suggesting that retrospective attention may disrupt maintenance of spatial configural information in VSTM. Collectively, these findings suggest that retrospective attention can alter the structure of memory representations, which impacts memory performance beyond short-term memory delays. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. The lasting memory enhancements of retrospective attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reaves, Sarah; Strunk, Jonathan; Phillips, Shekinah; Verhaeghen, Paul; Duarte, Audrey

    2016-01-01

    Behavioral research has shown that spatial cues that orient attention toward task relevant items being maintained in visual short-term memory (VSTM) enhance item memory accuracy. However, it is unknown if these retrospective attentional cues (“retro-cues”) enhance memory beyond typical short-term memory delays. It is also unknown whether retro-cues affect the spatial information associated with VSTM representations. Emerging evidence suggests that processes that affect short-term memory maintenance may also affect long-term memory (LTM) but little work has investigated the role of attention in LTM. In the current event-related potential (ERP) study, we investigated the duration of retrospective attention effects and the impact of retrospective attention manipulations on VSTM representations. Results revealed that retro-cueing improved both VSTM and LTM memory accuracy and that posterior maximal ERPs observed during VSTM maintenance predicted subsequent LTM performance. N2pc ERPs associated with attentional selection were attenuated by retro-cueing suggesting that retrospective attention may disrupt maintenance of spatial configural information in VSTM. Collectively, these findings suggest that retrospective attention can alter the structure of memory representations, which impacts memory performance beyond short-term memory delays. PMID:27038756

  1. Strengthened effective connectivity underlies transfer of working memory training to tests of short-term memory and attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kundu, Bornali; Sutterer, David W; Emrich, Stephen M; Postle, Bradley R

    2013-05-15

    Although long considered a natively endowed and fixed trait, working memory (WM) ability has recently been shown to improve with intensive training. What remains controversial and poorly understood, however, are the neural bases of these training effects and the extent to which WM training gains transfer to other cognitive tasks. Here we present evidence from human electrophysiology (EEG) and simultaneous transcranial magnetic stimulation and EEG that the transfer of WM training to other cognitive tasks is supported by changes in task-related effective connectivity in frontoparietal and parieto-occipital networks that are engaged by both the trained and transfer tasks. One consequence of this effect is greater efficiency of stimulus processing, as evidenced by changes in EEG indices of individual differences in short-term memory capacity and in visual search performance. Transfer to search-related activity provides evidence that something more fundamental than task-specific strategy or stimulus-specific representations has been learned. Furthermore, these patterns of training and transfer highlight the role of common neural systems in determining individual differences in aspects of visuospatial cognition.

  2. Memory functioning in children with reading disabilities and/or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a clinical investigation of their working memory and long-term memory functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kibby, Michelle Y; Cohen, Morris J

    2008-11-01

    We examined memory functioning in children with reading disabilities (RD), Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and RD/ADHD using a clinic sample with a clinical instrument: the Children's Memory Scale, enhancing its generalizability. Participants included 23 children with RD, 30 with ADHD, 30 with RD/ADHD, and 30 controls. Children with RD presented with reduced verbal short-term memory (STM) but intact visual STM, central executive (CE), and long-term memory (LTM) functioning. Their deficit in STM appeared specific to tasks requiring phonetic coding of material. Children with ADHD displayed intact CE and LTM functioning but reduced visual-spatial STM, especially when off stimulant medication. Children with RD/ADHD had deficits consistent with both disorders.

  3. Methylphenidate does not improve interference control during a working memory task in young patients with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prehn-Kristensen, Alexander; Krauel, Kerstin; Hinrichs, Hermann; Fischer, Jochen; Malecki, Ulrike; Schuetze, Hartmut; Wolff, Stephan; Jansen, Olav; Duezel, Emrah; Baving, Lioba

    2011-05-04

    Patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) show deficits in working memory (WM) which may be related to prefrontal dysfunction. Methylphenidate (MPH) can restore WM deficits in ADHD by enhancing prefrontal activity. At the same time, changes in striatal activation could cause ADHD patients to be more interference-sensitive during working memory tasks. However, it is unclear whether MPH reduces WM distractibility in ADHD. In this fMRI study, 12 ADHD patients and 12 healthy controls participated on two separate days in a delayed-match-to-sample test. During the delay interval, a distractor stimulus was presented in half of the trials. Children and adolescents with ADHD received MPH only on one of the two sessions. Behavioral data analyses revealed that MPH normalized WM in ADHD. However, MPH did not improve WM performance when a distractor was presented during the delay interval. Functional images showed that MPH enhanced prefrontal activity during the delay in ADHD patients when no distractor was present. If the delay was interrupted by a distractor, only healthy controls showed activation of the caudate. In patients with ADHD, however, in line with behavioral data, MPH did not enhance caudate activity. In healthy youth, caudate activity is involved in interference control allowing the successful maintenance of information in working memory even in the presence of distraction. Our findings suggest that interference control, linked to caudate activity, is not adequately enhanced by MPH in ADHD. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Working memory deficits affect risky decision-making in methamphetamine users with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duarte, Nichole A; Woods, Steven Paul; Rooney, Alexandra; Atkinson, J Hampton; Grant, Igor

    2012-04-01

    Methamphetamine (MA) use and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) commonly co-occur and are independently associated with dysregulation of frontostriatal loops and risky decision-making; however, whether their comorbidity exacerbates risky decision-making is not known. This study evaluated 23 participants with histories of MA dependence and ADHD (MA+ADHD+), 25 subjects with MA dependence alone (MA+ADHD-), and 22 healthy adults (MA-ADHD-), who completed the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) as part of a larger neuropsychiatric research evaluation. Results showed a significant interaction between ADHD, MA, and working memory, such that individuals with working memory deficits in the MA+ADHD+ cohort demonstrated the strongest propensity to select cards from "disadvantageous" versus "advantageous" decks on the IGT. This effect was not better explained by other psychiatric, substance use, neuromedical, or cognitive factors. Findings suggest that working memory deficits may moderate the expression of risky decision-making in MA users with ADHD. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Working memory and attention are still impaired after three years in patients with stress-related exhaustion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonsdottir, Ingibjörg H; Nordlund, Arto; Ellbin, Susanne; Ljung, Thomas; Glise, Kristina; Währborg, Peter; Sjörs, Anna; Wallin, Anders

    2017-12-01

    Cognitive impairment is one of the most pronounced symptoms reported by patients with stress-related mental health problems. Impairments related to executive function and to some extent speed and attention are therefore common in patients with stress-related burnout/exhaustion. In this paper we present a follow-up of cognitive performance in patients with stress-related exhaustion several years after they initially sought medical care. Thirty patients and 27 healthy controls, mean age 49 years (SD 6.5) and 55 years (SD 6.7) respectively, were included, all of whom had undergone baseline measurements of neuropsychological functioning. The mean follow-up time was three years. Half of the patients still reported mental health problems at follow-up and over time no major changes in cognitive performance were noted. The patients still performed significantly poorer than controls with regard to cognitive functions, mainly related to speed, attention and memory function. Long-lasting impairment of cognitive functions related to speed, attention and memory function noted in patients with stress-related exhaustion should be acknowledged and taken into consideration during treatment and when discussing a return to work. Follow-up periods longer than three years are needed to explore the persistence of the cognitive impairment. © 2017 Scandinavian Psychological Associations and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Orienting attention in visual working memory requires central capacity: decreased retro-cue effects under dual-task conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janczyk, Markus; Berryhill, Marian E

    2014-04-01

    The retro-cue effect (RCE) describes superior working memory performance for validly cued stimulus locations long after encoding has ended. Importantly, this happens with delays beyond the range of iconic memory. In general, the RCE is a stable phenomenon that emerges under varied stimulus configurations and timing parameters. We investigated its susceptibility to dual-task interference to determine the attentional requirements at the time point of cue onset and encoding. In Experiment 1, we compared single- with dual-task conditions. In Experiment 2, we borrowed from the psychological refractory period paradigm and compared conditions with high and low (dual-) task overlap. The secondary task was always binary tone discrimination requiring a manual response. Across both experiments, an RCE was found, but it was diminished in magnitude in the critical dual-task conditions. A previous study did not find evidence that sustained attention is required in the interval between cue offset and test. Our results apparently contradict these findings and point to a critical time period around cue onset and briefly thereafter during which attention is required.

  7. Working memory capacity, intelligence, and the magnitude of the attentional blink revisited

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Martens, Sander; Johnson, Addie

    The attentional blink (AB) is a well-established phenomenon in the study of attention. This deficit in reporting the second of two targets presented in rapid serial visual presentation when it occurs 200-500 ms after the first is considered to reflect a fundamental limitation in attentional

  8. Mind wandering during attention performance: Effects of ADHD-inattention symptomatology, negative mood, ruminative response style and working memory capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonkman, Lisa M; Markus, C Rob; Franklin, Michael S; van Dalfsen, Jens H

    2017-01-01

    In adulthood, depressive mood is often comorbid with ADHD, but its role in ADHD-inattentiveness and especially relations with mind wandering remains to be elucidated. This study investigated the effects of laboratory-induced dysphoric mood on task-unrelated mind wandering and its consequences on cognitive task performance in college students with high (n = 46) or low (n = 44) ADHD-Inattention symptomatology and Hyperactivity/Impulsivity symptoms in the normal range. These non-clinical high/low ADHD-Inattention symptom groups underwent negative or positive mood induction after which mind wandering frequency was measured in a sustained attention (SART), and a reading task. Effects of ruminative response style and working memory capacity on mind wandering frequency were also investigated. Significantly higher frequencies of self -reported mind wandering in daily life, in the SART and reading task were reported in the ADHD-Inattention symptom group, with detrimental effects on text comprehension in the reading task. Induced dysphoric mood did specifically enhance the frequency of mind wandering in the ADHD-Inattention symptom group only during the SART, and was related to their higher self-reported intrusive ruminative response styles. Working memory capacity did not differ between high/low attention groups and did not influence any of the reported effects. These combined results suggest that in a non-clinical sample with high ADHD-inattention symptoms, dysphoric mood and a ruminative response style seem to be more important determinants of dysfunctional mind wandering than a failure in working memory capacity/executive control, and perhaps need other ways of remediation, like cognitive behavioral therapy or mindfulness training.

  9. Mind wandering during attention performance: Effects of ADHD-inattention symptomatology, negative mood, ruminative response style and working memory capacity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa M Jonkman

    Full Text Available In adulthood, depressive mood is often comorbid with ADHD, but its role in ADHD-inattentiveness and especially relations with mind wandering remains to be elucidated. This study investigated the effects of laboratory-induced dysphoric mood on task-unrelated mind wandering and its consequences on cognitive task performance in college students with high (n = 46 or low (n = 44 ADHD-Inattention symptomatology and Hyperactivity/Impulsivity symptoms in the normal range.These non-clinical high/low ADHD-Inattention symptom groups underwent negative or positive mood induction after which mind wandering frequency was measured in a sustained attention (SART, and a reading task. Effects of ruminative response style and working memory capacity on mind wandering frequency were also investigated.Significantly higher frequencies of self -reported mind wandering in daily life, in the SART and reading task were reported in the ADHD-Inattention symptom group, with detrimental effects on text comprehension in the reading task. Induced dysphoric mood did specifically enhance the frequency of mind wandering in the ADHD-Inattention symptom group only during the SART, and was related to their higher self-reported intrusive ruminative response styles. Working memory capacity did not differ between high/low attention groups and did not influence any of the reported effects.These combined results suggest that in a non-clinical sample with high ADHD-inattention symptoms, dysphoric mood and a ruminative response style seem to be more important determinants of dysfunctional mind wandering than a failure in working memory capacity/executive control, and perhaps need other ways of remediation, like cognitive behavioral therapy or mindfulness training.

  10. Working memory capacity and visual-verbal cognitive load modulate auditory-sensory gating in the brainstem: toward a unified view of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sörqvist, Patrik; Stenfelt, Stefan; Rönnberg, Jerker

    2012-11-01

    Two fundamental research questions have driven attention research in the past: One concerns whether selection of relevant information among competing, irrelevant, information takes place at an early or at a late processing stage; the other concerns whether the capacity of attention is limited by a central, domain-general pool of resources or by independent, modality-specific pools. In this article, we contribute to these debates by showing that the auditory-evoked brainstem response (an early stage of auditory processing) to task-irrelevant sound decreases as a function of central working memory load (manipulated with a visual-verbal version of the n-back task). Furthermore, individual differences in central/domain-general working memory capacity modulated the magnitude of the auditory-evoked brainstem response, but only in the high working memory load condition. The results support a unified view of attention whereby the capacity of a late/central mechanism (working memory) modulates early precortical sensory processing.

  11. Factor structure of standard attention tests for children: a distinction between perceptual speed and working memory.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jong, de P.F.; Das-Smaal, E.A.

    1993-01-01

    From the many tests developed to identify attentional deficits, only a small number is commonly used in practice. The present study aimed at determining the structure of a set of common attention tests, such as a cancellation test, the Stroop and the Digit Span test, in a sample of 390 elementary

  12. Auditory Working Memory Load Impairs Visual Ventral Stream Processing: Toward a Unified Model of Attentional Load

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klemen, Jane; Buchel, Christian; Buhler, Mira; Menz, Mareike M.; Rose, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Attentional interference between tasks performed in parallel is known to have strong and often undesired effects. As yet, however, the mechanisms by which interference operates remain elusive. A better knowledge of these processes may facilitate our understanding of the effects of attention on human performance and the debilitating consequences…

  13. Selection in spatial working memory is independent of perceptual selective attention, but they interact in a shared spatial priority map.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedge, Craig; Oberauer, Klaus; Leonards, Ute

    2015-11-01

    We examined the relationship between the attentional selection of perceptual information and of information in working memory (WM) through four experiments, using a spatial WM-updating task. Participants remembered the locations of two objects in a matrix and worked through a sequence of updating operations, each mentally shifting one dot to a new location according to an arrow cue. Repeatedly updating the same object in two successive steps is typically faster than switching to the other object; this object switch cost reflects the shifting of attention in WM. In Experiment 1, the arrows were presented in random peripheral locations, drawing perceptual attention away from the selected object in WM. This manipulation did not eliminate the object switch cost, indicating that the mechanisms of perceptual selection do not underlie selection in WM. Experiments 2a and 2b corroborated the independence of selection observed in Experiment 1, but showed a benefit to reaction times when the placement of the arrow cue was aligned with the locations of relevant objects in WM. Experiment 2c showed that the same benefit also occurs when participants are not able to mark an updating location through eye fixations. Together, these data can be accounted for by a framework in which perceptual selection and selection in WM are separate mechanisms that interact through a shared spatial priority map.

  14. Dissociated roles of the parietal and frontal cortices in the scope and control of attention during visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Siyao; Cai, Ying; Liu, Jing; Li, Dawei; Feng, Zifang; Chen, Chuansheng; Xue, Gui

    2017-04-01

    Mounting evidence suggests that multiple mechanisms underlie working memory capacity. Using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), the current study aimed to provide causal evidence for the neural dissociation of two mechanisms underlying visual working memory (WM) capacity, namely, the scope and control of attention. A change detection task with distractors was used, where a number of colored bars (i.e., two red bars, four red bars, or two red plus two blue bars) were presented on both sides (Experiment 1) or the center (Experiment 2) of the screen for 100ms, and participants were instructed to remember the red bars and to ignore the blue bars (in both Experiments), as well as to ignore the stimuli on the un-cued side (Experiment 1 only). In both experiments, participants finished three sessions of the task after 15min of 1.5mA anodal tDCS administered on the right prefrontal cortex (PFC), the right posterior parietal cortex (PPC), and the primary visual cortex (VC), respectively. The VC stimulation served as an active control condition. We found that compared to stimulation on the VC, stimulation on the right PPC specifically increased the visual WM capacity under the no-distractor condition (i.e., 4 red bars), whereas stimulation on the right PFC specifically increased the visual WM capacity under the distractor condition (i.e., 2 red bars plus 2 blue bars). These results suggest that the PPC and PFC are involved in the scope and control of attention, respectively. We further showed that compared to central presentation of the stimuli (Experiment 2), bilateral presentation of the stimuli (on both sides of the fixation in Experiment 1) led to an additional demand for attention control. Our results emphasize the dissociated roles of the frontal and parietal lobes in visual WM capacity, and provide a deeper understanding of the neural mechanisms of WM. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Neurocognitive architecture of working memory

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. The effects of incentives on visual-spatial working memory in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiels, Keri; Hawk, Larry W; Lysczek, Cynthia L; Tannock, Rosemary; Pelham, William E; Spencer, Sarah V; Gangloff, Brian P; Waschbusch, Daniel A

    2008-08-01

    Working memory is one of several putative core neurocognitive processes in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The present work seeks to determine whether visual-spatial working memory is sensitive to motivational incentives, a laboratory analogue of behavioral treatment. Participants were 21 children (ages 7-10) with a diagnosis of ADHD-combined type. Participants completed a computerized spatial span task designed to assess storage of visual-spatial information (forward span) and manipulation of the stored information (backward span). The spatial span task was completed twice on the same day, once with a performance-based incentive (trial-wise feedback and points redeemable for prizes) and once without incentives. Participants performed significantly better on the backward span when rewarded for correct responses, compared to the no incentive condition. However, incentives had no effect on performance during the forward span. These findings may suggest the use of motivational incentives improved manipulation, but not storage, of visual-spatial information among children with ADHD. Possible explanations for the differential incentive effects are discussed, including the possibility that incentives prevented a vigilance decrement as task difficulty and time on task increased.

  17. How Attention Can Create Synaptic Tags for the Learning of Working Memories in Sequential Tasks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rombouts, J.O.; Bohte, S.M.; Roelfsema, P.R.

    2015-01-01

    Intelligence is our ability to learn appropriate responses to new stimuli and situations. Neurons in association cortex are thought to be essential for this ability. During learning these neurons become tuned to relevant features and start to represent them with persistent activity during memory

  18. Working Memory Arrest in Children with High-Functioning Autism Compared to Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Results from a 2-Year Longitudinal Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Per N.; Skogli, Erik W.; Hovik, Kjell T.; Geurts, Hilde; Egeland, Jens; Øie, Merete

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to analyse the development of verbal working memory in children with high-functioning autism compared to children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and typically developing children. A total of 34 children with high-functioning autism, 72 children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and 45 typically…

  19. Working Memory and Neurofeedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. How attention can create synaptic tags for the learning of working memories in sequential tasks

    OpenAIRE

    Rombouts, Jaldert O; Bohte, Sander M; Roelfsema, Pieter R

    2015-01-01

    htmlabstractIntelligence is our ability to learn appropriate responses to new stimuli and situations. Neurons in association cortex are thought to be essential for this ability. During learning these neurons become tuned to relevant features and start to represent them with persistent activity during memory delays. This learning process is not well understood. Here we develop a biologically plausible learning scheme that explains how trial-and-error learning induces neuronal selectivity and w...

  1. Working Memory Training and the Effect on Mathematical Achievement in Children with Attention Deficits and Special Needs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahlin, Karin I. E.

    2013-01-01

    Working Memory (WM) has a central role in learning. It is suggested to be malleable and is considered necessary for several aspects of mathematical functioning. This study investigated whether work with an interactive computerised working memory training programme at school could affect the mathematical performance of young children. Fifty-seven…

  2. Specialization in the default mode: Task-induced brain deactivations dissociate between visual working memory and attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Jutta S; Roebroeck, Alard; Maurer, Konrad; Linden, David E J

    2010-01-01

    The idea of an organized mode of brain function that is present as default state and suspended during goal-directed behaviors has recently gained much interest in the study of human brain function. The default mode hypothesis is based on the repeated observation that certain brain areas show task-induced deactivations across a wide range of cognitive tasks. In this event-related functional resonance imaging study we tested the default mode hypothesis by comparing common and selective patterns of BOLD deactivation in response to the demands on visual attention and working memory (WM) that were independently modulated within one task. The results revealed task-induced deactivations within regions of the default mode network (DMN) with a segregation of areas that were additively deactivated by an increase in the demands on both attention and WM, and areas that were selectively deactivated by either high attentional demand or WM load. Attention-selective deactivations appeared in the left ventrolateral and medial prefrontal cortex and the left lateral temporal cortex. Conversely, WM-selective deactivations were found predominantly in the right hemisphere including the medial-parietal, the lateral temporo-parietal, and the medial prefrontal cortex. Moreover, during WM encoding deactivated regions showed task-specific functional connectivity. These findings demonstrate that task-induced deactivations within parts of the DMN depend on the specific characteristics of the attention and WM components of the task. The DMN can thus be subdivided into a set of brain regions that deactivate indiscriminately in response to cognitive demand ("the core DMN") and a part whose deactivation depends on the specific task. 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  3. Improvements in concentration, working memory and sustained attention following consumption of a natural citicoline-caffeine beverage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce, Steven E; Werner, Kimberly B; Preston, Brittany F; Baker, Laurie M

    2014-12-01

    This study examined the neurocognitive and electrophysiological effects of a citicoline-caffeine-based beverage in 60 healthy adult participants enrolled in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Measures of electrical brain activity using electroencephalogram (EEG) and neuropsychological measures examining attention, concentration and reaction time were administered. Compared to placebo, participants receiving the citicoline-caffeine beverage exhibited significantly faster maze learning times and reaction times on a continuous performance test, fewer errors in a go/no-go task and better accuracy on a measure of information processing speed. EEG results examining P450 event-related potentials revealed that participants receiving the citicoline-caffeine beverage exhibited higher P450 amplitudes than controls, suggesting an increase in sustained attention. Overall, these findings suggest that the beverage significantly improved sustained attention, cognitive effort and reaction times in healthy adults. Evidence of improved P450 amplitude indicates a general improvement in the ability to accommodate new and relevant information within working memory and overall enhanced brain activation.

  4. The Role of Visual Working Memory in Attentive Tracking of Unique Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makovski, Tal; Jiang, Yuhong V.

    2009-01-01

    When tracking moving objects in space humans usually attend to the objects' spatial locations and update this information over time. To what extent do surface features assist attentive tracking? In this study we asked participants to track identical or uniquely colored objects. Tracking was enhanced when objects were unique in color. The benefit…

  5. CDH13 is associated with working memory performance in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Arias Vasquez, A.; Altink, M.E.; Lambregts-Rommelse, N.N.J.; Slaats-Willemse, D.I.E.; Buschgens, C.J.M.; Fliers, E.A.; Faraone, S.V.; Sergeant, J.A.; Oosterlaan, J.; Franke, B.; Buitelaar, J.K.

    2011-01-01

    Different analytic strategies, including linkage, association and meta-analysis support a role of CDH13 in the susceptibility to attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). CDH13 codes for cadherin 13 (or H-cadherin), which is a member of a family of calcium-dependent cell-cell adhesion

  6. Effectiveness of music therapy on focused attention, working memory and stress in Type 2 diabetes: An exploratory study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Indira Tumuluri

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive deficits are reported in diabetes mellitus type 2 (DM2. Previous research has shown that music-based intervention can not only reduce hyperglycemia but also target cognitive functions as well as stress. The aim of this exploratory study was to understand the effect of active participation in music therapy (MT on the cognitive deficits of DM2 patients. MT of twenty sessions was carried out with three participants with DM2. Serum cortisol, perceived stress, Color Trail Test (1 and 2, and verbal n-back (1 and 2 tests were used to measure the outcomes. Feedback was taken for the subjective ratings and satisfaction of the participants. Stress and cortisol reduced and focused attention and working memory improved in varying degrees. Subjectively, participants reported having benefitted from the intervention. This is the first attempt to investigate the effect of music-based intervention on cognitive function in DM2 patients using case study approach.

  7. Effectiveness of Music Therapy on Focused Attention, Working Memory and Stress in Type 2 Diabetes: An Exploratory Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tumuluri, Indira; Hegde, Shantala; Nagendra, H R

    2017-01-01

    Cognitive deficits are reported in diabetes mellitus type 2 (DM2). Previous research has shown that music-based intervention can not only reduce hyperglycemia but also target cognitive functions as well as stress. The aim of this exploratory study was to understand the effect of active participation in music therapy (MT) on the cognitive deficits of DM2 patients. MT of twenty sessions was carried out with three participants with DM2. Serum cortisol, perceived stress, Color Trail Test (1 and 2), and verbal n-back (1 and 2) tests were used to measure the outcomes. Feedback was taken for the subjective ratings and satisfaction of the participants. Stress and cortisol reduced and focused attention and working memory improved in varying degrees. Subjectively, participants reported having benefitted from the intervention. This is the first attempt to investigate the effect of music-based intervention on cognitive function in DM2 patients using case study approach.

  8. Effects of a working memory training program in preschoolers with symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capodieci, Agnese; Gola, Maria Laura; Cornoldi, Cesare; Re, Anna Maria

    2018-02-01

    Preschoolers with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have been found to exhibit impairments on neuropsychological measures of working memory (WM). As WM is an important predictor of future learning abilities, early intervention could help to prevent severe problems. The purpose of this research was to ascertain the efficacy of an intervention for training WM in 5-year-old children with symptoms of ADHD. Thirty-four children with symptoms of ADHD were randomly divided into two groups: One was assigned to the WM training condition, and the other continued normal class activities. The training was provided at school in small groups that also included typically developing children. The trained group showed a significant improvement in tasks measuring their WM and other controlled processes at conclusion of study, whereas no significant improvement was found in the control group. We concluded that early intervention on WM may be effective in children with symptoms of ADHD.

  9. Beyond perceptual load and dilution: a review of the role of working memory in selective attention

    OpenAIRE

    de Fockert, Jan W.

    2013-01-01

    The perceptual load and dilution models differ fundamentally in terms of the proposed mechanism underlying variation in distractibility during different perceptual conditions. However, both models predict that distracting information can be processed beyond perceptual processing under certain conditions, a prediction that is well-supported by the literature. Load theory proposes that in such cases, where perceptual task aspects do not allow for sufficient attentional selectivity, the maintena...

  10. Review: Attention and Memory in Autism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arash Mirab-Zadeh

    2001-12-01

    Full Text Available Many investigations have documented about attentional and memorial abnormality in individuals with autism. This study is summary of recent researches about alternations of attention and memory in autism. The most important changes of attention in autism are: 1 Arousal modulatory system dysfunction, leading to fluctuations between states over and under arousal. 2 Reduction of orienting and processing of novel stimuli. 3 Over focused attention, responding to only a subset of environmental cues. 4 Deficit in shifting attention, leading to difficulty moving their attention from one special location to another. The most important changes of memory in autism are: 1 Good rote memory 2 Cued recall is significantly better than free recall 3 Deficit in working memory 4 Deficit in implicit and explicit memory 5 Deficit in verbal memory about material that requires further encoding, organization or use of meaning or semantic cues for recalling 6 High functioning memory in some of the patients for example ability to read well, singing or recognizing musical pieces

  11. Competing Core Processes in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Do Working Memory Deficiencies Underlie Behavioral Inhibition Deficits?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alderson, R. Matt; Rapport, Mark D.; Hudec, Kristen L.; Sarver, Dustin E.; Kofler, Michael J.

    2010-01-01

    The current study examined competing predictions of the working memory and behavioral inhibition models of ADHD. Behavioral inhibition was measured using a conventional stop-signal task, and central executive, phonological, and visuospatial working memory components (Baddeley 2007) were assessed in 14 children with ADHD and 13 typically developing…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  13. Limited near and far transfer effects of jungle memory working memory training on learning mathematics in children with attentional and mathematical difficulties

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nelwan, Michel; Kroesbergen, Evelyn H.

    2016-01-01

    The goal of this randomized controlled trial was to investigate whether Jungle Memory working memory training (JM) affects performance on working memory tasks, performance in mathematics and gains made on a mathematics training (MT) in school aged children between 9-12 years old (N = 64) with both

  14. Working memory and inattentional blindness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bredemeier, Keith; Simons, Daniel J

    2012-04-01

    Individual differences in working memory predict many aspects of cognitive performance, especially for tasks that demand focused attention. One negative consequence of focused attention is inattentional blindness, the failure to notice unexpected objects when attention is engaged elsewhere. Yet, the relationship between individual differences in working memory and inattentional blindness is unclear; some studies have found that higher working memory capacity is associated with greater noticing, but others have found no direct association. Given the theoretical and practical significance of such individual differences, more definitive tests are needed. In two studies with large samples, we tested the relationship between multiple working memory measures and inattentional blindness. Individual differences in working memory predicted the ability to perform an attention-demanding tracking task, but did not predict the likelihood of noticing an unexpected object present during the task. We discuss the reasons why we might not expect such individual differences in noticing and why other studies may have found them.

  15. Relationship between working hours and power of attention, memory, fatigue, depression and self-efficacy one year after diagnosis of clinically isolated syndrome and relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jongen, Peter Joseph; Wesnes, Keith; van Geel, Björn; Pop, Paul; Sanders, Evert; Schrijver, Hans; Visser, Leo H; Gilhuis, H Jacobus; Sinnige, Ludovicus G; Brands, Augustina M

    2014-01-01

    The role of cognitive domain dysfunction with respect to vocational changes in persons with Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS) and early Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (eRRMS) is insufficiently known. We investigated thirty-three patients--14 CIS, 19 eRRMS -, mean (standard deviation [SD]) time since diagnosis 13.5 (4.8) months and mean (SD) Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score 1.3 (1.1). Patients were assessed on the CDR System, a set of automated tests of cognitive function, which yielded scores for Power of Attention (ms), Continuity of Attention (#), Working Memory (SI), Episodic Memory (#) and Speed of Memory (ms). Work-related items and the confounding variables fatigue, depression, disease impact and self-efficacy, were assessed by self-report questionnaires. Patients had poorer Power of Attention compared to normative data (1187 [161.5] vs. 1070 [98.6]; PMemory (4043 [830.6]) vs. 2937 [586.1]; PAttention (Pearson r =  -0.42; PMemory (r = 0.42; PAttention (1247 vs. 1116 ms; PMemory (1.35 vs. 1.57; pAttention and Speed of Memory are reduced, that Power of Attention and Memory are associated with a capability of working less hours, and that fatigue, depression and disease impact may negatively, and self-efficacy positively affect working hours.

  16. Age-related changes in electrophysiological and neuropsychological indices of working memory, attention control, and fluid intelligence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carrie Brumback Peltz

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Older adults exhibit great variability in their cognitive abilities, with some maintaining high levels of performance on executive control tasks and others showing significant deficits. Previous event-related potential (ERP work has shown that some of these performance differences are correlated with persistence of the novelty/frontal P3 in older adults elicited by task-relevant events, presumably reflecting variability in the capacity to suppress orienting to unexpected but no longer novel events. In recent ERP work in young adults, we showed that the operation-span task (OSPAN, a measure of attention control is predictive of the ability of individuals to keep track of stimulus sequencing and to maintain running mental representations of task stimuli, as indexed by the parietally-distributed P300 (or P3b. Both of these phenomena reflect aspects of frontal function (cognitive flexibility and attention control, respectively. To investigate these phenomena we sorted both younger and older adults into low- and high-working memory spans and low- and high-cognitive flexibility subgroups, and examined ERPs during an equal-probability choice reaction-time task. For both age groups (a participants with high OSPAN scores were better able to keep track of stimulus sequencing, as indicated by their smaller P3b to sequential changes; and (b participants with lower cognitive flexibility had larger P3a than their high-scoring counterparts. However, these two phenomena did not interact suggesting that they manifest dissociable control mechanisms. Further, the fact that both effects are already visible in younger adults suggests that at least some of the brain mechanisms underlying individual differences in cognitive aging may already operate early in life.

  17. Working Memory Capacity in a Go/No-Go Task: Age Differences in Interference, Processing Speed, and Attentional Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Villagra, Odir Antonio; Göthe, Katrin; Oberauer, Klaus; Kliegl, Reinhold

    2013-01-01

    We tested the limits of working-memory capacity (WMC) of young adults, old adults, and children with a memory-updating task. The task consisted of mentally shifting spatial positions within a grid according to arrows, their color signaling either only go (control) or go/no-go conditions. The interference model (IM) of Oberauer and Kliegl (2006)…

  18. Chinese Calligraphy Writing for Augmenting Attentional Control and Working Memory of Older Adults at Risk of Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Sam C C; Chan, Chetwyn C H; Derbie, Abiot Y; Hui, Irene; Tan, Davynn G H; Pang, Marco Y C; Lau, Stephen C L; Fong, Kenneth N K

    2017-01-01

    Nonpharmacological intervention for individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) needs further investigation. Test efficacy of an eight-week Chinese calligraphy writing training course in improving attentional control and working memory. Ninety-nine participants with MCI were randomized into the eight-week calligraphy writing (n = 48) or control (tablet computer) training (n = 51). Outcomes of the interventions were attentional control, working memory, visual scan and processing speed. They were measured at baseline, post-training, and six-month follow-up. Calligraphy writing, when compared with control, significantly improved working memory as reflected from DST-Backward sequence (p = 0.009) and span scores (p = 0.002), and divided attention as reflected from CTT2 (p memory (span: p cognitive approach would improve working memory and to a lesser extent attentional control functions of patients with early MCI. They also demonstrate the usefulness of using mind-and-body practice for improving specific cognitive functions.

  19. Long-term effects of frequent cannabis use on working memory and attention: an fMRI study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jager, Gerry; Kahn, Rene S.; van den Brink, Wim; van Ree, Jan M.; Ramsey, Nick F.

    2006-01-01

    RATIONALE: Excessive use of cannabis may have long-term effects on cognitive abilities. Mild impairments have been found in several cognitive domains, particularly in memory and attention. It is not clear, however, whether these effects also occur with moderate, recreational use of cannabis.

  20. Stress, Psychosocial Mediators, and Cognitive Mediators in Parents of Child Cancer Patients and Cancer Survivors: Attention and Working Memory Pathway Perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vander Haegen, Marie; Luminet, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    This review examines stress and its consequences on attention and working memory, stress symptoms in parents of child cancer patients and survivors and long-term consequences of stress on cognitive processing in parents of child cancer survivors. Eligible studies were experimental, meta-analyses, and qualitative (2000-2013) from Pubmed, Medline, the Cochrane Library, PsycArticles, and Google Scholar. We identified 92 eligible papers. They showed that elevated stress can impede performances on tasks requiring attention and memory patterns. In pediatric oncology, parental stress increased shortly after diagnosis involving depression and anxiety. Consequences of stress on cognitive performances were observed mainly among depressed individuals. As regards parents of child cancer survivors, female gender, low Socioeconomic Status (SES), and innate traits of anxiety/anger predicted the development of PTSS. Evidence of stress on attention and working memory processes in parents of child cancer survivors is insufficiently developed.

  1. Working Memory: A Selective Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. Working Memory and Motor Activity: A Comparison Across Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Healthy Control Groups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lea, Sarah E; Matt Alderson, R; Patros, Connor H G; Tarle, Stephanie J; Arrington, Elaine F; Grant, DeMond M

    2018-05-01

    Converging findings from recent research suggest a functional relationship between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)-related hyperactivity and demands on working memory (WM) in both children and adults. Excessive motor activity such as restlessness and fidgeting are not pathognomonic symptoms of ADHD, however, and are often associated with other diagnoses such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Further, previous research indicates that anticipatory processing associated with anxiety can directly interfere with storage and rehearsal processes of WM. The topographical similarity of excessive motor activity seen in both ADHD and anxiety disorders, as well as similar WM deficits, may indicate a common relationship between WM deficits and increased motor activity. The relationship between objectively measured motor activity (actigraphy) and PH and visuospatial WM demands in adults with ADHD (n = 21), adults with GAD (n = 21), and healthy control adults (n = 20) was examined. Although all groups exhibited significant increases in activity from control to WM conditions, the ADHD group exhibited a disproportionate increase in activity, while activity exhibited by the GAD and healthy control groups was not different. Findings indicate that ADHD-related hyperactivity is uniquely related to WM demands, and appear to suggest that adults with GAD are no more active relative to healthy control adults during a cognitively demanding laboratory task. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  3. Improving Dorsal Stream Function in Dyslexics by Training Figure/Ground Motion Discrimination Improves Attention, Reading Fluency, and Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawton, Teri

    2016-01-01

    There is an ongoing debate about whether the cause of dyslexia is based on linguistic, auditory, or visual timing deficits. To investigate this issue three interventions were compared in 58 dyslexics in second grade (7 years on average), two targeting the temporal dynamics (timing) of either the auditory or visual pathways with a third reading intervention (control group) targeting linguistic word building. Visual pathway training in dyslexics to improve direction-discrimination of moving test patterns relative to a stationary background (figure/ground discrimination) significantly improved attention, reading fluency, both speed and comprehension, phonological processing, and both auditory and visual working memory relative to controls, whereas auditory training to improve phonological processing did not improve these academic skills significantly more than found for controls. This study supports the hypothesis that faulty timing in synchronizing the activity of magnocellular with parvocellular visual pathways is a fundamental cause of dyslexia, and argues against the assumption that reading deficiencies in dyslexia are caused by phonological deficits. This study demonstrates that visual movement direction-discrimination can be used to not only detect dyslexia early, but also for its successful treatment, so that reading problems do not prevent children from readily learning.

  4. Improving Dorsal Stream Function in Dyslexics By Training Figure/Ground Motion Discrimination Improves Reading Fluency, Attention, and Working Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teri Lawton

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available There is an ongoing debate about whether the cause of dyslexia is based on linguistic, auditory, or visual timing deficits. To investigate this issue three interventions were compared in 58 dyslexics in second grade (7 years on average, two targeting the temporal dynamics (timing of either the auditory or visual pathways with a third reading intervention (control group using linguistic word building. Visual pathway training in dyslexics to improve direction-discrimination of moving test patterns relative to a stationary background (figure/ground discrimination significantly improved attention, reading fluency, both speed and comprehension, phonological processing, and both auditory and visual working memory relative to controls, whereas auditory training to improve phonological processing did not improve these academic skills significantly more than found for controls. This study supports the hypothesis that faulty timing in synchronizing the activity of magnocellular with parvocellular visual pathways is a fundamental cause of dyslexia, and argues against the assumption that reading deficiencies in dyslexia are caused by phonological deficits. This study demonstrates that visual movement direction-discrimination can be used to not only detect dyslexia early, but also for its successful treatment, so that reading problems do not prevent children from readily learning.

  5. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and phonological working memory: Methodological variability affects clinical and experimental performance metrics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarle, Stephanie J; Alderson, R Matt; Patros, Connor H G; Lea, Sarah E; Hudec, Kristen L; Arrington, Elaine F

    2017-05-01

    Despite promising findings in extant research that suggest impaired working memory (WM) serves as a central neurocognitive deficit or candidate endophenotype of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), findings from translational research have been relatively underwhelming. This study aimed to explicate previous equivocal findings by systematically examining the effect of methodological variability on WM performance estimates across experimental and clinical WM measures. Age-matched boys (ages 8-12 years) with (n = 20) and without (n = 20) ADHD completed 1 experimental (phonological) and 2 clinical (digit span, letter-number sequencing) WM measures. The use of partial scoring procedures, administration of greater trial numbers, and high central executive demands yielded moderate-to-large between-groups effect sizes. Moreover, the combination of these best-case procedures, compared to worst-case procedures (i.e., absolute scoring, administration of few trials, use of discontinue rules, and low central executive demands), resulted in a 12.5% increase in correct group classification. Collectively, these findings explain inconsistent ADHD-related WM deficits in previous reports, and highlight the need for revised clinical measures that utilize best-case procedures. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  6. The Relevance of the Functional 5-HT1A Receptor Polymorphism for Attention and Working Memory Processes during Mental Rotation of Characters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beste, Christian; Heil, Martin; Domschke, Katharina; Konrad, Carsten

    2010-01-01

    Numerous lines of research indicate that attentional processes, working memory and saccadic processes are highly interrelated. In the current study, we examine the relation between these processes with respect to their cognitive-neurophysiological and neurobiological background by means of event-related potentials (ERPs) in a sample of N = 72…

  7. Can Motivation Normalize Working Memory and Task Persistence in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder? The Effects of Money and Computer-Gaming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dovis, Sebastiaan; van der Oord, Saskia; Wiers, Reinout W.; Prins, Pier J. M.

    2012-01-01

    Visual-spatial "Working Memory" (WM) is the most impaired executive function in children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Some suggest that deficits in executive functioning are caused by motivational deficits. However, there are no studies that investigate the effects of motivation on the visual-spatial WM of children with-…

  8. Working memory arrest in children with high-functioning autism compared to children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: results from a 2-year longitudinal study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Per N; Skogli, Erik W; Hovik, Kjell T; Geurts, Hilde; Egeland, Jens; Øie, Merete

    2015-05-01

    The aim of this study was to analyse the development of verbal working memory in children with high-functioning autism compared to children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and typically developing children. A total of 34 children with high-functioning autism, 72 children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and 45 typically developing children (age 9-16 years) were included at baseline and followed up approximately 25 months later. The children were given a letter/number sequencing task to assess verbal working memory. The performance of children with high-functioning autism on verbal working memory did not improve after 2 years, while improvement was observed in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and typically developing children. The results indicate a different developmental trajectory for verbal working memory in children with high-functioning autism compared to children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and typically developing children. More research is needed to construct a developmental framework more suitable for children with autism spectrum disorder. © The Author(s) 2014.

  9. Working memory arrest in children with high-functioning autism compared to children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Results from a 2-year longitudinal study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Andersen, P.N.; Skogli, E.W.; Hovik, K.T.; Geurts, H.; Egeland, J.; Øie, M.

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to analyse the development of verbal working memory in children with high-functioning autism compared to children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and typically developing children. A total of 34 children with high-functioning autism, 72 children with

  10. A Test of the Integrity of the Components of Baddeley's Model of Working Memory in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karatekin, Canan

    2004-01-01

    Background: The integrity of working memory in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was tested within the framework of Baddeley's model. Methods-1: Buffers and rehearsal mechanisms were assessed by presenting children with or without ADHD (ages 8 to 15) with 1-7 target letters and a probe after 2-10 s. They decided if the probe was the…

  11. Can motivation normalize working memory and task persistence in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder? The effects of money and computer-gaming

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dovis, S.; van der Oord, S.; Wiers, R.W.; Prins, P.J.M.

    2012-01-01

    Visual-spatial Working Memory (WM) is the most impaired executive function in children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Some suggest that deficits in executive functioning are caused by motivational deficits. However, there are no studies that investigate the effects of

  12. Improving Working Memory in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: The Separate and Combined Effects of Incentives and Stimulant Medication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strand, Michael T.; Hawk, Larry W., Jr.; Bubnik, Michelle; Shiels, Keri; Pelham, William E., Jr.; Waxmonsky, James G.

    2012-01-01

    Working memory (WM) is considered a core deficit in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), with numerous studies demonstrating impaired WM among children with ADHD. We tested the degree to which WM in children with ADHD was improved by performance-based incentives, an analog of behavioral intervention. In two studies, WM performance was…

  13. Cognitive training for children with ADHD: a randomized controlled trial of cogmed working memory training and ‘paying attention in class’

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Donk, M.; Hiemstra-Beernink, A.-C.; Tjeenk-Kalff, A.C.; van der Leij, A.; Lindauer, R.

    The goal of this randomized controlled trial was to replicate and extend previous studies of Cogmed Working Memory Training (CWMT) in children with Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). While a large proportion of children with ADHD suffer from academic difficulties, only few previous

  14. Dopaminergic and Cholinergic Modulations of Visual-Spatial Attention and Working Memory: Insights from Molecular Genetic Research and Implications for Adult Cognitive Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stormer, Viola S.; Passow, Susanne; Biesenack, Julia; Li, Shu-Chen

    2012-01-01

    Attention and working memory are fundamental for selecting and maintaining behaviorally relevant information. Not only do both processes closely intertwine at the cognitive level, but they implicate similar functional brain circuitries, namely the frontoparietal and the frontostriatal networks, which are innervated by cholinergic and dopaminergic…

  15. Memory Functioning in Children with Reading Disabilities and/or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Clinical Investigation of Their Working Memory and Long-term Memory Functioning

    OpenAIRE

    Kibby, Michelle Y.; Cohen, Morris J.

    2008-01-01

    We examined memory functioning in children with reading disabilities (RD), ADHD, and RD/ADHD using a clinic sample with a clinical instrument: the Children’s Memory Scale, enhancing its generalizability. Participants included 23 children with RD, 30 with ADHD, 30 with RD/ADHD, and 30 controls. Children with RD presented with reduced verbal short-term memory (STM) but intact visual STM, central executive (CE) and long-term memory (LTM) functioning. Their deficit in STM appeared specific to tas...

  16. Switching Attention within Working Memory is Reflected in the P3a Component of the Human Event-Related Brain Potential.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan eBerti

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The flexible access to information in working memory is crucial for adaptive behavior. It is assumed that this is realized by switching the focus of attention within working memory. Switching of attention is mirrored in the P3a component of the human event-related brain potential (ERP and it has been argued that the processes reflected by the P3a are also relevant for selecting information within working memory. The aim of the present study was to further evaluate whether the P3a mirrors genuine switching of attention within working memory by applying an object switching task: Participants updated a memory list of four digits either by replacing one item with another digit or by processing the stored digit. ERPs were computed separately for two types of trials: (1 trials in which an object was repeated and (2 trials in which a switch to a new object was required in order to perform the task. Object switch trials showed increased response times compared with repetition trials in both task conditions. In addition, switching costs were increased in the processing compared with the replacement condition. Pronounced P3a’s were obtained in switching trials but there were no difference between the two updating tasks (replacement or processing. These results were qualified by the finding that the magnitude of the visual location shift also affects the ERPs in the P3a time window. Taken together, the present pattern of results suggest that the P3a reflects an initial process of selecting information in working memory but not the memory updating itself.

  17. How verbal memory loads consume attention

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Zhijian; Cowan, Nelson

    2009-01-01

    According to a traditional assumption about working memory, participants retain a series of verbal items for immediate recall using covert verbal rehearsal, without much need for attention. We reassessed this assumption by imposing a speeded, nonverbal choice reaction time (CRT) task following the presentation of each digit in a list to be recalled. When the memory load surpassed a few items, performance on the speeded CRT task became increasingly impaired. This CRT task impairment depended o...

  18. Distinction between perceptual and attentional processing in working memory tasks: a study of phase-locked and induced oscillatory brain dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deiber, Marie-Pierre; Missonnier, Pascal; Bertrand, Olivier; Gold, Gabriel; Fazio-Costa, Lara; Ibañez, Vicente; Giannakopoulos, Panteleimon

    2007-01-01

    Working memory involves the short-term storage and manipulation of information necessary for cognitive performance, including comprehension, learning, reasoning and planning. Although electroencephalogram (EEG) rhythms are modulated during working memory, the temporal relationship of EEG oscillations with the eliciting event has not been well studied. In particular, the dynamics of the neural network supporting memory processes may be best captured in induced oscillations, characterized by a loose temporal link with the stimulus. In order to differentiate induced from evoked functional processes, the present study proposes a time-frequency analysis of the 3 to 30 Hz EEG oscillatory activity in a verbal n-back working memory paradigm. Control tasks were designed to identify oscillatory activity related to stimulus presentation (passive task) and focused attention to the stimulus (detection task). Evoked theta activity (4-8 Hz) phase-locked to the visual stimulus was evidenced in the parieto-occipital region for all tasks. In parallel, induced theta activity was recorded in the frontal region for detection and n-back memory tasks, but not for the passive task, suggesting its dependency on focused attention to the stimulus. Sustained induced oscillatory activity was identified in relation to working memory in the theta and beta (15-25 Hz) frequency bands, larger for the highest memory load. Its late occurrence limited to nonmatched items suggests that it could be related to item retention and active maintenance for further task requirements. Induced theta and beta activities displayed respectively a frontal and parietal topographical distribution, providing further functional information on the fronto-posterior network supporting working memory.

  19. Effects of interactive metronome training on timing, attention, working memory, and processing speed in children with ADHD: a case study of two children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Yun-Yi; Choi, Yu-Jin

    2017-12-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to present the effects of Interactive metronome (IM) on timing for children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). [Subjects and Methods] The subjects of the present study were 2 children diagnosed with ADHD. Pre- and post-intervention tests were completed by the researcher using Long Form Assessment (LFA) test of IM and K-WPPSI-IV. The subjects were provided with IM for 40 minutes at a time, 2 times per week, for a total of 8 weeks. [Results] The timing decreased after IM intervention. The subjects showed improvement in attention span after IM intervention. Working memory index as well as processing speed index were increased after intervention, as shown by the Korean-Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-IV (K-WPPSI-IV). [Conclusion] IM was effective in improving timing, attention, working memory and processing speed in children with ADHD.

  20. The relationship between visual working memory and attention: retention of precise colour information in the absence of effects on perceptual selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollingworth, Andrew; Hwang, Seongmin

    2013-10-19

    We examined the conditions under which a feature value in visual working memory (VWM) recruits visual attention to matching stimuli. Previous work has suggested that VWM supports two qualitatively different states of representation: an active state that interacts with perceptual selection and a passive (or accessory) state that does not. An alternative hypothesis is that VWM supports a single form of representation, with the precision of feature memory controlling whether or not the representation interacts with perceptual selection. The results of three experiments supported the dual-state hypothesis. We established conditions under which participants retained a relatively precise representation of a parcticular colour. If the colour was immediately task relevant, it reliably recruited attention to matching stimuli. However, if the colour was not immediately task relevant, it failed to interact with perceptual selection. Feature maintenance in VWM is not necessarily equivalent with feature-based attentional selection.

  1. No iconic memory without attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mack, Arien; Erol, Muge; Clarke, Jason; Bert, John

    2016-02-01

    The experiments reported extend the findings of our earlier paper, (Mack, Erol, & Clarke, 2015) and allow us to reject Bachmann and Aru's critique of our conclusion (2015) that IM requires attention. They suggested our manipulations, which diverted attention from a letter reporting task in a dual task procedure where the task-cue occurred after the array disappeared, might only have affected access to IM and not the "existence of the phenomenal experience". By further decreasing the probability of reporting letters to only 10% and adding a final trial in which the letter matrix was either completely absent or distorted, we found more than half our subjects were unaware of its absence, or distortion i.e., were inattentionally blind. We take this as powerful evidence against the existence of any phenomenal experience component of iconic memory and consistent with the view that iconic memory demands attention and that conscious perception does as well. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Developmental Change in a Spatial Task of Attentional Capacity: An Essay toward an Integration of Two Working Memory Models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Ribaupierre, Anik; Bailleux, Christine

    1994-01-01

    Attempts the theoretical rapprochement of two theoretical constructs on working memory, neo-Piagetian models and Baddeley's model. Summarizes both types of models, then discusses their similarities and differences. Presents the results of a longitudinal study that supported the idea that these models might be complementary rather than…

  3. Why Does Working Memory Capacity Predict Variation in Reading Comprehension? On the Influence of Mind Wandering and Executive Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    McVay, Jennifer C.; Kane, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

    Some people are better readers than others, and this variation in comprehension ability is predicted by measures of working memory capacity (WMC). The primary goal of this study was to investigate the mediating role of mind-wandering experiences in the association between WMC and normal individual differences in reading comprehension, as predicted…

  4. Acute, low-dose methamphetamine administration improves attention/information processing speed and working memory in methamphetamine-dependent individuals displaying poorer cognitive performance at baseline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahoney, James J; Jackson, Brian J; Kalechstein, Ari D; De La Garza, Richard; Newton, Thomas F

    2011-03-30

    Abstinent methamphetamine (Meth) dependent individuals demonstrate poorer performance on tests sensitive to attention/information processing speed, learning and memory, and working memory when compared to non-Meth dependent individuals. The poorer performance on these tests may contribute to the morbidity associated with Meth-dependence. In light of this, we sought to determine the effects of acute, low-dose Meth administration on attention, working memory, and verbal learning and memory in 19 non-treatment seeking, Meth-dependent individuals. Participants were predominantly male (89%), Caucasian (63%), and cigarette smokers (63%). Following a four day, drug-free washout period, participants were given a single-blind intravenous infusion of saline, followed the next day by 30 mg of Meth. A battery of neurocognitive tasks was administered before and after each infusion, and performance on measures of accuracy and reaction time were compared between conditions. While acute Meth exposure did not affect test performance for the entire sample, participants who demonstrated relatively poor performance on these tests at baseline, identified using a median split on each test, showed significant improvement on measures of attention/information processing speed and working memory when administered Meth. Improved performance was seen on the following measures of working memory: choice reaction time task (p≤0.04), a 1-back task (p≤0.01), and a 2-back task (p≤0.04). In addition, those participants demonstrating high neurocognitive performance at baseline experienced similar or decreased performance following Meth exposure. These findings suggest that acute administration of Meth may temporarily improve Meth-associated neurocognitive performance in those individuals experiencing lower cognitive performance at baseline. As a result, stimulants may serve as a successful treatment for improving cognitive functioning in those Meth-dependent individuals experiencing

  5. Conscious visual memory with minimal attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto, Yair; Vandenbroucke, Annelinde R; Otten, Marte; Sligte, Ilja G; Seth, Anil K; Lamme, Victor A F

    2017-02-01

    Is conscious visual perception limited to the locations that a person attends? The remarkable phenomenon of change blindness, which shows that people miss nearly all unattended changes in a visual scene, suggests the answer is yes. However, change blindness is found after visual interference (a mask or a new scene), so that subjects have to rely on working memory (WM), which has limited capacity, to detect the change. Before such interference, however, a much larger capacity store, called fragile memory (FM), which is easily overwritten by newly presented visual information, is present. Whether these different stores depend equally on spatial attention is central to the debate on the role of attention in conscious vision. In 2 experiments, we found that minimizing spatial attention almost entirely erases visual WM, as expected. Critically, FM remains largely intact. Moreover, minimally attended FM responses yield accurate metacognition, suggesting that conscious memory persists with limited spatial attention. Together, our findings help resolve the fundamental issue of how attention affects perception: Both visual consciousness and memory can be supported by only minimal attention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  6. Temporal dynamics of attention during encoding vs. maintenance of working memory: complementary views from event-related potentials and alpha-band oscillations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, Nicholas E.; Walther, Lena; Wallis, George; Stokes, Mark G.; Nobre, Anna C.

    2015-01-01

    Working memory (WM) is strongly influenced by attention. In visual working-memory tasks, recall performance can be improved by an attention-guiding cue presented before encoding (precue) or during maintenance (retrocue). Although precues and retrocues recruit a similar fronto-parietal control network, the two are likely to exhibit some processing differences, since precues invite anticipation of upcoming information, while retrocues may guide prioritisation, protection, and selection of information already in mind. Here we explored the behavioral and electrophysiological differences between precueing and retrocueing in a new visual working-memory task designed to permit a direct comparison between cueing conditions. We found marked differences in event-related potential (ERP) profiles between the precue and retrocue conditions. In line with precues primarily generating an anticipatory shift of attention toward the location of an upcoming item, we found a robust lateralization in late cue-evoked potentials associated with target anticipation. Retrocues elicited a different pattern of ERPs that was compatible with an early selection mechanism, but not with stimulus anticipation. In contrast to the distinct ERP patterns, alpha band (8-14 Hz) lateralization was indistinguishable between cue types (reflecting, in both conditions, the location of the cued item). We speculate that whereas alpha-band lateralization after a precue is likely to enable anticipatory attention, lateralization after a retrocue may instead enable the controlled spatiotopic access to recently encoded visual information. PMID:25244118

  7. Dissociating effects of stimulus identity and load on working memory attentional guidance: lengthening encoding time eliminates the effect of load but not identity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsvetanov, Kamen A; Arvanitis, Theodoros N; Humphreys, Glyn W

    2012-01-01

    Effects of the identity and load of items in working memory (WM) on visual attention were examined. With a short interval between the WM item and a subsequent search task, there were effects of both load (slowed overall reaction times, RTs, in a WM condition relative to a mere repetition baseline) and identity (search RTs were affected by re-presentation of the item in WM in the search display). As the time to encode the initial display increased, the effects of load decreased while the effect of identity remained. The data indicate that the identity of stimuli in WM can affect the subsequent deployment of attention even when time is allowed for consolidation of the stimuli in WM, and that the WM effects are not causally related to the presence of cognitive load. The results are consistent with the identity of stimuli in WM modulating attention post the memory consolidation stage.

  8. Working memory deficits in boys with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): An examination of orthographic coding and episodic buffer processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alderson, R Matt; Kasper, Lisa J; Patros, Connor H G; Hudec, Kristen L; Tarle, Stephanie J; Lea, Sarah E

    2015-01-01

    The episodic buffer component of working memory was examined in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and typically developing peers (TD). Thirty-two children (ADHD = 16, TD = 16) completed three versions of a phonological working memory task that varied with regard to stimulus presentation modality (auditory, visual, or dual auditory and visual), as well as a visuospatial task. Children with ADHD experienced the largest magnitude working memory deficits when phonological stimuli were presented via a unimodal, auditory format. Their performance improved during visual and dual modality conditions but remained significantly below the performance of children in the TD group. In contrast, the TD group did not exhibit performance differences between the auditory- and visual-phonological conditions but recalled significantly more stimuli during the dual-phonological condition. Furthermore, relative to TD children, children with ADHD recalled disproportionately fewer phonological stimuli as set sizes increased, regardless of presentation modality. Finally, an examination of working memory components indicated that the largest magnitude between-group difference was associated with the central executive. Collectively, these findings suggest that ADHD-related working memory deficits reflect a combination of impaired central executive and phonological storage/rehearsal processes, as well as an impaired ability to benefit from bound multimodal information processed by the episodic buffer.

  9. Impaired inhibition and working memory in response to internet-related words among adolescents with internet addiction: A comparison with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nie, Jia; Zhang, Wei; Chen, Jia; Li, Wendi

    2016-02-28

    Impairments in response inhibition and working memory functions have been found to be closely associated with internet addiction (IA) symptoms and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms. In this study, we examined response inhibition and working memory processes with two different materials (internet-related and internet-unrelated stimuli) among adolescents with IA, ADHD and co-morbid IA/ADHD. Twenty-four individuals with IA, 28 individuals with ADHD, 17 individuals with IA/ADHD, and 26 matched normal controls (NC) individuals were recruited. All participants were measured with a Stop-Signal Task and 2-Back Task under the same experimental conditions. In comparison to the NC group, subjects with IA, ADHD and IA/ADHD demonstrated impaired inhibition and working memory. In addition, in comparison to internet-unrelated conditions, IA and co-morbid subjects performed worse on the internet-related condition in the Stop trials during the stop-signal task, and they showed better working memory on the internet-related condition in the 2-Back Task. The findings of our study suggest individuals with IA and IA/ADHD may be impaired in inhibition and working memory functions that might be linked to poor inhibition specifically related to internet-related stimuli, which will advance our understanding of IA and contribute to prevention and intervention strategies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Executive and perceptual attention play different roles in visual working memory: evidence from suffix and strategy effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yanmei; Hitch, Graham J; Baddeley, Alan D; Zhang, Ming; Allen, Richard J

    2014-08-01

    Four experiments studied the interfering effects of a to-be-ignored "stimulus suffix" on cued recall of feature bindings for a series of objects. When each object was given equal weight (Experiment 1) or rewards favored recent items (Experiments 2 and 4), a recency effect emerged that was selectively reduced by a suffix. The reduction was greater for a "plausible" suffix with features drawn from the same set as the memory items, in which case a feature of the suffix was frequently recalled as an intrusion error. Changing payoffs to reward recall of early items led to a primacy effect alongside recency (Experiments 3 and 4). Primacy, like recency, was reduced by a suffix and the reduction was greater for a suffix with plausible features, such features often being recalled as intrusion errors. Experiment 4 revealed a tradeoff such that increased primacy came at the cost of a reduction in recency. These observations show that priority instructions and recency combine to determine a limited number of items that are the most accessible for immediate recall and yet at the same time the most vulnerable to interference. We interpret this outcome in terms of a labile, limited capacity "privileged state" controlled by both central executive processes and perceptual attention. We suggest further that this privileged state can be usefully interpreted as the focus of attention in the episodic buffer.

  11. The lasting memory enhancements of retrospective attention

    OpenAIRE

    Reaves, Sarah; Strunk, Jonathan; Phillips, Shekinah; Verhaeghen, Paul; Duarte, Audrey

    2016-01-01

    Behavioral research has shown that spatial cues that orient attention toward task relevant items being maintained in visual short-term memory (VSTM) enhance item memory accuracy. However, it is unknown if these retrospective attentional cues (?retro-cues?) enhance memory beyond typical short-term memory delays. It is also unknown whether retro-cues affect the spatial information associated with VSTM representations. Emerging evidence suggests that processes that affect short-term memory maint...

  12. The effects of working memory load and attention refocusing on delay discounting rates in alcohol use disorder with comorbid antisocial personality disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunn, Rachel L; Gerst, Kyle R; Lake, Allison J; Finn, Peter R

    2018-02-01

    Executive working memory capacity (eWMC) is central to adaptive decision-making. Research has revealed reduced eWMC and higher rates of impulsive decision making in individuals with alcohol use disorders (AUDs: DSM-IV Alcohol Dependence of Alcohol Abuse) and antisocial psychopathology (AP). Recent work has shown that placing a load on working memory (WM) further increases impulsive decision making on the delay discounting (DD) task in those with AUDs and AP. The current study examined the effects of an attention refocusing manipulation to offset the effects of this WM-load on DD rates in control subjects, those with AUDs without AP, and AUDs with AP (AUD-AP). Results revealed that 1) the AUD-AP group had higher DD rates (i.e., more impulsive decision-making) than the AUD group, followed by controls, and 2) attention refocusing after a load is placed on WM was associated with lower DD rates compared to the load without refocusing in both AUD groups, but not controls. Results suggest that refocusing attention after a cognitive load may be an effective cognitive strategy for reducing the impulsivity-enhancing effects of cognitive load on decision making in individuals with AUDs and AP. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Models of Working Memory

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Miyake, Akira

    1997-01-01

    .... Understanding the mechanisms and structures underlying working memory is, hence, one of the most important scientific issues that need to be addressed to improve the efficiency and performance...

  14. Rapid influences of cued visual memories on attentional guidance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Moorselaar, D.; Battistoni, E.; Theeuwes, J.; Olivers, C.N.L.

    2015-01-01

    There is evidence that the deployment of attention can be biased by the content of visual working memory. Recently, it has been shown that focusing internal attention to a specific item in memory not only increases the accessibility of that specific item for retrieval, but also results in increased

  15. Visual selective attention is equally functional for individuals with low and high working memory capacity: evidence from accuracy and eye movements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mall, Jonathan T; Morey, Candice C; Wolff, Michael J; Lehnert, Franziska

    2014-10-01

    Selective attention and working memory capacity (WMC) are related constructs, but debate about the manner in which they are related remains active. One elegant explanation of variance in WMC is that the efficiency of filtering irrelevant information is the crucial determining factor, rather than differences in capacity per se. We examined this hypothesis by relating WMC (as measured by complex span tasks) to accuracy and eye movements during visual change detection tasks with different degrees of attentional filtering and allocation requirements. Our results did not indicate strong filtering differences between high- and low-WMC groups, and where differences were observed, they were counter to those predicted by the strongest attentional filtering hypothesis. Bayes factors indicated evidence favoring positive or null relationships between WMC and correct responses to unemphasized information, as well as between WMC and the time spent looking at unemphasized information. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that individual differences in storage capacity, not only filtering efficiency, underlie individual differences in working memory.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  17. Visual short-term memory always requires general attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morey, Candice C; Bieler, Malte

    2013-02-01

    The role of attention in visual memory remains controversial; while some evidence has suggested that memory for binding between features demands no more attention than does memory for the same features, other evidence has indicated cognitive costs or mnemonic benefits for explicitly attending to bindings. We attempted to reconcile these findings by examining how memory for binding, for features, and for features during binding is affected by a concurrent attention-demanding task. We demonstrated that performing a concurrent task impairs memory for as few as two visual objects, regardless of whether each object includes one or more features. We argue that this pattern of results reflects an essential role for domain-general attention in visual memory, regardless of the simplicity of the to-be-remembered stimuli. We then discuss the implications of these findings for theories of visual working memory.

  18. Hold it! memory affects attentional dwell time

    OpenAIRE

    Parks, Emily L.; Hopfinger, Joseph B.

    2008-01-01

    The allocation of attention, including the initial orienting and the subsequent dwell time, is affected by several bottom-up and top-down factors. How item memory affects these processes, however, remains unclear. Here, we investigated whether item memory affects attentional dwell time by using a modified version of the attentional blink (AB) paradigm. Across four experiments, our results revealed that the AB was significantly affected by memory status (novel vs. old), but critically, this ef...

  19. Where do we store the memory representations that guide attention?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodman, Geoffrey F.; Carlisle, Nancy B.; Reinhart, Robert M. G.

    2013-01-01

    During the last decade one of the most contentious and heavily studied topics in the attention literature has been the role that working memory representations play in controlling perceptual selection. The hypothesis has been advanced that to have attention select a certain perceptual input from the environment, we only need to represent that item in working memory. Here we summarize the work indicating that the relationship between what representations are maintained in working memory and what perceptual inputs are selected is not so simple. First, it appears that attentional selection is also determined by high-level task goals that mediate the relationship between working memory storage and attentional selection. Second, much of the recent work from our laboratory has focused on the role of long-term memory in controlling attentional selection. We review recent evidence supporting the proposal that working memory representations are critical during the initial configuration of attentional control settings, but that after those settings are established long-term memory representations play an important role in controlling which perceptual inputs are selected by mechanisms of attention. PMID:23444390

  20. Is Working Memory Training Effective?

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  1. Working Memory and Attitudes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Eun Sook; Reid, Norman

    2009-01-01

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

  2. Working memory and Down syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baddeley, A; Jarrold, C

    2007-12-01

    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 which acts as an attentional control system, and finally a new component, the episodic buffer. The buffer comprises a temporary multidimensional store which is assumed to form an interface between the various subsystems of working memory, long-term memory, and perception. The operation of the model is then illustrated through an account of a research programme concerned with the analysis of working memory in Down syndrome.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/356689-07$15.00/0.

  4. Attention and Implicit Memory: Priming-Induced Benefits and Costs Have Distinct Attentional Requirements

    OpenAIRE

    Keane, Margaret M.; Cruz, Matt E.; Verfaellie, Mieke

    2015-01-01

    Attention at encoding plays a critical and ubiquitous role in explicit memory performance, but its role in implicit memory performance (i.e., priming) is more variable: Some, but not all, priming effects are reduced by division of attention at encoding. A wealth of empirical and theoretical work has aimed to define the critical features of priming effects that do or do not require attention at encoding. This work, however, has focused exclusively on priming effects that are beneficial in natu...

  5. Searching for serial refreshing in working memory: Using response times to track the content of the focus of attention over time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vergauwe, Evie; Hardman, Kyle O; Rouder, Jeffrey N; Roemer, Emily; McAllaster, Sara; Cowan, Nelson

    2016-12-01

    One popular idea is that, to support the maintenance of a set of elements over brief periods of time, the focus of attention rotates among the different elements, thereby serially refreshing the content of working memory (WM). In the research reported here, probe letters were presented between to-be-remembered letters, and response times to these probes were used to infer the status of the different items in WM. If the focus of attention cycles from one item to the next, its content should be different at different points in time, and this should be reflected in a change in the response time patterns over time. Across a set of four experiments, we demonstrated a striking pattern of invariance in the response time patterns over time, suggesting either that the content of the focus of attention did not change over time or that response times cannot be used to infer the content of the focus of attention. We discuss how this pattern constrains models of WM, attention, and human information processing.

  6. Lack of Associations between Female Hormone Levels and Visuospatial Working Memory, Divided Attention and Cognitive Bias across Two Consecutive Menstrual Cycles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brigitte Leeners

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: Interpretation of observational studies on associations between prefrontal cognitive functioning and hormone levels across the female menstrual cycle is complicated due to small sample sizes and poor replicability.Methods: This observational multisite study comprised data of n = 88 menstruating women from Hannover, Germany, and Zurich, Switzerland, assessed during a first cycle and n = 68 re-assessed during a second cycle to rule out practice effects and false-positive chance findings. We assessed visuospatial working memory, attention, cognitive bias and hormone levels at four consecutive time-points across both cycles. In addition to inter-individual differences we examined intra-individual change over time (i.e., within-subject effects.Results: Estrogen, progesterone and testosterone did not relate to inter-individual differences in cognitive functioning. There was a significant negative association between intra-individual change in progesterone and change in working memory from pre-ovulatory to mid-luteal phase during the first cycle, but that association did not replicate in the second cycle. Intra-individual change in testosterone related negatively to change in cognitive bias from menstrual to pre-ovulatory as well as from pre-ovulatory to mid-luteal phase in the first cycle, but these associations did not replicate in the second cycle.Conclusions: There is no consistent association between women's hormone levels, in particular estrogen and progesterone, and attention, working memory and cognitive bias. That is, anecdotal findings observed during the first cycle did not replicate in the second cycle, suggesting that these are false-positives attributable to random variation and systematic biases such as practice effects. Due to methodological limitations, positive findings in the published literature must be interpreted with reservation.

  7. The relationship between language proficiency and attentional control in Cantonese-English bilingual children: Evidence from Simon, Simon switching, and working memory tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chi-Shing eTse

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available By administering Simon, Simon switching, and operation-span working memory tasks to Cantonese-English bilingual children who varied in their first-language (L1, Cantonese and second-language (L2, English proficiencies, as quantified by standardized vocabulary test performance, the current study examined the effects of L1 and L2 proficiency on attentional control performance. Apart from mean performance, we conducted ex-Gaussian analyses to capture the modal and positive-tail components of participants’ reaction time distributions in the Simon task. Bilinguals’ L2 proficiency was associated with higher scores in the operation span task, and a shift of reaction time distributions in incongruent trials, relative to congruent trials (Simon effect in µ, and the tail size of reaction time distributions (τ regardless of trial types. Bilinguals’ L1 proficiency, which was strongly associated with participants’ age, showed similar results, except that it was not associated with the Simon effect in µ. In contrast, neither bilinguals’ L1 nor L2 proficiency modulated the global switch cost or local switch cost in the Simon switching task. After taking into account potential cognitive maturation by partialling out the participants’ age, only (a scores in the working memory task and (b RT in incongruent trials and (c Simon effect in µ in the Simon task could still be predicted by bilinguals’ L2 proficiency. Overall, the current findings suggest that bilingual children’s L2 proficiency was associated with their conflict resolution and working memory capacity, but not goal maintenance or task-set switching, when they performed the cognitive tasks that demanded attentional control. This was not entirely consistent with the findings of college-age bilinguals reported in previous studies.

  8. Disentangling the impact of artistic creativity on creative thinking, working memory, attention and intelligence:Evidence for domain-specific relationships with a new self-report questionnaire

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katrin Lunke

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The goal of the present study was to take a new look at the relationship between creativity and cognitive functioning. Based on models that have postulated domain- and sub-domain-structures for different forms of creativity, like scientific, technical or artistic creativity with cognitive functions as important basis, we developed a new questionnaire. The Artistic Creativity Domains Compendium (ACDC assesses interest, ability and performance in a distinct way for different domains of artistic creativity. We present the data of 270 adults tested with the ACDC, standard tests of divergent and convergent thinking, and tests of cognitive functions. We present fine-grained analyses on the internal and external validity of the ACDC and on the relationships between creativity, working memory, attention, and intelligence. Our results indicate domain-specific associations between creativity and attention as well as working memory. We conclude that the ACDC is a valid instrument to assess artistic creativity and that a fine-grained analysis reveals distinct patterns of relationships between separate domains of creativity and cognition.

  9. Disentangling the Impact of Artistic Creativity on Creative Thinking, Working Memory, Attention, and Intelligence: Evidence for Domain-Specific Relationships with a New Self-Report Questionnaire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunke, Katrin; Meier, Beat

    2016-01-01

    The goal of the present study was to take a new look at the relationship between creativity and cognitive functioning. Based on models that have postulated domain- and sub-domain-structures for different forms of creativity, like scientific, technical or artistic creativity with cognitive functions as important basis, we developed a new questionnaire. The Artistic Creativity Domains Compendium (ACDC) assesses interest, ability and performance in a distinct way for different domains of artistic creativity. We present the data of 270 adults tested with the ACDC, standard tests of divergent and convergent thinking, and tests of cognitive functions. We present fine-grained analyses on the internal and external validity of the ACDC and on the relationships between creativity, working memory, attention, and intelligence. Our results indicate domain-specific associations between creativity and attention as well as working memory. We conclude that the ACDC is a valid instrument to assess artistic creativity and that a fine-grained analysis reveals distinct patterns of relationships between separate domains of creativity and cognition. PMID:27516745

  10. Disentangling the Impact of Artistic Creativity on Creative Thinking, Working Memory, Attention, and Intelligence: Evidence for Domain-Specific Relationships with a New Self-Report Questionnaire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunke, Katrin; Meier, Beat

    2016-01-01

    The goal of the present study was to take a new look at the relationship between creativity and cognitive functioning. Based on models that have postulated domain- and sub-domain-structures for different forms of creativity, like scientific, technical or artistic creativity with cognitive functions as important basis, we developed a new questionnaire. The Artistic Creativity Domains Compendium (ACDC) assesses interest, ability and performance in a distinct way for different domains of artistic creativity. We present the data of 270 adults tested with the ACDC, standard tests of divergent and convergent thinking, and tests of cognitive functions. We present fine-grained analyses on the internal and external validity of the ACDC and on the relationships between creativity, working memory, attention, and intelligence. Our results indicate domain-specific associations between creativity and attention as well as working memory. We conclude that the ACDC is a valid instrument to assess artistic creativity and that a fine-grained analysis reveals distinct patterns of relationships between separate domains of creativity and cognition.

  11. Reading and Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baddeley, Alan

    1984-01-01

    Outlines the concept of working memory, with particular reference to a hypothetical subcomponent, the articulatory loop. Discusses the role of the loop in fluent adult reading, then examines the reading performance of adults with deficits in auditory verbal memory, showing that a capacity to articulate is not necessary for the effective…

  12. The Attentional Boost Effect and Context Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulligan, Neil W.; Smith, S. Adam; Spataro, Pietro

    2016-01-01

    Stimuli co-occurring with targets in a detection task are better remembered than stimuli co-occurring with distractors--the attentional boost effect (ABE). The ABE is of interest because it is an exception to the usual finding that divided attention during encoding impairs memory. The effect has been demonstrated in tests of item memory but it is…

  13. The Benefit of Attention-to-Memory Depends on the Interplay of Memory Capacity and Memory Load

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Sung-Joo; Wöstmann, Malte; Geweke, Frederik; Obleser, Jonas

    2018-01-01

    Humans can be cued to attend to an item in memory, which facilitates and enhances the perceptual precision in recalling this item. Here, we demonstrate that this facilitating effect of attention-to-memory hinges on the overall degree of memory load. The benefit an individual draws from attention-to-memory depends on her overall working memory performance, measured as sensitivity (d′) in a retroactive cue (retro-cue) pitch discrimination task. While listeners maintained 2, 4, or 6 auditory syllables in memory, we provided valid or neutral retro-cues to direct listeners’ attention to one, to-be-probed syllable in memory. Participants’ overall memory performance (i.e., perceptual sensitivity d′) was relatively unaffected by the presence of valid retro-cues across memory loads. However, a more fine-grained analysis using psychophysical modeling shows that valid retro-cues elicited faster pitch-change judgments and improved perceptual precision. Importantly, as memory load increased, listeners’ overall working memory performance correlated with inter-individual differences in the degree to which precision improved (r = 0.39, p = 0.029). Under high load, individuals with low working memory profited least from attention-to-memory. Our results demonstrate that retrospective attention enhances perceptual precision of attended items in memory but listeners’ optimal use of informative cues depends on their overall memory abilities. PMID:29520246

  14. The Benefit of Attention-to-Memory Depends on the Interplay of Memory Capacity and Memory Load

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sung-Joo Lim

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Humans can be cued to attend to an item in memory, which facilitates and enhances the perceptual precision in recalling this item. Here, we demonstrate that this facilitating effect of attention-to-memory hinges on the overall degree of memory load. The benefit an individual draws from attention-to-memory depends on her overall working memory performance, measured as sensitivity (d′ in a retroactive cue (retro-cue pitch discrimination task. While listeners maintained 2, 4, or 6 auditory syllables in memory, we provided valid or neutral retro-cues to direct listeners’ attention to one, to-be-probed syllable in memory. Participants’ overall memory performance (i.e., perceptual sensitivity d′ was relatively unaffected by the presence of valid retro-cues across memory loads. However, a more fine-grained analysis using psychophysical modeling shows that valid retro-cues elicited faster pitch-change judgments and improved perceptual precision. Importantly, as memory load increased, listeners’ overall working memory performance correlated with inter-individual differences in the degree to which precision improved (r = 0.39, p = 0.029. Under high load, individuals with low working memory profited least from attention-to-memory. Our results demonstrate that retrospective attention enhances perceptual precision of attended items in memory but listeners’ optimal use of informative cues depends on their overall memory abilities.

  15. Models of Working Memory

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Miyake, Akira

    1997-01-01

    Working memory is a basic cognitive mechanism (or set of mechanisms) that is responsible for keeping track of multiple task related goals and subgoals, or integrating multiple sources of information...

  16. Involuntary top-down control by search-irrelevant features: Visual working memory biases attention in an object-based manner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foerster, Rebecca M; Schneider, Werner X

    2018-03-01

    Many everyday tasks involve successive visual-search episodes with changing targets. Converging evidence suggests that these targets are retained in visual working memory (VWM) and bias attention from there. It is unknown whether all or only search-relevant features of a VWM template bias attention during search. Bias signals might be configured exclusively to task-relevant features so that only search-relevant features bias attention. Alternatively, VWM might maintain objects in the form of bound features. Then, all template features will bias attention in an object-based manner, so that biasing effects are ranked by feature relevance. Here, we investigated whether search-irrelevant VWM template features bias attention. Participants had to saccade to a target opposite a distractor. A colored cue depicted the target prior to each search trial. The target was predefined only by its identity, while its color was irrelevant. When target and cue matched not only in identity (search-relevant) but also in color (search-irrelevant), saccades went more often and faster directly to the target than without any color match (Experiment 1). When introducing a cue-distractor color match (Experiment 2), direct target saccades were most likely when target and cue matched in the search-irrelevant color and least likely in case of a cue-distractor color match. When cue and target were never colored the same (Experiment 3), cue-colored distractors still captured the eyes more often than different-colored distractors despite color being search-irrelevant. As participants were informed about the misleading color, the result argues against a strategical and voluntary usage of color. Instead, search-irrelevant features biased attention obligatorily arguing for involuntary top-down control by object-based VWM templates. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Randomized controlled trial of maternal omega-3 long-chain PUFA supplementation during pregnancy and early childhood development of attention, working memory, and inhibitory control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gould, Jacqueline F; Makrides, Maria; Colombo, John; Smithers, Lisa G

    2014-04-01

    Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) accumulates in the hippocampus and frontal lobes of the fetal brain during the last trimester of pregnancy. These areas of the brain contribute to attention and working memory and inhibitory control (WMIC). We evaluated the effect of maternal omega-3 (n-3) long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in pregnancy on child attention and WMIC. A total of 185 term-born children of mothers who were randomly allocated to consume 800 mg DHA/d (treatment) or a placebo (control) from ∼20 wk of gestation until birth were assessed with multiple measures of attention and WMIC at a mean (± SD) of 27 ± 2 mo. Primary outcomes were the average time it took to be distracted when playing with a toy (distractibility) and the accuracy of remembering a new hiding location while inhibiting a learned response to search in the previous location (WMIC). Assessments were completed by 81 children in the treatment group (mean ± SD age: 835 ± 50.4 d) and 77 children in the control group (839 ± 65.6 d). There was no effect of supplementation on primary outcomes [distractibility mean difference: -0.2 s (95% CI: -0.7, 0.4 s); WMIC mean difference: 8.9 mm (95% CI: -10.6, 28.3 mm)]. There was no difference between DHA-supplemented and control groups except that treatment-group children looked away from the toys fewer times than controls when presented with multiple toys competing for attention but less accurately remembered a repeated hiding location. These secondary effects were not consistent with any other outcomes and may have been a result of chance. Cord plasma DHA was not consistently associated with attention and WMIC. Maternal DHA supplementation during pregnancy does not enhance attention or WMIC in term-born preschoolers. The DHA for Maternal and Infant Outcomes trial was registered at www.anzctr.org.au as ACTRN1260500056906.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unsworth, Nash; Engle, Randall W.

    2007-01-01

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

  19. Cognitive Control Network Contributions to Memory-Guided Visual Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosen, Maya L; Stern, Chantal E; Michalka, Samantha W; Devaney, Kathryn J; Somers, David C

    2016-05-01

    Visual attentional capacity is severely limited, but humans excel in familiar visual contexts, in part because long-term memories guide efficient deployment of attention. To investigate the neural substrates that support memory-guided visual attention, we performed a set of functional MRI experiments that contrast long-term, memory-guided visuospatial attention with stimulus-guided visuospatial attention in a change detection task. Whereas the dorsal attention network was activated for both forms of attention, the cognitive control network(CCN) was preferentially activated during memory-guided attention. Three posterior nodes in the CCN, posterior precuneus, posterior callosal sulcus/mid-cingulate, and lateral intraparietal sulcus exhibited the greatest specificity for memory-guided attention. These 3 regions exhibit functional connectivity at rest, and we propose that they form a subnetwork within the broader CCN. Based on the task activation patterns, we conclude that the nodes of this subnetwork are preferentially recruited for long-term memory guidance of visuospatial attention. Published by Oxford University Press 2015. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.

  20. Memory-guided attention: Control from multiple memory systems

    OpenAIRE

    Hutchinson, J. Benjamin; Turk-Browne, Nicholas B.

    2012-01-01

    Attention is strongly influenced by both external stimuli and internal goals. However, this useful dichotomy does not readily capture the ubiquitous and often automatic contribution of past experience stored in memory. We review recent evidence about how multiple memory systems control attention, consider how such interactions are manifested in the brain, and highlight how this framework for ‘memory-guided attention’ might help systematize previous findings and guide future research.

  1. Cognitive training for children with ADHD: a randomized controlled trial of cogmed working memory training and ‘paying attention in class’

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marthe Van Der Donk

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The goal of this randomized controlled trial was to replicate and extend previous studies of Cogmed Working Memory Training (CWMT in children with ADHD. While a large proportion of children with ADHD suffer from academic difficulties, only few previous efficacy studies have taken into account long term academic outcome measures. So far, results regarding academic outcome measures have been inconsistent. Hundred and two children with ADHD between the age of 8 and 12 years (both medicated and medication naïve participated in current randomized controlled trial. Children were randomly assigned to CWMT or a new active combined working memory- and executive function compensatory training called ‘Paying Attention in Class’. Primary outcome measures were neurocognitive functioning and academic performance. Secondary outcome measures contained ratings of behavior in class, behavior problems and quality of life. Assessment took place before, directly after and six months after treatment. Results showed only one replicated treatment effect on visual spatial working memory in favor of CWMT. Effects of time were found for broad neurocognitive measures, supported by parent and teacher ratings. However, no treatment or time effects were found for the measures of academic performance, behavior in class or quality of life. We suggest that methodological and non specific treatment factors should be taken into account when interpreting current findings. Future trials with well-blinded measures and a third ‘no treatment’ control group are needed before cognitive training can be supported as an evidence-based treatment of ADHD. Future research should put more effort into investigating why, how and for whom cognitive training is effective as this would also potentially lead to improved intervention- and study designs.

  2. The effects of distraction and a brief intervention on auditory and visual-spatial working memory in college students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lineweaver, Tara T; Kercood, Suneeta; O'Keeffe, Nicole B; O'Brien, Kathleen M; Massey, Eric J; Campbell, Samantha J; Pierce, Jenna N

    2012-01-01

    Two studies addressed how young adult college students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (n = 44) compare to their nonaffected peers (n = 42) on tests of auditory and visual-spatial working memory (WM), are vulnerable to auditory and visual distractions, and are affected by a simple intervention. Students with ADHD demonstrated worse auditory WM than did controls. A near significant trend indicated that auditory distractions interfered with the visual WM of both groups and that, whereas controls were also vulnerable to visual distractions, visual distractions improved visual WM in the ADHD group. The intervention was ineffective. Limited correlations emerged between self-reported ADHD symptoms and objective test performances; students with ADHD who perceived themselves as more symptomatic often had better WM and were less vulnerable to distractions than their ADHD peers.

  3. Effects of Video Game Training on Measures of Selective Attention and Working Memory in Older Adults: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballesteros, Soledad; Mayas, Julia; Prieto, Antonio; Ruiz-Marquez, Eloísa; Toril, Pilar; Reales, José M.

    2017-01-01

    Video game training with older adults potentially enhances aspects of cognition that decline with aging and could therefore offer a promising training approach. Although, previous published studies suggest that training can produce transfer, many of them have certain shortcomings. This randomized controlled trial (RCT; Clinicaltrials.gov ID: NCT02796508) tried to overcome some of these limitations by incorporating an active control group and the assessment of motivation and expectations. Seventy-five older volunteers were randomly assigned to the experimental group trained for 16 sessions with non-action video games from Lumosity, a commercial platform (http://www.lumosity.com/) or to an active control group trained for the same number of sessions with simulation strategy games. The final sample included 55 older adults (30 in the experimental group and 25 in the active control group). Participants were tested individually before and after training to assess working memory (WM) and selective attention and also reported their perceived improvement, motivation and engagement. The results showed improved performance across the training sessions. The main results were: (1) the experimental group did not show greater improvements in measures of selective attention and working memory than the active control group (the opposite occurred in the oddball task); (2) a marginal training effect was observed for the N-back task, but not for the Stroop task while both groups improved in the Corsi Blocks task. Based on these results, one can conclude that training with non-action games provide modest benefits for untrained tasks. The effect is not specific for that kind of training as a similar effect was observed for strategy video games. Groups did not differ in motivation, engagement or expectations. PMID:29163136

  4. Effects of Video Game Training on Measures of Selective Attention and Working Memory in Older Adults: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soledad Ballesteros

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Video game training with older adults potentially enhances aspects of cognition that decline with aging and could therefore offer a promising training approach. Although, previous published studies suggest that training can produce transfer, many of them have certain shortcomings. This randomized controlled trial (RCT; Clinicaltrials.gov ID: NCT02796508 tried to overcome some of these limitations by incorporating an active control group and the assessment of motivation and expectations. Seventy-five older volunteers were randomly assigned to the experimental group trained for 16 sessions with non-action video games from Lumosity, a commercial platform (http://www.lumosity.com/ or to an active control group trained for the same number of sessions with simulation strategy games. The final sample included 55 older adults (30 in the experimental group and 25 in the active control group. Participants were tested individually before and after training to assess working memory (WM and selective attention and also reported their perceived improvement, motivation and engagement. The results showed improved performance across the training sessions. The main results were: (1 the experimental group did not show greater improvements in measures of selective attention and working memory than the active control group (the opposite occurred in the oddball task; (2 a marginal training effect was observed for the N-back task, but not for the Stroop task while both groups improved in the Corsi Blocks task. Based on these results, one can conclude that training with non-action games provide modest benefits for untrained tasks. The effect is not specific for that kind of training as a similar effect was observed for strategy video games. Groups did not differ in motivation, engagement or expectations.

  5. Effects of Video Game Training on Measures of Selective Attention and Working Memory in Older Adults: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballesteros, Soledad; Mayas, Julia; Prieto, Antonio; Ruiz-Marquez, Eloísa; Toril, Pilar; Reales, José M

    2017-01-01

    Video game training with older adults potentially enhances aspects of cognition that decline with aging and could therefore offer a promising training approach. Although, previous published studies suggest that training can produce transfer, many of them have certain shortcomings. This randomized controlled trial (RCT; Clinicaltrials.gov ID: NCT02796508) tried to overcome some of these limitations by incorporating an active control group and the assessment of motivation and expectations. Seventy-five older volunteers were randomly assigned to the experimental group trained for 16 sessions with non-action video games from Lumosity , a commercial platform (http://www.lumosity.com/) or to an active control group trained for the same number of sessions with simulation strategy games. The final sample included 55 older adults (30 in the experimental group and 25 in the active control group). Participants were tested individually before and after training to assess working memory (WM) and selective attention and also reported their perceived improvement, motivation and engagement. The results showed improved performance across the training sessions. The main results were: (1) the experimental group did not show greater improvements in measures of selective attention and working memory than the active control group (the opposite occurred in the oddball task); (2) a marginal training effect was observed for the N -back task, but not for the Stroop task while both groups improved in the Corsi Blocks task. Based on these results, one can conclude that training with non-action games provide modest benefits for untrained tasks. The effect is not specific for that kind of training as a similar effect was observed for strategy video games. Groups did not differ in motivation, engagement or expectations.

  6. Abnormal Resting-State Functional Connectivity of Insular Subregions and Disrupted Correlation with Working Memory in Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Qihua; Li, Hui; Yu, Xiaoyan; Huang, Fang; Wang, Yanfei; Liu, Lu; Cao, Qingjiu; Qian, Qiujin; Zang, Yufeng; Sun, Li; Wang, Yufeng

    2017-01-01

    Executive function (EF) deficits are major impairments in adults with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Previous studies have shown that the insula is involved in cognitive and EFs. However, the insula is highly heterogeneous in function, and few studies have focused on functional networks which related to specific insular subregions in adults with ADHD. We explored the functional networks of the insular subregions [anterior insula (AI), mid-insula (MI), and posterior insula (PI)]. Furthermore, their correlations with self-ratings of ecological EFs, including inhibition, shifting, and working memory were investigated. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data in 28 adults with ADHD and 30 matched healthy controls (HCs) were analyzed. The seed-based resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) of the insular subregions was evaluated. We also investigated their associations with the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version (BRIEF-A) inhibition, working memory, and shifting factor scores. Compared with HCs, adults with ADHD showed altered RSFC of the AI, with the precuneus, precentral gyrus, and inferior temporal gyrus extended to the middle temporal gyrus, lingual gyrus, and superior occipital gyrus, respectively. There were no significant differences in RSFC of the MI and PI between the two groups. Within the HC group, working memory scores were associated with the RSFC of AI with precuneus and temporal gyrus. However, there was no correlation between these variables in the ADHD group. The study evaluated RSFC patterns of the insular subregions in adults with ADHD for the first time. Altered RSFC of the AI which is a crucial region of salience network (SN) and part of regions in default mode network (DMN), were detected in adults with ADHD in both results with and without global signal regression (GSR), suggesting that disrupted SN-DMN functional connectivity may be involved in EF impairments in adults with ADHD

  7. Working Memory Deficits Affect Risky Decision-Making in Methamphetamine Users with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    OpenAIRE

    Duarte, Nichole A.; Woods, Steven Paul; Rooney, Alexandra; Atkinson, J. Hampton; Grant, Igor

    2012-01-01

    Methamphetamine (MA) use and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) commonly co-occur and are independently associated with dysregulation of frontostriatal loops and risky decision-making; however, whether their comorbidity exacerbates risky decision-making is not known. This study evaluated 23 participants with histories of MA dependence and ADHD (MA+ADHD+), 25 subjects with MA dependence alone (MA+ADHD−), and 22 healthy adults (MA−ADHD−), who completed the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Suk Won

    2015-12-01

    It is well known that attention is biased toward a stimulus matching working memory contents. However, it remains unknown whether the maintenance of information in working memory by itself is sufficient to create memory-driven attentional capture. Notably, in many previous studies showing the memory-driven attentional capture, the task settings might have explicitly or implicitly incentivized participants to strategically attend to a memory-matching stimulus. By innovating an experimental paradigm, the present study overcame this challenge and directly tested whether working memory contents capture attention in the absence of task-level attentional bias toward a memory-matching stimulus. I found that a stimulus that is usually outside the focus of attention, powerfully captured attention when it matched working memory contents, whereas a match between working memory and an inhibited stimulus suppressed attentional allocation toward the memory-matching stimulus. These findings suggest that in the absence of any task-level attentional bias toward memory-matching stimuli, attention is biased toward a memory-matching stimulus, but this memory-driven attentional capture is diminished when top-down inhibition is imposed on the stimulus. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Differential engagement of attention and visual working memory in the representation and evaluation of the number of relevant targets and their spatial relations: Evidence from the N2pc and SPCN.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maheux, Manon; Jolicœur, Pierre

    2017-04-01

    We examined the role of attention and visual working memory in the evaluation of the number of target stimuli as well as their relative spatial position using the N2pc and the SPCN. Participants performed two tasks: a simple counting task in which they had to determine if a visual display contained one or two coloured items among grey fillers and one in which they had to identify a specific relation between two coloured items. The same stimuli were used for both tasks. Each task was designed to permit an easier evaluation of either the same-coloured or differently-coloured stimuli. We predicted a greater involvement of attention and visual working memory for more difficult stimulus-task pairings. The results confirmed these predictions and suggest that visuospatial configurations that require more time to evaluate induce a greater (and presumably longer) involvement of attention and visual working memory. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Quantifiers and working memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Szymanik, J.; Zajenkowski, M.

    2010-01-01

    The paper presents a study examining the role of working memory in quantifier verification. We created situations similar to the span task to compare numerical quantifiers of low and high rank, parity quantifiers and proportional quantifiers. The results enrich and support the data obtained

  11. Quantifiers and working memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Szymanik, J.; Zajenkowski, M.

    2009-01-01

    The paper presents a study examining the role of working memory in quantifier verification. We created situations similar to the span task to compare numerical quantifiers of low and high rank, parity quantifiers and proportional quantifiers. The results enrich and support the data obtained

  12. The attentional boost effect and context memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulligan, Neil W; Smith, S Adam; Spataro, Pietro

    2016-04-01

    Stimuli co-occurring with targets in a detection task are better remembered than stimuli co-occurring with distractors-the attentional boost effect (ABE). The ABE is of interest because it is an exception to the usual finding that divided attention during encoding impairs memory. The effect has been demonstrated in tests of item memory but it is unclear if context memory is likewise affected. Some accounts suggest enhanced perceptual encoding or associative binding, predicting an ABE on context memory, whereas other evidence suggests a more abstract, amodal basis of the effect. In Experiment 1, context memory was assessed in terms of an intramodal perceptual detail, the font and color of the study word. Experiment 2 examined context memory cross-modally, assessing memory for the modality (visual or auditory) of the study word. Experiments 3 and 4 assessed context memory with list discrimination, in which 2 study lists are presented and participants must later remember which list (if either) a test word came from. In all experiments, item (recognition) memory was also assessed and consistently displayed a robust ABE. In contrast, the attentional-boost manipulation did not enhance context memory, whether defined in terms of visual details, study modality, or list membership. There was some evidence that the mode of responding on the detection task (motoric response as opposed to covert counting of targets) may impact context memory but there was no evidence of an effect of target detection, per se. In sum, the ABE did not occur in context memory with verbal materials. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  13. Maintenance of memory for melodies: Articulation or attentional refreshing?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nees, Michael A; Corrini, Ellen; Leong, Peri; Harris, Joanna

    2017-12-01

    Past research on the effects of articulatory suppression on working memory for nonverbal sounds has been characterized by discrepant findings, which suggests that multiple mechanisms may be involved in the rehearsal of nonverbal sounds. In two experiments we examined the potential roles of two theoretical mechanisms of verbal working memory-articulatory rehearsal and attentional refreshing-in the maintenance of memory for short melodies. In both experiments, participants performed a same-different melody comparison task. During an 8-s retention interval, interference tasks were introduced to suppress articulatory rehearsal, attentional refreshing, or both. In Experiment 1, only the conditions that featured articulatory suppression resulted in worse memory performance than in a control condition, and the suppression of both attentional refreshing and articulatory rehearsal concurrently did not impair memory more than articulatory suppression alone. Experiment 2 reproduced these findings and also confirmed that the locus of interference was articulatory and not auditory (i.e., the interference was not attributable to the sound of participants' own voices during articulatory suppression). Both experiments suggested that articulatory rehearsal played a role in the maintenance of melodies in memory, whereas attentional refreshing did not. We discuss potential theoretical implications regarding the mechanisms used for the rehearsal of nonverbal sounds in working memory.

  14. Working Memory and Binding in Sentence Recall

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Detailed sensory memory, sloppy working memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sligte, I.G.; Vandenbroucke, A.R.E.; Scholte, H.S.; Lamme, V.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

  16. Serum insulin like growth factor-1 is associated with working memory, executive function and selective attention in a sample of healthy, fit older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellar, D; Glickman, E L; Juvancic-Heltzel, J; Gunstad, J

    2011-03-31

    The present study examined the association between serum insulin like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) concentrations and cognitive function in a sample of healthy, fit older adults (age: 70.8±9.3 years, body mass index (BMI): 27.3±5.7). Participants reported to the laboratory and basic anthropometric data were collected, followed by a fasted blood draw to quantify serum IGF-1. Participants then underwent cognitive testing that included the Mini-Mental Status Exam (MMSE), Trail Making Test A and B, Ruff's 2 and 7 test of selective attention and Letter Number Sequencing. Results showed the participants were generally cognitively intact (MMSE 27.6±1.8). Significant partial correlations (controlled for age, gender and years of education) emerged between serum IGF-1 concentrations and the total (r=0.381, P=0.030) and longest trial (r=0.455, P=0.011) on Letter Number Sequencing. Similar partial correlations yielded significant relationships between serum IGF-1 and Ruff's Automatic Detection Errors (r=-0.495, P=0.006), Controlled Speed Errors (r=-0.598, P=0.002) and errors made on the Trial Making Test part B (r=-0.466, P=0.010). These findings suggest that fasting levels of serum IGF-1 are related to higher levels of cognitive performance in healthy older adults, including working memory, selective attention and executive function. Further work is needed to more clearly determine possible mechanisms. Copyright © 2011 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Selective Attention to Auditory Memory Neurally Enhances Perceptual Precision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Sung-Joo; Wöstmann, Malte; Obleser, Jonas

    2015-12-09

    Selective attention to a task-relevant stimulus facilitates encoding of that stimulus into a working memory representation. It is less clear whether selective attention also improves the precision of a stimulus already represented in memory. Here, we investigate the behavioral and neural dynamics of selective attention to representations in auditory working memory (i.e., auditory objects) using psychophysical modeling and model-based analysis of electroencephalographic signals. Human listeners performed a syllable pitch discrimination task where two syllables served as to-be-encoded auditory objects. Valid (vs neutral) retroactive cues were presented during retention to allow listeners to selectively attend to the to-be-probed auditory object in memory. Behaviorally, listeners represented auditory objects in memory more precisely (expressed by steeper slopes of a psychometric curve) and made faster perceptual decisions when valid compared to neutral retrocues were presented. Neurally, valid compared to neutral retrocues elicited a larger frontocentral sustained negativity in the evoked potential as well as enhanced parietal alpha/low-beta oscillatory power (9-18 Hz) during memory retention. Critically, individual magnitudes of alpha oscillatory power (7-11 Hz) modulation predicted the degree to which valid retrocues benefitted individuals' behavior. Our results indicate that selective attention to a specific object in auditory memory does benefit human performance not by simply reducing memory load, but by actively engaging complementary neural resources to sharpen the precision of the task-relevant object in memory. Can selective attention improve the representational precision with which objects are held in memory? And if so, what are the neural mechanisms that support such improvement? These issues have been rarely examined within the auditory modality, in which acoustic signals change and vanish on a milliseconds time scale. Introducing a new auditory memory

  18. The accessibility of memory items in children’s working memory

    OpenAIRE

    Roome, Hannah; Towse, John

    2016-01-01

    This thesis investigates the processes and systems that support recall in working memory. In particular it seeks to apply ideas from the adult-based dual-memory framework (Unsworth & Engle, 2007b) that claims primary memory and secondary memory are independent contributors to working memory capacity. These two memory systems are described as domain-general processes that combine control of attention and basic memory abilities to retain information. The empirical contribution comprises five ex...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  20. When Higher Working Memory Capacity Hinders Insight

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  1. A novel variable delay Go/No-Go task to study attention, motivation and working memory in the head-fixed rodent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolzani, Samuel D; Nakamura, Shinya; Cooper, Donald C

    2013-01-01

    In order to parse the causal elements underlying complex behaviors and decision-making processes, appropriate behavioral methods must be developed and used in concurrence with molecular, pharmacological, and electrophysiological approaches. Presented is a protocol for a novel Go/No-Go behavioral paradigm to study the brain attention and motivation/reward circuitry in awake, head-restrained rodents. This experimental setup allows: (1) Pharmacological and viral manipulation of various brain regions via targeted guide cannula; (2) Optogenetic cell-type specific activation and silencing with simultaneous electrophysiological recording and; (3) Repeated electrophysiological single and multiple unit recordings during ongoing behavior. The task consists of three components. The subject first makes an observing response by initiating a trial by lever pressing in response to distinctive Go or No-Go tones.  Then, after a variable delay period, the subject is presented with a challenge period cued by white noise during which they must respond with a lever press for the Go condition or withhold from lever pressing for the duration of the cue in the No-Go condition. After correctly responding during the challenge period (Challenge) and a brief delay, a final reward tone of the same frequency as the initiation tone is presented and sucrose reward delivery is available and contingent upon lever pressing. Here, we provide a novel procedure and validating data set that allows researchers to study and manipulate components of behavior such as attention, motivation, impulsivity, and reward-related working memory during an ongoing operant behavioral task while limiting interference from non task-related behaviors.

  2. Shielding cognition from nociception with working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Because pain often signals the occurrence of potential tissue damage, nociceptive stimuli have the capacity to capture attention and interfere with ongoing cognitive activities. Working memory is known to guide the orientation of attention by maintaining goal priorities active during the achievement of a task. This study investigated whether the cortical processing of nociceptive stimuli and their ability to capture attention are under the control of working memory. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded while participants performed primary tasks on visual targets that required or did not require rehearsal in working memory (1-back vs 0-back conditions). The visual targets were shortly preceded by task-irrelevant tactile stimuli. Occasionally, in order to distract the participants, the tactile stimuli were replaced by novel nociceptive stimuli. In the 0-back conditions, task performance was disrupted by the occurrence of the nociceptive distracters, as reflected by the increased reaction times in trials with novel nociceptive distracters as compared to trials with standard tactile distracters. In the 1-back conditions, such a difference disappeared suggesting that attentional capture and task disruption induced by nociceptive distracters were suppressed by working memory, regardless of task demands. Most importantly, in the conditions involving working memory, the magnitude of nociceptive ERPs, including ERP components at early latency, were significantly reduced. This indicates that working memory is able to modulate the cortical processing of nociceptive input already at its earliest stages, and could explain why working memory reduces consequently ability of nociceptive stimuli to capture attention and disrupt performance of the primary task. It is concluded that protecting cognitive processing against pain interference is best guaranteed by keeping out of working memory pain-related information. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Selectively Distracted: Divided Attention and Memory for Important Information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Middlebrooks, Catherine D; Kerr, Tyson; Castel, Alan D

    2017-08-01

    Distractions and multitasking are generally detrimental to learning and memory. Nevertheless, people often study while listening to music, sitting in noisy coffee shops, or intermittently checking their e-mail. The current experiments examined how distractions and divided attention influence one's ability to selectively remember valuable information. Participants studied lists of words that ranged in value from 1 to 10 points while completing a digit-detection task, while listening to music, or without distractions. Though participants recalled fewer words following digit detection than in the other conditions, there were no significant differences between conditions in terms of selectively remembering the most valuable words. Similar results were obtained across a variety of divided-attention tasks that stressed attention and working memory to different degrees, which suggests that people may compensate for divided-attention costs by selectively attending to the most valuable items and that factors that worsen memory do not necessarily impair the ability to selectively remember important information.

  4. Attention during memory retrieval enhances future remembering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudukovic, Nicole M; Dubrow, Sarah; Wagner, Anthony D

    2009-10-01

    Memory retrieval is a powerful learning event that influences whether an experience will be remembered in the future. Although retrieval can succeed in the presence of distraction, dividing attention during retrieval may reduce the power of remembering as an encoding event. In the present experiments, participants studied pictures of objects under full attention and then engaged in item recognition and source memory retrieval under full or divided attention. Two days later, a second recognition and source recollection test assessed the impact of attention during initial retrieval on long-term retention. On this latter test, performance was superior for items that had been tested initially under full versus divided attention. More importantly, even when items were correctly recognized on the first test, divided attention reduced the likelihood of subsequent recognition on the second test. The same held true for source recollection. Additionally, foils presented during the first test were also less likely to be later recognized if they had been encountered initially under divided attention. These findings demonstrate that attentive retrieval is critical for learning through remembering.

  5. Attentional flexibility and memory capacity in conductors and pianists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wöllner, Clemens; Halpern, Andrea R

    2016-01-01

    Individuals with high working memory (WM) capacity also tend to have better selective and divided attention. Although both capacities are essential for skilled performance in many areas, evidence for potential training and expertise effects is scarce. We investigated the attentional flexibility of musical conductors by comparing them to equivalently trained pianists. Conductors must focus their attention both on individual instruments and on larger sections of different instruments. We studied students and professionals in both domains to assess the contributions of age and training to these skills. Participants completed WM span tests for auditory and visual (notated) pitches and timing durations, as well as long-term memory tests. In three dichotic attention tasks, they were asked to detect small pitch and timing deviations from two melodic streams presented in baseline (separate streams), selective-attention (concentrating on only one stream), and divided-attention (concentrating on targets in both streams simultaneously) conditions. Conductors were better than pianists in detecting timing deviations in divided attention, and experts detected more targets than students. We found no group differences for WM capacity or for pitch deviations in the attention tasks, even after controlling for the older age of the experts. Musicians' WM spans across multimodal conditions were positively related to selective and divided attention. High-WM participants also had shorter reaction times in selective attention. Taken together, conductors showed higher attentional flexibility in successfully switching between different foci of attention.

  6. Detailed sensory memory, sloppy working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. Detailed Sensory Memory, Sloppy Working Memory

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  8. Thalamic control of human attention driven by memory and learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Bourbon-Teles, José; Bentley, Paul; Koshino, Saori; Shah, Kushal; Dutta, Agneish; Malhotra, Paresh; Egner, Tobias; Husain, Masud; Soto, David

    2014-05-05

    The role of the thalamus in high-level cognition-attention, working memory (WM), rule-based learning, and decision making-remains poorly understood, especially in comparison to that of cortical frontoparietal networks [1-3]. Studies of visual thalamus have revealed important roles for pulvinar and lateral geniculate nucleus in visuospatial perception and attention [4-10] and for mediodorsal thalamus in oculomotor control [11]. Ventrolateral thalamus contains subdivisions devoted to action control as part of a circuit involving the basal ganglia [12, 13] and motor, premotor, and prefrontal cortices [14], whereas anterior thalamus forms a memory network in connection with the hippocampus [15]. This connectivity profile suggests that ventrolateral and anterior thalamus may represent a nexus between mnemonic and control functions, such as action or attentional selection. Here, we characterize the role of thalamus in the interplay between memory and visual attention. We show that ventrolateral lesions impair the influence of WM representations on attentional deployment. A subsequent fMRI study in healthy volunteers demonstrates involvement of ventrolateral and, notably, anterior thalamus in biasing attention through WM contents. To further characterize the memory types used by the thalamus to bias attention, we performed a second fMRI study that involved learning of stimulus-stimulus associations and their retrieval from long-term memory to optimize attention in search. Responses in ventrolateral and anterior thalamic nuclei tracked learning of the predictiveness of these abstract associations and their use in directing attention. These findings demonstrate a key role for human thalamus in higher-level cognition, notably, in mnemonic biasing of attention. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Attention and memory protection: Interactions between retrospective attention cueing and interference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makovski, Tal; Pertzov, Yoni

    2015-01-01

    Visual working memory (VWM) and attention have a number of features in common, but despite extensive research it is still unclear how the two interact. Can focused attention improve VWM precision? Can it protect VWM from interference? Here we used a partial-report, continuous-response orientation memory task to examine how attention and interference affect different aspects of VWM and how they interact with one another. Both attention and interference were orthogonally manipulated during the retention interval. Attention was manipulated by presenting informative retro-cues, whereas interference was manipulated by introducing a secondary interfering task. Mixture-model analyses revealed that retro-cues, compared to uninformative cues, improved all aspects of performance: Attention increased recall precision and decreased guessing rate and swap-errors (reporting a wrong item in memory). Similarly, performing a secondary task impaired all aspects of the VWM task. In particular, an interaction between retro-cue and secondary task interference was found primarily for swap-errors. Together these results suggest that both the quantity and quality of VWM representations are sensitive to attention cueing and interference modulations, and they highlight the role of attention in protecting the feature-location associations needed to access the correct items in memory.

  10. Working memory deficits in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): an examination of central executive and storage/rehearsal processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alderson, R Matt; Hudec, Kristen L; Patros, Connor H G; Kasper, Lisa J

    2013-05-01

    The current study was the first to use a regression approach to examine the unique contributions of central executive (CE) and storage/rehearsal processes to working memory (WM) deficits in adults with ADHD. Thirty-seven adults (ADHD = 21, HC = 16) completed phonological (PH) and visuospatial (VS) working memory tasks. While both groups performed significantly better during the PH task relative to the VS task, adults with ADHD exhibited significant deficits across both working memory modalities. Further, the ADHD group recalled disproportionately fewer PH and VS stimuli as set-size demands increased. Overall, the CE and PH storage/rehearsal processes of adults with ADHD were both significantly impaired relative to those of the healthy control adults; however, the magnitude of the CE effect size was much smaller compared to previous studies of children with the disorder. Collectively, results provide support for a lifelong trajectory of WM deficits in ADHD. © 2013 American Psychological Association

  11. Incidental biasing of attention from visual long-term memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Judith E; Turk-Browne, Nicholas B

    2016-06-01

    Holding recently experienced information in mind can help us achieve our current goals. However, such immediate and direct forms of guidance from working memory are less helpful over extended delays or when other related information in long-term memory is useful for reaching these goals. Here we show that information that was encoded in the past but is no longer present or relevant to the task also guides attention. We examined this by associating multiple unique features with novel shapes in visual long-term memory (VLTM), and subsequently testing how memories for these objects biased the deployment of attention. In Experiment 1, VLTM for associated features guided visual search for the shapes, even when these features had never been task-relevant. In Experiment 2, associated features captured attention when presented in isolation during a secondary task that was completely unrelated to the shapes. These findings suggest that long-term memory enables a durable and automatic type of memory-based attentional control. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  12. Consciousness and working memory: Current trends and research perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velichkovsky, Boris B

    2017-10-01

    Working memory has long been thought to be closely related to consciousness. However, recent empirical studies show that unconscious content may be maintained within working memory and that complex cognitive computations may be performed on-line. This promotes research on the exact relationships between consciousness and working memory. Current evidence for working memory being a conscious as well as an unconscious process is reviewed. Consciousness is shown to be considered a subset of working memory by major current theories of working memory. Evidence for unconscious elements in working memory is shown to come from visual masking and attentional blink paradigms, and from the studies of implicit working memory. It is concluded that more research is needed to explicate the relationship between consciousness and working memory. Future research directions regarding the relationship between consciousness and working memory are discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Thalamic Control of Human Attention Driven by Memory and Learning

    OpenAIRE

    de Bourbon-Teles, José; Bentley, Paul; Koshino, Saori; Shah, Kushal; Dutta, Agneish; Malhotra, Paresh; Egner, Tobias; Husain, Masud; Soto, David

    2014-01-01

    Summary The role of the thalamus in high-level cognition—attention, working memory (WM), rule-based learning, and decision making—remains poorly understood, especially in comparison to that of cortical frontoparietal networks [1–3]. Studies of visual thalamus have revealed important roles for pulvinar and lateral geniculate nucleus in visuospatial perception and attention [4–10] and for mediodorsal thalamus in oculomotor control [11]. Ventrolateral thalamus contains subdivisions devoted to ac...

  14. Good Holders, Bad Shufflers: An Examination of Working Memory Processes and Modalities in Children with and without Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simone, Ashley N; Bédard, Anne-Claude V; Marks, David J; Halperin, Jeffrey M

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to examine working memory (WM) modalities (visual-spatial and auditory-verbal) and processes (maintenance and manipulation) in children with and without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The sample consisted of 63 8-year-old children with ADHD and an age- and sex-matched non-ADHD comparison group (N=51). Auditory-verbal and visual-spatial WM were assessed using the Digit Span and Spatial Span subtests from the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children Integrated - Fourth Edition. WM maintenance and manipulation were assessed via forward and backward span indices, respectively. Data were analyzed using a 3-way Group (ADHD vs. non-ADHD)×Modality (Auditory-Verbal vs. Visual-Spatial)×Condition (Forward vs. Backward) Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). Secondary analyses examined differences between Combined and Predominantly Inattentive ADHD presentations. Significant Group×Condition (p=.02) and Group×Modality (p=.03) interactions indicated differentially poorer performance by those with ADHD on backward relative to forward and visual-spatial relative to auditory-verbal tasks, respectively. The 3-way interaction was not significant. Analyses targeting ADHD presentations yielded a significant Group×Condition interaction (p=.009) such that children with ADHD-Predominantly Inattentive Presentation performed differentially poorer on backward relative to forward tasks compared to the children with ADHD-Combined Presentation. Findings indicate a specific pattern of WM weaknesses (i.e., WM manipulation and visual-spatial tasks) for children with ADHD. Furthermore, differential patterns of WM performance were found for children with ADHD-Predominantly Inattentive versus Combined Presentations. (JINS, 2016, 22, 1-11).

  15. Divided Attention Can Enhance Memory Encoding: The Attentional Boost Effect in Implicit Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spataro, Pietro; Mulligan, Neil W.; Rossi-Arnaud, Clelia

    2013-01-01

    Distraction during encoding has long been known to disrupt later memory performance. Contrary to this long-standing result, we show that detecting an infrequent target in a dual-task paradigm actually improves memory encoding for a concurrently presented word, above and beyond the performance reached in the full-attention condition. This absolute…

  16. Remapping high-capacity, pre-attentive, fragile sensory memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zerr, Paul; Gayet, Surya; Mulder, Kees; Pinto, Yaïr; Sligte, Ilja; Van der Stigchel, Stefan

    2017-11-21

    Humans typically make several saccades per second. This provides a challenge for the visual system as locations are largely coded in retinotopic (eye-centered) coordinates. Spatial remapping, the updating of retinotopic location coordinates of items in visuospatial memory, is typically assumed to be limited to robust, capacity-limited and attention-demanding working memory (WM). Are pre-attentive, maskable, sensory memory representations (e.g. fragile memory, FM) also remapped? We directly compared trans-saccadic WM (tWM) and trans-saccadic FM (tFM) in a retro-cue change-detection paradigm. Participants memorized oriented rectangles, made a saccade and reported whether they saw a change in a subsequent display. On some trials a retro-cue indicated the to-be-tested item prior to probe onset. This allowed sensory memory items to be included in the memory capacity estimate. The observed retro-cue benefit demonstrates a tFM capacity considerably above tWM. This provides evidence that some, if not all sensory memory was remapped to spatiotopic (world-centered, task-relevant) coordinates. In a second experiment, we show backward masks to be effective in retinotopic as well as spatiotopic coordinates, demonstrating that FM was indeed remapped to world-centered coordinates. Together this provides conclusive evidence that trans-saccadic spatial remapping is not limited to higher-level WM processes but also occurs for sensory memory representations.

  17. Detailed sensory memory, sloppy working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilja G Sligte

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available 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 percent of the iconic memory trials, on 71 percent of the fragile VSTM trials and merely on 53 percent 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.

  18. Attention and Implicit Memory: Priming-Induced Benefits and Costs Have Distinct Attentional Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keane, Margaret M.; Cruz, Matt E.; Verfaellie, Mieke

    2014-01-01

    Attention at encoding plays a critical and ubiquitous role in explicit memory performance, but its role in implicit memory performance (i.e., priming) is more variable: Some, but not all, priming effects are reduced by division of attention at encoding. A wealth of empirical and theoretical work has aimed to define the critical features of priming effects that do or do not require attention at encoding. This work, however, has focused exclusively on priming effects that are beneficial in nature (wherein performance is enhanced by prior exposure to task stimuli), and has overlooked priming effects that are costly in nature (wherein performance is harmed by prior exposure to task stimuli). The present study takes up this question by examining the effect of divided attention on priming-induced costs and benefits in a speeded picture-naming task. Experiment 1 shows that the costs, but not the benefits, are eliminated by division of attention at encoding. Experiment 2 shows that the costs (as well as the benefits) in this task are intact in amnesic participants, demonstrating that the elimination of the cost in the divided attention condition in Experiment 1 was not an artifact of the reduced availability of explicit memory in that condition. We suggest that the differential role of attention in priming-induced performance costs and benefits is linked to differences in response competition associated with these effects. This interpretation situates the present findings within a theoretical framework that has been applied to a broad range of facilitatory priming effects. PMID:25257650

  19. Attention and implicit memory: priming-induced benefits and costs have distinct attentional requirements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keane, Margaret M; Cruz, Matt E; Verfaellie, Mieke

    2015-02-01

    Attention at encoding plays a critical and ubiquitous role in explicit memory performance, but its role in implicit memory performance (i.e., priming) is more variable: some, but not all, priming effects are reduced by division of attention at encoding. A wealth of empirical and theoretical work has aimed to define the critical features of priming effects that do or do not require attention at encoding. This work, however, has focused exclusively on priming effects that are beneficial in nature (wherein performance is enhanced by prior exposure to task stimuli), and has overlooked priming effects that are costly in nature (wherein performance is harmed by prior exposure to task stimuli). The present study takes up this question by examining the effect of divided attention on priming-induced costs and benefits in a speeded picture-naming task. Experiment 1 shows that the costs, but not the benefits, are eliminated by division of attention at encoding. Experiment 2 shows that the costs (as well as the benefits) in this task are intact in amnesic participants, demonstrating that the elimination of the cost in the divided attention condition in Experiment 1 was not an artifact of the reduced availability of explicit memory in that condition. We suggest that the differential role of attention in priming-induced performance costs and benefits is linked to differences in response competition associated with these effects. This interpretation situates the present findings within a theoretical framework that has been applied to a broad range of facilitatory priming effects.

  20. Working memory and simultaneous interpreting

    OpenAIRE

    Timarova, Sarka

    2009-01-01

    Working memory is a cognitive construct underlying a number of abilities, and it has been hypothesised for many years that it is crucial for interpreting. A number of studies have been conducted with the aim to support this hypothesis, but research has not yielded convincing results. Most researchers focused on studying working memory differences between interpreters and non-interpreters with the rationale that differences in working memory between the two groups would provide evidence of wor...

  1. Infant Visual Recognition Memory: Independent Contributions of Speed and Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, Susan A.; Feldman, Judith F.; Jankowski, Jeffery J.

    2003-01-01

    Examined contributions of cognitive processing speed, short-term memory capacity, and attention to infant visual recognition memory. Found that infants who showed better attention and faster processing had better recognition memory. Contributions of attention and processing speed were independent of one another and similar at all ages studied--5,…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  3. Escaping Capture: Bilingualism Modulates Distraction from Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  4. Training Planning and Working Memory in Third Graders

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  5. Changing concepts of working memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Wei Ji; Husain, Masud; Bays, Paul M

    2014-01-01

    Working memory is widely considered to be limited in capacity, holding a fixed, small number of items, such as Miller's ‘magical number’ seven or Cowan's four. It has recently