Agarwal, Pooja K; Finley, Jason R; Rose, Nathan S; Roediger, Henry L
We examined the effects of retrieval practice for students who varied in working memory capacity as a function of the lag between study of material and its initial test, whether or not feedback was given after the test, and the retention interval of the final test. We sought to determine whether a blend of these conditions exists that maximises benefits from retrieval practice for lower and higher working memory capacity students. College students learned general knowledge facts and then restudied the facts or were tested on them (with or without feedback) at lags of 0-9 intervening items. Final cued recall performance was better for tested items than for restudied items after both 10 minutes and 2 days, particularly for longer study-test lags. Furthermore, on the 2-day delayed test the benefits from retrieval practice with feedback were significantly greater for students with lower working memory capacity than for students with higher working memory capacity (r = -.42). Retrieval practice may be an especially effective learning strategy for lower ability students.
In the past 10 years, workers in the Netherlands increasingly report more decision-making power in their work. This is important for an economy in recession and where workers face greater work demands. It makes work more interesting, creates a healthier work environment, and provides opportunities
Bellander, Martin; Bäckman, Lars; Liu, Tian; Schjeide, Brit-Maren M; Bertram, Lars; Schmiedek, Florian; Lindenberger, Ulman; Lövdén, Martin
Little is known about genetic contributions to individual differences in cognitive plasticity. Given that the neurotransmitter dopamine is critical for cognition and associated with cognitive plasticity, we investigated the effects of 3 polymorphisms of dopamine-related genes (LMX1A, DRD2, COMT) on baseline performance and plasticity of working memory (WM), perceptual speed, and reasoning. One hundred one younger and 103 older adults underwent approximately 100 days of cognitive training, and extensive testing before and after training. We analyzed the baseline and posttest data using latent change score models. For working memory, carriers of the val allele of the COMT polymorphism had lower baseline performance and larger performance gains from training than carriers of the met allele. There was no significant effect of the other genes or on other cognitive domains. We relate this result to available evidence indicating that met carriers perform better than val carriers in WM tasks taxing maintenance, whereas val carriers perform better at updating tasks. We suggest that val carriers may show larger training gains because updating operations carry greater potential for plasticity than maintenance operations. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved.
Rifkin-Graboi, Anne; Quan, Jeffry; Richmond, Jenny; Goh, Shaun Kok Yew; Sim, Lit Wee; Chong, Yap Seng; Francois-Bureau, Jean; Chen, Helen; Qiu, Anqi
Poor early life care often relates to cognitive difficulties. However, newer work suggests that in early-life, adversity may associate with enhanced or accelerated neurodevelopment. We examine associations between postnatal caregiving risks (i.e., higher self-reported postnatal-anxiety and lower observed maternal sensitivity) and infant relational memory (i.e. via deferred imitation and relational binding). Using subsamples of 67-181 infants (aged 433-477 post-conceptual days, or roughly five to seven months since birth) taking part in the GUSTO study, we found such postnatal caregiving risk significantly predictive of "better" performance on a relational binding task following a brief delay, after Bonferroni adjustments. Subsequent analyses suggest that the association between memory and these risks may specifically be apparent amongst infants spending at least 50% of their waking hours in the presence of their mothers. Our findings echo neuroimaging research concerning similar risk exposure and larger infant hippocampal volume, and likewise underscore the importance of considering developmental context in understanding early life experience. With this in mind, these findings caution against the use of cognitive outcomes as indices of experienced risk. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Bredemeier, Keith; Simons, Daniel J
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.
Baddeley, A D
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.
.... 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...
Jung, Eun Sook; Reid, Norman
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…
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…
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...
YuLeung To, Eric; Abbott, Kathy; Foster, Dale S; Helmer, D'Arcy
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.
Szymanik, J.; Zajenkowski, M.
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
Szymanik, J.; Zajenkowski, M.
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
Sligte, I.G.; Vandenbroucke, A.R.E.; Scholte, H.S.; Lamme, V.A.F.
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
Eriksson, Johan; Vogel, Edward K.; Lansner, Anders; Bergström, Fredrik; Nyberg, Lars
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
Sligte, Ilja G; Vandenbroucke, Annelinde R E; Scholte, H Steven; Lamme, Victor A F
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.
Sligte, Ilja G.; Vandenbroucke, Annelinde R. E.; Scholte, H. Steven; Lamme, Victor A. F.
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...
Ilja G Sligte
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.
Zheng, Jun; Zhang, Wei; Li, Tongtong; Liu, Zhaomin; Luo, Liang
A wealth of research has shown that retrieval practice plays a significant role in improving memory retention. The current study focused on one simple yet rarely examined question: would repeated retrieval using two different retrieval routes or using the same retrieval route twice lead to greater long-term memory retention? Participants elaborately learned 22 Japanese-Chinese translation word pairs using two different mediators. Half an hour after the initial study phase, the participants completed two retrieval sessions using either one mediator (Tm1Tm1) or two different mediators (Tm1Tm2). On the final test, which was performed 1week after the retrieval practice phase, the participants received only the cue with a request to report the mediator (M1 or M2) followed by the target (Experiment 1) or only the mediator (M1 or M2) with a request to report the target (Experiment 2). The results of Experiment 1 indicated that the participants who practiced under the Tm1Tm2 condition exhibited greater target retention than those who practiced under the Tm1Tm1 condition. This difference in performance was due to the significant disadvantage in mediator retrieval and decoding of the unpracticed mediator under the Tm1Tm1 condition. Although mediators were provided to participants on the final test in Experiment 2, decoding of the unpracticed mediators remained less effective than decoding of the practiced mediators. We conclude that practicing multiple retrieval routes leads to greater memory retention than focusing on a single retrieval route. Thus, increasing retrieval variability during repeated retrieval practice indeed significantly improves long-term retention in a delay test. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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...
Ma, Wei Ji; Husain, Masud; Bays, Paul M
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 been proposed that working memory might better be conceptualized as a limited resource that is distributed flexibly among all items to be maintained in memory. According to this view, the quality rather than the quantity of working memory representations determines performance. Here we consider behavioral and emerging neural evidence for this proposal. PMID:24569831
Kent, Phillip L
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.
DeCaro, Marci S.; Van Stockum, Charles A., Jr.; Wieth, Mareike B.
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…
Kang, Min-Suk; Hong, Sang Wook; Blake, Randolph; Woodman, Geoffrey F
Indirect evidence suggests that the contents of visual working memory may be maintained within sensory areas early in the visual hierarchy. We tested this possibility using a well-studied motion repulsion phenomenon in which perception of one direction of motion is distorted when another direction of motion is viewed simultaneously. We found that observers misperceived the actual direction of motion of a single motion stimulus if, while viewing that stimulus, they were holding a different motion direction in visual working memory. Control experiments showed that none of a variety of alternative explanations could account for this repulsion effect induced by working memory. Our findings provide compelling evidence that visual working memory representations directly interact with the same neural mechanisms as those involved in processing basic sensory events.
Sahu, Aparna; Christman, Stephen D; Propper, Ruth E
Past studies have independently shown associations of working memory and degree of handedness with episodic memory retrieval. The current study takes a step ahead by examining whether handedness and working memory independently predict episodic memory. In agreement with past studies, there was an inconsistent-handed advantage for episodic memory; however, this advantage was absent for working memory tasks. Furthermore, regression analyses showed handedness, and complex working memory predicted episodic memory performance at different times. Results are discussed in light of theories of episodic memory and hemispheric interaction.
Baddeley, A; Jarrold, C
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.
Smith, Andrew P
Research has shown that extraverts performing a working memory task benefit more from caffeine than do introverts. The present study aimed to replicate this and extend our knowledge by using a lower dose of caffeine (65 mg) and a range of tasks related to different components of working memory. In addition, tasks assessing psychomotor speed and the encoding of new information were included to determine whether caffeine-extraversion interactions were restricted to working memory tasks. A double-blind design was used, with 128 participants being randomly assigned to caffeinated or de-caffeinated coffee conditions. The results showed that caffeine interacted with extraversion in the predicted direction for serial recall and running memory tasks. Caffeine improved simple reaction time and the speed of encoding of new information, effects which were not modified by extraversion. These results suggest possible biological mechanisms underlying effects of caffeine on cognitive performance.
Geldorp, B. van; Konings, E.P.; Tilborg, I.A. Van; Kessels, R.P.C.
Recent studies indicate deficits in associative working memory in patients with medial-temporal lobe amnesia. However, it is unclear whether these deficits reflect working memory processing or are due to hippocampally mediated long-term memory impairment. We investigated associative working memory
Geldorp, B. van; Konings, E.P.C.; Tilborg, I.A.D.A. van; Kessels, R.P.C.
Recent studies indicate deficits in associative working memory in patients with medial-temporal lobe amnesia. However, it is unclear whether these deficits reflect working memory processing or are due to hippocampally mediated long-term memory impairment. We investigated associative working memory
Roberts, William A; Strang, Caroline; Macpherson, Krista
Pigeons' performance on a working memory task, symbolic delayed matching-to-sample, was used to examine the interaction between working memory and reference memory. Reference memory was established by training pigeons to discriminate between the comparison cues used in delayed matching as S+ and S- stimuli. Delayed matching retention tests then measured accuracy when working and reference memory were congruent and incongruent. In 4 experiments, it was shown that the interaction between working and reference memory is reciprocal: Strengthening either type of memory leads to a decrease in the influence of the other type of memory. A process dissociation procedure analysis of the data from Experiment 4 showed independence of working and reference memory, and a model of working memory and reference memory interaction was shown to predict the findings reported in the 4 experiments. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
Full Text Available Working memory denotes the ability to retain stimuli in mind that are no longer physically present and to perform mental operations on them. Electro- and magnetoencephalography allow investigating the short-term maintenance of acoustic stimuli at a high temporal resolution. Studies investigating working memory for non-spatial and spatial auditory information have suggested differential roles of regions along the putative auditory ventral and dorsal streams, respectively, in the processing of the different sound properties. Analyses of event-related potentials have shown sustained, memory load-dependent deflections over the retention periods. The topography of these waves suggested an involvement of modality-specific sensory storage regions. Spectral analysis has yielded information about the temporal dynamics of auditory working memory processing of individual stimuli, showing activation peaks during the delay phase whose timing was related to task performance. Coherence at different frequencies was enhanced between frontal and sensory cortex. In summary, auditory working memory seems to rely on the dynamic interplay between frontal executive systems and sensory representation regions.
Baddeley, Alan; Jarrold, Christopher; Vargha-Khadem, Faraneh
A number of studies suggest an important role for the hippocampus in tasks involving visuospatial or relational working memory. We test the generality of this proposal across tasks using a battery designed to investigate the various components of working memory, studying the working memory performance of Jon, who shows a bilateral reduction in hippocampal volume of approximately 50%, comparing him to a group of 48 college students. We measure performance on four complex working memory span measures based on combining visuospatial and verbal storage with visuospatial or verbal concurrent processing as well as measuring Jon's ability to carry out the component storage and processing aspects of these tasks. Jon performed at a consistently high level across our range of tasks. Possible reasons for the apparent disparity between our own findings and earlier studies showing a hippocampal deficit are discussed in terms of both the potential differences in the demands placed on relational memory and of the proposed distinction between egocentric and allocentric visuospatial processing.
Background: Working memory is linked to learning outcomes and there is emerging evidence that training working memory can yield gains in working memory and fluid intelligence. Aims: The aim of the present study was to investigate whether interactive working memory training would transfer to acquired cognitive skills, such as vocabulary and…
Mayra Monteiro Pires
Full Text Available The working memory is a system with limited capacity which allows the temporary storage and manipulation of information to cognitive complex abilities like language, learning and reasoning. This study has as the objective present the construction, the adaptation and the evaluation of four psycholinguistics working memory tests in Brazilian Portuguese that were based in the English battery of tests Memory Test Battery For Children. The tests adapted were applied in a pilot investigation in a group of 15 children with learning school difficulties and compared to a group of 15 children with normal development. The adaptation of the tests was developed in the E-Prime v2.0 Professional® software. The four psycholinguistic tests access the simultaneous storage and processing capacities of information in general domain, as also specific for language information. The results suggest that the four tests are sensible instruments to detect possible difficulties in the working memory processing in children, because they could identify the different performances between the two groups in a statistical analysis. The tests developed perfectly attended their aims for evaluation and can contribute in a near future for other studies with a greater number of subjects, providing a more concrete and evidences of working memory development in children.
Banales, Erin; Kohnen, Saskia; McArthur, Genevieve
The aim of the current study was to determine whether poor verbal working memory is associated with poor word reading accuracy because the former causes the latter, or the latter causes the former. To this end, we tested whether (a) verbal working memory training improves poor verbal working memory or poor word reading accuracy, and whether (b) reading training improves poor reading accuracy or verbal working memory in a case series of four children with poor word reading accuracy and verbal working memory. Each child completed 8 weeks of verbal working memory training and 8 weeks of reading training. Verbal working memory training improved verbal working memory in two of the four children, but did not improve their reading accuracy. Similarly, reading training improved word reading accuracy in all children, but did not improve their verbal working memory. These results suggest that the causal links between verbal working memory and reading accuracy may not be as direct as has been assumed.
Bratch, Alexander; Kann, Spencer; Cain, Joshua A; Wu, Jie-En; Rivera-Reyes, Nilda; Dalecki, Stefan; Arman, Diana; Dunn, Austin; Cooper, Shiloh; Corbin, Hannah E; Doyle, Amanda R; Pizzo, Matthew J; Smith, Alexandra E; Crystal, Jonathon D
A fundamental feature of memory in humans is the ability to simultaneously work with multiple types of information using independent memory systems. Working memory is conceptualized as two independent memory systems under executive control [1, 2]. Although there is a long history of using the term "working memory" to describe short-term memory in animals, it is not known whether multiple, independent memory systems exist in nonhumans. Here, we used two established short-term memory approaches to test the hypothesis that spatial and olfactory memory operate as independent working memory resources in the rat. In the olfactory memory task, rats chose a novel odor from a gradually incrementing set of old odors . In the spatial memory task, rats searched for a depleting food source at multiple locations . We presented rats with information to hold in memory in one domain (e.g., olfactory) while adding a memory load in the other domain (e.g., spatial). Control conditions equated the retention interval delay without adding a second memory load. In a further experiment, we used proactive interference [5-7] in the spatial domain to compromise spatial memory and evaluated the impact of adding an olfactory memory load. Olfactory and spatial memory are resistant to interference from the addition of a memory load in the other domain. Our data suggest that olfactory and spatial memory draw on independent working memory systems in the rat. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND: Visual working memory capacity is extremely limited and appears to be relatively immune to practice effects or the use of explicit strategies. The recent discovery that visual working memory tasks, like verbal working memory tasks, are subject to proactive interference, coupled with the fact that typical visual working memory tasks are particularly conducive to proactive interference, suggests that visual working memory capacity may be systematically under-estimated. METHODOLOGY/P...
Baddeley, A.; Jarrold, C.
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…
Shipstead, Zach; Redick, Thomas S.; Engle, Randall W.
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…
Bae, Gi-Yeul; Luck, Steven J
We investigated whether the representations of different objects are maintained independently in working memory or interact with each other. Observers were shown two sequentially presented orientations and required to reproduce each orientation after a delay. The sequential presentation minimized perceptual interactions so that we could isolate interactions between memory representations per se. We found that similar orientations were repelled from each other whereas dissimilar orientations were attracted to each other. In addition, when one of the items was given greater attentional priority by means of a cue, the representation of the high-priority item was not influenced very much by the orientation of the low-priority item, but the representation of the low-priority item was strongly influenced by the orientation of the high-priority item. This indicates that attention modulates the interactions between working memory representations. In addition, errors in the reported orientations of the two objects were positively correlated under some conditions, suggesting that representations of distinct objects may become grouped together in memory. Together, these results demonstrate that working-memory representations are not independent but instead interact with each other in a manner that depends on attentional priority.
Ros, Laura; Latorre, José Miguel; Serrano, Juan Pedro
The objectives of this study are to compare the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT) performance of two healthy samples of younger and older adults and to analyse the relationship between overgeneral memory (OGM) and working memory executive processes (WMEP) using a structural equation modelling with latent variables. The AMT and sustained attention, short-term memory and working memory tasks were administered to a group of young adults (N = 50) and a group of older adults (N = 46). On the AMT, the older adults recalled a greater number of categorical memories (p = .000) and fewer specific memories (p = .000) than the young adults, confirming that OGM occurs in the normal population and increases with age. WMEP was measured by reading span and a working memory with sustained attention load task. Structural equation modelling reflects that WMEP shows a strong relationship with OGM: lower scores on WMEP reflect an OGM phenomenon characterized by higher categorical and lower specific memories.
Reynolds, Greg D; Romano, Alexandra C
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.
Joseph, Sabine; Iverson, Paul; Manohar, Sanjay; Fox, Zoe; Scott, Sophie K; Husain, Masud
Memory for speech sounds is a key component of models of verbal working memory (WM). But how good is verbal WM? Most investigations assess this using binary report measures to derive a fixed number of items that can be stored. However, recent findings in visual WM have challenged such "quantized" views by employing measures of recall precision with an analogue response scale. WM for speech sounds might rely on both continuous and categorical storage mechanisms. Using a novel speech matching paradigm, we measured WM recall precision for phonemes. Vowel qualities were sampled from a formant space continuum. A probe vowel had to be adjusted to match the vowel quality of a target on a continuous, analogue response scale. Crucially, this provided an index of the variability of a memory representation around its true value and thus allowed us to estimate how memories were distorted from the original sounds. Memory load affected the quality of speech sound recall in two ways. First, there was a gradual decline in recall precision with increasing number of items, consistent with the view that WM representations of speech sounds become noisier with an increase in the number of items held in memory, just as for vision. Based on multidimensional scaling (MDS), the level of noise appeared to be reflected in distortions of the formant space. Second, as memory load increased, there was evidence of greater clustering of participants' responses around particular vowels. A mixture model captured both continuous and categorical responses, demonstrating a shift from continuous to categorical memory with increasing WM load. This suggests that direct acoustic storage can be used for single items, but when more items must be stored, categorical representations must be used.
Lu, Luo; Kao, Shu-Fang; Siu, Oi-Ling; Lu, Chang-Qin
Work values influence our attitudes and behavior at work, but they have rarely been explored in the context of work stress. The aim of this research was thus to test direct and moderating effects of Chinese work values (CWV) on relationships between work stressors and work well-being among employees in the Greater China region. A self-administered survey was conducted to collect data from three major cities in the region, namely Beijing, Hong Kong, and Taipei (N = 380). Work stressors were negatively related to work well-being, whereas CWV were positively related to work well-being. In addition, CWV also demonstrated moderating effects in some of the stressor-job satisfaction relationships.
Schneiders, Julia A.; Opitz, Bertram; Tang, Huijun; Deng, Yuan; Xie, Chaoxiang; Li, Hong; Mecklinger, Axel
Working memory training has been widely used to investigate working memory processes. We have shown previously that visual working memory benefits only from intra-modal visual but not from across-modal auditory working memory training. In the present functional magnetic resonance imaging study we examined whether auditory working memory processes can also be trained specifically and which training-induced activation changes accompany theses effects. It was investigated whether working memory ...
Kang, Min-Suk; Hong, Sang Wook; Blake, Randolph; Woodman, Geoffrey F.
Indirect evidence suggests that the contents of visual working memory may be maintained within sensory areas early in the visual hierarchy. We tested this possibility using a well-studied motion repulsion phenomenon in which perception of one direction of motion is distorted when another direction of motion is viewed simultaneously. We found that observers misperceived the actual direction of motion of a single motion stimulus if, while viewing that stimulus, they were holding a different mot...
The present thesis investigated memory load and memory decay in auditory working memory. Alpha power as a marker for memory load served as the primary indicator for load and decay fluctuations hypothetically reflecting functional inhibition of irrelevant information. Memory load was induced by presenting auditory signals (syllables and pure-tone sequences) in noise because speech-in-noise has been shown before to increase memory load. The aim of the thesis was to assess with magnetoencephalog...
This paper investigates the roles of working memory in interpreting process. First of all, it gives a brief introduction to interpreting. Secondly, the paper exemplifies the role of working memory in interpreting. The result reveals that the working memory capacity of interpreters is not adsolutely proportional to the quality of interpreting in the real interpreting conditions. The performance of an interpreter with well-equipped working memory capacity will comprehensively influenced by various elements.
Richter, Kim Merle; Mödden, Claudia; Eling, Paul; Hildebrandt, Helmut
To show the effectiveness of a combined recognition and working memory training on everyday memory performance in patients suffering from organic memory disorders. In this double-blind, randomized controlled Study 36 patients with organic memory impairments, mainly attributable to stroke, were assigned to either the experimental or the active control group. In the experimental group a working memory training was combined with a recollection training based on the repetition-lag procedure. Patients in the active control group received the memory therapy usually provided in the rehabilitation center. Both groups received nine hours of therapy. Prior (T0) and subsequent (T1) to the therapy, patients were evaluated on an everyday memory test (EMT) as well as on a neuropsychological test battery. Based on factor analysis of the neuropsychological test scores at T0 we calculated composite scores for working memory, verbal learning and word fluency. After treatment, the intervention group showed a significantly greater improvement for WM performance compared with the active control group. More importantly, performance on the EMT also improved significantly in patients receiving the recollection and working memory training compared with patients with standard memory training. Our results show that combining working memory and recollection training significantly improves performance on everyday memory tasks, demonstrating far transfer effects. The present study argues in favor of a process-based approach for treating memory impairments. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).
.... This study looked at how comprehension and memory processing at the mental model level is related to traditional measures of working memory capacity, including the word span, reading span, operation...
Szmalec, Arnaud; Verbruggen, Frederick; Vandierendonck, Andre; Kemps, Eva
The current study examined the nature of the processes underlying working memory updating. In 4 experiments using the n-back paradigm, the authors demonstrate that continuous updating of items in working memory prevents strong binding of those items to their contexts in working memory, and hence leads to an increased susceptibility to proactive…
Keogh, Rebecca; Pearson, Joel
Visual working memory provides an essential link between past and future events. Despite recent efforts, capacity limits, their genesis and the underlying neural structures of visual working memory remain unclear. Here we show that performance in visual working memory - but not iconic visual memory - can be predicted by the strength of mental imagery as assessed with binocular rivalry in a given individual. In addition, for individuals with strong imagery, modulating the background luminance ...
.... That work has resulted in numerous publications and conference presentations demonstrating that individuals who score in the bottom quartile on measures of working memory capacity show more errors...
Linares, Rocío; Borella, Erika; Lechuga, M Teresa; Carretti, Barbara; Pelegrina, Santiago
Working memory updating (WMU) is a core mechanism in the human mental architecture and a good predictor of a wide range of cognitive processes. This study analyzed the benefits of two different WMU training procedures, near transfer effects on a working memory measure, and far transfer effects on nonverbal reasoning. Maintenance of any benefits a month later was also assessed. Participants were randomly assigned to: an adaptive training group that performed two numerical WMU tasks during four sessions; a non-adaptive training group that performed the same tasks but on a constant and less demanding level of difficulty; or an active control group that performed other tasks unrelated with working memory. After the training, all three groups showed improvements in most of the tasks, and these benefits were maintained a month later. The gain in one of the two WMU measures was larger for the adaptive and non-adaptive groups than for the control group. This specific gain in a task similar to the one trained would indicate the use of a better strategy for performing the task. Besides this nearest transfer effect, no other transfer effects were found. The adaptability of the training procedure did not produce greater improvements. These results are discussed in terms of the training procedure and the feasibility of training WMU.
Kofler, Michael J; Sarver, Dustin E; Harmon, Sherelle L; Moltisanti, Allison; Aduen, Paula A; Soto, Elia F; Ferretti, Nicole
This study tested model-driven predictions regarding working memory's role in the organizational problems associated with ADHD. Children aged 8-13 (M = 10.33, SD = 1.42) with and without ADHD (N = 103; 39 girls; 73% Caucasian/Non-Hispanic) were assessed on multiple, counterbalanced working memory tasks. Parents and teachers completed norm-referenced measures of organizational problems (Children's Organizational Skills Scale; COSS). Results confirmed large magnitude working memory deficits (d = 1.24) and organizational problems in ADHD (d = 0.85). Bias-corrected, bootstrapped conditional effects models linked impaired working memory with greater parent- and teacher-reported inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity, and organizational problems. Working memory predicted organization problems across all parent and teacher COSS subscales (R 2 = .19-.23). Approximately 38%-57% of working memory's effect on organization problems was conveyed by working memory's association with inattentive behavior. Unique effects of working memory remained significant for both parent- and teacher-reported task planning, as well as for teacher-reported memory/materials management and overall organization problems. Attention problems uniquely predicted worse organizational skills. Hyperactivity was unrelated to parent-reported organizational skills, but predicted better teacher-reported task planning. Children with ADHD exhibit multisetting, broad-based organizational impairment. These impaired organizational skills are attributable in part to performance deficits secondary to working memory dysfunction, both directly and indirectly via working memory's role in regulating attention. Impaired working memory in ADHD renders it extraordinarily difficult for these children to consistently anticipate, plan, enact, and maintain goal-directed actions. © 2017 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
Effects on working memory performance relating to item similarity have been linked to prior categorisation of representations in long-term memory. However, there is evidence from gesture processing that this link may not be obligatory. The present study investigated whether working memory for incidentally generated meaningless manual gestures is influenced by formational similarity and whether this effect is modulated by working-memory load. Results showed that formational similarity did lower performance, demonstrating that similarity effects are not dependent on prior categorisation. However, this effect was only found when working-memory load was low, supporting a flexible resource allocation model according to which it is the quality rather than quantity of working memory representations that determines performance. This interpretation is in line with proposals suggesting language modality specific allocation of resources in working memory. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
Wilsch, Anna; Obleser, Jonas
Working memory is a limited resource: brains can only maintain small amounts of sensory input (memory load) over a brief period of time (memory decay). The dynamics of slow neural oscillations as recorded using magneto- and electroencephalography (M/EEG) provide a window into the neural mechanics of these limitations. Especially oscillations in the alpha range (8-13Hz) are a sensitive marker for memory load. Moreover, according to current models, the resultant working memory load is determined by the relative noise in the neural representation of maintained information. The auditory domain allows memory researchers to apply and test the concept of noise quite literally: Employing degraded stimulus acoustics increases memory load and, at the same time, allows assessing the cognitive resources required to process speech in noise in an ecologically valid and clinically relevant way. The present review first summarizes recent findings on neural oscillations, especially alpha power, and how they reflect memory load and memory decay in auditory working memory. The focus is specifically on memory load resulting from acoustic degradation. These findings are then contrasted with contextual factors that benefit neural as well as behavioral markers of memory performance, by reducing representational noise. We end on discussing the functional role of alpha power in auditory working memory and suggest extensions of the current methodological toolkit. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Auditory working memory. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Levén, Anna; Lyxell, Björn; Andersson, Jan; Danielsson, Henrik; Rönnberg, Jerker
The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between prospective memory, working memory, retrospective memory and self-rated memory capacity in adults with and without intellectual disability. Prospective memory was investigated by means of a picture-based task. Working memory was measured as performance on span tasks. Retrospective memory was scored as recall of subject performed tasks. Self-ratings of memory performance were based on the prospective and retrospective mem...
Full Text Available Motor affordances are important for object knowledge. Semantic tasks on visual objects often show interactions with motor actions. Prior neuro-imaging studies suggested that motor affordances also play a role in visual working memory for objects. When participants remembered manipulable objects (e.g., hammer greater premotor cortex activation was observed than when they remembered non-manipulable objects (e.g., polar bear. In the present study participants held object pictures in working memory while performing concurrent tasks such as articulation of nonsense syllables and performing hand movements. Although concurrent tasks did interfere with working memory performance, in none of the experiments did we find any evidence that concurrent motor tasks affected memory differently for manipulable and non-manipulable objects. I conclude that motor affordances are not used for visual working memory.
De Fockert, J. W.; Wu, Si
The evidence that distractor processing increases with greater load on working memory has come mainly from Stroop-type interference tasks, making it difficult to establish whether cognitive load affects distractor processing at the perceptual level or during response selection. We measured the Ebbinghaus illusion under varying levels of working memory load to test whether cognitive control is also relevant for preventing processing of distractors that do not produce any response conflict, and...
Sarah R Rudebeck
Full Text Available One current challenge in cognitive training is to create a training regime that benefits multiple cognitive domains, including episodic memory, without relying on a large battery of tasks, which can be time-consuming and difficult to learn. By giving careful consideration to the neural correlates underlying episodic and working memory, we devised a computerized working memory training task in which neurologically healthy participants were required to monitor and detect repetitions in two streams of spatial information (spatial location and scene identity presented simultaneously (i.e. a dual n-back paradigm. Participants' episodic memory abilities were assessed before and after training using two object and scene recognition memory tasks incorporating memory confidence judgments. Furthermore, to determine the generalizability of the effects of training, we also assessed fluid intelligence using a matrix reasoning task. By examining the difference between pre- and post-training performance (i.e. gain scores, we found that the trainers, compared to non-trainers, exhibited a significant improvement in fluid intelligence after 20 days. Interestingly, pre-training fluid intelligence performance, but not training task improvement, was a significant predictor of post-training fluid intelligence improvement, with lower pre-training fluid intelligence associated with greater post-training gain. Crucially, trainers who improved the most on the training task also showed an improvement in recognition memory as captured by d-prime scores and estimates of recollection and familiarity memory. Training task improvement was a significant predictor of gains in recognition and familiarity memory performance, with greater training improvement leading to more marked gains. In contrast, lower pre-training recollection memory scores, and not training task improvement, led to greater recollection memory performance after training. Our findings demonstrate that practice
Full Text Available Cognitive symptoms of depression, such as rumination, have shown to be associated with deficits in working memory functioning. More precisely, the capacity to expel irrelevant negative information from working memory seems to be affected. Even though these associations have repeatedly been demonstrated, the nature and causal direction of this association is still unclear. Therefore, within an experimental design, we tried to manipulate working memory functioning of participants with heightened rumination scores in two similar experiments (n = 72 and n = 45 using a six day working memory training compared to active and passive control groups. Subsequently the effects on the processing of non-emotional and emotional information in working memory were monitored. In both experiments, performance during the training task significantly increased, but this performance gain did not transfer to the outcome working memory tasks or rumination and depression measures. Possible explanations for the failure to find transfer effects are discussed.
Allred, Sarah R; Flombaum, Jonathan I
Color is the most frequently studied feature in visual working memory (VWM). Oddly, much of this work de-emphasizes perception, instead making simplifying assumptions about the inputs served to memory. We question these assumptions in light of perception research, and we identify important points of contact between perception and working memory in the case of color. Better characterization of its perceptual inputs will be crucial for elucidating the structure and function of VWM. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Waris, Otto; Soveri, Anna; Laine, Matti
During the past decade, working memory training has attracted much interest. However, the training outcomes have varied between studies and methodological problems have hampered the interpretation of results. The current study examined transfer after working memory updating training by employing an extensive battery of pre-post cognitive measures with a focus on near transfer. Thirty-one healthy Finnish young adults were randomized into either a working memory training group or an active cont...
小那覇, 洋子; Onaha, Hiroko
We often draw an analogy between human memory and computers. Information around us is taken into our memory storage first, and then we use the information in storage whatever we need it in our daily life. Linguistic information is also in storage and we process our thoughts based on the memory that is stored. Memory storage consists of multiple memory systems; one of which is called working memory that includes short-term memory. Working memory is the central system that underpins the process...
Al-Ahmadi, Fatheya; Oraif, Fatima
Working memory capacity is now well established as a rate determining factor in much learning and assessment, especially in the sciences. Most of the research has focussed on performance in tests and examinations in subject areas. This paper outlines some exploratory work in which other outcomes are related to working memory capacity. Confidence…
Hartshorne, Joshua K
Visual working memory capacity is extremely limited and appears to be relatively immune to practice effects or the use of explicit strategies. The recent discovery that visual working memory tasks, like verbal working memory tasks, are subject to proactive interference, coupled with the fact that typical visual working memory tasks are particularly conducive to proactive interference, suggests that visual working memory capacity may be systematically under-estimated. Working memory capacity was probed behaviorally in adult humans both in laboratory settings and via the Internet. Several experiments show that although the effect of proactive interference on visual working memory is significant and can last over several trials, it only changes the capacity estimate by about 15%. This study further confirms the sharp limitations on visual working memory capacity, both in absolute terms and relative to verbal working memory. It is suggested that future research take these limitations into account in understanding differences across a variety of tasks between human adults, prelinguistic infants and nonlinguistic animals.
Joshua K Hartshorne
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Visual working memory capacity is extremely limited and appears to be relatively immune to practice effects or the use of explicit strategies. The recent discovery that visual working memory tasks, like verbal working memory tasks, are subject to proactive interference, coupled with the fact that typical visual working memory tasks are particularly conducive to proactive interference, suggests that visual working memory capacity may be systematically under-estimated. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Working memory capacity was probed behaviorally in adult humans both in laboratory settings and via the Internet. Several experiments show that although the effect of proactive interference on visual working memory is significant and can last over several trials, it only changes the capacity estimate by about 15%. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This study further confirms the sharp limitations on visual working memory capacity, both in absolute terms and relative to verbal working memory. It is suggested that future research take these limitations into account in understanding differences across a variety of tasks between human adults, prelinguistic infants and nonlinguistic animals.
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.
Mirandola, Chiara; Toffalini, Enrico; Ciriello, Alfonso; Cornoldi, Cesare
Whereas a link between working memory (WM) and memory distortions has been demonstrated, its influence on emotional false memories is unclear. In two experiments, a verbal WM task and a false memory paradigm for negative, positive or neutral events were employed. In Experiment 1, we investigated individual differences in verbal WM and found that the interaction between valence and WM predicted false recognition, with negative and positive material protecting high WM individuals against false remembering; the beneficial effect of negative material disappeared in low WM participants. In Experiment 2, we lowered the WM capacity of half of the participants with a double task request, which led to an overall increase in false memories; furthermore, consistent with Experiment 1, the increase in negative false memories was larger than that of neutral or positive ones. It is concluded that WM plays a critical role in determining false memory production, specifically influencing the processing of negative material.
Keogh, Rebecca; Pearson, Joel
Visual working memory provides an essential link between past and future events. Despite recent efforts, capacity limits, their genesis and the underlying neural structures of visual working memory remain unclear. Here we show that performance in visual working memory - but not iconic visual memory - can be predicted by the strength of mental imagery as assessed with binocular rivalry in a given individual. In addition, for individuals with strong imagery, modulating the background luminance diminished performance on visual working memory and imagery tasks, but not working memory for number strings. This suggests that luminance signals were disrupting sensory-based imagery mechanisms and not a general working memory system. Individuals with poor imagery still performed above chance in the visual working memory task, but their performance was not affected by the background luminance, suggesting a dichotomy in strategies for visual working memory: individuals with strong mental imagery rely on sensory-based imagery to support mnemonic performance, while those with poor imagery rely on different strategies. These findings could help reconcile current controversy regarding the mechanism and location of visual mnemonic storage. PMID:22195024
Full Text Available Visual working memory provides an essential link between past and future events. Despite recent efforts, capacity limits, their genesis and the underlying neural structures of visual working memory remain unclear. Here we show that performance in visual working memory--but not iconic visual memory--can be predicted by the strength of mental imagery as assessed with binocular rivalry in a given individual. In addition, for individuals with strong imagery, modulating the background luminance diminished performance on visual working memory and imagery tasks, but not working memory for number strings. This suggests that luminance signals were disrupting sensory-based imagery mechanisms and not a general working memory system. Individuals with poor imagery still performed above chance in the visual working memory task, but their performance was not affected by the background luminance, suggesting a dichotomy in strategies for visual working memory: individuals with strong mental imagery rely on sensory-based imagery to support mnemonic performance, while those with poor imagery rely on different strategies. These findings could help reconcile current controversy regarding the mechanism and location of visual mnemonic storage.
Keogh, Rebecca; Pearson, Joel
Visual working memory provides an essential link between past and future events. Despite recent efforts, capacity limits, their genesis and the underlying neural structures of visual working memory remain unclear. Here we show that performance in visual working memory--but not iconic visual memory--can be predicted by the strength of mental imagery as assessed with binocular rivalry in a given individual. In addition, for individuals with strong imagery, modulating the background luminance diminished performance on visual working memory and imagery tasks, but not working memory for number strings. This suggests that luminance signals were disrupting sensory-based imagery mechanisms and not a general working memory system. Individuals with poor imagery still performed above chance in the visual working memory task, but their performance was not affected by the background luminance, suggesting a dichotomy in strategies for visual working memory: individuals with strong mental imagery rely on sensory-based imagery to support mnemonic performance, while those with poor imagery rely on different strategies. These findings could help reconcile current controversy regarding the mechanism and location of visual mnemonic storage.
Henry, Lucy A.; Botting, Nicola
Children with developmental language impairments (DLI) are often reported to show difficulties with working memory. This review describes the four components of the well-established working memory model, and considers whether there is convincing evidence for difficulties within each component in children with DLI. The emphasis is on the most…
Jansson, Maria; Wendt, Maria; Ase, Cecilia
In this article, we present the results of a research project where we have tried to elaborate more socially inclusive ways of teaching and learning political science by making use of a specific feminist method of analyzing social relations--memory work. As a method, memory work involves writing and interpreting stories of personal experience,…
Perry, Tracy L.; Malaia, Evguenia
For any complex mental task, people rely on working memory. Working memory capacity (WMC) is one predictor of success in learning. Historically, attempts to improve verbal WM through training have not been effective. This study provided elementary students with WM consolidation efficiency training to answer the question, Can reading comprehension…
St. Clair-Thompson, Helen L.
Previous research has suggested that working memory difficulties play an integral role in children's underachievement at school. However, working memory is just one of several executive functions. The extent to which problems in working memory extend to other executive functions is not well understood. In the current study 38 children with a poor…
Beanland, Vanessa; Chan, Esther Hiu Chung
Inattentional blindness, whereby observers fail to detect unexpected stimuli, has been robustly demonstrated in a range of situations. Originally research focused primarily on how stimulus characteristics and task demands affect inattentional blindness, but increasingly studies are exploring the influence of observer characteristics on the detection of unexpected stimuli. It has been proposed that individual differences in working memory capacity predict inattentional blindness, on the assumption that higher working memory capacity confers greater attentional capacity for processing unexpected stimuli. Unfortunately, empirical investigations of the association between inattentional blindness and working memory capacity have produced conflicting findings. To help clarify this relationship, we examined the relationship between inattentional blindness and working memory capacity in two samples (Ns = 195, 147) of young adults. We used three common variants of sustained inattentional blindness tasks, systematically manipulating the salience of the unexpected stimulus and primary task practice. Working memory capacity, measured by automated operation span (both Experiments 1 & 2) and N-back (Experiment 1 only) tasks, did not predict detection of the unexpected stimulus in any of the inattentional blindness tasks tested. Together with previous research, this undermines claims that there is a robust relationship between inattentional blindness and working memory capacity. Rather, it appears that any relationship between inattentional blindness and working memory is either too small to have practical significance or is moderated by other factors and consequently varies with attributes such as the sample characteristics within a given study.
Kumar, Sukhbinder; Joseph, Sabine; Gander, Phillip E; Barascud, Nicolas; Halpern, Andrea R; Griffiths, Timothy D
The brain basis for auditory working memory, the process of actively maintaining sounds in memory over short periods of time, is controversial. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging in human participants, we demonstrate that the maintenance of single tones in memory is associated with activation in auditory cortex. In addition, sustained activation was observed in hippocampus and inferior frontal gyrus. Multivoxel pattern analysis showed that patterns of activity in auditory cortex and left inferior frontal gyrus distinguished the tone that was maintained in memory. Functional connectivity during maintenance was demonstrated between auditory cortex and both the hippocampus and inferior frontal cortex. The data support a system for auditory working memory based on the maintenance of sound-specific representations in auditory cortex by projections from higher-order areas, including the hippocampus and frontal cortex. In this work, we demonstrate a system for maintaining sound in working memory based on activity in auditory cortex, hippocampus, and frontal cortex, and functional connectivity among them. Specifically, our work makes three advances from the previous work. First, we robustly demonstrate hippocampal involvement in all phases of auditory working memory (encoding, maintenance, and retrieval): the role of hippocampus in working memory is controversial. Second, using a pattern classification technique, we show that activity in the auditory cortex and inferior frontal gyrus is specific to the maintained tones in working memory. Third, we show long-range connectivity of auditory cortex to hippocampus and frontal cortex, which may be responsible for keeping such representations active during working memory maintenance. Copyright © 2016 Kumar et al.
Redick, Thomas S.; Shipstead, Zach; Wiemers, Elizabeth A.; Melby-Lervåg, Monica; Hulme, Charles
Working memory training programs have generated great interest, with claims that the training interventions can have profound beneficial effects on children's academic and intellectual attainment. We describe the criteria by which to evaluate evidence for or against the benefit of working memory training. Despite the promising results of initial…
Alloway, Tracy Packiam
Working memory plays a key role in supporting children's learning over the school years, and beyond this into adulthood. It is proposed here that working memory is crucially required to store information while other material is being mentally manipulated during the classroom learning activities that form the foundations for the acquisition of…
Pan, Yi; Cheng, Qiu-Ping; Luo, Qian-Ying
We demonstrate that unconscious processing of a stimulus property can be enhanced when there is a match between the contents of working memory and the stimulus presented in the visual field. Participants first held a cue (a colored circle) in working memory and then searched for a brief masked target shape presented simultaneously with a distractor shape. When participants reported having no awareness of the target shape at all, search performance was more accurate in the valid condition, where the target matched the cue in color, than in the neutral condition, where the target mismatched the cue. This effect cannot be attributed to bottom-up perceptual priming from the presentation of a memory cue, because unconscious perception was not enhanced when the cue was merely perceptually identified but not actively held in working memory. These findings suggest that reentrant feedback from the contents of working memory modulates unconscious visual perception.
Harrison, Tyler L; Shipstead, Zach; Hicks, Kenny L; Hambrick, David Z; Redick, Thomas S; Engle, Randall W
Working memory is a critical element of complex cognition, particularly under conditions of distraction and interference. Measures of working memory capacity correlate positively with many measures of real-world cognition, including fluid intelligence. There have been numerous attempts to use training procedures to increase working memory capacity and thereby performance on the real-world tasks that rely on working memory capacity. In the study reported here, we demonstrated that training on complex working memory span tasks leads to improvement on similar tasks with different materials but that such training does not generalize to measures of fluid intelligence.
Full Text Available Blind individuals have been shown on multiple occasions to compensate for their loss of sight by developing exceptional abilities in their remaining senses. While most research has been focused on perceptual abilities per se in the auditory and tactile modalities, recent work has also investigated higher-order processes involving memory and language functions. Here we examined tactile working memory for Braille in two groups of visually challenged individuals (completely blind subjects, CBS; blind with residual vision, BRV. In a first experimental procedure both groups were given a Braille tactile memory span task with and without articulatory suppression, while the BRV and a sighted group performed a visual version of the task. It was shown that the Braille tactile working memory (BrWM of CBS individuals under articulatory suppression is as efficient as that of sighted individuals' visual working memory in the same condition. Moreover, the results suggest that BrWM may be more robust in the CBS than in the BRV subjects, thus pointing to the potential role of visual experience in shaping tactile working memory. A second experiment designed to assess the nature (spatial vs. verbal of this working memory was then carried out with two new CBS and BRV groups having to perform the Braille task concurrently with a mental arithmetic task or a mental displacement of blocks task. We show that the disruption of memory was greatest when concurrently carrying out the mental displacement of blocks, indicating that the Braille tactile subsystem of working memory is likely spatial in nature in CBS. The results also point to the multimodal nature of working memory and show how experience can shape the development of its subcomponents.
Cohen, Henri; Voss, Patrice; Lepore, Franco; Scherzer, Peter
Blind individuals have been shown on multiple occasions to compensate for their loss of sight by developing exceptional abilities in their remaining senses. While most research has been focused on perceptual abilities per se in the auditory and tactile modalities, recent work has also investigated higher-order processes involving memory and language functions. Here we examined tactile working memory for Braille in two groups of visually challenged individuals (completely blind subjects, CBS; blind with residual vision, BRV). In a first experimental procedure both groups were given a Braille tactile memory span task with and without articulatory suppression, while the BRV and a sighted group performed a visual version of the task. It was shown that the Braille tactile working memory (BrWM) of CBS individuals under articulatory suppression is as efficient as that of sighted individuals' visual working memory in the same condition. Moreover, the results suggest that BrWM may be more robust in the CBS than in the BRV subjects, thus pointing to the potential role of visual experience in shaping tactile working memory. A second experiment designed to assess the nature (spatial vs. verbal) of this working memory was then carried out with two new CBS and BRV groups having to perform the Braille task concurrently with a mental arithmetic task or a mental displacement of blocks task. We show that the disruption of memory was greatest when concurrently carrying out the mental displacement of blocks, indicating that the Braille tactile subsystem of working memory is likely spatial in nature in CBS. The results also point to the multimodal nature of working memory and show how experience can shape the development of its subcomponents.
Schwarb, Hillary; Nail, Jayde; Schumacher, Eric H
Since antiquity, philosophers, theologians, and scientists have been interested in human memory. However, researchers today are still working to understand the capabilities, boundaries, and architecture. While the storage capabilities of long-term memory are seemingly unlimited (Bahrick, J Exp Psychol 113:1-2, 1984), working memory, or the ability to maintain and manipulate information held in memory, seems to have stringent capacity limits (e.g., Cowan, Behav Brain Sci 24:87-185, 2001). Individual differences, however, do exist and these differences can often predict performance on a wide variety of tasks (cf. Engle What is working-memory capacity? 297-314, 2001). Recently, researchers have promoted the enticing possibility that simple behavioral training can expand the limits of working memory which indeed may also lead to improvements on other cognitive processes as well (cf. Morrison and Chein, Psychol Bull Rev 18:46-60 2011). However, initial investigations across a wide variety of cognitive functions have produced mixed results regarding the transferability of training-related improvements. Across two experiments, the present research focuses on the benefit of working memory training on visual short-term memory capacity-a cognitive process that has received little attention in the training literature. Data reveal training-related improvement of global measures of visual short-term memory as well as of measures of the independent sub-processes that contribute to capacity (Awh et al., Psychol Sci 18(7):622-628, 2007). These results suggest that the ability to inhibit irrelevant information within and between trials is enhanced via n-back training allowing for selective improvement on untrained tasks. Additionally, we highlight a potential limitation of the standard adaptive training procedure and propose a modified design to ensure variability in the training environment.
Osman, Homira; Sullivan, Jessica R
The objectives of this study were to determine (a) whether school-age children with typical hearing demonstrate poorer auditory working memory performance in multitalker babble at degraded signal-to-noise ratios than in quiet; and (b) whether the amount of cognitive demand of the task contributed to differences in performance in noise. It was hypothesized that stressing the working memory system with the presence of noise would impede working memory processes in real time and result in poorer working memory performance in degraded conditions. Twenty children with typical hearing between 8 and 10 years old were tested using 4 auditory working memory tasks (Forward Digit Recall, Backward Digit Recall, Listening Recall Primary, and Listening Recall Secondary). Stimuli were from the standardized Working Memory Test Battery for Children. Each task was administered in quiet and in 4-talker babble noise at 0 dB and -5 dB signal-to-noise ratios. Children's auditory working memory performance was systematically decreased in the presence of multitalker babble noise compared with quiet. Differences between low-complexity and high-complexity tasks were observed, with children performing more poorly on tasks with greater storage and processing demands. There was no interaction between noise and complexity of task. All tasks were negatively impacted similarly by the addition of noise. Auditory working memory performance was negatively impacted by the presence of multitalker babble noise. Regardless of complexity of task, noise had a similar effect on performance. These findings suggest that the addition of noise inhibits auditory working memory processes in real time for school-age children.
Ricker, Timothy J.; Cowan, Nelson
Understanding forgetting from working memory, the memory used in ongoing cognitive processing, is critical to understanding human cognition. In the past decade, a number of conflicting findings have been reported regarding the role of time in forgetting from working memory. This has led to a debate concerning whether longer retention intervals…
Shields, Grant S; Doty, Dominique; Shields, Rebecca H; Gower, Garrett; Slavich, George M; Yonelinas, Andrew P
Although substantial research has examined the effects of stress on cognition, much of this research has focused on acute stress (e.g. manipulated in the laboratory) or chronic stress (e.g. persistent interpersonal or financial difficulties). In contrast, the effects of recent life stress on cognition have been relatively understudied. To address this issue, we examined how recent life stress is associated with long-term, working memory, and self-reported memory in a sample of 142 healthy young adults who were assessed at two time points over a two-week period. Recent life stress was measured using the newly-developed Stress and Adversity Inventory for Daily Stress (Daily STRAIN), which assesses the frequency of relatively common stressful life events and difficulties over the preceding two weeks. To assess memory performance, participants completed both long-term and working memory tasks. Participants also provided self-reports of memory problems. As hypothesized, greater recent life stress exposure was associated with worse performance on measures of long-term and working memory, as well as more self-reported memory problems. These associations were largely robust while controlling for possible confounds, including participants' age, sex, and negative affect. The findings indicate that recent life stress exposure is broadly associated with worse memory. Future studies should thus consider assessing recent life stress as a potential predictor, moderator, or covariate of memory performance.
Bialkova, S.E.; Oberauer, K.
Abstract. In two experiments participants held in working memory (WM) three digits in three different colors, and updated individual digits with the results of arithmetic equations presented in one of the colors. In the memory-access condition, a digit from WM had to be used as the first number in
Baddeley, A. D.; Hitch, G. J.; Allen, R. J.
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…
Rajsic, Jason; Swan, Garrett; Wilson, Daryl E.; Pratt, Jay
In this article, we demonstrate limitations of accessibility of information in visual working memory (VWM). Recently, cued-recall has been used to estimate the fidelity of information in VWM, where the feature of a cued object is reproduced from memory (Bays, Catalao, & Husain, 2009; Wilken & Ma, 2004; Zhang & Luck, 2008). Response…
Grundy, John G.; Timmer, Kalinka
Bilinguals often outperform monolinguals on executive function tasks, including tasks that tap cognitive flexibility, conflict monitoring, and task-switching abilities. Some have suggested that bilinguals also have greater working memory capacity than comparable monolinguals, but evidence for this suggestion is mixed. We therefore conducted a…
Jackson, Margaret C.; Linden, David E. J.; Roberts, Mark V.; Kriegeskorte, Nikolaus; Haenschel, Corinna
A number of studies have shown that visual working memory (WM) is poorer for complex versus simple items, traditionally accounted for by higher information load placing greater demands on encoding and storage capacity limits. Other research suggests that it may not be complexity that determines WM performance per se, but rather increased…
Johnson, Elizabeth L; Dewar, Callum D; Solbakk, Anne-Kristin; Endestad, Tor; Meling, Torstein R; Knight, Robert T
The ability to represent and select information in working memory provides the neurobiological infrastructure for human cognition. For 80 years, dominant views of working memory have focused on the key role of prefrontal cortex (PFC) [1-8]. However, more recent work has implicated posterior cortical regions [9-12], suggesting that PFC engagement during working memory is dependent on the degree of executive demand. We provide evidence from neurological patients with discrete PFC damage that challenges the dominant models attributing working memory to PFC-dependent systems. We show that neural oscillations, which provide a mechanism for PFC to communicate with posterior cortical regions , independently subserve communications both to and from PFC-uncovering parallel oscillatory mechanisms for working memory. Fourteen PFC patients and 20 healthy, age-matched controls performed a working memory task where they encoded, maintained, and actively processed information about pairs of common shapes. In controls, the electroencephalogram (EEG) exhibited oscillatory activity in the low-theta range over PFC and directional connectivity from PFC to parieto-occipital regions commensurate with executive processing demands. Concurrent alpha-beta oscillations were observed over parieto-occipital regions, with directional connectivity from parieto-occipital regions to PFC, regardless of processing demands. Accuracy, PFC low-theta activity, and PFC → parieto-occipital connectivity were attenuated in patients, revealing a PFC-independent, alpha-beta system. The PFC patients still demonstrated task proficiency, which indicates that the posterior alpha-beta system provides sufficient resources for working memory. Taken together, our findings reveal neurologically dissociable PFC and parieto-occipital systems and suggest that parallel, bidirectional oscillatory systems form the basis of working memory. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Mi, Yuanyuan; Katkov, Mikhail; Tsodyks, Misha
Psychological studies indicate that human ability to keep information in readily accessible working memory is limited to four items for most people. This extremely low capacity severely limits execution of many cognitive tasks, but its neuronal underpinnings remain unclear. Here we show that in the framework of synaptic theory of working memory, capacity can be analytically estimated to scale with characteristic time of short-term synaptic depression relative to synaptic current time constant. The number of items in working memory can be regulated by external excitation, enabling the system to be tuned to the desired load and to clear the working memory of currently held items to make room for new ones. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
First, these results reveal a neurotopography of OWM lesion sites that is well-aligned with results from neuroimaging of orthographic working memory in neurally intact participants (Rapp & Dufor, 2011. Second, the dorsal neurotopography of the OWM lesion overlap is clearly distinct from what has been reported for lesions associated with either lexical or sublexical deficits (e.g., Henry, Beeson, Stark, & Rapcsak, 2007; Rapcsak & Beeson, 2004; these have, respectively, been identified with the inferior occipital/temporal and superior temporal/inferior parietal regions. These neurotopographic distinctions support the claims of the computational distinctiveness of long-term vs. working memory operations. The specific lesion loci raise a number of questions to be discussed regarding: (a the selectivity of these regions and associated deficits to orthographic working memory vs. working memory more generally (b the possibility that different lesion sub-regions may correspond to different components of the OWM system.
Apter, Brian J. B.
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…
Oberauer Klaus; Hein Laura
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.
Legrain, Valéry; Crombez, Geert; Plaghki, Léon; Mouraux, André
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.
Meyer, Meghan Leigh
The social world is incredibly complex and the ability to keep track of various pieces of social information at once is imperative for success as a social species. Yet, how humans manage social information in mind has to date remained a mystery. On the one hand, psychological models of working memory, or the ability to maintain and manipulate information in mind, suggest that managing social information in mind would rely on generic working memory processes. However, recent research in social...
Leding, Juliana K
The relationship between working memory capacity (WMC) and false memories in the memory conjunction paradigm was explored. Previous research using other paradigms has shown that individuals high in WMC are not as likely to experience false memories as low-WMC individuals, the explanation being that high-WMC individuals are better able to engage in source monitoring. In the memory conjunction paradigm participants are presented at study with parent words (e.g., eyeglasses, whiplash). At test, in addition to being presented with targets and foils, participants are presented with lures that are composed of previously studied features (e.g., eyelash). It was found that high-WMC individuals had lower levels of false recognition than low-WMC individuals. Furthermore, recall-to-reject responses were analysed (e.g., "I know I didn't see eyelash because I remember seeing eyeglasses") and it was found that high-WMC individuals were more likely to utilise this memory editing strategy, providing direct evidence that one reason that high-WMC individuals are not as prone to false memories is because they are better able to engage in source monitoring.
Mızrak, Eda; Öztekin, Ilke
The speed-accuracy trade-off (SAT) procedure was used to investigate the relationship between working memory capacity (WMC) and the dynamics of temporal order memory retrieval. High- and low-span participants (HSs, LSs) studied sequentially presented five-item lists, followed by two probes from the study list. Participants indicated the more recent probe. Overall, accuracy was higher for HSs compared to LSs. Crucially, in contrast to previous investigations that observed no impact of WMC on speed of access to item information in memory (e.g., Öztekin & McElree, 2010), recovery of temporal order memory was slower for LSs. While accessing an item's representation in memory can be direct, recovery of relational information such as temporal order information requires a more controlled serial memory search. Collectively, these data indicate that WMC effects are particularly prominent during high demands of cognitive control, such as serial search operations necessary to access temporal order information from memory. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Sobczak-Edmans, M; Ng, T H B; Chan, Y C; Chew, E; Chuang, K H; Chen, S H A
The involvement of the human cerebellum in working memory has been well established in the last decade. However, the cerebro-cerebellar network for visual working memory is not as well defined. Our previous fMRI study showed superior and inferior cerebellar activations during a block design visual working memory task, but specific cerebellar contributions to cognitive processes in encoding, maintenance and retrieval have not yet been established. The current study examined cerebellar contributions to each of the components of visual working memory and presence of cerebellar hemispheric laterality was investigated. 40 young adults performed a Sternberg visual working memory task during fMRI scanning using a parametric paradigm. The contrast between high and low memory load during each phase was examined. We found that the most prominent activation was observed in vermal lobule VIIIb and bilateral lobule VI during encoding. Using a quantitative laterality index, we found that left-lateralized activation of lobule VIIIa was present in the encoding phase. In the maintenance phase, there was bilateral lobule VI and right-lateralized lobule VIIb activity. Changes in activation in right lobule VIIIa were present during the retrieval phase. The current results provide evidence that superior and inferior cerebellum contributes to visual working memory, with a tendency for left-lateralized activations in the inferior cerebellum during encoding and right-lateralized lobule VIIb activations during maintenance. The results of the study are in agreement with Baddeley's multi-component working memory model, but also suggest that stored visual representations are additionally supported by maintenance mechanisms that may employ verbal coding. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Keogh, Rebecca; Pearson, Joel
How much we can actively hold in mind is severely limited and differs greatly from one person to the next. Why some individuals have greater capacities than others is largely unknown. Here, we investigated why such large variations in visual working memory (VWM) capacity might occur, by examining the relationship between visual working memory and visual mental imagery. To assess visual working memory capacity participants were required to remember the orientation of a number of Gabor patches and make subsequent judgments about relative changes in orientation. The sensory strength of voluntary imagery was measured using a previously documented binocular rivalry paradigm. Participants with greater imagery strength also had greater visual working memory capacity. However, they were no better on a verbal number working memory task. Introducing a uniform luminous background during the retention interval of the visual working memory task reduced memory capacity, but only for those with strong imagery. Likewise, for the good imagers increasing background luminance during imagery generation reduced its effect on subsequent binocular rivalry. Luminance increases did not affect any of the subgroups on the verbal number working memory task. Together, these results suggest that luminance was disrupting sensory mechanisms common to both visual working memory and imagery, and not a general working memory system. The disruptive selectivity of background luminance suggests that good imagers, unlike moderate or poor imagers, may use imagery as a mnemonic strategy to perform the visual working memory task. © 2014 ARVO.
Full Text Available Individuals with schizophrenia (SZ consistently show deficits in spatial working memory (WM and associated atypical patterns of neural activity within key WM regions, including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC and parietal cortices. However, little research has focused on adolescent psychosis (AP and potential age-associated disruptions of WM circuitry that may occur in youth with this severe form of illness. Here we utilized each subject’s individual spatial WM capacity to investigate task-based neural dysfunction in 17 patients with AP (16.58 ± 2.60 years old as compared to 17 typically developing, demographically comparable adolescents (18.07 ± 3.26 years old. AP patients showed lower behavioral performance at higher WM loads and lower overall WM capacity compared to healthy controls. Whole-brain activation analyses revealed greater bilateral precentral and right postcentral activity in controls relative to AP patients, when controlling for individual WM capacity. Seed-based psychophysiological interaction (PPI analyses revealed significantly greater co-activation between the left dlPFC and left frontal pole in controls relative to AP patients. Significant group-by-age interactions were observed in both whole-brain and PPI analyses, with AP patients showing atypically greater neural activity and stronger coupling between WM task activated brain regions as a function of increasing age. Additionally, AP patients demonstrated positive relationships between right dlPFC neural activity and task performance, but unlike healthy controls, failed to show associations between neural activity and out-of-scanner neurocognitive performance. Collectively, these findings are consistent with atypical WM-related functioning and disrupted developmental processes in youth with AP.
Alekseichuk, Ivan; Pabel, Stefanie Corinna; Antal, Andrea; Paulus, Walter
There is a growing interest in large-scale connectivity as one of the crucial factors in working memory. Correlative evidence has revealed the anatomical and electrophysiological players in the working memory network, but understanding of the effective role of their connectivity remains elusive. In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study we aimed to identify the causal role of theta phase connectivity in visual-spatial working memory. The frontoparietal network was over- or de-synchronized in the anterior-posterior direction by multi-electrode, 6 Hz transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS). A decrease in memory performance and increase in reaction time was caused by frontoparietal intrahemispheric desynchronization. According to the diffusion drift model, this originated in a lower signal-to-noise ratio, known as the drift rate index, in the memory system. The EEG analysis revealed a corresponding decrease in phase connectivity between prefrontal and parietal areas after tACS-driven desynchronization. The over-synchronization did not result in any changes in either the behavioral or electrophysiological levels in healthy participants. Taken together, we demonstrate the feasibility of manipulating multi-site large-scale networks in humans, and the disruptive effect of frontoparietal desynchronization on theta phase connectivity and visual-spatial working memory.
D'Esposito, Mark; Postle, Bradley R
For more than 50 years, psychologists and neuroscientists have recognized the importance of a working memory to coordinate processing when multiple goals are active and to guide behavior with information that is not present in the immediate environment. In recent years, psychological theory and cognitive neuroscience data have converged on the idea that information is encoded into working memory by allocating attention to internal representations, whether semantic long-term memory (e.g., letters, digits, words), sensory, or motoric. Thus, information-based multivariate analyses of human functional MRI data typically find evidence for the temporary representation of stimuli in regions that also process this information in nonworking memory contexts. The prefrontal cortex (PFC), on the other hand, exerts control over behavior by biasing the salience of mnemonic representations and adjudicating among competing, context-dependent rules. The "control of the controller" emerges from a complex interplay between PFC and striatal circuits and ascending dopaminergic neuromodulatory signals.
Unsworth, Nash; Engle, Randall W.
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…
Zamora, Leona; Corina, David; Ojemann, George
The Working Memory model of human memory, first introduced by Baddeley and Hitch (1974), has been one of the most influential psychological constructs in cognitive psychology and human neuroscience. However the neuronal correlates of core components of this model have yet to be fully elucidated. Here we present data from two studies where human temporal cortical single neuron activity was recorded during tasks differentially affecting the maintenance component of verbal working memory. In Study One we vary the presence or absence of distracting items for the entire period of memory storage. In Study Two we vary the duration of storage so that distractors filled all, or only one-third of the time the memory was stored. Extracellular single neuron recordings were obtained from 36 subjects undergoing awake temporal lobe resections for epilepsy, 25 in Study one, 11 in Study two. Recordings were obtained from a total of 166 lateral temporal cortex neurons during performance of one of these two tasks, 86 study one, 80 study two. Significant changes in activity with distractor manipulation were present in 74 of these neurons (45%), 38 Study one, 36 Study two. In 48 (65%) of those there was increased activity during the period when distracting items were absent, 26 Study One, 22 Study Two. The magnitude of this increase was greater for Study One, 47.6%, than Study Two, 8.1%, paralleling the reduction in memory errors in the absence of distracters, for Study One of 70.3%, Study Two 26.3% These findings establish that human lateral temporal cortex is part of the neural system for working memory, with activity during maintenance of that memory that parallels performance, suggesting it represents active rehearsal. In 31 of these neurons (65%) this activity was an extension of that during working memory encoding that differed significantly from the neural processes recorded during overt and silent language tasks without a recent memory component, 17 Study one, 14 Study two
Zamora, Leona; Corina, David; Ojemann, George
The Working Memory model of human memory, first introduced by Baddeley and Hitch (1974), has been one of the most influential psychological constructs in cognitive psychology and human neuroscience. However the neuronal correlates of core components of this model have yet to be fully elucidated. Here we present data from two studies where human temporal cortical single neuron activity was recorded during tasks differentially affecting the maintenance component of verbal working memory. In Study One we vary the presence or absence of distracting items for the entire period of memory storage. In Study Two we vary the duration of storage so that distractors filled all, or only one-third of the time the memory was stored. Extracellular single neuron recordings were obtained from 36 subjects undergoing awake temporal lobe resections for epilepsy, 25 in Study one, 11 in Study two. Recordings were obtained from a total of 166 lateral temporal cortex neurons during performance of one of these two tasks, 86 study one, 80 study two. Significant changes in activity with distractor manipulation were present in 74 of these neurons (45%), 38 Study one, 36 Study two. In 48 (65%) of those there was increased activity during the period when distracting items were absent, 26 Study One, 22 Study Two. The magnitude of this increase was greater for Study One, 47.6%, than Study Two, 8.1%, paralleling the reduction in memory errors in the absence of distracters, for Study One of 70.3%, Study Two 26.3% These findings establish that human lateral temporal cortex is part of the neural system for working memory, with activity during maintenance of that memory that parallels performance, suggesting it represents active rehearsal. In 31 of these neurons (65%) this activity was an extension of that during working memory encoding that differed significantly from the neural processes recorded during overt and silent language tasks without a recent memory component, 17 Study one, 14 Study two
Amir, Nader; Bomyea, Jessica
Research suggests that understanding complex social cues depends on the availability of cognitive resources (e.g., Phillips, Channon, Tunstall, Hedenstrom, & Lyons, 2008). In spite of evidence suggesting that executive control functioning may impact anxiety (e.g., Eysenck, Derakshan, Santos, & Calvo, 2007), relatively few studies have examined working memory in individuals with generalized social phobia. Moreover, few studies have examined the role of threat-relevant content in working memory performance in clinically anxious populations. To this end, the present study assessed working memory capacity (WMC) in individuals with generalized social phobia and nonanxious controls using an operation span task with threat-relevant and neutral stimuli. Results revealed that nonanxious individuals demonstrated better WMC than individuals with generalized social phobia for neutral words but not for social threat words. Individuals with generalized social phobia demonstrated better WMC performance for threat words relative to neutral words. These results suggest that individuals with generalized social phobia may have relatively enhanced working memory performance for salient, socially relevant information. This enhanced working memory capacity for threat-relevant information may be the result of practice with this information in generalized social phobia.
Ricker, Timothy J.; Cowan, Nelson
Understanding forgetting from working memory, the memory used in ongoing cognitive processing, is critical to understanding human cognition. In the past decade, a number of conflicting findings have been reported regarding the role of time in forgetting from working memory. This has led to a debate concerning whether longer retention intervals necessarily result in more forgetting. An obstacle to directly comparing conflicting reports is a divergence in methodology across studies. Studies tha...
Richey, J. Elizabeth; Phillips, Jeffrey S.; Schunn, Christian D.; Schneider, Walter
Analogical reasoning has been hypothesized to critically depend upon working memory through correlational data , but less work has tested this relationship through experimental manipulation . An opportunity for examining the connection between working memory and analogical reasoning has emerged from the growing, although somewhat controversial, body of literature suggests complex working memory training can sometimes lead to working memory improvements that transfer to novel working memory tasks. This study investigated whether working memory improvements, if replicated, would increase analogical reasoning ability. We assessed participants’ performance on verbal and visual analogy tasks after a complex working memory training program incorporating verbal and spatial tasks , . Participants’ improvements on the working memory training tasks transferred to other short-term and working memory tasks, supporting the possibility of broad effects of working memory training. However, we found no effects on analogical reasoning. We propose several possible explanations for the lack of an impact of working memory improvements on analogical reasoning. PMID:25188356
J Elizabeth Richey
Full Text Available Analogical reasoning has been hypothesized to critically depend upon working memory through correlational data, but less work has tested this relationship through experimental manipulation. An opportunity for examining the connection between working memory and analogical reasoning has emerged from the growing, although somewhat controversial, body of literature suggests complex working memory training can sometimes lead to working memory improvements that transfer to novel working memory tasks. This study investigated whether working memory improvements, if replicated, would increase analogical reasoning ability. We assessed participants' performance on verbal and visual analogy tasks after a complex working memory training program incorporating verbal and spatial tasks. Participants' improvements on the working memory training tasks transferred to other short-term and working memory tasks, supporting the possibility of broad effects of working memory training. However, we found no effects on analogical reasoning. We propose several possible explanations for the lack of an impact of working memory improvements on analogical reasoning.
Richey, J Elizabeth; Phillips, Jeffrey S; Schunn, Christian D; Schneider, Walter
Analogical reasoning has been hypothesized to critically depend upon working memory through correlational data, but less work has tested this relationship through experimental manipulation. An opportunity for examining the connection between working memory and analogical reasoning has emerged from the growing, although somewhat controversial, body of literature suggests complex working memory training can sometimes lead to working memory improvements that transfer to novel working memory tasks. This study investigated whether working memory improvements, if replicated, would increase analogical reasoning ability. We assessed participants' performance on verbal and visual analogy tasks after a complex working memory training program incorporating verbal and spatial tasks. Participants' improvements on the working memory training tasks transferred to other short-term and working memory tasks, supporting the possibility of broad effects of working memory training. However, we found no effects on analogical reasoning. We propose several possible explanations for the lack of an impact of working memory improvements on analogical reasoning.
Bathelt, Joe; Gathercole, Susan E; Johnson, Amy; Astle, Duncan E
Working memory (WM) skills are closely associated with learning progress in key areas such as reading and mathematics across childhood. As yet, however, little is known about how the brain systems underpinning WM develop over this critical developmental period. The current study investigated whether and how structural brain correlates of components of the working memory system change over development. Verbal and visuospatial short-term and working memory were assessed in 153 children between 5.58 and 15.92 years, and latent components of the working memory system were derived. Fractional anisotropy and cortical thickness maps were derived from T1-weighted and diffusion-weighted MRI and processed using eigenanatomy decomposition. There was a greater involvement of the corpus callosum and posterior temporal white matter in younger children for performance associated with the executive part of the working memory system. For older children, this was more closely linked with the thickness of the occipitotemporal cortex. These findings suggest that increasing specialization leads to shifts in the contribution of neural substrates over childhood, moving from an early dependence on a distributed system supported by long-range connections to later reliance on specialized local circuitry. Our findings demonstrate that despite the component factor structure being stable across childhood, the underlying brain systems supporting working memory change. Taking the age of the child into account, and not just their overall score, is likely to be critical for understanding the nature of the limitations on their working memory capacity. © 2017 The Authors. Developmental Science Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Dunning, Darren L; Holmes, Joni; Gathercole, Susan E
Children with low working memory typically make poor educational progress, and it has been speculated that difficulties in meeting the heavy working memory demands of the classroom may be a contributory factor. Intensive working memory training has been shown to boost performance on untrained memory tasks in a variety of populations. This first randomized controlled trial with low working memory children investigated whether the benefits of training extend beyond standard working memory tasks...
Oberauer, Klaus; Lin, Hsuan-Yu
The article introduces an interference model of working memory for information in a continuous similarity space, such as the features of visual objects. The model incorporates the following assumptions: (a) Probability of retrieval is determined by the relative activation of each retrieval candidate at the time of retrieval; (b) activation comes from 3 sources in memory: cue-based retrieval using context cues, context-independent memory for relevant contents, and noise; (c) 1 memory object and its context can be held in the focus of attention, where it is represented with higher precision, and partly shielded against interference. The model was fit to data from 4 continuous-reproduction experiments testing working memory for colors or orientations. The experiments involved variations of set size, kind of context cues, precueing, and retro-cueing of the to-be-tested item. The interference model fit the data better than 2 competing models, the Slot-Averaging model and the Variable-Precision resource model. The interference model also fared well in comparison to several new models incorporating alternative theoretical assumptions. The experiments confirm 3 novel predictions of the interference model: (a) Nontargets intrude in recall to the extent that they are close to the target in context space; (b) similarity between target and nontarget features improves recall, and (c) precueing-but not retro-cueing-the target substantially reduces the set-size effect. The success of the interference model shows that working memory for continuous visual information works according to the same principles as working memory for more discrete (e.g., verbal) contents. Data and model codes are available at https://osf.io/wgqd5/. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Luo, Yan; Wang, Jing; Wu, Hanrong; Zhu, Dongmei; Zhang, Yu
Although plasticity in the neural system underlies working memory, and working memory can be improved by training, there is thus far no evidence that children with developmental dyslexia can benefit from working-memory training. In the present study, thirty dyslexic children aged 8–11 years were recruited from an elementary school in Wuhan, China. They received working-memory training, including training in visuospatial memory, verbal memory, and central executive tasks. The difficulty of the...
Injoque-Ricle, Irene; Calero, Alejandra D.; Alloway, Tracy P.; Burin, Debora I.
The Automated Working Memory Assessment battery was designed to assess verbal and visuospatial passive and active working memory processing in children and adolescents. The aim of this paper is to present the adaptation and validation of the AWMA battery to Argentinean Spanish-speaking children aged 6 to 11 years. Verbal subtests were adapted and…
Ricker, Timothy; Nieuwenstein, Mark; Bayliss, Donna; Barrouillet, Pierre
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
Nur, I. R. D.; Herman, T.; Ningsih, S.
Learning process is the activities that has important role because this process is one of the all factors that establish students success in learning. oftentimes we find so many students get the difficulties when they study mathematics. This condition is not only because of the outside factor but also it comes from the inside. The purpose of this research is to analyze and give the representation how students working memory happened in physical education students for basic statistics subjects which have mathematical difficulties. The subjects are 4 students which have a mathematical difficulties. The research method is case study and when the describe about students working memory are explanated deeply with naturalistic observation. Based on this research, it was founded that 4 students have a working memory deficit in three components. The components are phonological loop, visuospatial sketchpad, dan episodic buffer.
Fenn, Kimberly M; Hambrick, David Z
When memory is tested after a delay, performance is typically better if the retention interval includes sleep. However, it is unclear what accounts for this well-established effect. It is possible that sleep enhances the retrieval of information, but it is also possible that sleep protects against memory loss that normally occurs during waking activity. We developed a new research approach to investigate these possibilities. Participants learned a list of paired-associate items and were tested on the items after a 12-h interval that included waking or sleep. We analyzed the number of items gained versus the number of items lost across time. The sleep condition showed more items gained and fewer items lost than did the wake condition. Furthermore, the difference between the conditions (favoring sleep) in lost items was greater than the difference in gain, suggesting that loss prevention may primarily account for the effect of sleep on declarative memory consolidation. This finding may serve as an empirical constraint on theories of memory consolidation.
Allen, Richard J; Schaefer, Alexandre; Falcon, Thomas
The present article reports two experiments examining the impact of recollecting emotionally valenced autobiographical memories on subsequent working memory (WM) task performance. Experiment 1 found that negatively valenced recollection significantly disrupted performance on a supra-span spatial WM task. Experiment 2 replicated and extended these findings to a verbal WM task (digit recall), and found that both negative and positive autobiographical recollections had a detrimental effect on verbal WM. In addition, we observed that these disruptive effects were more apparent on early trials, immediately following autobiographical recollection. Overall, these findings show that both positive and negative affect can disrupt WM when the mood-eliciting context is based on autobiographical memories. Furthermore, these results indicate that the emotional disruption of WM can take place across different modalities of WM (verbal and visuo-spatial). Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Through working with a woman abused as a child, a teacher concluded that the violence of sexual, physical, and psychological abuse is common among many adults who read and write poorly. Their experiences should be acknowledged in literacy programs that encourage people to develop skills with which to tell their stories. (SK)
Full Text Available The haptic perception of 2D images is believed to make heavy demands on working memory. During active exploration, we need to store not only the current sensory information, but also to integrate this with kinesthetic information of the hand and fingers in order to generate a coherent percept. The question that arises is how much tactile memory we have for tactile stimuli that are no longer in contact with the skin during active touch? We examined working memory using a tactile change detection task with active exploration. Each trial contained two stimulation arrays. Participants engaged in unconstrained active tactile exploration of an array of vibrotactile stimulators. In half of the trials, one of the vibrating tactors that was active in the first stimulation turned off and another started vibrating in the second stimulation. Participants had to report whether the arrays were the same or different. Performance was near-perfect when up to two tactors were used and dropped linearly as the number of the vibrating tactors increased. These results suggest that the tactile working memory off the hand is limited and there is little or no memory integration across hand movements.
Gindri, Gigiane; Keske-Soares, Márcia; Mota, Helena Bolli
Working memory, phonological awareness and spelling hypothesis. To verify the relationship between working memory, phonological awareness and spelling hypothesis in pre-school children and first graders. Participants of this study were 90 students, belonging to state schools, who presented typical linguistic development. Forty students were preschoolers, with the average age of six and 50 students were first graders, with the average age of seven. Participants were submitted to an evaluation of the working memory abilities based on the Working Memory Model (Baddeley, 2000), involving phonological loop. Phonological loop was evaluated using the Auditory Sequential Test, subtest 5 of Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities (ITPA), Brazilian version (Bogossian & Santos, 1977), and the Meaningless Words Memory Test (Kessler, 1997). Phonological awareness abilities were investigated using the Phonological Awareness: Instrument of Sequential Assessment (CONFIAS - Moojen et al., 2003), involving syllabic and phonemic awareness tasks. Writing was characterized according to Ferreiro & Teberosky (1999). Preschoolers presented the ability of repeating sequences of 4.80 digits and 4.30 syllables. Regarding phonological awareness, the performance in the syllabic level was of 19.68 and in the phonemic level was of 8.58. Most of the preschoolers demonstrated to have a pre-syllabic writing hypothesis. First graders repeated, in average, sequences of 5.06 digits and 4.56 syllables. These children presented a phonological awareness of 31.12 in the syllabic level and of 16.18 in the phonemic level, and demonstrated to have an alphabetic writing hypothesis. The performance of working memory, phonological awareness and spelling level are inter-related, as well as being related to chronological age, development and scholarity.
Schneiders, Julia A; Opitz, Bertram; Tang, Huijun; Deng, Yuan; Xie, Chaoxiang; Li, Hong; Mecklinger, Axel
Working memory training has been widely used to investigate working memory processes. We have shown previously that visual working memory benefits only from intra-modal visual but not from across-modal auditory working memory training. In the present functional magnetic resonance imaging study we examined whether auditory working memory processes can also be trained specifically and which training-induced activation changes accompany theses effects. It was investigated whether working memory training with strongly distinct auditory materials transfers exclusively to an auditory (intra-modal) working memory task or whether it generalizes to a (across-modal) visual working memory task. We used adaptive n-back training with tonal sequences and a passive control condition. The memory training led to a reliable training gain. Transfer effects were found for the (intra-modal) auditory but not for the (across-modal) visual transfer task. Training-induced activation decreases in the auditory transfer task were found in two regions in the right inferior frontal gyrus. These effects confirm our previous findings in the visual modality and extents intra-modal effects in the prefrontal cortex to the auditory modality. As the right inferior frontal gyrus is frequently found in maintaining modality-specific auditory information, these results might reflect increased neural efficiency in auditory working memory processes. Furthermore, task-unspecific (amodal) activation decreases in the visual and auditory transfer task were found in the right inferior parietal lobule and the superior portion of the right middle frontal gyrus reflecting less demand on general attentional control processes. These data are in good agreement with amodal activation decreases within the same brain regions on a visual transfer task reported previously.
Schneiders, Julia A.; Opitz, Bertram; Tang, Huijun; Deng, Yuan; Xie, Chaoxiang; Li, Hong; Mecklinger, Axel
Working memory training has been widely used to investigate working memory processes. We have shown previously that visual working memory benefits only from intra-modal visual but not from across-modal auditory working memory training. In the present functional magnetic resonance imaging study we examined whether auditory working memory processes can also be trained specifically and which training-induced activation changes accompany theses effects. It was investigated whether working memory training with strongly distinct auditory materials transfers exclusively to an auditory (intra-modal) working memory task or whether it generalizes to a (across-modal) visual working memory task. We used adaptive n-back training with tonal sequences and a passive control condition. The memory training led to a reliable training gain. Transfer effects were found for the (intra-modal) auditory but not for the (across-modal) visual transfer task. Training-induced activation decreases in the auditory transfer task were found in two regions in the right inferior frontal gyrus. These effects confirm our previous findings in the visual modality and extents intra-modal effects in the prefrontal cortex to the auditory modality. As the right inferior frontal gyrus is frequently found in maintaining modality-specific auditory information, these results might reflect increased neural efficiency in auditory working memory processes. Furthermore, task-unspecific (amodal) activation decreases in the visual and auditory transfer task were found in the right inferior parietal lobule and the superior portion of the right middle frontal gyrus reflecting less demand on general attentional control processes. These data are in good agreement with amodal activation decreases within the same brain regions on a visual transfer task reported previously. PMID:22701418
Full Text Available Working memory training has been widely used to investigate working memory processes. We have shown previously that visual working memory benefits only from intra-modal visual but not from across-modal auditory working memory training. In the present functional magnetic resonance imaging study we examined whether auditory working memory processes can also be trained specifically and which training-induced activation changes accompany theses effects. It was investigated whether working memory training with strongly distinct auditory materials transfers exclusively to an auditory (intra-modal working memory task or whether it generalizes to an (across-modal visual working memory task. We used an adaptive n-back training with tonal sequences and a passive control condition. The memory training led to a reliable training gain. Transfer effects were found for the (intra-modal auditory but not for the (across-modal visual 2-back task. Training-induced activation changes in the auditory 2-back task were found in two regions in the right inferior frontal gyrus. These effects confirm our previous findings in the visual modality and extends intra-modal effects to the auditory modality. These results might reflect increased neural efficiency in auditory working memory processes as in the right inferior frontal gyrus is frequently found in maintaining modality-specific auditory information. By this, these effects are analogical to the activation decreases in the right middle frontal gyrus for the visual modality in our previous study. Furthermore, task-unspecific (across-modal activation decreases in the visual and auditory 2-back task were found in the right inferior parietal lobule and the superior portion of the right middle frontal gyrus reflecting less demands on general attentional control processes. These data are in good agreement with across-modal activation decreases within the same brain regions on a visual 2-back task reported previously.
Velichkovsky, Boris B
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.
Park, Jin Young; Min, Byoung-Kyong; Jung, Young-Chul; Pak, Hyensou; Jeong, Yeon-Hong; Kim, Eosu
Illumination conditions appear to influence working efficacy in everyday life. In the present study, we obtained electroencephalogram (EEG) correlates of working-memory load, and investigated how these waveforms are modulated by illumination conditions. We hypothesized that illumination conditions may affect cognitive performance. We designed an EEG study to monitor and record participants' EEG during the Sternberg working memory task under four different illumination conditions. Illumination conditions were generated with a factorial design of two color-temperatures (3000 and 7100 K) by two illuminance levels (150 and 700 lx). During a working memory task, we observed that high illuminance led to significantly lower frontal EEG theta activity than did low illuminance. These differences persisted despite no significant difference in task performance between illumination conditions. We found that the latency of an early event-related potential component, such as N1, was significantly modulated by the illumination condition. The fact that the illumination condition affects brain activity but not behavioral performance suggests that the lighting conditions used in the present study did not influence the performance stage of behavioral processing. Nevertheless, our findings provide objective evidence that illumination conditions modulate brain activity. Further studies are necessary to refine the optimal lighting parameters for facilitating working memory. Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Working memory (WM is the part of the brain's memory system that provides temporary storage and manipulation of information necessary for cognition. Although WM has limited capacity at any given time, it has vast memory content in the sense that it acts on the brain's nearly infinite repertoire of lifetime long-term memories. Using simulations, we show that large memory content and WM functionality emerge spontaneously if we take the spike-timing nature of neuronal processing into account. Here, memories are represented by extensively overlapping groups of neurons that exhibit stereotypical time-locked spatiotemporal spike-timing patterns, called polychronous patterns; and synapses forming such polychronous neuronal groups (PNGs are subject to associative synaptic plasticity in the form of both long-term and short-term spike-timing dependent plasticity. While long-term potentiation is essential in PNG formation, we show how short-term plasticity can temporarily strengthen the synapses of selected PNGs and lead to an increase in the spontaneous reactivation rate of these PNGs. This increased reactivation rate, consistent with in vivo recordings during WM tasks, results in high interspike interval variability and irregular, yet systematically changing, elevated firing rate profiles within the neurons of the selected PNGs. Additionally, our theory explains the relationship between such slowly changing firing rates and precisely timed spikes, and it reveals a novel relationship between WM and the perception of time on the order of seconds.
Ahmed, Lubna; de Fockert, Jan
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...
Oberauer, Klaus; Lewandowsky, Stephan
The article tests the assumption that forgetting in working memory for verbal materials is caused by time-based decay, using the complex-span paradigm. Participants encoded 6 letters for serial recall; each letter was preceded and followed by a processing period comprising 4 trials of difficult visual search. Processing duration, during which memory could decay, was manipulated via search set size. This manipulation increased retention interval by up to 100% without having any effect on recall accuracy. This result held with and without articulatory suppression. Two experiments using a dual-task paradigm showed that the visual search process required central attention. Thus, even when memory maintenance by central attention and by articulatory rehearsal was prevented, a large delay had no effect on memory performance, contrary to the decay notion. Most previous experiments that manipulated the retention interval and the opportunity for maintenance processes in complex span have confounded these variables with time pressure during processing periods. Three further experiments identified time pressure as the variable that affected recall. We conclude that time-based decay does not contribute to the capacity limit of verbal working memory. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.
Fenesi, Barbara; Sana, Faria; Kim, Joseph A.; Shore, David I.
In recent years, research from cognitive science has provided a solid theoretical framework to develop evidence-based interventions in education. In particular, research into reading, writing, language, mathematics and multimedia learning has been guided by the application of Baddeley's multicomponent model of working memory. However, an…
Cowan, Nelson; Li, Dawei; Moffitt, Amanda; Becker, Theresa M.; Martin, Elizabeth A.; Saults, J. Scott; Christ, Shawn E.
Over 350 years ago, Descartes proposed that the neural basis of consciousness must be a brain region in which sensory inputs are combined. Using fMRI, we identified at least one such area for working memory, the limited information held in mind, described by William James as the trailing edge of consciousness. Specifically, a region in the left…
Oberauer, Klaus; Lewandowsky, Stephan
The article tests the assumption that forgetting in working memory for verbal materials is caused by time-based decay, using the complex-span paradigm. Participants encoded 6 letters for serial recall; each letter was preceded and followed by a processing period comprising 4 trials of difficult visual search. Processing duration, during which…
Noort, M.W.M.L. van den; Bosch, M.P.C.; Kralingen, R.B.A.S. van
Objectives. The development of verbal working memory capacity over time was investigated. xxx Methods. Four different age groups were tested with the new standard computerized version of the reading span test (Van den Noort et al., 2006, 2008). xxx Results. Compared to the young adults, the old
This article introduces the concept of a multi-component working memory. Emphasis is placed on the phonological loop component, its fractionation into a storage and processing component, and implications for native and second language learning. An overview of the visual spatial sketchpad and its possible role in language is provided. (Contains…
Baddeley, Alan D.
The concept of modularity is used to contrast the approach to working memory proposed by Truscott with the Baddeley and Hitch multicomponent model. This proposes four sub components comprising the "central executive," an executive control system of limited attentional capacity that utilises storage based on separate but interlinked…
Tamez, Elaine; Myerson, Joel; Hale, Sandra
Based on early findings showing low correlations between intelligence test scores and learning on laboratory tasks, psychologists typically have dismissed the role of learning in intelligence and emphasized the role of working memory instead. In 2006, however, B.A. Williams developed a verbal learning task inspired by three-term reinforcement contingencies and reported unexpectedly high correlations between this task and Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices (RAPM) scores [Williams, B.A., Pearlberg, S.L., 2006. Learning of three-term contingencies correlates with Raven scores, but not with measures of cognitive processing. Intelligence 34, 177-191]. The present study replicated this finding: Performance on the three-term learning task explained almost 25% of the variance in RAPM scores. Adding complex verbal working memory span, measured using the operation span task, did not improve prediction. Notably, this was not due to a lack of correlation between complex working memory span and RAPM scores. Rather, it occurred because most of the variance captured by the complex working memory span was already accounted for by the three-term learning task. Taken together with the findings of Williams and Pearlberg, the present results make a strong case for the role of learning in performance on intelligence tests.
Mayer, Jamie F.; Murray, Laura L.
Purpose: Many adults with aphasia demonstrate concomitant deficits in working memory (WM), but such deficits are difficult to quantify because of a lack of validated measures as well as the complex interdependence between language and WM. We examined the feasibility, reliability, and internal consistency of an "n"-back task for…
Christophel, Thomas B.; Klink, P. Christiaan; Spitzer, Bernhard; Roelfsema, Pieter R.; Haynes, John-Dylan
Studies in humans and non-human primates have provided evidence for storage of working memory contents in multiple regions ranging from sensory to parietal and prefrontal cortex. We discuss potential explanations for these distributed representations: (i) features in sensory regions versus
Noort, M.W.M.L. van den; Bosch, M.P.C.; Hugdahl, K.
In this study, the hypothesis that working memory capacity interacts with (foreign) language proficiency was tested on multilinguals, who were native (L1) Dutch speakers, were fluent in their second (L2) language, German, and had recently started the acquisition of their third (L3) language,
Colom, Roberto; Martinez-Molina, Agustin; Shih, Pei Chun; Santacreu, Jose
Multitasking performance is relevant in everyday life and job analyses highlight the influence of multitasking over several diverse occupations. Intelligence is the best single predictor of overall job performance and it is also related to individual differences in multitasking. However, it has been shown that working memory capacity (WMC) is…
Jackson, Margaret C.; Raymond, Jane E.
Although it is intuitive that familiarity with complex visual objects should aid their preservation in visual working memory (WM), empirical evidence for this is lacking. This study used a conventional change-detection procedure to assess visual WM for unfamiliar and famous faces in healthy adults. Across experiments, faces were upright or…
The aim of this study was to compare the working memory and phonological awareness profiles of children from diverse linguistic backgrounds, as well as to investigate the constructs that underlie these skills. A total of 119 children, all in their first year of learning to read in English, were administered phonological ...
Ashcraft, Mark H; Krause, Jeremy A
The cognitive literature now shows how critically math performance depends on working memory, for any form of arithmetic and math that involves processes beyond simple memory retrieval. The psychometric literature is also very clear on the global consequences of mathematics anxiety. People who are highly math anxious avoid math: They avoid elective coursework in math, both in high school and college, they avoid college majors that emphasize math, and they avoid career paths that involve math. We go beyond these psychometric relationships to examine the cognitive consequences of math anxiety. We show how performance on a standardized math achievement test varies as a function of math anxiety, and that math anxiety compromises the functioning of working memory. High math anxiety works much like a dual task setting: Preoccupation with one's math fears and anxieties functions like a resource-demanding secondary task. We comment on developmental and educational factors related to math and working memory, and on factors that may contribute to the development of math anxiety.
Gregory, Samantha E. A.; Jackson, Margaret C.
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…
Postle, Bradley R; Desposito, Mark; Corkin, Suzanne
We tested the hypothesis that a verbal coding mechanism is necessarily engaged by object, but not spatial, visual working memory tasks. We employed a dual-task procedure that paired n-back working memory tasks with domain-specific distractor trials inserted into each interstimulus interval of the n-back tasks. In two experiments, object n-back performance demonstrated greater sensitivity to verbal distraction, whereas spatial n-back performance demonstrated greater sensitivity to motion distraction. Visual object and spatial working memory may differ fundamentally in that the mnemonic representation of featural characteristics of objects incorporates a verbal (perhaps semantic) code, whereas the mnemonic representation of the location of objects does not. Thus, the processes supporting working memory for these two types of information may differ in more ways than those dictated by the "what/where" organization of the visual system, a fact more easily reconciled with a component process than a memory systems account of working memory function.
Roome, Hannah; Towse, John
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...
The prefrontal cortex participates in a variety of higher cognitive functions. The concept of working memory is now widely used to understand prefrontal functions. Neurophysiological studies have revealed that stimulus-selective delay-period activity is a neural correlate of the mechanism for temporarily maintaining information in working memory processes. The central executive, which is the master component of Baddeley’s working memory model and is thought to be a function of the prefrontal cortex, controls the performance of other components by allocating a limited capacity of memory resource to each component based on its demand. Recent neurophysiological studies have attempted to reveal how prefrontal neurons achieve the functions of the central executive. For example, the neural mechanisms of memory control have been examined using the interference effect in a dual-task paradigm. It has been shown that this interference effect is caused by the competitive and overloaded recruitment of overlapping neural populations in the prefrontal cortex by two concurrent tasks and that the information-processing capacity of a single neuron is limited to a fixed level, can be flexibly allocated or reallocated between two concurrent tasks based on their needs, and enhances behavioral performance when its allocation to one task is increased. Further, a metamemory task requiring spatial information has been used to understand the neural mechanism for monitoring its own operations, and it has been shown that monitoring the quality of spatial information represented by prefrontal activity is an important factor in the subject's choice and that the strength of spatially selective delay-period activity reflects confidence in decision-making. Although further studies are needed to elucidate how the prefrontal cortex controls memory resource and supervises other systems, some important mechanisms related to the central executive have been identified. PMID:28448453
De Schrijver, Sébastien; Barrouillet, Pierre
Consolidation is the process through which ephemeral sensory traces are transformed into more stable short-term memory traces. It has been shown that consolidation plays a crucial role in working memory (WM) performance, by strengthening memory traces that then better resist interference and decay. In a recent study, Bayliss, Bogdanovs, and Jarrold (Journal of Memory and Language, 81, 34-50, 2015) argued that this process is separate from the processes known to restore WM traces after degradation, such as attentional refreshing and verbal rehearsal. In the present study, we investigated the relationship between the two types of processes in the context of WM span tasks. Participants were presented with series of letters for serial recall, each letter being followed by four digits for parity judgment. Consolidation opportunity was manipulated by varying the delay between each letter and the first digit to be processed, while opportunities for restoration were manipulated by varying the pace at which the parity task had to be performed (i.e., its cognitive load, or CL). Increasing the time available for either consolidation or restoration resulted in higher WM spans, with some substitutability between the two processes. Accordingly, when consolidation time was added to restoration time in the calculation of CL, the new resulting index, called extended CL, proved a very good predictor of recall performance, a finding also observed when verbal rehearsal was prevented by articulatory suppression. This substitutability between consolidation and restoration suggests that both processes may rely on the same mechanisms.
Marshall, David F; Walker, Sara J; Ryan, Kelly A; Kamali, Masoud; Saunders, Erika F H; Weldon, Anne L; Adams, Kenneth M; McInnis, Melvin G; Langenecker, Scott A
Measures of cognitive dysfunction in Bipolar Disorder (BD) have identified state and trait dependent metrics. An influence of substance abuse (SUD) on BD has been suggested. This study investigates potential differential, additive, or interactive cognitive dysfunction in bipolar patients with or without a history of SUD. Two hundred fifty-six individuals with BD, 98 without SUD and 158 with SUD, and 97 Healthy Controls (HC) completed diagnostic interviews, neuropsychological testing, and symptom severity scales. The BD groups exhibited poorer performance than the HC group on most cognitive factors. The BD with SUD exhibited significantly poorer performance than BD without SUD in visual memory and conceptual reasoning/set-shifting. In addition, a significant interaction effect between substance use and depressive symptoms was found for auditory memory and emotion processing. BD patients with a history of SUD demonstrated worse visual memory and conceptual reasoning skills above and beyond the dysfunction observed in these domains among individuals with BD without SUD, suggesting greater impact on integrative, gestalt-driven processing domains. Future research might address longitudinal outcome as a function of BD, SUD, and combined BD/SUD to evaluate neural systems involved in risk for, and effects of, these illnesses. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Brady, Timothy F.; Tenenbaum, Joshua B.
When remembering a real-world scene, people encode both detailed information about specific objects and higher order information like the overall gist of the scene. However, formal models of change detection, like those used to estimate visual working memory capacity, assume observers encode only a simple memory representation that includes no…
Oka, Makio; Takeuchi, Akihito; Morooka, Teruko; Ogino, Tatsuya; Ohtsuka, Yoko
We investigated the developmental changes in visuospatial working memory using the Visuospatial Span Task (VST) and the Matrix Visuospatial Working Memory Test (VSWMT). VST is a short-term storage task, while VSWMT is a complex dual task. VSWMT requires the use of storage, processing, and selective attention, all of which are thought to be supported by the central executive (Baddeley). The subjects of this study were 60 typically developing children (43 boys and 17 girls) aged 6-14 years (average 10.4 years). For each task we evaluated span scores and the number of total passed trials, and investigated the changes that occurred with age. To further elucidate age-related changes in visuospatial working memory, we divided the subjects into three age groups (Group A: 6-8 years, Group B: 9-11 years, and Group C: 12-14 years of age), and statistically evaluated the differences between the groups. In both tasks, span scores and the number of total passed trials showed definite age-related changes from 6 to 14 years of age. Span scores and the number of total passed trials in VSMWT continued to increase until adolescence, with significant differences between the three age groups, while those in VST increased significantly between Groups A and B (the number of total passed trials only) and between Groups A and C (span scores and the number of total passed trials); there was no significant difference between Groups B and C, however. These results suggest that the network of the brain involved in visuospatial working memory gradually matures during early school years and adolescence, and that the basic mechanisms of this network exist by 6-7 years of age. Our results also show that VST and VSWMT are suitable tests for the evaluation of visuospatial working memory in childhood and adolescence.
The present empirical study investigates limitations of human visual working memory (VWM). The experiments of the present work involve the experimental paradigm of change detection using simple geometrical objects in the form of rectangles of different colour, length, and orientation. It can be shown, that a limited performance in the temporary storage of visual information has multiple sources. Limitations of VWM can be attributed to a limited capacity or a limited duration, but also to limi...
Cabbage, Kathryn; Brinkley, Shara; Gray, Shelley; Alt, Mary; Cowan, Nelson; Green, Samuel; Kuo, Trudy; Hogan, Tiffany P.
The Comprehensive Assessment Battery for Children - Working Memory (CABC-WM) is a computer-based battery designed to assess different components of working memory in young school-age children. Working memory deficits have been identified in children with language-based learning disabilities, including dyslexia1 2 and language impairment3 4, but it is not clear whether these children exhibit deficits in subcomponents of working memory, such as visuospatial or phonological working memory. The C...
Alloway, Tracy Packiam; McCallum, Fiona; Alloway, Ross G; Hoicka, Elena
The aim of the current study was to investigate the role of working memory in verbal deception in children. We presented 6- and 7-year-olds with a temptation resistance paradigm; they played a trivia game and were then given an opportunity to peek at the final answers on the back of a card. Measures of both verbal and visuospatial working memory were included. The good liars performed better on the verbal working memory test in both processing and recall compared with the bad liars. However, there was no difference in visuospatial working scores between good liars and bad liars. This pattern suggests that verbal working memory plays a role in processing and manipulating the multiple pieces of information involved in lie-telling. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Bergmann, Johanna; Genç, Erhan; Kohler, Axel; Singer, Wolf; Pearson, Joel
Despite the immense processing power of the human brain, working memory storage is severely limited, and the neuroanatomical basis of these limitations has remained elusive. Here, we show that the stable storage limits of visual working memory for over 9 s are bound by the precise gray matter volume of primary visual cortex (V1), defined by fMRI retinotopic mapping. Individuals with a bigger V1 tended to have greater visual working memory storage. This relationship was present independently for both surface size and thickness of V1 but absent in V2, V3 and for non-visual working memory measures. Additional whole-brain analyses confirmed the specificity of the relationship to V1. Our findings indicate that the size of primary visual cortex plays a critical role in limiting what we can hold in mind, acting like a gatekeeper in constraining the richness of working mental function. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gong, Mengyuan; Li, Sheng
Statistical regularities in the natural environment play a central role in adaptive behavior. Among other regularities, reward association is potentially the most prominent factor that influences our daily life. Recent studies have suggested that pre-established reward association yields strong influence on the spatial allocation of attention. Here we show that reward association can also improve visual working memory (VWM) performance when the reward-associated feature is task-irrelevant. We established the reward association during a visual search training session, and investigated the representation of reward-associated features in VWM by the application of a change detection task before and after the training. The results showed that the improvement in VWM was significantly greater for items in the color associated with high reward than for those in low reward-associated or nonrewarded colors. In particular, the results from control experiments demonstrate that the observed reward effect in VWM could not be sufficiently accounted for by attentional capture toward the high reward-associated item. This was further confirmed when the effect of attentional capture was minimized by presenting the items in the sample and test displays of the change detection task with the same color. The results showed significantly larger improvement in VWM performance when the items in a display were in the high reward-associated color than those in the low reward-associated or nonrewarded colors. Our findings suggest that, apart from inducing space-based attentional capture, the learned reward association could also facilitate the perceptual representation of high reward-associated items through feature-based attentional modulation.
Matzel, Louis D; Kolata, Stefan
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.
Lucidi, Annalisa; Langerock, Naomi; Hoareau, Violette; Lemaire, Benoît; Camos, Valérie; Barrouillet, Pierre
The causal role of verbal rehearsal in working memory has recently been called into question. For example, the SOB-CS (Serial Order in a Box-Complex Span) model assumes that there is no maintenance process for the strengthening of items in working memory, but instead a process of removal of distractors that are involuntarily encoded and create interference with memory items. In the present study, we tested the idea that verbal working memory performance can be accounted for without assuming a causal role of the verbal rehearsal process. We demonstrate in two experiments using a complex span task and a Brown-Peterson paradigm that increasing the number of repetitions of the same distractor (the syllable ba that was read aloud at each of its occurrences on screen) has a detrimental effect on the concurrent maintenance of consonants whereas the maintenance of spatial locations remains unaffected. A detailed analysis of the tasks demonstrates that accounting for this effect within the SOB-CS model requires a series of unwarranted assumptions leading to undesirable further predictions contradicted by available experimental evidence. We argue that the hypothesis of a maintenance mechanism based on verbal rehearsal that is impeded by concurrent articulation still provides the simplest and most compelling account of our results.
Hirano, Yoshiyuki; Obata, Takayuki; Kashikura, Kenichi; Nonaka, Hiroi; Tachibana, Atsumichi; Ikehira, Hiroo; Onozuka, Minoru
It has been generally suggested that chewing produces an enhancing effect on cognitive performance-related aspects of memory by the test battery. Furthermore, recent studies have shown that chewing is associated with activation of various brain regions, including the prefrontal cortex. However, little is known about the relation between cognitive performances affected by chewing and the neuronal activity in specified regions in the brain. We therefore examined the effects of chewing on neuronal activities in the brain during a working memory task using fMRI. The subjects chewed gum, without odor and taste components, between continuously performed two- or three-back (n-back) working memory tasks. Chewing increased the BOLD signals in the middle frontal gyrus (Brodmann's areas 9 and 46) in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during the n-back tasks. Furthermore, there were more prominent activations in the right premotor cortex, precuneus, thalamus, hippocampus and inferior parietal lobe during the n-back tasks after the chewing trial. These results suggest that chewing may accelerate or recover the process of working memory besides inducing improvement in the arousal level by the chewing motion.
Strong-Wilson, Teresa; Mitchell, Claudia; Morrison,, Connie; Radford,, Linda; Pithouse-Morgan, Kathleen
We explore the place that the digital can occupy in teachers' pedagogical practices around social justice and especially how memory-work can deepen and enhance teacher practices. Like Walter Benjamin, we see memory as being a medium for exploring the past and where the digital provides greater opportunities for teachers to work productively across…
Pearson, Benjamin; Raskevicius, Julius; Bays, Paul M; Pertzov, Yoni; Husain, Masud
Working memory (WM) is a core cognitive process fundamental to human behavior, yet the mechanisms underlying it remain highly controversial. Here we provide a new framework for understanding retrieval of information from WM, conceptualizing it as a decision based on the quality of internal evidence. Recent findings have demonstrated that precision of WM decreases with memory load. If WM retrieval uses a decision process that depends on memory quality, systematic changes in response time distribution should occur as a function of WM precision. We asked participants to view sample arrays and, after a delay, report the direction of change in location or orientation of a probe. As WM precision deteriorated with increasing memory load, retrieval time increased systematically. Crucially, the shape of reaction time distributions was consistent with a linear accumulator decision process. Varying either task relevance of items or maintenance duration influenced memory precision, with corresponding shifts in retrieval time. These results provide strong support for a decision-making account of WM retrieval based on noisy storage of items. Furthermore, they show that encoding, maintenance, and retrieval in WM need not be considered as separate processes, but may instead be conceptually unified as operations on the same noise-limited, neural representation.
Dunning, Darren L.; Holmes, Joni; Gathercole, Susan E.
Children with low working memory typically make poor educational progress, and it has been speculated that difficulties in meeting the heavy working memory demands of the classroom may be a contributory factor. Intensive working memory training has been shown to boost performance on untrained memory tasks in a variety of populations. This first…
Manza, Peter; Hau, Chui Luen Vera; Leung, Hoi-Chung
Human working memory (WM) is inherently limited, so we must filter out irrelevant information in our environment or our mind while retaining limited important relevant contents. Previous work suggests that neural oscillations in the alpha band (8-14 Hz) play an important role in inhibiting incoming distracting information during attention and selective encoding tasks. However, whether alpha power is involved in inhibiting no-longer-relevant content or in representing relevant WM content is still debated. To clarify this issue, we manipulated the amount of relevant/irrelevant information using a task requiring spatial WM updating while measuring neural oscillatory activity via EEG and localized current sources across the scalp using a surface Laplacian transform. An initial memory set of two, four, or six spatial locations was to be memorized over a delay until an updating cue was presented indicating that only one or three locations remained relevant for a subsequent recognition test. Alpha amplitude varied with memory maintenance and updating demands among a cluster of left frontocentral electrodes. Greater postcue alpha power was associated with the high relevant load conditions (six and four dots cued to reduce to three relevant) relative to the lower load conditions (four and two dots reduced to one). Across subjects, this difference in alpha power was correlated with condition differences in performance accuracy. In contrast, no significant effects of irrelevant load were observed. These findings demonstrate that, during WM updating, alpha power reflects maintenance of relevant memory contents rather than suppression of no-longer-relevant memory traces.
Patel, Nilam; Vytal, Katherine; Pavletic, Nevia; Stoodley, Catherine; Pine, Daniel S; Grillon, Christian; Ernst, Monique
Threat induces a state of sustained anxiety that can disrupt cognitive processing, and, reciprocally, cognitive processing can modulate an anxiety response to threat. These effects depend on the level of cognitive engagement, which itself varies as a function of task difficulty. In adults, we recently showed that induced anxiety impaired working memory accuracy at low and medium but not high load. Conversely, increasing the task load reduced the physiological correlates of anxiety (anxiety-potentiated startle). The present work examines such threat-cognition interactions as a function of age. We expected threat to more strongly impact working memory in younger individuals by virtue of putatively restricted cognitive resources and weaker emotion regulation. This was tested by examining the influence of age on the interaction of anxiety and working memory in 25 adolescents (10 to 17 years) and 25 adults (22 to 46 years). Working memory load was manipulated using a verbal n-back task. Anxiety was induced using the threat of an aversive loud scream and measured via eyeblink startle. Findings revealed that, in both age groups, accuracy was lower during threat than safe conditions at low and medium but not high load, and reaction times were faster during threat than safe conditions at high load but did not differ at other loads. Additionally, anxiety-potentiated startle was greater during low and medium than high load. Thus, the interactions of anxiety with working memory appear similar in adolescents and adults. Whether these similarities reflect common neural mechanisms would need to be assessed using functional neuroimaging. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
Delaney, Peter F; Godbole, Namrata R; Holden, Latasha R; Chang, Yoojin
Spacing repetitions typically improves memory (the spacing effect). In three cued recall experiments, we explored the relationship between working memory capacity and the spacing effect. People with higher working memory capacity are more accurate on memory tasks that require retrieval relative to people with lower working memory capacity. The experiments used different retention intervals and lags between repetitions, but were otherwise similar. Working memory capacity and spacing of repetitions both improved memory in most of conditions, but they did not interact, suggesting additive effects. The results are consistent with the ACT-R model's predictions, and with a study-phase recognition process underpinning the spacing effect in cued recall.
Lum, Jarrad A.G.; Conti-Ramsden, Gina; Page, Debra; Ullman, Michael T.
According to the Procedural Deficit Hypothesis (PDH), abnormalities of brain structures underlying procedural memory largely explain the language deficits in children with specific language impairment (SLI). These abnormalities are posited to result in core deficits of procedural memory, which in turn explain the grammar problems in the disorder. The abnormalities are also likely to lead to problems with other, non-procedural functions, such as working memory, that rely at least partly on the affected brain structures. In contrast, declarative memory is expected to remain largely intact, and should play an important compensatory role for grammar. These claims were tested by examining measures of working, declarative and procedural memory in 51 children with SLI and 51 matched typically-developing (TD) children (mean age 10). Working memory was assessed with the Working Memory Test Battery for Children, declarative memory with the Children’s Memory Scale, and procedural memory with a visuo-spatial Serial Reaction Time task. As compared to the TD children, the children with SLI were impaired at procedural memory, even when holding working memory constant. In contrast, they were spared at declarative memory for visual information, and at declarative memory in the verbal domain after controlling for working memory and language. Visuo-spatial short-term memory was intact, whereas verbal working memory was impaired, even when language deficits were held constant. Correlation analyses showed neither visuo-spatial nor verbal working memory was associated with either lexical or grammatical abilities in either the SLI or TD children. Declarative memory correlated with lexical abilities in both groups of children. Finally, grammatical abilities were associated with procedural memory in the TD children, but with declarative memory in the children with SLI. These findings replicate and extend previous studies of working, declarative and procedural memory in SLI. Overall, we
Potagas, Constantin; Kasselimis, Dimitrios; Evdokimidis, Ioannis
The aim of the present study is to investigate short-term memory and working memory deficits in aphasics in relation to the severity of their language impairment. Fifty-eight aphasic patients participated in this study. Based on language assessment, an aphasia score was calculated for each patient. Memory was assessed in two modalities, verbal and spatial. Mean scores for all memory tasks were lower than normal. Aphasia score was significantly correlated with performance on all memory tasks. Correlation coefficients for short-term memory and working memory were approximately of the same magnitude. According to our findings, severity of aphasia is related with both verbal and spatial memory deficits. Moreover, while aphasia score correlated with lower scores in both short-term memory and working memory tasks, the lack of substantial difference between corresponding correlation coefficients suggests a possible primary deficit in information retention rather than impairment in working memory. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Cabbage, Kathryn; Brinkley, Shara; Gray, Shelley; Alt, Mary; Cowan, Nelson; Green, Samuel; Kuo, Trudy; Hogan, Tiffany P
The Comprehensive Assessment Battery for Children - Working Memory (CABC-WM) is a computer-based battery designed to assess different components of working memory in young school-age children. Working memory deficits have been identified in children with language-based learning disabilities, including dyslexia 1 , 2 and language impairment 3 , 4 , but it is not clear whether these children exhibit deficits in subcomponents of working memory, such as visuospatial or phonological working memory. The CABC-WM is administered on a desktop computer with a touchscreen interface and was specifically developed to be engaging and motivating for children. Although the long-term goal of the CABC-WM is to provide individualized working memory profiles in children, the present study focuses on the initial success and utility of the CABC-WM for measuring central executive, visuospatial, phonological loop, and binding constructs in children with typical development. Immediate next steps are to administer the CABC-WM to children with specific language impairment, dyslexia, and comorbid specific language impairment and dyslexia.
Joseph, Sabine; Teki, Sundeep; Kumar, Sukhbinder; Husain, Masud; Griffiths, Timothy D
Auditory working memory (WM) is the cognitive faculty that allows us to actively hold and manipulate sounds in mind over short periods of time. We develop here a particular perspective on WM for non-verbal, auditory objects as well as for time based on the consideration of possible parallels to visual WM. In vision, there has been a vigorous debate on whether WM capacity is limited to a fixed number of items or whether it represents a limited resource that can be allocated flexibly across items. Resource allocation models predict that the precision with which an item is represented decreases as a function of total number of items maintained in WM because a limited resource is shared among stored objects. We consider here auditory work on sequentially presented objects of different pitch as well as time intervals from the perspective of dynamic resource allocation. We consider whether the working memory resource might be determined by perceptual features such as pitch or timbre, or bound objects comprising multiple features, and we speculate on brain substrates for these behavioural models. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Auditory working memory. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Luethi, Mathias; Meier, Beat; Sandi, Carmen
Stress is a strong modulator of memory function. However, memory is not a unitary process and stress seems to exert different effects depending on the memory type under study. Here, we explored the impact of social stress on different aspects of human memory, including tests for explicit memory and working memory (for neutral materials), as well as implicit memory (perceptual priming, contextual priming and classical conditioning for emotional stimuli). A total of 35 young adult...
Lindström, Björn R; Bohlin, Gunilla
The effect of emotional stimulus content on working memory performance has been investigated with conflicting results, as both emotion-dependent facilitation and impairments are reported in the literature. To clarify this issue, 52 adult participants performed a modified visual 2-back task with highly arousing positive stimuli (sexual scenes), highly arousing negative stimuli (violent death) and low-arousal neutral stimuli. Emotional stimulus processing was found to facilitate task performance relative to that of neutral stimuli, both in regards to response accuracy and reaction times. No emotion-dependent differences in false-alarm rates were found. These results indicate that emotional information can have a facilitating effect on working memory maintenance and processing of information.
James M Stone
Full Text Available Working memory is a key construct within cognitive science. It is an important theory in its own right, but the influence of working memory is enriched due to the widespread evidence that measures of its capacity are linked to a variety of functions in wider cognition. To facilitate the active research environment into this topic, we describe seven computer-based tasks that provide estimates of short-term and working memory incorporating both visuospatial and verbal material. The memory span tasks provided are; digit span, matrix span, arrow span, reading span, operation span, rotation span, and symmetry span. These tasks are built to be simple to use, flexible to adapt to the specific needs of the research design, and are open source. All files can be downloaded from the project website http://www.cognitivetools.uk and the source code is available via Github.
Rawlins, J N; Tsaltas, E
Rats were trained on a discrete trial working memory leverpress alternation task, following hippocampal lesions (HC), cortical control lesions (CC) or sham operations (SO). Each trial consisted of a forced information response, for which a randomly selected lever was presented followed by a free choice stage, when both levers were presented. The rats were rewarded for pressing the lever which had not been presented at the information stage. When the information response was not rewarded, all rats learnt the task equally well at IRIs of up to 12.75 sec. When the information response was rewarded, the HC rats showed impaired choice accuracy. The extent of this impairment depended on the IRI, being greatest at long IRIs, and least at short ones. Varying the number of leverpresses required to complete the information response affected choice accuracy equivalently in all groups: all rats chose significantly less accurately when only one leverpress was required than when ten leverpresses were required. There was no interaction between the lesion treatments and the information response requirements. It was concluded that both the length of the IRI and the occurrence of events during the IRI determine the extent of the hippocampal lesion-induced performance deficit in working memory tasks. It is proposed that hippocampal damage disrupts an intermediate-term, high-capacity memory buffer, but leaves both a residual short-term memory system and the long-term retention of associations unaffected. This proposal leads to the prediction that reference memory tasks should also be affected by hippocampal lesions when a delay is introduced between making a response and being rewarded for doing so.
Richey, J. Elizabeth; Phillips, Jeffrey S.; Schunn, Christian D.; Schneider, Walter
Analogical reasoning has been hypothesized to critically depend upon working memory through correlational data , but less work has tested this relationship through experimental manipulation . An opportunity for examining the connection between working memory and analogical reasoning has emerged from the growing, although somewhat controversial, body of literature suggests complex working memory training can sometimes lead to working memory improvements that transfer to novel working mem...
Lum, Jarrad A.G.; Ullman, Michael T.; Conti-Ramsden, Gina
This study examined verbal declarative memory functioning in SLI and its relationship to working memory. Encoding, recall, and recognition of verbal information was examined in children with SLI who had below average working memory (SLILow WM), children with SLI who had average working memory (SLIAvg. WM) and, a group of non-language impaired children with average working memory (TDAvg. WM). The SLILow WM group was significantly worse than both the SLIAvg. WM and TDAvg. WM groups at encoding ...
Coleman, James R; Watson, Jason M; Strayer, David L
The present study investigated individual differences in information processing following errant behavior. Participants were initially classified as high or as low working memory capacity using the Operation Span Task. In a subsequent session, they then performed a high congruency version of the flanker task under both speed and accuracy stress. We recorded ERPs and behavioral measures of accuracy and response time in the flanker task with a primary focus on processing following an error. The error-related negativity was larger for the high working memory capacity group than for the low working memory capacity group. The positivity following an error (Pe) was modulated to a greater extent by speed-accuracy instruction for the high working memory capacity group than for the low working memory capacity group. These data help to explicate the neural bases of individual differences in working memory capacity and cognitive control. © 2017 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Working memory involves the temporary storage and manipulation of information that is assumed to be necessary for a wide range of complex cognitive activities. In 1974, Baddeley and Hitch proposed that it could be divided into three subsystems, one concerned with verbal and acoustic information, the phonological loop, a second, the visuospatial sketchpad providing its visual equivalent, while both are dependent upon a third attentionally-limited control system, the central executive. A fourth subsystem, the episodic buffer, has recently been proposed. These are described in turn, with particular reference to implications for both the normal processing of language, and its potential disorders. The reader will be introduced to the concept of a multi-component working memory. Particular emphasis will be placed on the phonological loop component, and (a) its fractionation into a storage and processing component, (b) the neuropsychological evidence for this distinction, and (c) its implication for both native and second language learning. This will be followed by (d) a brief overview of the visuospatial sketchpad and its possible role in language, culminating in (e) discussion of the higher-level control functions of working memory which include (f) the central executive and its multi-dimensional storage system, the episodic buffer. An attempt throughout is made to link the model to its role in both normal and disordered language functions.
Vanessa R Simmering
Full Text Available A well-known characteristic of working memory is its limited capacity. The source of such limitations, however, is a continued point of debate. Developmental research is positioned to address this debate by jointly identifying the source(s of limitations and the mechanism(s underlying capacity increases. Here we provide a cross-domain survey of studies and theories of working memory capacity development, which reveals a complex picture: dozens of studies from 50 papers show nearly universal increases in capacity estimates with age, but marked variation across studies, tasks, and domains. We argue that the full pattern of performance cannot be captured through traditional approaches emphasizing single causes, or even multiple separable causes, underlying capacity development. Rather, we consider working memory capacity as a dynamic process that emerges from a unified cognitive system flexibly adapting to the context and demands of each task. We conclude by enumerating specific challenges for researchers and theorists that will need to be met in order to move our understanding forward.
Simms, Nina K; Frausel, Rebecca R; Richland, Lindsey E
Analogical reasoning is the cognitive skill of drawing relationships between representations, often between prior knowledge and new representations, that allows for bootstrapping cognitive and language development. Analogical reasoning proficiency develops substantially during childhood, although the mechanisms underlying this development have been debated, with developing cognitive resources as one proposed mechanism. We explored the role of executive function (EF) in supporting children's analogical reasoning development, with the goal of determining whether predicted aspects of EF were related to analogical development at the level of individual differences. We assessed 5- to 11-year-old children's working memory, inhibitory control, and cognitive flexibility using measures from the National Institutes of Health Toolbox Cognition battery. Individual differences in children's working memory best predicted performance on an analogical mapping task, even when controlling for age, suggesting a fundamental interrelationship between analogical reasoning and working memory development. These findings underscore the need to consider cognitive capacities in comprehensive theories of children's reasoning development. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Spitzer, Bernhard; Blankenburg, Felix
Previous studies of delayed-match-to-sample (DMTS) frequency discrimination in animals and humans have succeeded in delineating the neural signature of frequency processing in somatosensory working memory (WM). During retention of vibrotactile frequencies, stimulus-dependent single-cell and population activity in prefrontal cortex was found to reflect the task-relevant memory content, whereas increases in occipital alpha activity signaled the disengagement of areas not relevant for the tactile task. Here, we recorded EEG from human participants to determine the extent to which these mechanisms can be generalized to frequency retention in the visual and auditory domains. Subjects performed analogous variants of a DMTS frequency discrimination task, with the frequency information presented either visually, auditorily, or by vibrotactile stimulation. Examining oscillatory EEG activity during frequency retention, we found characteristic topographical distributions of alpha power over visual, auditory, and somatosensory cortices, indicating systematic patterns of inhibition and engagement of early sensory areas, depending on stimulus modality. The task-relevant frequency information, in contrast, was found to be represented in right prefrontal cortex, independent of presentation mode. In each of the three modality conditions, parametric modulations of prefrontal upper beta activity (20-30 Hz) emerged, in a very similar manner as recently found in vibrotactile tasks. Together, the findings corroborate a view of parametric WM as supramodal internal scaling of abstract quantity information and suggest strong relevance of previous evidence from vibrotactile work for a more general framework of quantity processing in human working memory.
Karlsen, Paul Johan; Allen, Richard J; Baddeley, Alan D; Hitch, Graham J
Recent studies of visual short-term memory have suggested that the binding of features such as color and shape into remembered objects is relatively automatic. A series of seven experiments broadened this investigation by comparing the immediate retention of colored shapes with performance when color and shape were separated either spatially or temporally, with participants required actively to form the bound object. Attentional load was manipulated with a demanding concurrent task, and retention in working memory was then tested using a single recognition probe. Both spatial and temporal separation of features tended to impair performance, as did the concurrent task. There was, however, no evidence for greater attentional disruption of performance as a result of either spatial or temporal separation of features. Implications for the process of binding in visual working memory are discussed, and an interpretation is offered in terms of the episodic buffer component of working memory, which is assumed to be a passive store capable of holding bound objects, but not of performing the binding.
Palladino, Paola; Ferrari, Marcella
The study aimed to test whether working memory deficits in children at risk of Learning Disabilities (LD) and/or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be attributed to deficits in interference control, thereby implicating prefrontal systems. Two groups of children known for showing poor working memory (i.e., children with poor comprehension and children with ADHD) were compared to a group of children with specific reading decoding problems (i.e., having severe problems in phonological rather than working memory) and to a control group. All children were tested with a verbal working memory task. Interference control of irrelevant items was examined by a lexical decision task presented immediately after the final recall in about half the trials, selected at random. The interference control measure was therefore directly related to working memory performance. Results confirmed deficient working memory performance in poor comprehenders and children at risk of ADHD + LD. More interestingly, this working memory deficit was associated with greater activation of irrelevant information than in the control group. Poor decoders showed more efficient interference control, in contrast to poor comprehenders and ADHD + LD children. These results indicated that interfering items were still highly accessible to working memory in children who fail the working memory task. In turn, these findings strengthen and clarify the role of interference control, one of the most critical prefrontal functions, in working memory.
Ramenzoni, V.C.; Riley, M.A.; Shockley, K.; Chiu, C.Y.P.
Standing participants performed working memory tasks that varied along three dimensions: (1) type of information presented (verbal or visual); (2) the primary cognitive process engaged (encoding or rehearsal); and (3) interference that targeted the working memory components (phonological loop and
Hill, B D; Elliott, Emily M; Shelton, Jill T; Pella, Russell D; O'Jile, Judith R; Gouvier, W Drew
Working memory is the cognitive ability to hold a discrete amount of information in mind in an accessible state for utilization in mental tasks. This cognitive ability is impaired in many clinical populations typically assessed by clinical neuropsychologists. Recently, there have been a number of theoretical shifts in the way that working memory is conceptualized and assessed in the experimental literature. This study sought to determine to what extent the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Third Edition (WAIS-III) Working Memory Index (WMI) measures the construct studied in the cognitive working memory literature, whether an improved WMI could be derived from the subtests that comprise the WAIS-III, and what percentage of variance in individual WAIS-III subtests is explained by working memory. It was hypothesized that subtests beyond those currently used to form the WAIS-III WMI would be able to account for a greater percentage of variance in a working memory criterion construct than the current WMI. Multiple regression analyses (n = 180) revealed that the best predictor model of subtests for assessing working memory was composed of the Digit Span, Letter-Number Sequencing, Matrix Reasoning, and Vocabulary. The Arithmetic subtest was not a significant contributor to the model. These results are discussed in the context of how they relate to Unsworth and Engle's (2006, 2007) new conceptualization of working memory mechanisms.
D’Esposito, Mark; Postle, Bradley R.
For over 50 years, psychologists and neuroscientists have recognized the importance of a “working memory” to coordinate processing when multiple goals are active, and to guide behavior with information that is not present in the immediate environment. In recent years, psychological theory and cognitive neuroscience data have converged on the idea that information is encoded into working memory via the allocation of attention to internal representations – be they semantic long-term memory (e.g., letters, digits, words), sensory, or motoric. Thus, information-based multivariate analyses of human functional MRI data typically find evidence for the temporary representation of stimuli in regions that also process this information in nonworking-memory contexts. The prefrontal cortex, on the other hand, exerts control over behavior by biasing the salience of mnemonic representations, and adjudicating among competing, context-dependent rules. The “control of the controller” emerges from a complex interplay between PFC and striatal circuits, and ascending dopaminergic neuromodulatory signals. PMID:25251486
Dalmaso, Mario; Castelli, Luigi; Scatturin, Pietro; Galfano, Giovanni
Microsaccades are tiny eye movements that individuals perform unconsciously during fixation. Despite that the nature and the functions of microsaccades are still lively debated, recent evidence has shown an association between these micro eye movements and higher order cognitive processes. Here, in two experiments, we specifically focused on working memory and addressed whether differential memory load could be reflected in a modulation of microsaccade dynamics. In Experiment 1, participants memorized a numerical sequence composed of either two (low-load condition) or five digits (high-load condition), appearing at fixation. The results showed a reduction in the microsaccadic rate in the high-load compared to the low-load condition. In Experiment 2, five red or green digits were always presented at fixation. Participants either memorized the color (low-load condition) or the five digits (high-load condition). Hence, visual stimuli were exactly the same in both conditions. Consistent with Experiment 1, microsaccadic rate was lower in the high-load than in the low-load condition. Overall, these findings reveal that an engagement of working memory can have an impact on microsaccadic rate, consistent with the view that microsaccade generation is pervious to top-down processes.
Terhune, Devin Blair; Wudarczyk, Olga Anna; Kochuparampil, Priya; Cohen Kadosh, Roi
There is emerging evidence that the encoding of visual information and the maintenance of this information in a temporarily accessible state in working memory rely on the same neural mechanisms. A consequence of this overlap is that atypical forms of perception should influence working memory. We examined this by investigating whether having grapheme-color synesthesia, a condition characterized by the involuntary experience of color photisms when reading or representing graphemes, would confer benefits on working memory. Two competing hypotheses propose that superior memory in synesthesia results from information being coded in two information channels (dual-coding) or from superior dimension-specific visual processing (enhanced processing). We discriminated between these hypotheses in three n-back experiments in which controls and synesthetes viewed inducer and non-inducer graphemes and maintained color or grapheme information in working memory. Synesthetes displayed superior color working memory than controls for both grapheme types, whereas the two groups did not differ in grapheme working memory. Further analyses excluded the possibilities of enhanced working memory among synesthetes being due to greater color discrimination, stimulus color familiarity, or bidirectionality. These results reveal enhanced dimension-specific visual working memory in this population and supply further evidence for a close relationship between sensory processing and the maintenance of sensory information in working memory. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Terhune, Devin Blair; Wudarczyk, Olga Anna; Kochuparampil, Priya; Cohen Kadosh, Roi
There is emerging evidence that the encoding of visual information and the maintenance of this information in a temporarily accessible state in working memory rely on the same neural mechanisms. A consequence of this overlap is that atypical forms of perception should influence working memory. We examined this by investigating whether having grapheme–color synesthesia, a condition characterized by the involuntary experience of color photisms when reading or representing graphemes, would confer benefits on working memory. Two competing hypotheses propose that superior memory in synesthesia results from information being coded in two information channels (dual-coding) or from superior dimension-specific visual processing (enhanced processing). We discriminated between these hypotheses in three n-back experiments in which controls and synesthetes viewed inducer and non-inducer graphemes and maintained color or grapheme information in working memory. Synesthetes displayed superior color working memory than controls for both grapheme types, whereas the two groups did not differ in grapheme working memory. Further analyses excluded the possibilities of enhanced working memory among synesthetes being due to greater color discrimination, stimulus color familiarity, or bidirectionality. These results reveal enhanced dimension-specific visual working memory in this population and supply further evidence for a close relationship between sensory processing and the maintenance of sensory information in working memory. PMID:23892185
Chow, Michael; Macnamara, Brooke N; Conway, Andrew R A
In a series of four experiments, we explored what conditions are sufficient to produce a phonological similarity facilitation effect in working memory span tasks. By using the same set of memoranda, but differing the secondary-task requirements across experiments, we showed that a phonological similarity facilitation effect is dependent upon the semantic relationship between the memoranda and the secondary-task stimuli, and is robust to changes in the representation, ordering, and pool size of the secondary-task stimuli. These findings are consistent with interference accounts of memory (Brown, Neath, & Chater, Psychological Review, 114, 539-576, 2007; Oberauer, Lewandowsky, Farrell, Jarrold, & Greaves, Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 19, 779-819, 2012), whereby rhyming stimuli provide a form of categorical similarity that allows distractors to be excluded from retrieval at recall.
Collette, Fabienne; Van der Linden, Martial; Poncelet, Martine
We examined different views of the relationships between working memory, long-term memory and language processing : working memory considered as a gateway between sensory input and long-term memory or rather as a workspace; working memory considered as not strictly tied to any particular cognitive system (and consequently viewed as separated from the language system) or rather as drawing on the operation and storage capacities of a subset of components involved in language processing. It is a...
Sandry, Joshua; Chiou, Kathy S; DeLuca, John; Chiaravalloti, Nancy D
To explore how individual differences affect rehabilitation outcomes by specifically investigating whether working memory capacity (WMC) can be used as a cognitive marker to identify who will and will not improve from memory rehabilitation. Post hoc analysis of a randomized controlled clinical trial designed to treat learning and memory impairment after traumatic brain injury (TBI): 2 × 2 between-subjects quasiexperimental design (2 [group: treatment vs control] × 2 [WMC: high vs low]). Nonprofit medical rehabilitation research center. Participants (N=65) with moderate to severe TBI with pre- and posttreatment data. The treatment group completed 10 cognitive rehabilitation sessions in which subjects were taught a memory strategy focusing on learning to use context and imagery to remember information. The placebo control group engaged in active therapy sessions that did not involve learning the memory strategy. Long-term memory percent retention change scores for an unorganized list of words from the California Verbal Learning Test-II. Group and WMC interacted (P=.008, ηp(2)=.12). High WMC participants showed a benefit from treatment compared with low WMC participants. Individual differences in WMC accounted for 45% of the variance in whether participants with TBI in the treatment group benefited from applying the compensatory treatment strategy to learn unorganized information. Individuals with higher WMC showed a significantly greater rehabilitation benefit when applying the compensatory strategy to learn unorganized information. WMC is a useful cognitive marker for identifying participants with TBI who respond to memory rehabilitation with the modified Story Memory Technique. Copyright © 2016 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Opitz, Bertram; Schneiders, Julia A; Krick, Christoph M; Mecklinger, Axel
Previous research has shown a systematic relationship between phonological working memory capacity and second language proficiency for alphabetic languages. However, little is known about the impact of working memory processes on second language learning in a non-alphabetic language such as Mandarin Chinese. Due to the greater complexity of the Chinese writing system we expect that visual working memory rather than phonological working memory exerts a unique influence on learning Chinese characters. This issue was explored in the present experiment by comparing visual working memory training with an active (auditory working memory training) control condition and a passive, no training control condition. Training induced modulations in language-related brain networks were additionally examined using functional magnetic resonance imaging in a pretest-training-posttest design. As revealed by pre- to posttest comparisons and analyses of individual differences in working memory training gains, visual working memory training led to positive transfer effects on visual Chinese vocabulary learning compared to both control conditions. In addition, we found sustained activation after visual working memory training in the (predominantly visual) left infero-temporal cortex that was associated with behavioral transfer. In the control conditions, activation either increased (active control condition) or decreased (passive control condition) without reliable behavioral transfer effects. This suggests that visual working memory training leads to more efficient processing and more refined responses in brain regions involved in visual processing. Furthermore, visual working memory training boosted additional activation in the precuneus, presumably reflecting mental image generation of the learned characters. We, therefore, suggest that the conjoint activity of the mid-fusiform gyrus and the precuneus after visual working memory training reflects an interaction of working memory and
Full Text Available Abstract Background Distinct cognitive processes support verbal and nonverbal working memory, with verbal memory depending specifically on the subvocal rehearsal of items. Methods We recorded scalp EEG while subjects performed a Sternberg task. In each trial, subjects judged whether a probe item was one of the three items in a study list. Lists were composed of stimuli from one of five pools whose items either were verbally rehearsable (letters, words, pictures of common objects or resistant to verbal rehearsal (sinusoidal grating patterns, single dot locations. Results We found oscillatory correlates unique to verbal stimuli in the θ (4–8 Hz, α (9–12 Hz, β (14–28 Hz, and γ (30–50 Hz frequency bands. Verbal stimuli generally elicited greater power than did nonverbal stimuli. Enhanced verbal power was found bilaterally in the θ band, over frontal and occipital areas in the α and β bands, and centrally in the γ band. When we looked specifically for cases where oscillatory power in the time interval between item presentations was greater than oscillatory power during item presentation, we found enhanced β activity in the frontal and occipital regions. Conclusion These results implicate stimulus-induced oscillatory activity in verbal working memory and β activity in the process of subvocal rehearsal.
Alloway, Tracy Packiam
Working memory, ability to remember and manipulate information, is crucial to academic attainment. The aim of the present study was to understand teachers' perception of working memory and how it impacts classroom behaviour. A semi-structured interview was used to explore teachers' ability to define working memory, identify these difficulties in…
Chan, L.K.; Hayward, W.G.; Theeuwes, J.
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
Peeters, Marieke; Verhoeven, Ludo; de Moor, Jan
The goal of the present study was to examine the precursors of verbal working memory in 52 children with cerebral palsy with varying degrees of speech impairments in the first grade of special education. Following Baddeley's model of working memory, children's verbal working memory was measured by means of a forced-recognition task. As precursors…
Peeters, M.; Verhoeven, L.; Moor, J.M.H. de
The goal of the present study was to examine the precursors of verbal working memory in 52 children with cerebral palsy with varying degrees of speech impairments in the first grade of special education. Following Baddeley's model of working memory, children's verbal working memory was measured by
Compares and contrasts working memory theory of Baddeley and theory of constructive operators of Pascual- Leone. Concludes that although the theory of constructive operators is complementary with working memory theory (explains developmental and individual differences that working memory theory cannot), the converse is not true; theory of…
Peeters, M.H.J.; Verhoeven, L.T.W.; Moor, J.M.H. de
The goal of the present study was to examine the precursors of verbal working memory in 52 children with cerebral palsy with varying degrees of speech impairments in the first grade of special education. Following Baddeley's model of working memory, children's verbal working memory was measured by
Van der Molen, M. J.; Van Luit, J. E. H.; Jongmans, M. J.; Van der Molen, M. W.
Background: Previous research into working memory of individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) has established clear deficits. The current study examined working memory in children with mild ID (IQ 55-85) within the framework of the Baddeley model, fractionating working memory into a central executive and two slave systems, the phonological…
Oosterman, Joukje M.; Morel, Sascha; Meijer, Lisette; Buvens, Cleo; Kessels, Roy P. C.; Postma, Albert
The present study was intended to compare age effects on visual and spatial working memory by using two versions of the same task that differed only in presentation mode. The working memory task contained both a simultaneous and a sequential presentation mode condition, reflecting, respectively, visual and spatial working memory processes. Young…
Colmar, Susan; Double, Kit
The importance of working memory to classroom functioning and academic outcomes has led to the development of many interventions designed to enhance students' working memory. In this article we briefly review the evidence for the relative effectiveness of classroom and computerised working memory interventions in bringing about measurable and…
Gathercole, Susan E.; Alloway, Tracy Packiam
A good working memory is crucial to becoming a successful leaner, yet there is very little material available in an easy-to-use format that explains the concept and offers practitioners ways to support children with poor working memory in the classroom. This book provides a coherent overview of the role played by working memory in learning during…
Posedel, James; Emery, Lisa; Souza, Benjamin; Fountain, Catherine
Previous research has suggested that training on a musical instrument is associated with improvements in working memory and musical pitch perception ability. Good working memory and musical pitch perception ability, in turn, have been linked to certain aspects of language production. The current study examines whether working memory and/or pitch…
Walter T. Herbranson
Full Text Available A new method was developed to concurrently investigate procedural memory and working memory in pigeons. Pigeons performed a sequence of keypecks across 3 response keys in a serial response task, with periodic choice probes for the location of a recently produced response. Procedural memory was operationally defined as decreasing response times to predictable cues in the sequence. Working memory was reflected by accurate responses to the choice probes. Changing the sequence of required keypecks to a random sequence interfered with procedural memory in the form of slowed response times, but did not prevent pigeons from effectively using working memory to remember specific cue locations. Conversely, changing exposure duration of to a cue location influenced working memory but had no effect on procedural memory. Double dissociations such as this have supported the multiple systems approach to the study of memory in cognitive psychology and neuroscience, and they encourage a similar approach in comparative psychology.
Thomas, Paul M J; FitzGibbon, Lily; Raymond, Jane E
Learning allows the value of motivationally salient events to become associated with stimuli that predict those events. Here, we asked whether value associations could facilitate visual working memory (WM), and whether such effects would be valence dependent. Our experiment was specifically designed to isolate value-based effects on WM from value-based effects on selective attention that might be expected to bias encoding. In a simple associative learning task, participants learned to associate the color of tinted faces with gaining or losing money or neither. Tinted faces then served as memoranda in a face identity WM task for which previously learned color associations were irrelevant and no monetary outcomes were forthcoming. Memory was best for faces with gain-associated tints, poorest for faces with loss-associated tints, and average for faces with no-outcome-associated tints. Value associated with 1 item in the WM array did not modulate memory for other items in the array. Eye movements when studying faces did not depend on the valence of previously learned color associations, arguing against value-based biases being due to differential encoding. This valence-sensitive value-conditioning effect on WM appears to result from modulation of WM maintenance processes. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
Yun, Richard J; Krystal, John H; Mathalon, Daniel H
The human working memory system provides an experimentally useful model for examination of neural overload effects on subsequent functioning of the overloaded system. This study employed functional magnetic resonance imaging in conjunction with a parametric working memory task to characterize the behavioral and neural effects of cognitive overload on subsequent cognitive performance, with particular attention to cognitive-limbic interactions. Overloading the working memory system was associated with varying degrees of subsequent decline in performance accuracy and reduced activation of brain regions central to both task performance and suppression of negative affect. The degree of performance decline was independently predicted by three separate factors operating during the overload condition: the degree of task failure, the degree of amygdala activation, and the degree of inverse coupling between the amygdala and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. These findings suggest that vulnerability to overload effects in cognitive functioning may be mediated by reduced amygdala suppression and subsequent amygdala-prefrontal interaction.
I present an account of the origins and development of the multicomponent approach to working memory, making a distinction between the overall theoretical framework, which has remained relatively stable, and the attempts to build more specific models within this framework. I follow this with a brief discussion of alternative models and their relationship to the framework. I conclude with speculations on further developments and a comment on the value of attempting to apply models and theories beyond the laboratory studies on which they are typically based.
Smillie, Luke D; Gökçen, Elif
Using a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled design we examined the effects of caffeine on working memory (WM) as a function of extraverted personality. Participants (N=59) received 200mg of caffeine and placebo in counterbalanced-order over two sessions prior to completing a 'N-Back' WM paradigm. Findings revealed that caffeine administration relative to the placebo condition resulted in heightened WM performance, but only for extraverted participants. We suggest based on previous theory and research that dopamine function (DA) may be the most plausible mechanism underlying this finding. Crown Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Storbeck, Justin; Maswood, Raeya
The effects of emotion on working memory and executive control are often studied in isolation. Positive mood enhances verbal and impairs spatial working memory, whereas negative mood enhances spatial and impairs verbal working memory. Moreover, positive mood enhances executive control, whereas negative mood has little influence. We examined how emotion influences verbal and spatial working memory capacity, which requires executive control to coordinate between holding information in working memory and completing a secondary task. We predicted that positive mood would improve both verbal and spatial working memory capacity because of its influence on executive control. Positive, negative and neutral moods were induced followed by completing a verbal (Experiment 1) or spatial (Experiment 2) working memory operation span task to assess working memory capacity. Positive mood enhanced working memory capacity irrespective of the working memory domain, whereas negative mood had no influence on performance. Thus, positive mood was more successful holding information in working memory while processing task-irrelevant information, suggesting that the influence mood has on executive control supersedes the independent effects mood has on domain-specific working memory.
Nelwan, M.; Vissers, C.T.W.M.; Kroesbergen, E.H.
The goal of the present study was to test whether the amount of coaching influenced the results of working memory training on both visual and verbal working memory. Additionally, the effects of the working memory training on the amount of progress after specific training in mathematics were
Full Text Available Abstract: Memory system presents a basis for many cognitive functions and at the same time it itself depends on their normal function. The purpose of the article is to show how it works as an array of interacting systems, each capable of registring information, storing it, and making available by retrieval. In the case of the psychological study of memory, the most common model used for understanding memory functions is the time based model, which presume that memory can be divided into sensory memory, short-term or working memory and long-term memory. Memory is a process and the information processing approach to memory suggests that there are five processes involved in any type of memory: attention, encoding, storage, consolidation and retrieval. Several most common explanations of forgetting are described.
Fegen, David; Buchsbaum, Bradley R.; D’Esposito, Mark
While many neuroimaging studies have investigated verbal working memory (WM) by manipulating memory load, the subvocal rehearsal rate at these various memory loads has generally been left uncontrolled. Therefore, the goal of this study was to investigate how mnemonic load and the rate of subvocal rehearsal modulate patterns of activity in the core neural circuits underlying verbal working memory. Using fMRI in healthy subjects, we orthogonally manipulated subvocal rehearsal rate and memory lo...
Dean, Graham M; Dewhurst, Stephen A; Whittaker, Annalise
Several studies have demonstrated that dynamic visual noise (DVN) does not interfere with memory for random matrices. This has led to suggestions that (a) visual working memory is distinct from imagery, and (b) visual working memory is not a gateway between sensory input and long-term storage. A comparison of the interference effects of DVN with memory for matrices and colored textures shows that DVN can interfere with visual working memory, probably at a level of visual detail not easily supported by long-term memory structures or the recoding of the visual pattern elements. The results support a gateway model of visuospatial working memory and raise questions about the most appropriate ways to measure and model the different levels of representation of information that can be held in visual working memory.
Chai, Wen Jia; Abd Hamid, Aini Ismafairus; Abdullah, Jafri Malin
Since the concept of working memory was introduced over 50 years ago, different schools of thought have offered different definitions for working memory based on the various cognitive domains that it encompasses. The general consensus regarding working memory supports the idea that working memory is extensively involved in goal-directed behaviors in which information must be retained and manipulated to ensure successful task execution. Before the emergence of other competing models, the concept of working memory was described by the multicomponent working memory model proposed by Baddeley and Hitch. In the present article, the authors provide an overview of several working memory-relevant studies in order to harmonize the findings of working memory from the neurosciences and psychological standpoints, especially after citing evidence from past studies of healthy, aging, diseased, and/or lesioned brains. In particular, the theoretical framework behind working memory, in which the related domains that are considered to play a part in different frameworks (such as memory's capacity limit and temporary storage) are presented and discussed. From the neuroscience perspective, it has been established that working memory activates the fronto-parietal brain regions, including the prefrontal, cingulate, and parietal cortices. Recent studies have subsequently implicated the roles of subcortical regions (such as the midbrain and cerebellum) in working memory. Aging also appears to have modulatory effects on working memory; age interactions with emotion, caffeine and hormones appear to affect working memory performances at the neurobiological level. Moreover, working memory deficits are apparent in older individuals, who are susceptible to cognitive deterioration. Another younger population with working memory impairment consists of those with mental, developmental, and/or neurological disorders such as major depressive disorder and others. A less coherent and organized neural
Lum, J. A. G.; Conti-Ramsden, G.; Page, D.
at declarative memory for visual information, and at declarative memory in the verbal domain after controlling for working memory and language. Visuo-spatial short-term memory was intact, whereas verbal working memory was impaired, even when language deficits were held constant. Correlation analyses showed......According to the Procedural Deficit Hypothesis (PDH), abnormalities of brain structures underlying procedural memory largely explain the language deficits in children with specific language impairment (SLI). These abnormalities are posited to result in core deficits of procedural memory, which...... in turn explain the grammar problems in the disorder. The abnormalities are also likely to lead to problems with other, non-procedural functions, such as working memory, that rely at least partly on the affected brain structures. In contrast, declarative memory is expected to remain largely intact...
Caplan, David; Michaud, Jennifer; Hufford, Rebecca
Sixty one people with aphasia were tested on ten tests of short term memory (STM) and for the ability to use syntactic structure to determine the meanings of eleven types of sentences in three tasks – object manipulation, picture matching and picture matching with self-paced listening. Multilevel models showed relationships between measures of the ability to retain and manipulate item and order information in STM and accuracy and RT, and a greater relationship between these STM measures and accuracy and RT for several more complex sentence types in individual tasks. There were no effects of measures of STM that reflect the use of phonological codes or rehearsal on comprehension. There was only one effect of STM measures on self-paced listening times. There were double dissociations between performance on STM and individual comprehension tasks, indicating that normal STM is not necessary to perform normally on these tasks. The results are most easily related to the view that STM plays a facilitatory role in supporting the use of the products of the comprehension process to accomplish operations related to tasks. PMID:23865692
Collins, Anne G E; Ciullo, Brittany; Frank, Michael J; Badre, David
Reinforcement learning (RL) in simple instrumental tasks is usually modeled as a monolithic process in which reward prediction errors (RPEs) are used to update expected values of choice options. This modeling ignores the different contributions of different memory and decision-making systems thought to contribute even to simple learning. In an fMRI experiment, we investigated how working memory (WM) and incremental RL processes interact to guide human learning. WM load was manipulated by varying the number of stimuli to be learned across blocks. Behavioral results and computational modeling confirmed that learning was best explained as a mixture of two mechanisms: a fast, capacity-limited, and delay-sensitive WM process together with slower RL. Model-based analysis of fMRI data showed that striatum and lateral prefrontal cortex were sensitive to RPE, as shown previously, but, critically, these signals were reduced when the learning problem was within capacity of WM. The degree of this neural interaction related to individual differences in the use of WM to guide behavioral learning. These results indicate that the two systems do not process information independently, but rather interact during learning. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Reinforcement learning (RL) theory has been remarkably productive at improving our understanding of instrumental learning as well as dopaminergic and striatal network function across many mammalian species. However, this neural network is only one contributor to human learning and other mechanisms such as prefrontal cortex working memory also play a key role. Our results also show that these other players interact with the dopaminergic RL system, interfering with its key computation of reward prediction errors. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/374332-11$15.00/0.
Full Text Available Are task-irrelevant stimuli processed to a level enabling individual identification? This question is central both for perceptual processing models and for applied settings (e.g., eyewitness testimony. Lavie’s load theory proposes that working memory actively maintains attentional prioritization of relevant over irrelevant information. Loading working memory thus impairs attentional prioritization, leading to increased processing of task-irrelevant stimuli. Previous research has shown that increased working memory load leads to greater interference effects from response competing distractors. Here we test the novel prediction that increased processing of irrelevant stimuli under high working memory load should lead to a greater likelihood of incidental identification of entirely irrelevant stimuli. To test this, we asked participants to perform a word-categorization task while ignoring task-irrelevant images. The categorization task was performed during the retention interval of a working memory task with either low or high load (defined by memory set size. Following the final experimental trial, a surprise question assessed incidental identification of the irrelevant image. Loading working memory was found to improve identification of task-irrelevant faces, but not of building stimuli (shown in a separate experiment to be less distracting. These findings suggest that working memory plays a critical role in determining whether distracting stimuli will be subsequently identified.
Ueno, Taiji; Allen, Richard J; Baddeley, Alan D; Hitch, Graham J; Saito, Satoru
In a series of five experiments, we studied the effect of a visual suffix on the retention in short-term visual memory of both individual visual features and objects involving the binding of two features. Experiments 1A, 1B, and 2 involved suffixes consisting of features external to the to-be-remembered set and revealed a modest but equivalent disruption on individual and bound feature conditions. Experiments 3A and 3B involved suffixes comprising features that could potentially have formed part of the to-be-remembered set (but did not on that trial). Both experiments showed greater disruption of retention for objects comprising bound features than for their individual features. The results are interpreted as differentiating two components of suffix interference, one affecting memory for features and bindings equally, the other affecting memory for bindings. The general component is tentatively identified with the attentional cost of operating a filter to prevent the suffix from entering visual working memory, whereas the specific component is attributed to the particular fragility of bound representations when the filter fails.
Archibald, Lisa M. D.; Harder Griebeling, Katherine
Background: Working memory deficits have been found for children with specific language impairment (SLI) on tasks imposing increasing short-term memory load with or without additional, consistent (and simple) processing load. Aims: To examine the processing function of working memory in children with low language (LL) by employing tasks imposing…
Goldin, Andrea Paula; Segretin, Maria Soledad; Hermida, Maria Julia; Paz, Luciano; Lipina, Sebastian Javier; Sigman, Mariano
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…
Jeneson, Annette; Squire, Larry R.
Early studies of memory-impaired patients with medial temporal lobe (MTL) damage led to the view that the hippocampus and related MTL structures are involved in the formation of long-term memory and that immediate memory and working memory are independent of these structures. This traditional idea has recently been revisited. Impaired performance…
Chai, Wen Jia; Abd Hamid, Aini Ismafairus; Abdullah, Jafri Malin
Since the concept of working memory was introduced over 50 years ago, different schools of thought have offered different definitions for working memory based on the various cognitive domains that it encompasses. The general consensus regarding working memory supports the idea that working memory is extensively involved in goal-directed behaviors in which information must be retained and manipulated to ensure successful task execution. Before the emergence of other competing models, the concept of working memory was described by the multicomponent working memory model proposed by Baddeley and Hitch. In the present article, the authors provide an overview of several working memory-relevant studies in order to harmonize the findings of working memory from the neurosciences and psychological standpoints, especially after citing evidence from past studies of healthy, aging, diseased, and/or lesioned brains. In particular, the theoretical framework behind working memory, in which the related domains that are considered to play a part in different frameworks (such as memory’s capacity limit and temporary storage) are presented and discussed. From the neuroscience perspective, it has been established that working memory activates the fronto-parietal brain regions, including the prefrontal, cingulate, and parietal cortices. Recent studies have subsequently implicated the roles of subcortical regions (such as the midbrain and cerebellum) in working memory. Aging also appears to have modulatory effects on working memory; age interactions with emotion, caffeine and hormones appear to affect working memory performances at the neurobiological level. Moreover, working memory deficits are apparent in older individuals, who are susceptible to cognitive deterioration. Another younger population with working memory impairment consists of those with mental, developmental, and/or neurological disorders such as major depressive disorder and others. A less coherent and organized
Wen Jia Chai
Full Text Available Since the concept of working memory was introduced over 50 years ago, different schools of thought have offered different definitions for working memory based on the various cognitive domains that it encompasses. The general consensus regarding working memory supports the idea that working memory is extensively involved in goal-directed behaviors in which information must be retained and manipulated to ensure successful task execution. Before the emergence of other competing models, the concept of working memory was described by the multicomponent working memory model proposed by Baddeley and Hitch. In the present article, the authors provide an overview of several working memory-relevant studies in order to harmonize the findings of working memory from the neurosciences and psychological standpoints, especially after citing evidence from past studies of healthy, aging, diseased, and/or lesioned brains. In particular, the theoretical framework behind working memory, in which the related domains that are considered to play a part in different frameworks (such as memory’s capacity limit and temporary storage are presented and discussed. From the neuroscience perspective, it has been established that working memory activates the fronto-parietal brain regions, including the prefrontal, cingulate, and parietal cortices. Recent studies have subsequently implicated the roles of subcortical regions (such as the midbrain and cerebellum in working memory. Aging also appears to have modulatory effects on working memory; age interactions with emotion, caffeine and hormones appear to affect working memory performances at the neurobiological level. Moreover, working memory deficits are apparent in older individuals, who are susceptible to cognitive deterioration. Another younger population with working memory impairment consists of those with mental, developmental, and/or neurological disorders such as major depressive disorder and others. A less coherent
de Ribaupierre, Anik; Bailleux, Christine
Summarizes similarities and differences between the working memory models of Pascual-Leone and Baddeley. Debates whether each model makes a specific contribution to explanation of Kemps, De Rammelaere, and Desmet's results. Argues for necessity of theoretical task analyses. Compares a study similar to that of Kemps et al. in which different…
Morey, Candice C.; Morey, Richard D.; van der Reijden, Madeleine; Holweg, Margot
Observations of higher dual-task costs for within-domain than cross-domain task combinations constitute classic evidence for multi-component models of working memory (e.g., Baddeley, 1986; Logie, 2011). However, we report an asymmetric pattern of interference between verbal and visual-spatial tasks,
Han, Suk Won
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.
van Daal, John; Verhoeven, Ludo; van Leeuwe, Jan; van Balkom, Hans
In the present study, the relations of various aspects of working memory to various aspects of language problems in a clinical sample of 97 Dutch speaking 5-year-old children with severe language problems were studied. The working memory and language abilities of the children were examined using an extensive battery of tests. Working memory was operationalized according to the model of Baddeley. Confirmative factor analyses revealed three memory factors: phonological, visual and central executive. Language was construed as a multifactorial construct, and confirmative factor analyses revealed four factors: lexical-semantic abilities, phonological abilities, syntactic abilities and speech production abilities. Moderate to high correlations were found between the memory and language factors. Structural equation modelling was used to further explore the relations between the different factors. Phonological memory was found to predict phonological abilities; central-executive memory predicted lexical-semantic abilities; and visual memory predicted speech production abilities. Phonological abilities also predicted syntactic abilities. Both the theoretical and clinical implications of the findings are discussed. The reader will be introduced to the concepts of multifactorial components of working memory as well as language impairment. Secondly the reader will recognize that working memory and language impairment factors can be related. Particular emphasis will be placed on phonological memory, central-executive memory and visual memory and their possible prediction of specific components of language impairment.
Efficiency of working memory is the concept which connects psychology of memory with different fields of cognitive, differential and applied psychology. In this paper, the history of interest for the assessment of the capacity of short-term memory is presented in brief, as well as the different methods used nowadays to assess the individual differences in the efficiency of working memory. What follows is the consideration of studies that indicate the existence of significant links between the...
Engel de Abreu, Pascale; Gathercole, S
The relationship between working memory, verbal short-term memory, phonological awareness, and developing language skills was explored longitudinally in children growing up in a multilingual society. A sample of 121 children from Luxembourg were followed from the end of Kindergarten to 1st Grade, and completed multiple assessments of verbal short-term memory, complex working memory, phonological awareness, native and foreign vocabulary knowledge, language comprehension, and reading. Resu...
Andika Pradana; Imam Salehudin
This paper aims to analyze how work overload influences turnover intentions of newly hired junior auditors in public accounting offices. Job satisfaction, work related stress and work life conflicts are used as mediating variables between work overload and turnover intention. This study employed 141 auditors from several accounting firms operating in the Greater Jakarta region. The sample was selected using purposive sampling. Three mediation hypotheses were tested using Structural Equation M...
Vandenbroucke, Annelinde R E; Sligte, Ilja G; Lamme, Victor A F
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.
Souza, Pamela E.; Arehart, Kathryn H.; Shen, Jing; Anderson, Melinda; Kates, James M.
Previous work suggested that individuals with low working memory capacity may be at a disadvantage in adverse listening environments, including situations with background noise or substantial modification of the acoustic signal. This study explored the relationship between patient factors (including working memory capacity) and intelligibility and quality of modified speech for older individuals with sensorineural hearing loss. The modification was created using a combination of hearing aid processing [wide-dynamic range compression (WDRC) and frequency compression (FC)] applied to sentences in multitalker babble. The extent of signal modification was quantified via an envelope fidelity index. We also explored the contribution of components of working memory by including measures of processing speed and executive function. We hypothesized that listeners with low working memory capacity would perform more poorly than those with high working memory capacity across all situations, and would also be differentially affected by high amounts of signal modification. Results showed a significant effect of working memory capacity for speech intelligibility, and an interaction between working memory, amount of hearing loss and signal modification. Signal modification was the major predictor of quality ratings. These data add to the literature on hearing-aid processing and working memory by suggesting that the working memory-intelligibility effects may be related to aggregate signal fidelity, rather than to the specific signal manipulation. They also suggest that for individuals with low working memory capacity, sensorineural loss may be most appropriately addressed with WDRC and/or FC parameters that maintain the fidelity of the signal envelope. PMID:25999874
Rubin, Leah H; Cook, Judith A; Weber, Kathleen M; Cohen, Mardge H; Martin, Eileen; Valcour, Victor; Milam, Joel; Anastos, Kathryn; Young, Mary A; Alden, Christine; Gustafson, Deborah R; Maki, Pauline M
In contrast to findings from cohorts comprised primarily of HIV-infected men, verbal memory deficits are the largest cognitive deficit found in HIV-infected women from the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), and this deficit is not explained by depressive symptoms or substance abuse. HIV-infected women may be at greater risk for verbal memory deficits due to a higher prevalence of cognitive risk factors such as high psychosocial stress and lower socioeconomic status. Here, we investigate the association between perceived stress using the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10) and verbal memory performance using the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test (HVLT) in 1009 HIV-infected and 496 at-risk HIV-uninfected WIHS participants. Participants completed a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery which yielded seven cognitive domain scores, including a primary outcome of verbal memory. HIV infection was not associated with a higher prevalence of high perceived stress (i.e., PSS-10 score in the top tertile) but was associated with worse performance on verbal learning (p memory (p stress was associated with poorer performance in those cognitive domains (p's stress interaction was found only for the verbal memory domain (p = 0.02); among HIV-infected women only, high stress was associated with lower performance (p's memory measure in particular. These findings suggest that high levels of perceived stress contribute to the deficits in verbal memory observed in WIHS women.
Nelwan, Michel; Vissers, Constance; Kroesbergen, Evelyn H
The goal of the present study was to test whether the amount of coaching influenced the results of working memory training on both visual and verbal working memory. Additionally, the effects of the working memory training on the amount of progress after specific training in mathematics were evaluated. In this study, 23 children between 9 and 12 years of age with both attentional and mathematical difficulties participated in a working memory training program with a high amount of coaching, while another 25 children received no working memory training. Results of these groups were compared to 21 children who completed the training with a lower amount of coaching. The quality of working memory, as well as mathematic skills, were measured three times using untrained transfer tasks. Bayesian statistics were used to test informative hypotheses. After receiving working memory training, the highly coached group performed better than the group that received less coaching on visual working memory and mathematics, but not on verbal working memory. The highly coached group retained their advantage in mathematics, even though the effect on visual working memory decreased. However, no added effect of working memory training was found on the learning curve during mathematical training. Moreover, the less-coached group was outperformed by the group that did not receive working memory training, both in visual working memory and mathematics. These results suggest that motivation and proper coaching might be crucial for ensuring compliance and effects of working memory training, and that far transfer might be possible. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Recent studies have shown that past selection history affects the allocation of attention on target selection. However, it is unclear whether context-driven selection history can modulate the efficacy of attention allocation on working memory (WM representations. This study tests the influences of selection history on WM capacity. A display of one item (low load or three/four items (high load was shown for the participants to hold in WM in a delayed response task. Participants then judged whether a probe item was in the memory display or not. Selection history was defined as the number of items attended across trials in the task context within a block, manipulated by the stimulus set-size in the contexts with fewer possible stimuli (4-item or 5-item context or more possible stimuli (8-item or 9-item context from which the memorized content was selected. The capacity measure (i.e. the K parameter was estimated to reflect the number of items that can be held in WM. Across four behavioral experiments, the results revealed that the capacity was significantly reduced in the context with more possible stimuli relative to the context with fewer possible stimuli. Moreover, the reduction in capacity was significant for high WM load and not observed when the focus was on only a single item. Together, these findings indicate that context-driven selection history and focused attention influence WM capacity.
Burnham, Bryan R; Sabia, Matthew; Langan, Catherine
Load theory (Lavie, N., Hirst, A., De Fockert, J. W., & Viding, E. . 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.
Shahar, Nitzan; Teodorescu, Andrei R; Anholt, Gideon E; Karmon-Presser, Anat; Meiran, Nachshon
Previous research has suggested that a deficit in working memory might underlie the difficulty of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) patients to control their thoughts and actions. However, a recent meta-analyses found only small effect sizes for working memory deficits in OCD. Recently, a distinction has been made between declarative and procedural working memory. Working memory in OCD was tested mostly using declarative measurements. However, OCD symptoms typically concerns actions, making procedural working-memory more relevant. Here, we tested the operation of procedural working memory in OCD. Participants with OCD and healthy controls performed a battery of choice reaction tasks under high and low procedural working memory demands. Reaction-times (RT) were estimated using ex-Gaussian distribution fitting, revealing no group differences in the size of the RT distribution tail (i.e., τ parameter), known to be sensitive to procedural working memory manipulations. Group differences, unrelated to working memory manipulations, were found in the leading-edge of the RT distribution and analyzed using a two-stage evidence accumulation model. Modeling results suggested that perceptual difficulties might underlie the current group differences. In conclusion, our results suggest that procedural working-memory processing is most likely intact in OCD, and raise a novel, yet untested assumption regarding perceptual deficits in OCD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Botto, Marta; Palladino, Paola
This study tested predictions from the time-based resource-sharing (TBRS) model with a classical verbal working memory (WM) task, where target and non-target information interfere strongly with each other. Different predictions can be formulated according to the dominant perspectives (TBRS and interference hypothesis) on the role of inhibitory control in WM task performance. Here, we aimed to trace the activation of irrelevant information, examining priming effects in a lexical decision task immediately following WM recall. Results indicate the roles of both time and interference constraints in determining task performance. In particular, the role of time available seemed crucial at the highest WM loads (i.e., 3 and 4 memoranda). These were also associated with a higher activation of no-longer-relevant information but, in this case, independently from time available for processing. © 2015 The British Psychological Society.
Schulze, Katrin; Koelsch, Stefan
The present paper reviews behavioral and neuroimaging findings on similarities and differences between verbal and tonal working memory (WM), the influence of musical training, and the effect of strategy use on WM for tones. Whereas several studies demonstrate an overlap of core structures (Broca's area, premotor cortex, inferior parietal lobule), preliminary findings are discussed that imply, if confirmed, the existence of a tonal and a phonological loop in musicians. This conclusion is based on the findings of partly differing neural networks underlying verbal and tonal WM in musicians, suggesting that functional plasticity has been induced by musical training. We further propose a strong link between production and auditory WM: data indicate that both verbal and tonal auditory WM are based on the knowledge of how to produce the to-be-remembered sounds and, therefore, that sensorimotor representations are involved in the temporary maintenance of auditory information in WM. © 2012 New York Academy of Sciences.
Fougnie, Daryl; Marois, René
When attention is engaged in a task, unexpected events in the visual scene may go undetected, a phenomenon known as inattentional blindness (IB). At what stage of information processing must attention be engaged for IB to occur? Although manipulations that tax visuospatial attention can induce IB, the evidence is more equivocal for tasks that engage attention at late, central stages of information processing. Here, we tested whether IB can be specifically induced by central executive processes. An unexpected visual stimulus was presented during the retention interval of a working memory task that involved either simply maintaining verbal material or rearranging the material into alphabetical order. The unexpected stimulus was more likely to be missed during manipulation than during simple maintenance of the verbal information. Thus, the engagement of executive processes impairs the ability to detect unexpected, task-irrelevant stimuli, suggesting that IB can result from central, amodal stages of processing.
Voigt, Babett; Mahy, Caitlin E. V.; Ellis, Judi; Schnitzspahn, Katharina; Krause, Ivonne; Altgassen, Mareike; Kliegel, Matthias
This large-scale study examined the development of time-based prospective memory (PM) across childhood and the roles that working memory updating and time monitoring play in driving age effects in PM performance. One hundred and ninety-seven children aged 5 to 14 years completed a time-based PM task where working memory updating load was…
Fukuda, Keisuke; Woodman, Geoffrey F
Human memory is thought to consist of long-term storage and short-term storage mechanisms, the latter known as working memory. Although it has long been assumed that information retrieved from long-term memory is represented in working memory, we lack neural evidence for this and need neural measures that allow us to watch this retrieval into working memory unfold with high temporal resolution. Here, we show that human electrophysiology can be used to track information as it is brought back into working memory during retrieval from long-term memory. Specifically, we found that the retrieval of information from long-term memory was limited to just a few simple objects' worth of information at once, and elicited a pattern of neurophysiological activity similar to that observed when people encode new information into working memory. Our findings suggest that working memory is where information is buffered when being retrieved from long-term memory and reconcile current theories of memory retrieval with classic notions about the memory mechanisms involved.
Cocchini, Gianna; Logie, Robert H; Della Sala, Sergio; MacPherson, Sarah E; Baddeley, Alan D
Previous studies of dual-task coordination in working memory have shown a lack of dual-task interference when a verbal memory task is combined with concurrent perceptuomotor tracking. Two experiments are reported in which participants were required to perform pairwise combinations of (1) a verbal memory task, a visual memory task, and perceptuomotor tracking (Experiment 1), and (2) pairwise combinations of the two memory tasks and articulatory suppression (Experiment 2). Tracking resulted in no disruption of the verbal memory preload over and above the impact of a delay in recall and showed only minimal disruption of the retention of the visual memory load. Performing an ongoing verbal memory task had virtually no impact on retention of a visual memory preload or vice versa, indicating that performing two demanding memory tasks results in little mutual interference. Experiment 2 also showed minimal disruption when the two memory tasks were combined, although verbal memory (but not visual memory) was clearly disrupted by articulatory suppression interpolated between presentation and recall. These data suggest that a multiple-component working memory model provides a better account for performance in concurrent immediate memory tasks than do theories that assume a single processing and storage system or a limited-capacity attentional system coupled with activated memory traces.
Lechner, William V; Day, Anne M; Metrik, Jane; Leventhal, Adam M; Kahler, Christopher W
Alcohol use appears to decrease executive function acutely in a dose-dependent manner, and lower baseline executive function appears to contribute to problematic alcohol use. However, no studies, to our knowledge, have examined the relationship between individual differences in working memory (a subcomponent of executive function) after alcohol consumption and drinking behaviors and consequences. The current study assessed the relationship between drinking behavior, alcohol-related consequences, and alcohol-induced changes in working memory (as assessed by Trail Making Test-B). Participants recruited from the community (n = 41), 57.3 % male, mean age 39.2, took part in a three-session, within-subjects, repeated-measures design. Participants were administered a placebo, 0.4 g/kg, or 0.8 g/kg dose of alcohol. Working memory, past 30-day alcohol consumption, and consequences of alcohol use were measured at baseline; working memory was measured again after each beverage administration. Poorer working memory after alcohol administration (controlling for baseline working memory) was significantly associated with a greater number of drinks consumed per drinking day. Additionally, we observed a significant indirect relationship between the degree of alcohol-induced working memory decline and adverse consequences of alcohol use, which was mediated through greater average drinks per drinking day. It is possible that greater individual susceptibility to alcohol-induced working memory decline may limit one's ability to moderate alcohol consumption as evidenced by greater drinks per drinking day and that this results in more adverse consequences of alcohol use.
Ravizza, Susan M; Uitvlugt, Mitchell G; Hazeltine, Eliot
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).
Barendse, Evelien M; Hendriks, Marc Ph; Jansen, Jacobus Fa; Backes, Walter H; Hofman, Paul Am; Thoonen, Geert; Kessels, Roy Pc; Aldenkamp, Albert P
Working memory is a temporary storage system under attentional control. It is believed to play a central role in online processing of complex cognitive information and may also play a role in social cognition and interpersonal interactions. Adolescents with a disorder on the autism spectrum display problems in precisely these domains. Social impairments, communication difficulties, and repetitive interests and activities are core domains of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and executive function problems are often seen throughout the spectrum. As the main cognitive theories of ASD, including the theory of mind deficit hypotheses, weak central coherence account, and the executive dysfunction theory, still fail to explain the broad spectrum of symptoms, a new perspective on the etiology of ASD is needed. Deficits in working memory are central to many theories of psychopathology, and are generally linked to frontal-lobe dysfunction. This article will review neuropsychological and (functional) brain imaging studies on working memory in adolescents with ASD. Although still disputed, it is concluded that within the working memory system specific problems of spatial working memory are often seen in adolescents with ASD. These problems increase when information is more complex and greater demands on working memory are made. Neuroimaging studies indicate a more global working memory processing or connectivity deficiency, rather than a focused deficit in the prefrontal cortex. More research is needed to relate these working memory difficulties and neuroimaging results in ASD to the behavioral difficulties as seen in individuals with a disorder on the autism spectrum.
Jan W. De Fockert
Full Text Available There are multiple ways in which working memory can influence selective attention. Aside from the content-specific effects of working memory on selective attention, whereby attention is more likely to be directed towards information that matches the contents of working memory, the mere level of load on working memory has also been shown to have an effect on selective attention. Specifically, high load on working memory is associated with increased processing of irrelevant information. In most demonstrations of the effect to-date, this has led to impaired target performance, leaving open the possibility that the effect partly reflects an increase in general task difficulty under high load. Here we show that working memory load can result in a performance gain when processing of distracting information aids target performance. The facilitation in the detection of a low-contrast Gabor stimulus in the presence of collinear flanking Gabors was greater when load on a concurrent working memory task was high, compared to low. This finding suggests that working memory can interact with selective attention at an early stage in visual processing.
Yan Luo; Jing Wang; Hanrong Wu; Dongmei Zhu; Yu Zhang
Although plasticity in the neural system underlies working memory, and working memory can be improved by training, there is thus far no evidence that children with developmental dyslexia can were recruited from an elementary school in Wuhan, China. They received working-memory training, including training in visuospatial memory, verbal memory, and central executive tasks. The difficulty of the tasks was adjusted based on the performance of each subject, and the training sessions lasted 40 minutes per day, for 5 weeks. The results showed that working-memory training significantly enhanced performance on the nontrained working memory tasks such as the visuospatial, the verbal domains, and central executive tasks in children with developmental dyslexia. More importantly, the visual rhyming task and reading fluency task were also significantly improved by training. Progress on working memory measures was related to changes in reading skills. These experimental findings indicate that working memory is a pivotal factor in reading development among children with developmental dyslexia, and interventions to improve working memory may help dyslexic children to become more proficient in reading.
Bradley, Claire; Pearson, Joel
Early visual memory can be split into two primary components: a high-capacity, short-lived iconic memory followed by a limited-capacity visual working memory that can last many seconds. Whereas a large number of studies have investigated visual working memory for low-level sensory features, much research on iconic memory has used more “high-level” alphanumeric stimuli such as letters or numbers. These two forms of memory are typically examined separately, despite an intrinsic overlap in their...
Claire eBradley; Claire eBradley; Joel ePearson
Early visual memory can be split into two primary components: a high-capacity, short-lived iconic memory followed by a limited-capacity visual working memory that can last many seconds. Whereas a large number of studies have investigated visual working memory for low-level sensory features, much research on iconic memory has used more high-level alphanumeric stimuli such as letters or numbers. These two forms of memory are typically examined separately, despite an intrinsic overlap in their c...
Rabbitt, Laura R; Roberts, Daniel M; McDonald, Craig G; Peterson, Matthew S
There is extensive evidence that the contralateral delay activity (CDA), a scalp recorded event-related brain potential, provides a reliable index of the number of objects held in visual working memory. Here we present evidence that the CDA not only indexes visual object working memory, but also the number of locations held in spatial working memory. In addition, we demonstrate that the CDA can be predictably modulated by the type of encoding strategy employed. When individual locations were held in working memory, the pattern of CDA modulation mimicked previous findings for visual object working memory. Specifically, CDA amplitude increased monotonically until working memory capacity was reached. However, when participants were instructed to group individual locations to form a constellation, the CDA was prolonged and reached an asymptote at two locations. This result provides neural evidence for the formation of a unitary representation of multiple spatial locations. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Chekaf, Mustapha; Gauvrit, Nicolas; Guida, Alessandro; Mathy, Fabien
Working memory has been shown to be strongly related to fluid intelligence; however, our goal is to shed further light on the process of information compression in working memory as a determining factor of fluid intelligence. Our main hypothesis was that compression in working memory is an excellent indicator for studying the relationship between working-memory capacity and fluid intelligence because both depend on the optimization of storage capacity. Compressibility of memoranda was estimated using an algorithmic complexity metric. The results showed that compressibility can be used to predict working-memory performance and that fluid intelligence is well predicted by the ability to compress information. We conclude that the ability to compress information in working memory is the reason why both manipulation and retention of information are linked to intelligence. This result offers a new concept of intelligence based on the idea that compression and intelligence are equivalent problems. Copyright © 2018 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Vogel, E K; Woodman, G F; Luck, S J
Working memory can be divided into separate subsystems for verbal and visual information. Although the verbal system has been well characterized, the storage capacity of visual working memory has not yet been established for simple features or for conjunctions of features. The authors demonstrate that it is possible to retain information about only 3-4 colors or orientations in visual working memory at one time. Observers are also able to retain both the color and the orientation of 3-4 objects, indicating that visual working memory stores integrated objects rather than individual features. Indeed, objects defined by a conjunction of four features can be retained in working memory just as well as single-feature objects, allowing many individual features to be retained when distributed across a small number of objects. Thus, the capacity of visual working memory must be understood in terms of integrated objects rather than individual features.
Mall, Jonathan T.; Morey, Candice C.
Background : Working Memory Capacity (WMC) is thought to be related to executive control and focused memory search abilities. These two hypotheses make contrasting predictions regarding the effects of retrieval on forgetting. Executive control during memory retrieval is believed to lead to retrieval
Bays, Paul M; Wu, Emma Y; Husain, Masud
An influential conception of visual working memory is of a small number of discrete memory “slots”, each storing an integrated representation of a single visual object, including all its component features. When a scene contains more objects than there are slots, visual attention controls which objects gain access to memory.
Allen, Richard J.; Baddeley, Alan D.; Hitch, Graham J.
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…
Cohen, Henri; Scherzer, Peter; Viau, Robert; Voss, Patrice; Lepore, Franco
Tactile working memory was found to be more developed in completely blind (congenital and acquired) than in semi-sighted subjects, indicating that experience plays a crucial role in shaping working memory. A model of working memory, adapted from the classical model proposed by Baddeley and Hitch1 and Baddeley2 is presented where the connection strengths of a highly cross-modal network are altered through experience.
Cohen, Henri; Scherzer, Peter; Viau, Robert; Voss, Patrice; Lepore, Franco
Tactile working memory was found to be more developed in completely blind (congenital and acquired) than in semi-sighted subjects, indicating that experience plays a crucial role in shaping working memory. A model of working memory, adapted from the classical model proposed by Baddeley and Hitch1 and Baddeley2 is presented where the connection strengths of a highly cross-modal network are altered through experience.
Doherty, Jason M.; Logie, Robert H.
Working memory research often focuses on measuring the capacity of the system and how it relates to other cognitive abilities. However, research into the structure of working memory is less concerned with an overall capacity measure but rather with the intricacies of underlying components and their contribution to different tasks. A number of models of working memory structure have been proposed, each with different assumptions and predictions, but none of which adequately accounts for the fu...
Cocchi, Luca; Toepel, Ulrike; De Lucia, Marzia; Martuzzi, Roberto; Wood, Stephen J.; Carter, Olivia; Murray, Micah M.
Increasing evidence suggests that working memory and perceptual processes are dynamically interrelated due to modulating activity in overlapping brain networks. However, the direct influence of working memory on the spatio-temporal brain dynamics of behaviorally relevant intervening information remains unclear. To investigate this issue, subjects performed a visual proximity grid perception task under three different visual-spatial working memory (VSWM) load conditions. VSWM load was manipula...
Executive functioning (e.g., working memory) is tightly intertwined with self-regulation. For example, food cue-elicited craving has been found to impair working memory performance. Furthermore, current dieters have been found to show lower working memory performance than non-dieters. Recent research, however, suggests that it is crucial to consider dieting success in addition to current dieting status or restrained eating in order to reveal cognitive mechanisms that are associated with succe...
Tudesco, Ivanda de Souza Silva; Vaz, Leonardo José; Mantoan, Marcele Araújo Silva; Belzunces, Erich; Noffs, Maria Helena; Caboclo, Luís Otávio Sales Ferreira; Yacubian, Elza Márcia Targas; Sakamoto, Américo Ceiki; Bueno, Orlando Francisco Amodeo
The aim of the present study was to investigate whether working memory is impaired in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis (MTLE-HS), a controversial and largely unexplored matter. Twenty subjects with left MTLE-HS, 19 with right MTLE-HS, and 21 control right-handed subjects underwent neuropsychological assessment of episodic and semantic memory, executive functions, and specific working memory components. Left and right epileptogenic foci resulted in impairment of verbal and nonverbal episodic memory (verbal memory deficit greater in left MTLE-HS than in right MTLE-HS). In addition, patients with left MTLE-HS were impaired in learning paired associates, verbal fluency, and Trail Making. No differences were seen in the tests carried out to evaluate the working memory components (except visuospatial short-term memory in right MTLE-HS). In this study we did not detect reliable working memory impairment in patients with MTLE-HS with either a left or right focus in most tasks considered as tests of working memory components. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Linden, David E J
Working memory and short-term memory are closely related in their cognitive architecture, capacity limitations, and functional neuroanatomy, which only partly overlap with those of long-term memory. The author reviews the functional neuroimaging literature on the commonalities and differences between working memory and short-term memory and the interplay of areas with modality-specific and supramodal representations in the brain networks supporting these fundamental cognitive processes. Sensory stores in the visual, auditory, and somatosensory cortex play a role in short-term memory, but supramodal parietal and frontal areas are often recruited as well. Classical working memory operations such as manipulation, protection against interference, or updating almost certainly require at least some degree of prefrontal support, but many pure maintenance tasks involve these areas as well. Although it seems that activity shifts from more posterior regions during encoding to more anterior regions during delay, some studies reported sustained delay activity in sensory areas as well. This spatiotemporal complexity of the short-term memory/working memory networks is mirrored in the activation patterns that may explain capacity constraints, which, although most prominent in the parietal cortex, seem to be pervasive across sensory and premotor areas. Finally, the author highlights open questions for cognitive neuroscience research of working memory, such as that of the mechanisms for integrating different types of content (binding) or those providing the link to long-term memory.
Abstract: Memory system presents a basis for many cognitive functions and at the same time it itself depends on their normal function. The purpose of the article is to show how it works as an array of interacting systems, each capable of registring information, storing it, and making available by retrieval. In the case of the psychological study of memory, the most common model used for understanding memory functions is the time based model, which presume that memory can be divided into senso...
Full Text Available The paper investigates relationship between working memory efficiency, defined as the result of its’ processing & storage capacity (Oberauer et al., 2003 and the tendency to (1 create assosiative memory distortions (false memories, FM; (2 yield under the influence of external, suggesting factors. Both issues were examined using extended version of Deese-Roediger-McDermott procedure (1959, 1995, modified in order to meet the study demands. Suggestion was contained in an ostentatious feedback information the participants (N=88 received during the DRM procedure. Working memory (WM was measured by standardized tasks (n-back, Jaeggi et al., 2010; automatic-ospan, Unsworth et al., 2005. Study included 3 conditions, differing in the quality of suggestion (positive, negative or neutral. Participants were assigned into 3 groups, depending on results they achieved completing the WM tasks. Obtained results alongside the previously set hypothesis, revealed that (1 WM impacts individuals’ tendency to create false memories in DRM and (2 that the individuals showing higher rates in WM tasks are less willing to yield to suggestion compared to those with lesser ones. It also showed that the greater amount to shift (Gudjonsson, 2003, emerges under the negative suggestion condition (collating positive. Notwithstanding that the interaction effect did not achieve saliency, both analyzed factors (WM and suggesting content are considered as meaningful to explain memory suggestion susceptibility in presented study. Although, obtained results emphasize the crucial role of WM efficiency, that is believed to decide the magnitude of feedback that is influential in every subject. Therefore, issue demands further exploration.
Full Text Available This paper aims to analyze how work overload influences turnover intentions of newly hired junior auditors in public accounting offices. Job satisfaction, work related stress and work life conflicts are used as mediating variables between work overload and turnover intention. This study employed 141 auditors from several accounting firms operating in the Greater Jakarta region. The sample was selected using purposive sampling. Three mediation hypotheses were tested using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM. The results show that work overload has a significant effect on increasing turnover intention through both job satisfaction and work related stress. In comparison, work overload does not influence turnover intention through work life balance. This may be due to the nature of the respondents, in which a majority of the newly hired accountants employed in this study are unmarried.
Full Text Available This paper aims to analyze how work overload influences turnover intentions of newly hired junior auditors in public accounting offices. Job satisfaction, work related stress and work life conflicts are used as mediating variables between work overload and turnover intention. This study employed 141 auditors from several accounting firms operating in the Greater Jakarta region. The sample was selected using purposive sampling. Three mediation hypotheses were tested using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM. The results show that work overload has a significant effect on increas- ing turnover intention through both job satisfaction and work related stress. In comparison, work overload does not influence turnover intention through work life balance. This may be due to the nature of the respondents, in which a majority of the newly hired accountants employed in this study are unmarried.
Cheng, Zenghu; She, Yugui
The present research aims to explore whether recalling and writing about autobiographical memory from different perspectives (first-person perspective vs. third-person perspective) could affect cognitive function. The participants first performed a working memory task to evaluate their working memory capacity as a baseline and then were instructed to recall (Study 1) or write about (Study 2) personal events (failures vs. successes) from the first-person perspective or the third-person perspective. Finally, they performed the working memory task again. The results suggested that autobiographical memory and perspective influence working memory interactively. When recalling a success, the participants who recalled from the third-person perspective performed better than those who recalled from the first-person perspective on the working memory capacity task; when recalling a failure, the opposite was true.
Matthews, Natasha L; Collins, Kathleen P; Thakkar, Katharine N; Park, Sohee
The ability to form mental images that reconstruct former perceptual experiences is closely related to working memory (WM) ability. However, whereas WM deficits are established as a core feature of schizophrenia, an independent body of work suggests that mental imagery ability is enhanced in the disorder. Across two experiments we investigated mental imagery in schizophrenia and its relationship with WM. In Experiment 1, individuals with schizophrenia (SZ: n=15) and matched controls (CO: n=14) completed a mental imagery generation and inspection task and a spatial delayed-response WM task. In Experiment 2, SZ (n=16) and CO (n=16) completed a novel version of the mental imagery task modified to increase WM maintenance demand. In Experiment 1, SZ demonstrated enhanced mental imagery performance, as evidenced by faster response times relative to CO, with preserved accuracy. However, enhanced mental imagery in SZ was accompanied by impaired WM as assessed by the delayed-response task. In Experiment 2, when WM maintenance load was increased, SZ no longer showed superior imagery performance. We found evidence for enhanced imagery manipulation in SZ despite their WM maintenance deficit. However, this imagery enhancement was abolished when WM maintenance demands were increased. This profile of enhanced imagery manipulation but impaired maintenance could be used to implement novel remediation strategies in the disorder.
Jeneson, Annette; Squire, Larry R.
Early studies of memory-impaired patients with medial temporal lobe (MTL) damage led to the view that the hippocampus and related MTL structures are involved in the formation of long-term memory and that immediate memory and working memory are independent of these structures. This traditional idea has recently been revisited. Impaired performance in patients with MTL lesions on tasks with short retention intervals, or no retention interval, and neuroimaging findings with similar tasks have been interpreted to mean that the MTL is sometimes needed for working memory and possibly even for visual perception itself. We present a reappraisal of this interpretation. Our main conclusion is that, if the material to be learned exceeds working memory capacity, if the material is difficult to rehearse, or if attention is diverted, performance depends on long-term memory even when the retention interval is brief. This fundamental notion is better captured by the terms subspan memory and supraspan memory than by the terms short-term memory and long-term memory. We propose methods for determining when performance on short-delay tasks must depend on long-term (supraspan) memory and suggest that MTL lesions impair performance only when immediate memory and working memory are insufficient to support performance. In neuroimaging studies, MTL activity during encoding is influenced by the memory load and correlates positively with long-term retention of the material that was presented. The most parsimonious and consistent interpretation of all the data is that subspan memoranda are supported by immediate memory and working memory and are independent of the MTL. PMID:22180053
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.
Schulze, Katrin; Vargha-Khadem, Faraneh; Mishkin, Mortimer
The discovery and description of the affected members of the KE family (aKE) initiated research on how genes enable the unique human trait of speech and language. Many aspects of this genetic influence on speech-related cognitive mechanisms are still elusive, e.g. if and how cognitive processes not directly involved in speech production are affected. In the current study we investigated the effect of the FOXP2 mutation on Working Memory (WM). Half the members of the multigenerational KE family have an inherited speech-language disorder, characterised as a verbal and orofacial dyspraxia caused by a mutation of the FOXP2 gene. The core phenotype of the affected KE members (aKE) is a deficiency in repeating words, especially complex non-words, and in coordinating oromotor sequences generally. Execution of oromotor sequences and repetition of phonological sequences both require WM, but to date the aKE's memory ability in this domain has not been examined in detail. To do so we used a test series based on the Baddeley and Hitch WM model, which posits that the central executive (CE), important for planning and manipulating information, works in conjunction with two modality-specific components: The phonological loop (PL), specialized for processing speech-based information; and the visuospatial sketchpad (VSSP), dedicated to processing visual and spatial information. We compared WM performance related to CE, PL, and VSSP function in five aKE and 15 healthy controls (including three unaffected members of the KE family who do not have the FOXP2 mutation). The aKE scored significantly below this control group on the PL component, but not on the VSSP or CE components. Further, the aKE were impaired relative to the controls not only in motor (i.e. articulatory) output but also on the recognition-based PL subtest (word-list matching), which does not require speech production. These results suggest that the aKE's impaired phonological WM may be due to a defect in subvocal
Obradović, Jelena; Portilla, Ximena A; Tirado-Strayer, Nicole; Siyal, Saima; Rasheed, Muneera A; Yousafzai, Aisha K
The current study focuses on maternal cognitive capacities as determinants of parenting in a highly disadvantaged global context, where children's experiences at home are often the 1st and only opportunity for learning and intellectual growth. In a large sample of 1,291 biological mothers of preschool-aged children in rural Pakistan, we examined the unique association of maternal working memory skills (independent of related cognitive capacities) with cognitively stimulating parenting behaviors. Path analysis revealed that directly assessed working memory, short-term memory, and verbal intelligence independently predicted greater levels of observed maternal scaffolding behaviors. Mothers from poorer families demonstrated lower levels of working memory, short-term memory, and verbal intelligence. However, mothers' participation in an early childhood parenting intervention that ended 2 years prior to this study contributed to greater levels of working memory skills and verbal intelligence. Further, all 3 domains of maternal cognitive capacity mediated the effect of family economic resources on maternal scaffolding, and verbal intelligence also mediated the effect of early parenting intervention exposure on maternal scaffolding. The study demonstrates the unique relevance of maternal working memory for scaffolding behaviors that required continuously monitoring the child's engagement, providing assistance, and minimizing external distractions. These results highlight the importance of directly targeting maternal cognitive capacities in poor women with little or no formal education, using a 2-generation intervention approach that includes activities known to promote parental executive functioning and literacy. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Halahalli, Harsha N; John, John P; Lukose, Ammu; Jain, Sanjeev; Kutty, Bindu M
Prospective memory paradigms are conventionally classified on the basis of event-, time-, or activity-based intention retrieval. In the vast majority of such paradigms, intention retrieval is provoked by some kind of external event. However, prospective memory retrieval cues that prompt intention retrieval in everyday life are commonly endogenous, i.e., linked to a specific imagined retrieval context. We describe herein a novel prospective memory paradigm wherein the endogenous cue is generated by incremental updating of working memory, and investigated the hemodynamic correlates of this task. Eighteen healthy adult volunteers underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while they performed a prospective memory task where the delayed intention was triggered by an endogenous cue generated by incremental updating of working memory. Working memory and ongoing task control conditions were also administered. The 'endogenous-cue prospective memory condition' with incremental working memory updating was associated with maximum activations in the right rostral prefrontal cortex, and additional activations in the brain regions that constitute the bilateral fronto-parietal network, central and dorsal salience networks as well as cerebellum. In the working memory control condition, maximal activations were noted in the left dorsal anterior insula. Activation of the bilateral dorsal anterior insula, a component of the central salience network, was found to be unique to this 'endogenous-cue prospective memory task' in comparison to previously reported exogenous- and endogenous-cue prospective memory tasks without incremental working memory updating. Thus, the findings of the present study highlight the important role played by the dorsal anterior insula in incremental working memory updating that is integral to our endogenous-cue prospective memory task.
Quak, Michel; Pecher, Diane; Zeelenberg, Rene
Grounded-cognition theories suggest that memory shares processing resources with perception and action. The motor system could be used to help memorize visual objects. In two experiments, we tested the hypothesis that people use motor affordances to maintain object representations in working memory. Participants performed a working memory task on photographs of manipulable and nonmanipulable objects. The manipulable objects were objects that required either a precision grip (i.e., small items) or a power grip (i.e., large items) to use. A concurrent motor task that could be congruent or incongruent with the manipulable objects caused no difference in working memory performance relative to nonmanipulable objects. Moreover, the precision- or power-grip motor task did not affect memory performance on small and large items differently. These findings suggest that the motor system plays no part in visual working memory.
Pan, Yi; Lin, Bingyuan; Zhao, Yajun; Soto, David
Previous research has demonstrated that the contents of visual working memory can bias visual processing in favor of matching stimuli in the scene. However, the extent to which such top-down, memory-driven biasing of visual perception is contingent on conscious awareness remains unknown. Here we showed that conscious awareness of critical visual cues is dispensable for working memory to bias perceptual selection mechanisms. Using the procedure of continuous flash suppression, we demonstrated that "unseen" visual stimuli during interocular suppression can gain preferential access to awareness if they match the contents of visual working memory. Strikingly, the very same effect occurred even when the visual cue to be held in memory was rendered nonconscious by masking. Control experiments ruled out the alternative accounts of repetition priming and different detection criteria. We conclude that working memory biases of visual perception can operate in the absence of conscious awareness.
Chi-Ming A. Chen
Full Text Available A relationship between working memory impairment, disordered neuronal oscillations, and abnormal prefrontal GABA function has been hypothesized in schizophrenia; however, in vivo GABA measurements and gamma band neural synchrony have not yet been compared in schizophrenia. This case–control pilot study (N = 24 compared baseline and working memory task-induced neuronal oscillations acquired with high-density electroencephalograms (EEGs to GABA levels measured in vivo with magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Working memory performance, baseline GABA level in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC, and measures of gamma oscillations from EEGs at baseline and during a working memory task were obtained. A major limitation of this study is a relatively small sample size for several analyses due to the integration of diverse methodologies and participant compliance. Working memory performance was significantly lower for patients than for controls. During the working memory task, patients (n = 7 had significantly lower amplitudes in gamma oscillations than controls (n = 9. However, both at rest and across working memory stages, there were significant correlations between gamma oscillation amplitude and left DLPFC GABA level. Peak gamma frequency during the encoding stage of the working memory task (n = 16 significantly correlated with GABA level and working memory performance. Despite gamma band amplitude deficits in patients across working memory stages, both baseline and working memory-induced gamma oscillations showed strong dependence on baseline GABA levels in patients and controls. These findings suggest a critical role for GABA function in gamma band oscillations, even under conditions of system and cognitive impairments as seen in schizophrenia.
Chen, Chi-Ming A; Stanford, Arielle D; Mao, Xiangling; Abi-Dargham, Anissa; Shungu, Dikoma C; Lisanby, Sarah H; Schroeder, Charles E; Kegeles, Lawrence S
A relationship between working memory impairment, disordered neuronal oscillations, and abnormal prefrontal GABA function has been hypothesized in schizophrenia; however, in vivo GABA measurements and gamma band neural synchrony have not yet been compared in schizophrenia. This case-control pilot study (N = 24) compared baseline and working memory task-induced neuronal oscillations acquired with high-density electroencephalograms (EEGs) to GABA levels measured in vivo with magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Working memory performance, baseline GABA level in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), and measures of gamma oscillations from EEGs at baseline and during a working memory task were obtained. A major limitation of this study is a relatively small sample size for several analyses due to the integration of diverse methodologies and participant compliance. Working memory performance was significantly lower for patients than for controls. During the working memory task, patients (n = 7) had significantly lower amplitudes in gamma oscillations than controls (n = 9). However, both at rest and across working memory stages, there were significant correlations between gamma oscillation amplitude and left DLPFC GABA level. Peak gamma frequency during the encoding stage of the working memory task (n = 16) significantly correlated with GABA level and working memory performance. Despite gamma band amplitude deficits in patients across working memory stages, both baseline and working memory-induced gamma oscillations showed strong dependence on baseline GABA levels in patients and controls. These findings suggest a critical role for GABA function in gamma band oscillations, even under conditions of system and cognitive impairments as seen in schizophrenia.
Nees, Michael A
Researchers have shown increased interest in mechanisms of working memory for nonverbal sounds such as music and environmental sounds. These studies often have used two-stimulus comparison tasks: two sounds separated by a brief retention interval (often 3-5 s) are compared, and a "same" or "different" judgment is recorded. Researchers seem to have assumed that sensory memory has a negligible impact on performance in auditory two-stimulus comparison tasks. This assumption is examined in detail in this comment. According to seminal texts and recent research reports, sensory memory persists in parallel with working memory for a period of time following hearing a stimulus and can influence behavioral responses on memory tasks. Unlike verbal working memory studies that use serial recall tasks, research paradigms for exploring nonverbal working memory-especially two-stimulus comparison tasks-may not be differentiating working memory from sensory memory processes in analyses of behavioral responses, because retention interval durations have not excluded the possibility that the sensory memory trace drives task performance. This conflation of different constructs may be one contributor to discrepant research findings and the resulting proliferation of theoretical conjectures regarding mechanisms of working memory for nonverbal sounds.
Souza, Pamela; Arehart, Kathryn; Neher, Tobias
Working memory-the ability to process and store information-has been identified as an important aspect of speech perception in difficult listening environments. Working memory can be envisioned as a limited-capacity system which is engaged when an input signal cannot be readily matched to a stored representation or template. This "mismatch" is expected to occur more frequently when the signal is degraded. Because working memory capacity varies among individuals, those with smaller capacity are expected to demonstrate poorer speech understanding when speech is degraded, such as in background noise. However, it is less clear whether (and how) working memory should influence practical decisions, such as hearing treatment. Here, we consider the relationship between working memory capacity and response to specific hearing aid processing strategies. Three types of signal processing are considered, each of which will alter the acoustic signal: fast-acting wide-dynamic range compression, which smooths the amplitude envelope of the input signal; digital noise reduction, which may inadvertently remove speech signal components as it suppresses noise; and frequency compression, which alters the relationship between spectral peaks. For fast-acting wide-dynamic range compression, a growing body of data suggests that individuals with smaller working memory capacity may be more susceptible to such signal alterations, and may receive greater amplification benefit with "low alteration" processing. While the evidence for a relationship between wide-dynamic range compression and working memory appears robust, the effects of working memory on perceptual response to other forms of hearing aid signal processing are less clear cut. We conclude our review with a discussion of the opportunities (and challenges) in translating information on individual working memory into clinical treatment, including clinically feasible measures of working memory.
Bluhm, Robyn L; Clark, C Richard; McFarlane, Alexander C; Moores, Kathryn A; Shaw, Marnie E; Lanius, Ruth A
The default network exhibits correlated activity at rest and has shown decreased activation during performance of cognitive tasks. There has been little investigation of changes in connectivity of this network during task performance. In this study, we examined task-related modulation of connectivity between two seed regions from the default network posterior cingulated cortex (PCC) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the rest of the brain in 12 healthy adults. The purpose was to determine (1) whether connectivity within the default network differs between a resting state and performance of a cognitive (working memory) task and (2) whether connectivity differs between these nodes of the default network and other brain regions, particularly those implicated in cognitive tasks. There was little change in connectivity with the other main areas of the default network for either seed region, but moderate task-related changes in connectivity occurred between seed regions and regions outside the default network. For example, connectivity of the mPFC with the right insula and the right superior frontal gyrus decreased during task performance. Increased connectivity during the working memory task occurred between the PCC and bilateral inferior frontal gyri, and between the mPFC and the left inferior frontal gyrus, cuneus, superior parietal lobule, middle temporal gyrus and cerebellum. Overall, the areas showing greater correlation with the default network seed regions during task than at rest have been previously implicated in working memory tasks. These changes may reflect a decrease in the negative correlations occurring between the default and task-positive networks at rest. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
van der Molen, M.J.; van Luit, J.E.H.; van der Molen, M.W.; Jongmans, M.J.
Everyday memory and its relationship to working memory was investigated in adolescents with mild intellectual disability and compared to typically developing adolescents of the same age (CA) and younger children matched on mental age (MA). Results showed a delay on almost all memory measures for the
Biedron, Adriana; Szczepaniak, Anna
The role of short-term memory and working memory in accomplished multilinguals was investigated. Twenty-eight accomplished multilinguals were compared to 36 mainstream philology students. The following instruments were used in the study: three memory subtests of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale (Digit Span, Digit-Symbol Coding, and Arithmetic,…
Vandenbroucke, A.R.E.; Sligte, I.G.; Lamme, V.A.F.
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
Van der Molen, M. J.; Van Luit, J. E. H.; Van der Molen, Maurits W.; Jongmans, Marian J.
Everyday memory and its relationship to working memory was investigated in adolescents with mild intellectual disability and compared to typically developing adolescents of the same age (CA) and younger children matched on mental age (MA). Results showed a delay on almost all memory measures for the adolescents with mild intellectual disability…
Vandenbroucke, A.R.; Sligte, I.G.; Vries, J.G. de; Cohen, M.S.; Lamme, V.A.F.
Evidence is accumulating that the classic two-stage model of visual STM (VSTM), comprising iconic memory (IM) and visual working memory (WM), is incomplete. A third memory stage, termed fragile VSTM (FM), seems to exist in between IM and WM [Vandenbroucke, A. R. E., Sligte, I. G., & Lamme, V. A. F.
Vandenbroucke, A.R.E.; Sligte, I.G.; de Vries, J.G.; Cohen, M.X.; Lamme, V.A.F.
Evidence is accumulating that the classic two-stage model of visual STM (VSTM), comprising iconic memory (IM) and visual working memory (WM), is incomplete. A third memory stage, termed fragile VSTM (FM), seems to exist in between IM and WM [Vandenbroucke, A. R. E., Sligte, I. G., & Lamme, V. A. F.
Wolfe, Jeremy M
Visual working memory is a volatile, limited-capacity memory that appears to play an important role in our impression of a visual world that is continuous in time. It also mediates between the contents of the mind and the contents of that visual world. Research on visual working memory has become increasingly prominent in recent years. The articles in this special issue of Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics describe new empirical findings and theoretical understandings of the topic.
Jillian M. Schuh
Full Text Available While many studies have reported working memory (WM impairments in autism spectrum disorders, others do not. Sample characteristics, WM domain, and task complexity likely contribute to these discrepancies. Although deficits in visuospatial WM have been more consistently documented, there is much controversy regarding verbal WM in autism. The goal of the current study was to explore visuospatial and verbal WM in a well-controlled sample of children with high-functioning autism (HFA and typical development. Individuals ages 9–17 with HFA (n = 18 and typical development (n = 18, were carefully matched on gender, age, IQ, and language, and were administered a series of standardized visuospatial and verbal WM tasks. The HFA group displayed significant impairment across WM domains. No differences in performance were noted across WM tasks for either the HFA or typically developing groups. Over and above nonverbal cognition, WM abilities accounted for significant variance in language skills and symptom severity. The current study suggests broad WM limitations in HFA. We further suggest that deficits in verbal WM are observed in more complex tasks, as well as in simpler tasks, such as phonological WM. Increased task complexity and linguistic demands may influence WM abilities.
Aiming to further our understanding of fundamental mechanisms of auditory working memory (WM), the present study compared performance for three auditory materials (words, tones, timbres). In a forward recognition task (Experiment 1) participants indicated whether the order of the items in the second sequence was the same as in the first sequence. In a backward recognition task (Experiment 2) participants indicated whether the items of the second sequence were played in the correct backward order. In Experiment 3 participants performed an articulatory suppression task during the retention delay of the backward task. To investigate potential length effects the number of items per sequence was manipulated. Overall findings underline the benefit of a cross-material experimental approach and suggest that human auditory WM is not a unitary system. Whereas WM processes for timbres differed from those for tones and words, similarities and differences were observed for words and tones: Both types of stimuli appear to rely on rehearsal mechanisms, but might differ in the involved sensorimotor codes. PMID:23116413
Simmering, Vanessa R.; Perone, Sammy
A well-known characteristic of working memory (WM) is its limited capacity. The source of such limitations, however, is a continued point of debate. Developmental research is positioned to address this debate by jointly identifying the source(s) of limitations and the mechanism(s) underlying capacity increases. Here we provide a cross-domain survey of studies and theories of WM capacity development, which reveals a complex picture: dozens of studies from 50 papers show nearly universal increases in capacity estimates with age, but marked variation across studies, tasks, and domains. We argue that the full pattern of performance cannot be captured through traditional approaches emphasizing single causes, or even multiple separable causes, underlying capacity development. Rather, we consider WM capacity as a dynamic process that emerges from a unified cognitive system flexibly adapting to the context and demands of each task. We conclude by enumerating specific challenges for researchers and theorists that will need to be met in order to move our understanding forward. PMID:23335902
Tempesta, Daniela; De Gennaro, Luigi; Presaghi, Fabio; Ferrara, Michele
In the present study we investigated whether one night of sleep deprivation can affect working memory (WM) performance with emotional stimuli. Twenty-five subjects were tested after one night of sleep deprivation and after one night of undisturbed sleep at home. As a second aim of the study, to evaluate the cumulative effects of sleep loss and of time-of-day changes on emotional WM ability, the subjects were tested every 4 h, from 22:00 to 10:00 hours, in four testing sessions during the sleep deprivation period (deprivation sessions: D1, D2, D3 and D4). Subjects performed the following test battery: Psychomotor Vigilance Task, 0-back task, 2-back task and an 'emotional 2-back task' with neutral, positive and negative emotional pictures selected from the International Affective Picture System. Results showed lower accuracy in the emotional WM task when the participants were sleep-deprived relative to when they had slept, suggesting the crucial role of sleep for preserving WM ability. In addition, the accuracy for the negative pictures remains stable during the sessions performed from 22:00 to 06:00 hours (D1, D2 and D3), while it drops at the D4 session, when the participants had accumulated the longest sleep debt. It is suggested that, during sleep loss, attentional and WM mechanisms may be sustained by the higher arousing characteristics of the emotional (negative) stimuli. © 2014 European Sleep Research Society.
Martin, Randi C; Yan, Hao; Schnur, Tatiana T
Speakers retrieve conceptual, syntactic and lexical information in advance of articulation during sentence production. What type of working memory (WM) store is used to hold the planned information before speaking? To address this question, we measured onset latencies when subjects produced sentences that began with either a complex or a simple initial noun phrase, while holding semantic, phonological or spatial information in WM. Although we found that subjects had longer onset latencies for sentences beginning with a complex noun phrase, showing a phrasal scope of planning, the magnitude of this complexity effect was not affected by any type of WM load. However, subjects made more syntactic errors (but not lexical errors) for sentences beginning with a complex noun phrase, suggesting that advance planning for these phrases occurs at a syntactic rather than lexical-semantic level, which may account for the lack of effect with various types of WM load in the current study. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Although several cognitive processes, including speech processing, have been studied during sleep, working memory (WM has never been explored up to now. Our study assessed the capacity of WM by testing speech perception when the level of background noise and the sentential semantic length (SSL (amount of semantic information required to perceive the incongruence of a sentence were modulated. Speech perception was explored with the N400 component of the event-related potentials recorded to sentence final words (50% semantically congruent with the sentence, 50% semantically incongruent. During sleep stage 2 and paradoxical sleep: (1 without noise, a larger N400 was observed for (short and long SSL sentences ending with a semantically incongruent word compared to a congruent word (i.e. an N400 effect; (2 with moderate noise, the N400 effect (observed at wake with short and long SSL sentences was attenuated for long SSL sentences. Our results suggest that WM for linguistic information is partially preserved during sleep with a smaller capacity compared to wake.
Chen, S H Annabel; Desmond, John E
Converging evidence has implicated the cerebellum in verbal working memory. The current fMRI study sought to further characterize cerebrocerebellar participation in this cognitive process by revealing regions of activation common to a verbal working task and an articulatory control task, as well as regions that are uniquely activated by working memory. Consistent with our model's predictions, load-dependent activations were observed in Broca's area (BA 44/6) and the superior cerebellar hemisphere (VI/CrusI) for both working memory and motoric rehearsal. In contrast, activations unique to verbal working memory were found in the inferior parietal lobule (BA 40) and the right inferior cerebellum hemisphere (VIIB). These findings provide evidence for two cerebrocerebellar networks for verbal working memory: a frontal/superior cerebellar articulatory control system and a parietal/inferior cerebellar phonological storage system.
Schuler, Anne; Scheiter, Katharina; van Genuchten, Erlijn
A lot of research has focused on the beneficial effects of using multimedia, that is, text and pictures, for learning. Theories of multimedia learning are based on Baddeley's working memory model (Baddeley 1999). Despite this theoretical foundation, there is only little research that aims at empirically testing whether and more importantly how…
Schweppe, Judith; Rummer, Ralf
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…
Lu, Luo; Kao, Shu-Fang; Siu, Oi-Ling; Lu, Chang-Qin
The aim of this research was to jointly test effects of work stressors and coping strategies on job performance among employees in the Greater China region. A self-administered survey was conducted to collect data from three major cities in the region, namely Beijing, Hong Kong, and Taipei (N = 380). Four important work stressors were assessed: heavy workload, organizational constraints, lack of work autonomy, and interpersonal conflict. We used a four-factor model of Chinese coping strategies composed of hobbies/relaxation, active action, seeking social support, and passive adaptation. Job performance was indicated by both task performance (quantity of work, quality of work, job knowledge) and contextual performance (attendance, getting along with others). We found that: (1) work stressors were related to job performance. Specifically, workload had a positive relation with quantity of work, whereas organizational constraints had negative relations with quantity of work and attendance. In addition, interpersonal conflict had a negative relation with getting along with others. (2) Chinese positive coping strategies were positively related to job performance. Specifically, seeking social support had positive relations with quantity of work and getting along with others, whereas active action had positive relations with attendance and job knowledge. (3) Chinese passive adaptation coping behaviors were negatively related to job performance. Specifically, passive adaptation had negative relations with quantity of work, quality of work, and getting along with others. The present study thus found joint effects of work stressors and coping behaviors among Chinese employees in the Greater China region, encompassing three sub-societies of mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Differential effects of Chinese positive and passive coping strategies were also noted. Most importantly, all these effects were demonstrated on multiple indicators of job performance, a rarely studied
Working memory is the retention of a small amount of information in a readily accessible form. It facilitates planning, comprehension, reasoning, and problem solving. I examine the historical roots and conceptual development of the concept and the theoretical and practical implications of current debates about working memory mechanisms. Then, I…
Holmes, Joni; Gathercole, Susan Elizabeth
Working memory skills have been shown to be enhanced by adaptive training in several randomised controlled trials. Here, two field trials were conducted in which teachers administered working memory training to their own pupils in school. Twenty-two children aged 8-9?years participated in Trial 1. In Trial 2, 50 children aged 9-11?years with the…
Martinussen, Rhonda; Major, Ashley
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…
Kim, Ji Hyon; Christianson, Kiel
Two self-paced reading experiments using a paraphrase decision task paradigm were performed to investigate how sentence complexity contributed to the relative clause (RC) attachment preferences of speakers of different working memory capacities (WMCs). Experiment 1 (English) showed working memory effects on relative clause processing in both…
Stiles, Derek J.; McGregor, Karla K.; Bentler, Ruth A.
Purpose: To determine whether children with mild-to-moderately severe sensorineural hearing loss (CHL) present with disturbances in working memory and whether these disturbances relate to the size of their receptive vocabularies. Method: Children 6 to 9 years of age participated. Aspects of working memory were tapped by articulation rate, forward…
Barrouillet, Pierre; Portrat, Sophie; Camos, Valerie
"Working memory" is usually defined in cognitive psychology as a system devoted to the simultaneous processing and maintenance of information. However, although many models of working memory have been put forward during the last decades, they often leave underspecified the dynamic interplay between processing and storage. Moreover, the account of…
Brooks, David W.; Shell, Duane F.
Working memory is where we "think" as we learn. A notion that emerges as a synthesis from several threads in the research literatures of cognition, motivation, and connectionism is that motivation in learning is the process whereby working memory resource allocation is instigated and sustained. This paper reviews much literature on motivation and…
Packiam Alloway, Tracy; Banner, Gloria E.; Smith, Patrick
Background: Working memory, the ability to store and process information, is strongly related to learning outcomes. Aims: The aim of the present study is to extend previous research on early learning and investigate the relationship between working memory, cognitive styles, and attainment in adolescents using both national curriculum tests and…
Hernandez, Mireia; Costa, Albert; Humphreys, Glyn W.
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…
Chalifoux, Lisa M.
A. Baddeley's model of the working memory of congenitally deaf persons is examined in light of research on encoding by this population. It is concluded that a model of the working memory of the deaf must include subsystems for articulatory, sign, and visual encoding. (Author/DB)
Daal, J.G.H.L. van; Verhoeven, L.T.W.; Leeuwe, J.F.J. van; Balkom, L.J.M. van
In the present study, the relations of various aspects of working memory to various aspects of language problems in a clinical sample of 97 Dutch speaking 5-year-old children with severe language problems were studied. The working memory and language abilities of the children were examined using an
Full Text Available Working memory is often described as a system for simultaneous storage and processing. Much research – and most measures of working-memory capacity – focus on the storage component only, that is, people's ability to recall or recognize items after short retention intervals. The mechanisms of processing information are studied in a separate research tradition, concerned with the selection and control of actions in simple choice situations, dual-task constellations, or task-switching setups. both research traditions investigate performance based on representations that are temporarily maintained in an active, highly accessible state, and constrained by capacity limits. In this article an integrated theoretical framework of declarative and procedural working memory is presented that relates the two domains of research to each other. Declarative working memory is proposed to hold representations available for processing (including recall and recognition, whereas procedural working memory holds representations that control processing (i. e., task sets, stimulus-response mappings, and executive control settings. The framework motivates two hypotheses: Declarative and procedural working memory have separate capacity limits, and they operate by analogous principles. The framework also suggests a new characterization of executive functions as the subset of processes governed by procedural working memory that has as its output a change in the conditions of operation of the working-memory system.
Considerable reason exists to view the mind, and language within it, as modular, and this view has an important place in research and theory in second language acquisition (SLA) and beyond. But it has had very little impact on the study of working memory and its role in SLA. This article considers the need for modular study of working memory,…
Ravizza, Susan M.; Mccormick, Cristin A.; Schlerf, John E.; Justus, Timothy; Ivry, Richard B.; Fiez, Julie A.
The cerebellum is often active in imaging studies of verbal working memory, consistent with a putative role in articulatory rehearsal. While patients with cerebellar damage occasionally exhibit a mild impairment on standard neuropsychological tests of working memory, these tests are not diagnostic for exploring these processes in detail. The…
Harrington, Mike; Sawyer, Mark
Examines the sensitivity of second-language (L2) working memory (ability to store and process information simultaneously) to differences in reading skills among advanced L2 learners. Subjects with larger L2 working memory capacities scored higher on measures of L2 reading skills, but no correlation was found between reading and passive short-term…
Crawford, L. Elizabeth; Landy, David; Salthouse, Timothy A.
Spatial memory research has attributed systematic bias in location estimates to a combination of a noisy memory trace with a prior structure that people impose on the space. Little is known about intraindividual stability and interindividual variation in these patterns of bias. In the current work, we align recent empirical and theoretical work on…
Working memory is crucial for many higher-level cognitive functions, ranging from mental arithmetic to reasoning and problem solving. Likewise, the ability to learn and categorize novel concepts forms an indispensable part of human cognition. However, very little is known about the relationship between working memory and categorization, and…
Clark, Katherine M.; Hardman, Kyle O.; Schachtman, Todd R.; Saults, J. Scott; Glass, Bret A.; Cowan, Nelson
Recent advances in understanding visual working memory, the limited information held in mind for use in ongoing processing, are extended here to examine auditory working memory development. Research with arrays of visual objects has shown how to distinguish the capacity, in terms of the "number" of objects retained, from the…
Moriya, Jun; Sugiura, Yoshinori
Working memory capacity is one of the most important cognitive functions influencing individual traits, such as attentional control, fluid intelligence, and also psychopathological traits. Previous research suggests that anxiety is associated with impaired cognitive function, and studies have shown low verbal working memory capacity in individuals with high trait anxiety. However, the relationship between trait anxiety and visual working memory capacity is still unclear. Considering that people allocate visual attention more widely to detect danger under threat, visual working memory capacity might be higher in anxious people. In the present study, we show that visual working memory capacity increases as trait social anxiety increases by using a change detection task. When the demand to inhibit distractors increased, however, high visual working memory capacity diminished in individuals with social anxiety, and instead, impaired filtering of distractors was predicted by trait social anxiety. State anxiety was not correlated with visual working memory capacity. These results indicate that socially anxious people could potentially hold a large amount of information in working memory. However, because of an impaired cognitive function, they could not inhibit goal-irrelevant distractors and their performance decreased under highly demanding conditions.
de Jonge, P.; de Jong, P.F.
The dimensions of working memory in children and the relationships between working memory capacity, reasoning and reading ability were investigated. Simple and complex span tests were administered to 280 grade four, five and six elementary school children. Simple span tests were hypothesized to
Meghan L Meyer
Full Text Available Navigating the social world requires the ability to maintain and manipulate information about people’s beliefs, traits, and mental states. We characterize this capacity as social working memory. To date, very little research has explored this phenomenon, in part because of the assumption that general working memory systems would support working memory for social information. Various lines of research, however, suggest that social cognitive processing relies on a neurocognitive network (i.e., the ‘mentalizing network’ that is functionally distinct from, and considered antagonistic with, the canonical working memory network. Here, we review evidence suggesting that demanding social cognition requires social working memory and that both the mentalizing and canonical working memory neurocognitive networks support social working memory. The neural data run counter to the common finding of parametric decreases in mentalizing regions as a function of working memory demand and suggest that the mentalizing network can support demanding cognition, when it is demanding social cognition. Implications for individual differences in social cognition and pathologies of social cognition are discussed.
Nittrouer, Susan; Caldwell-Tarr, Amanda; Low, Keri E.; Lowenstein, Joanna H.
Purpose: Verbal working memory in children with cochlear implants and children with normal hearing was examined. Participants: Ninety-three fourth graders (47 with normal hearing, 46 with cochlear implants) participated, all of whom were in a longitudinal study and had working memory assessed 2 years earlier. Method: A dual-component model of…
Morey, C.C.; Elliott, E.M.; Wiggers, J.; Eaves, S.L.; Shelton, J.T.; Mall, Jonathan
Relationships between Stroop interference and working memory capacity may reflect individual differences in resolving conflict, susceptibility to goal neglect, or both of these factors. We compared relationships between working memory capacity and three Stroop tasks: a classic, printed color-word
van Harten, Barbera; Weinstein, Henry C.; Scheltens, Philip; Sergeant, Joseph A.; Scherder, Erik J. A.; Oosterman, J
White matter hyperintensities (WMH) are commonly observed in elderly people and may have the most profound effect on executive functions, including working memory. Surprisingly, the Digit Span backward, a frequently employed working memory task, reveals no association with WMH. In the present study,
Akyürek, Elkan G.; Abedian-Amiri, Ali; Ostermeier, Sonja M.
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
Geldorp, B. van; Bergmann, H.C.; Robertson, J.; Wester, A.J.; Kessels, R.P.C.
Both neuroimaging work and studies investigating amnesic patients have shown involvement of the medial temporal lobe during working memory tasks, especially when multiple items or features have to be associated. However, so far no study has examined the relationship between working memory and
Geldorp, B. van; Bergmann, H.C.; Robertson, J.; Wester, A.J.; Kessels, R.P.C.
Both neuroimaging work and studies investigating amnesic patients have shown involvement of the medial temporal lobe during working memory tasks, especially when multiple items or features have to be associated. However, so far no study has examined the relationship between working memory and
van den Hout, Marcel A; Eidhof, Marloes B; Verboom, Jesse; Littel, Marianne; Engelhard, Iris M
Memories that are recalled while working memory (WM) is taxed, e.g., by making eye movements (EM), become blurred during the recall + EM and later recall, without EM. This may help to explain the effects of Eye Movement and Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in which patients make EM during trauma recall. Earlier experimental studies on recall + EM have focused on emotional memories. WM theory suggests that recall + EM is superior to recall only but is silent about effects of memory emotionality. Based on the emotion and memory literature, we examined whether recall + EM has superior effects in blurring emotional memories relative to neutral memories. Healthy volunteers recalled negative or neutral memories, matched for vividness, while visually tracking a dot that moved horizontally ("recall + EM") or remained stationary ("recall only"). Compared to a pre-test, a post-test (without concentrating on the dot) replicated earlier findings: negative memories are rated as less vivid after "recall + EM" but not after "recall only". This was not found for neutral memories. Emotional memories are more taxing than neutral memories, which may explain the findings. Alternatively, transient arousal induced by recall of aversive memories may promote reconsolidation of the blurred memory image that is provoked by EM.
de Fockert, Jan W.
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
Souza, Pamela E; Sirow, Lynn
Several laboratory studies have demonstrated that working memory may influence response to compression speed in controlled (i.e., laboratory) comparisons of compression. In this study, the authors explored whether the same relationship would occur under less controlled conditions, as might occur in a typical audiology clinic. Participants included 27 older adults who sought hearing care in a private practice audiology clinic. Working memory was measured for each participant using a reading span test. The authors examined the relationship between working memory and aided speech recognition in noise, using clinically fit hearing aids with a range of compression speeds. Working memory, amount of hearing loss, and age each contributed to speech recognition, but the contribution depended on the speed of the compression processor. For fast-acting compression, the best performance was obtained by patients with high working memory. For slow-acting compression, speech recognition was affected by age and amount of hearing loss but was not affected by working memory. Despite the expectation of greater variability from differences in compression implementation, number of compression channels, or attendant signal processing, the relationship between working memory and compression speed showed a similar pattern as results from more controlled, laboratory-based studies.
de Fockert, Jan W
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.
Jan W. De Fockert
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.
Cragg, Lucy; Richardson, Sophie; Hubber, Paula J; Keeble, Sarah; Gilmore, Camilla
Our ability to perform arithmetic relies heavily on working memory, the manipulation and maintenance of information in mind. Previous research has found that in adults, procedural strategies, particularly counting, rely on working memory to a greater extent than retrieval strategies. During childhood there are changes in the types of strategies employed, as well as an increase in the accuracy and efficiency of strategy execution. As such it seems likely that the role of working memory in arithmetic may also change, however children and adults have never been directly compared. This study used traditional dual-task methodology, with the addition of a control load condition, to investigate the extent to which working memory requirements for different arithmetic strategies change with age between 9-11 years, 12-14 years and young adulthood. We showed that both children and adults employ working memory when solving arithmetic problems, no matter what strategy they choose. This study highlights the importance of considering working memory in understanding the difficulties that some children and adults have with mathematics, as well as the need to include working memory in theoretical models of mathematical cognition.
Full Text Available Previous work suggested that individuals with low working memory capacity may be at a disadvantage in adverse listening environments, including situations with background noise or substantial modification of the acoustic signal. This study explored the relationship between patient factors (including working memory capacity and intelligibility and quality of modified speech for older individuals with sensorineural hearing loss. The modification was created using a combination of hearing aid processing (wide-dynamic range compression and frequency compression applied to sentences in multitalker babble. The extent of signal modification was quantified via an envelope fidelity index. We also explored the contribution of components of working memory by including measures of processing speed and executive function. We hypothesized that listeners with low working memory capacity would perform more poorly than those with high working memory capacity across all situations, and would also be differentially affected by high amounts of signal modification. Results showed a significant effect of working memory capacity for speech intelligibility, and an interaction between working memory, amount of hearing loss and signal modification. Signal modification was the major predictor of quality ratings. These data add to the literature on hearing-aid processing and working memory by suggesting that the working memory-intelligibility effects may be related to aggregate signal fidelity, rather than on the specific signal manipulation. They also suggest that for individuals with low working memory capacity, sensorineural loss may be most appropriately addressed with wide-dynamic range compression and/or frequency compression parameters that maintain the fidelity of the signal envelope.
Dalton, Polly; Santangelo, Valerio; Spence, Charles
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.
Pallesen, Karen Johanne; Brattico, Elvira; Bailey, Christopher J
focus on task-relevant stimuli, a skill which is crucial to working memory. We measured the blood oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD) activation signal in musicians and non-musicians during working memory of musical sounds to determine the relation among performance, musical competence and generally...... hemisphere, and bilaterally in the posterior dorsal prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate gyrus. The relationship between the task performance and the magnitude of the BOLD response was more positive in musicians than in non-musicians, particularly during the most difficult working memory task....... The results confirm previous findings that neural activity increases during enhanced working memory performance. The results also suggest that superior working memory task performance in musicians rely on an enhanced ability to exert sustained cognitive control. This cognitive benefit in musicians may...
Michael A. Nees
Full Text Available Researchers have shown increased interest in mechanisms of working memory for nonverbal sounds such as music and environmental sounds. These studies often have used two-stimulus comparison tasks: two sounds separated by a brief retention interval (often 3 to 5 s are compared, and a same or different judgment is recorded. Researchers seem to have assumed that sensory memory has a negligible impact on performance in auditory two-stimulus comparison tasks. This assumption is examined in detail in this comment. According to seminal texts and recent research reports, sensory memory persists in parallel with working memory for a period of time following hearing a stimulus and can influence behavioral responses on memory tasks. Unlike verbal working memory studies that use serial recall tasks, research paradigms for exploring nonverbal working memory—especially two-stimulus comparison tasks—may not be differentiating working memory from sensory memory processes in analyses of behavioral responses, because retention interval durations have not excluded the possibility that the sensory memory trace drives task performance. This conflation of different constructs may be one contributor to discrepant research findings and the resulting proliferation of theoretical conjectures regarding mechanisms of working memory for nonverbal sounds.
Allen, Richard J; Baddeley, Alan D; Hitch, Graham J
The episodic buffer component of working memory is assumed to play a role in the binding of features into chunks. A series of experiments compared memory for arrays of colors or shapes with memory for bound combinations of these features. Demanding concurrent verbal tasks were used to investigate the role of general attentional processes, producing load effects that were no greater on memory for feature combinations than for the features themselves. However, the binding condition was significantly less accurate with sequential rather than simultaneous presentation, especially for items earlier in the sequence. The findings are interpreted as evidence of a relatively automatic but fragile visual feature binding mechanism in working memory. Implications for the concept of an episodic buffer are discussed. 2006 APA, all rights reserved
Winston, Gavin P; Stretton, Jason; Sidhu, Meneka K; Symms, Mark R; Thompson, Pamela J; Duncan, John S
Purpose: Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) has been considered to impair long-term memory, whilst not affecting working memory, but recent evidence suggests that working memory is compromised. Functional MRI (fMRI) studies demonstrate that working memory involves a bilateral frontoparietal network the activation of which is disrupted in hippocampal sclerosis (HS). A specific role of the hippocampus to deactivate during working memory has been proposed with this mechanism faulty in patients with HS. Structural correlates of disrupted working memory in HS have not been explored. Methods: We studied 54 individuals with medically refractory TLE and unilateral HS (29 left) and 28 healthy controls. Subjects underwent 3T structural MRI, a visuospatial n-back fMRI paradigm and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Working memory capacity assessed by three span tasks (digit span backwards, gesture span, motor sequences) was combined with performance in the visuospatial paradigm to give a global working memory measure. Gray and white matter changes were investigated using voxel-based morphometry and voxel-based analysis of DTI, respectively. Key Findings: Individuals with left or right HS performed less well than healthy controls on all measures of working memory. fMRI demonstrated a bilateral frontoparietal network during the working memory task with reduced activation of the right parietal lobe in both patient groups. In left HS, gray matter loss was seen in the ipsilateral hippocampus and parietal lobe, with maintenance of the gray matter volume of the contralateral parietal lobe associated with better performance. White matter integrity within the frontoparietal network, in particular the superior longitudinal fasciculus and cingulum, and the contralateral temporal lobe, was associated with working memory performance. In right HS, gray matter loss was also seen in the ipsilateral hippocampus and parietal lobe. Working memory performance correlated with the gray matter volume of
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...
Gold, James M; Wilk, Christopher M; McMahon, Robert P; Buchanan, Robert W; Luck, Steven J
The visual working memory (WM) storage capacity of patients with schizophrenia was investigated using a change detection paradigm. Participants were presented with 2, 3, 4, or 6 colored bars with testing of both single feature (color, orientation) and feature conjunction conditions. Patients performed significantly worse than controls at all set sizes but demonstrated normal feature binding. Unlike controls, patient WM capacity declined at set size 6 relative to set size 4. Impairments with subcapacity arrays suggest a deficit in task set maintenance: Greater impairment for supercapacity set sizes suggests a deficit in the ability to selectively encode information for WM storage. Thus, the WM impairment in schizophrenia appears to be a consequence of attentional deficits rather than a reduction in storage capacity.
With the frequent communications between China and western countries in the field of economy,politics and culture,etc,Inter preting becomes more and more important to people in all walks of life.This paper aims to testify the author’s hypothesis "professional interpreters have similar short-term memory with unprofessional interpreters,but they have superior working memory." After the illustration of literatures concerning with consecutive interpreting,short-term memory and working memory,experiments are designed and analysis are described.
Full Text Available Working memory—the ability to process and store information—has been identified as an important aspect of speech perception in difficult listening environments. Working memory can be envisioned as a limited-capacity system which is engaged when an input signal cannot be readily matched to a stored representation or template. This mismatch is expected to occur more frequently when the signal is degraded. Because working memory capacity varies among individuals, those with smaller capacity are expected to demonstrate poorer speech understanding when speech is degraded, such as in background noise. However, it is less clear whether (and how working memory should influence practical decisions, such as hearing treatment. Here, we consider the relationship between working memory capacity and response to specific hearing aid processing strategies. Three types of signal processing are considered, each of which will alter the acoustic signal: fast-acting wide-dynamic range compression, which smooths the amplitude envelope of the input signal; digital noise reduction, which may inadvertently remove speech signal components as it suppresses noise; and frequency compression, which alters the relationship between spectral peaks. For fast-acting wide-dynamic range compression, a growing body of data suggests that individuals with smaller working memory capacity may be more susceptible to such signal alterations, and may receive greater amplification benefit with low alteration processing. While the evidence for a relationship between wide-dynamic range compression and working memory appears robust, the effects of working memory on perceptual response to other forms of hearing aid signal processing are less clear cut. We conclude our review with a discussion of the opportunities (and challenges in translating information on individual working memory into clinical treatment, including clinically-feasible measures of working memory.
Working memory declines with normal aging, but the nature of this impairment is debated. Studies based on detecting changes to arrays of visual objects have identified two possible components to age-related decline: a reduction in the number of items that can be stored, or a deficit in maintaining the associations (bindings) between individual object features. However, some investigations have reported intact binding with aging, and specific deficits arising only in Alzheimer’s disease. Here, using a recently developed continuous measure of recall fidelity, we tested the precision with which adults of different ages could reproduce from memory the orientation and color of a probed array item. The results reveal a further component of cognitive decline: an age-related decrease in the resolution with which visual information can be maintained in working memory. This increase in recall variability with age was strongest under conditions of greater memory load. Moreover, analysis of the distribution of errors revealed that older participants were more likely to incorrectly report one of the unprobed items in memory, consistent with an age-related increase in misbinding. These results indicate a systematic decline with age in working memory resources that can be recruited to store visual information. The paradigm presented here provides a sensitive index of both memory resolution and feature binding, with the potential for assessing their modulation by interventions. The findings have implications for understanding the mechanisms underpinning working memory deficits in both health and disease. PMID:23978008
Spachtholz, Philipp; Kuhbandner, Christof; Pekrun, Reinhard
Research has shown that negative affect reduces working memory capacity. Commonly, this effect has been attributed to an allocation of resources to task-irrelevant thoughts, suggesting that negative affect has detrimental consequences for working memory performance. However, rather than simply being a detrimental effect, the affect-induced capacity reduction may reflect a trading of capacity for precision of stored representations. To test this hypothesis, we induced neutral or negative affect and concurrently measured the number and precision of representations stored in sensory and working memory. Compared with neutral affect, negative affect reduced the capacity of both sensory and working memory. However, in both memory systems, this decrease in capacity was accompanied by an increase in precision. These findings demonstrate that observers unintentionally trade capacity for precision as a function of affective state and indicate that negative affect can be beneficial for the quality of memories. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.
Van Hedger, Stephen C; Heald, Shannon Lm; Nusbaum, Howard C
Most individuals have reliable long-term memories for the pitch of familiar music recordings. This pitch memory (1) appears to be normally distributed in the population, (2) does not depend on explicit musical training and (3) only seems to be weakly related to differences in listening frequency estimates. The present experiment was designed to assess whether individual differences in auditory working memory could explain variance in long-term pitch memory for music recordings. In Experiment 1, participants first completed a musical note adjustment task that has been previously used to assess working memory of musical pitch. Afterward, participants were asked to judge the pitch of well-known music recordings, which either had or had not been shifted in pitch. We found that performance on the pitch working memory task was significantly related to performance in the pitch memory task using well-known recordings, even when controlling for overall musical experience and familiarity with each recording. In Experiment 2, we replicated these findings in a separate group of participants while additionally controlling for fluid intelligence and non-pitch-based components of auditory working memory. In Experiment 3, we demonstrated that participants could not accurately judge the pitch of unfamiliar recordings, suggesting that our method of pitch shifting did not result in unwanted acoustic cues that could have aided participants in Experiments 1 and 2. These results, taken together, suggest that the ability to maintain pitch information in working memory might lead to more accurate long-term pitch memory.
Full Text Available Since an important role for working memory has been found in the first language acquisition (e.g., Daneman, 1991 Daneman & Green, 1986 Waters & Caplan, 1996, research on the role of working memory is emerging as an area of concern for second language acquisition (e.g., Atkins & Baddeley, 1998 Miyake & Freidman, 1998 Robinson, 1995, 2002, 2005. The present study focused on the role of working memory capacity in the development of second language reading ability. 55 L1 Persian EFL learners at three proficiency levels from a private language school participated in this study. They completed a battery of reading and working memory measures. Memory measures included phonological short-term memory, and reading span test (RST. Reading measures included two expository reading comprehension tests. Multiple regression analysis was applied to determine whether there are any significant relationships between working memory capacity and reading measures. Results of this study indicated a significant relationship between working memory capacity (as measured by RST and reading ability at lower levels of proficiency.
Carlisle, Nancy B; Kristjánsson, Árni
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.
Burton, Cynthia Z; Vella, Lea; Twamley, Elizabeth W
Prospective memory (the ability to remember to do things) has clear implications for everyday functioning, including employment, in people with severe mental illnesses (SMI). This study aimed to evaluate prospective memory performance and its relationship to real-world functional variables in an employment-seeking sample of people with SMI (Clinical Trial registration number NCT00895258). 153 individuals with DSM-IV diagnosis of depression (n = 58), bipolar disorder (n = 37), or schizophrenia (n = 58) who were receiving outpatient psychiatric care at a university clinic enrolled in a trial of supported employment and completed a baseline assessment. Prospective memory was measured with the Memory for Intentions Test (MIST); real-world functional status included work history variables, clinical history variables, baseline functional capacity (UCSD Performance-based Skills Assessment-Brief), and work outcomes (weeks worked and wages earned during two years of supported employment). Participants with schizophrenia performed worse on the MIST than did those with affective disorders. Independent of diagnosis, education, and estimated intellectual functioning, prospective memory significantly predicted variance in measures of disability and illness burden (disability benefits, hospitalization history, current functional capacity), and work outcomes over two years of supported employment (weeks worked). Worse prospective memory appears to be associated with greater illness burden and functional disability in SMI. Mental health clinicians and employment specialists may counsel clients to use compensatory prospective memory strategies to improve work performance and decrease functional disability associated with SMI.
Full Text Available The paper studies whether visuospatial working memory (VSWM and, specifically, recall of sequential-spatial information, can be improved by metacognitive training. Twenty-two fourth-grade children were involved in seven sessions of sequential-spatial memory training, while twenty-four children attended lessons given by their teacher. The posttraining evaluation demonstrated a specific improvement of performances in the Corsi blocks task, considered a sequential-spatial working memory task. However, no benefits of training were observed in either a verbal working memory task or a simultaneous-spatial working memory task. The results have important theoretical implications, in the study of VSWM components, and educational implications, in catering for children with specific VSWM impairments.
Allen, Daniel N; Randall, Carol; Bello, Danielle; Armstrong, Christina; Frantom, Linda; Cross, Chad; Kinney, Jefferson
Working memory deficits have been identified in bipolar disorder, but there is evidence suggesting that these deficits may be markers for psychosis rather than affective disorder. The current study examined this issue by comparing two groups of individuals with bipolar disorder, one with psychotic features and one without psychotic features, with a group of normal controls. Working memory was conceptualized as a multicomponent system that includes auditory and visuospatial short-term stores, executive control processes, and an episodic buffer that allows for communication between short- and long-term memory stores (Baddeley & Logie, 1999). Results indicated that only executive control processes significantly differentiated the psychotic and nonpsychotic bipolar groups, although visuospatial working memory differentiated both bipolar groups from controls. The results support the idea that some aspects of working memory performance are markers for psychosis, while others may be more general markers for bipolar disorders. Copyright 2010 APA, all rights reserved
Pauls, Franz; Petermann, Franz; Lepach, Anja Christina
Analysing the relationship between gender and memory, and examining the effects of age on the overall memory-related functioning, are the ongoing goals of psychological research. The present study examined gender and age group differences in episodic memory with respect to the type of task. In addition, these subgroup differences were also analysed in visual working memory. A sample of 366 women and 330 men, aged between 16 and 69 years of age, participated in the current study. Results indicate that women outperformed men on auditory memory tasks, whereas male adolescents and older male adults showed higher level performances on visual episodic and visual working memory measures. However, the size of gender-linked effects varied somewhat across age groups. Furthermore, results partly support a declining performance on episodic memory and visual working memory measures with increasing age. Although age-related losses in episodic memory could not be explained by a decreasing verbal and visuospatial ability with age, women's advantage in auditory episodic memory could be explained by their advantage in verbal ability. Men's higher level visual episodic memory performance was found to result from their advantage in visuospatial ability. Finally, possible methodological, biological, and cognitive explanations for the current findings are discussed.
Zilli, Eric A.; Hasselmo, Michael E.
The mechanisms of goal-directed behavior have been studied using reinforcement learning theory, but these theoretical techniques have not often been used to address the role of memory systems in performing behavioral tasks. The present work addresses this shortcoming by providing a way in which working memory and episodic memory may be included in the reinforcement learning framework, then simulating the successful acquisition and performance of six behavioral tasks, drawn from or inspired by...
McGettigan, Carolyn; Warren, Jane E; Eisner, Frank; Marshall, Chloe R; Shanmugalingam, Pradheep; Scott, Sophie K
This study investigated links between working memory and speech processing systems. We used delayed pseudoword repetition in fMRI to investigate the neural correlates of sublexical structure in phonological working memory (pWM). We orthogonally varied the number of syllables and consonant clusters in auditory pseudowords and measured the neural responses to these manipulations under conditions of covert rehearsal (Experiment 1). A left-dominant network of temporal and motor cortex showed increased activity for longer items, with motor cortex only showing greater activity concomitant with adding consonant clusters. An individual-differences analysis revealed a significant positive relationship between activity in the angular gyrus and the hippocampus, and accuracy on pseudoword repetition. As models of pWM stipulate that its neural correlates should be activated during both perception and production/rehearsal [Buchsbaum, B. R., & D'Esposito, M. The search for the phonological store: From loop to convolution. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 20, 762-778, 2008; Jacquemot, C., & Scott, S. K. What is the relationship between phonological short-term memory and speech processing? Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 10, 480-486, 2006; Baddeley, A. D., & Hitch, G. Working memory. In G. H. Bower (Ed.), The psychology of learning and motivation: Advances in research and theory (Vol. 8, pp. 47-89). New York: Academic Press, 1974], we further assessed the effects of the two factors in a separate passive listening experiment (Experiment 2). In this experiment, the effect of the number of syllables was concentrated in posterior-medial regions of the supratemporal plane bilaterally, although there was no evidence of a significant response to added clusters. Taken together, the results identify the planum temporale as a key region in pWM; within this region, representations are likely to take the form of auditory or audiomotor "templates" or "chunks" at the level of the syllable
Nakae, Aya; Endo, Kaori; Adachi, Tomonori; Ikeda, Takashi; Hagihira, Satoshi; Mashimo, Takashi; Osaka, Mariko
Pain processing and attention have a bidirectional interaction that depends upon one's relative ability to use limited-capacity resources. However, correlations between the size of limited-capacity resources and pain have not been evaluated. Working memory capacity, which is a cognitive resource, can be measured using the reading span task (RST). In this study, we hypothesized that an individual's potential working memory capacity and subjective pain intensity are related. To test this hypothesis, we evaluated 31 healthy participants' potential working memory capacity using the RST, and then applied continuous experimental heat stimulation using the listening span test (LST), which is a modified version of the RST. Subjective pain intensities were significantly lower during the challenging parts of the RST. The pain intensity under conditions where memorizing tasks were performed was compared with that under the control condition, and it showed a correlation with potential working memory capacity. These results indicate that working memory capacity reflects the ability to process information, including precise evaluations of changes in pain perception. In this work, we present data suggesting that changes in subjective pain intensity are related, depending upon individual potential working memory capacities. Individual working memory capacity may be a phenotype that reflects sensitivity to changes in pain perception. Copyright © 2013 American Pain Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Singh, Ranjit K; Göritz, Anja S
Ego depletion happens if exerting self-control reduces a person's capacity to subsequently control themselves. Previous research has suggested that ego depletion not only interferes with subsequent self-control but also with working memory. However, recent meta-analytical evidence casts doubt onto this. The present study tackles the question if ego depletion does interfere with working memory performance. We induced ego depletion in two ways: using an e-crossing task and using a Stroop task. We then measured working memory performance using the letter-number sequencing task. There was no evidence of ego depletion interfering with working memory performance. Several aspects of our study render this null finding highly robust. We had a large and heterogeneous sample of N = 1,385, which provided sufficient power. We deployed established depletion tasks from two task families (e-crossing task and Stroop), thus making it less likely that the null finding is due to a specific depletion paradigm. We derived several performance scores from the working memory task and ran different analyses to maximize the chances of finding an effect. Lastly, we controlled for two potential moderators, the implicit theories about willpower and dispositional self-control capacity, to ensure that a possible effect on working memory is not obscured by an interaction effect. In sum, this experiment strengthens the position that ego depletion works but does not affect working memory performance.
Wu, Nan; Chen, Yulu; Yang, Jinhua; Li, Fei
The present study examined the role of working memory in the association between childhood obesity and academic performance, and further determined whether memory deficits in obese children are domain-specific to certain tasks or domain-general. A total of 227 primary school students aged 10-13 years were analyzed for weight and height, of which 159 children (44 "obese," 23 "overweight," and 92 "normal weight") filled out questionnaires on school performance and socioeconomic status. And then, all subjects finished three kinds of working memory tasks based on the digit memory task in 30 trials, which were image-generated with a series of numbers recall trial sets. After each trial set, subjects were given 5 s to recall and write down the numbers which hand appeared in the trial, in the inverse order in which they had appeared. The results showed there were significant academic performance differences among the three groups, with normal-weight children scoring higher than overweight and obese children after Bonferroni correction. A mediation model revealed a partial indirect effect of working memory in the relationship between obesity and academic performance. Although the performance of obese children in basic working memory tests was poorer than that of normal-weight children, they recalled more items than normal-weight children in working memory tasks involving with food/drink. Working memory deficits partially explain the poor academic performance of obese children. Those results indicated the obese children show domain-specific working memory deficits, whereas they recall more items than normal-weight children in working memory tasks associated with food/drink.
Salmela, V R; Moisala, M; Alho, K
A common assumption in the working memory literature is that the visual and auditory modalities have separate and independent memory stores. Recent evidence on visual working memory has suggested that resources are shared between representations, and that the precision of representations sets the limit for memory performance. We tested whether memory resources are also shared across sensory modalities. Memory precision for two visual (spatial frequency and orientation) and two auditory (pitch and tone duration) features was measured separately for each feature and for all possible feature combinations. Thus, only the memory load was varied, from one to four features, while keeping the stimuli similar. In Experiment 1, two gratings and two tones-both containing two varying features-were presented simultaneously. In Experiment 2, two gratings and two tones-each containing only one varying feature-were presented sequentially. The memory precision (delayed discrimination threshold) for a single feature was close to the perceptual threshold. However, as the number of features to be remembered was increased, the discrimination thresholds increased more than twofold. Importantly, the decrease in memory precision did not depend on the modality of the other feature(s), or on whether the features were in the same or in separate objects. Hence, simultaneously storing one visual and one auditory feature had an effect on memory precision equal to those of simultaneously storing two visual or two auditory features. The results show that working memory is limited by the precision of the stored representations, and that working memory can be described as a resource pool that is shared across modalities.
Lum, Jarrad A.G.; Conti-Ramsden, Gina; Page, Debra; Ullman, Michael T.
According to the Procedural Deficit Hypothesis (PDH), abnormalities of brain structures underlying procedural memory largely explain the language deficits in children with specific language impairment (SLI). These abnormalities are posited to result in core deficits of procedural memory, which in turn explain the grammar problems in the disorder. The abnormalities are also likely to lead to problems with other, non-procedural functions, such as working memory, that rely at least partly on the...
Bédard, Anne-Claude V; Newcorn, Jeffrey H; Clerkin, Suzanne M; Krone, Beth; Fan, Jin; Halperin, Jeffrey M; Schulz, Kurt P
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.
Arciniega, Hector; Gözenman, Filiz; Jones, Kevin T; Stephens, Jaclyn A; Berryhill, Marian E
Working memory (WM) permits maintenance of information over brief delays and is an essential executive function. Unfortunately, WM is subject to age-related decline. Some evidence supports the use of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to improve visual WM. A gap in knowledge is an understanding of the mechanism characterizing these tDCS linked effects. To address this gap, we compared the effects of two tDCS montages designed on visual working memory (VWM) performance. The bifrontal montage was designed to stimulate the heightened bilateral frontal activity observed in aging adults. The unilateral frontoparietal montage was designed to stimulate activation patterns observed in young adults. Participants completed three sessions (bilateral frontal, right frontoparietal, sham) of anodal tDCS (20 min, 2 mA). During stimulation, participants performed a visual long-term memory (LTM) control task and a visual WM task. There was no effect of tDCS on the LTM task. Participants receiving right unilateral tDCS showed a WM benefit. This pattern was most robust in older adults with low WM capacity. To address the concern that the key difference between the two tDCS montages could be tDCS over the posterior parietal cortex (PPC), we included new analyses from a previous study applying tDCS targeting the PPC paired with a recognition VWM task. No significant main effects were found. A subsequent experiment in young adults found no significant effect of either tDCS montage on either task. These data indicate that tDCS montage, age and WM capacity should be considered when designing tDCS protocols. We interpret these findings as suggestive that protocols designed to restore more youthful patterns of brain activity are superior to those that compensate for age-related changes.
Rudner, Mary; Karlsson, Thomas; Gunnarsson, Johan; Rönnberg, Jerker
Neural networks underpinning working memory demonstrate sign language specific components possibly related to differences in temporary storage mechanisms. A processing approach to memory systems suggests that the organisation of memory storage is related to type of memory processing as well. In the present study, we investigated for the first time semantic, phonological and orthographic processing in working memory for sign- and speech-based language. During fMRI we administered a picture-based 2-back working memory task with Semantic, Phonological, Orthographic and Baseline conditions to 11 deaf signers and 20 hearing non-signers. Behavioural data showed poorer and slower performance for both groups in Phonological and Orthographic conditions than in the Semantic condition, in line with depth-of-processing theory. An exclusive masking procedure revealed distinct sign-specific neural networks supporting working memory components at all three levels of processing. The overall pattern of sign-specific activations may reflect a relative intermodality difference in the relationship between phonology and semantics influencing working memory storage and processing. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Mandalis, Anna; Kinsella, Glynda; Ong, Ben; Anderson, Vicki
Working memory (WM), the ability to monitor, process and maintain task relevant information on-line to respond to immediate environmental demands, is controlled by frontal systems (D'Esposito et al., 2006), which are particularly vulnerable to damage from a traumatic brain injury (TBI). This study employed the adult-based Working Memory model of Baddeley and Hitch (1974) to examine the relationship between working memory function and new verbal learning in children with TBI. A cross-sectional sample of 36 school-aged children with a moderate to severe TBI was compared to age-matched healthy Controls on a series of tasks assessing working memory subsystems: the Phonological Loop (PL) and Central Executive (CE). The TBI group performed significantly more poorly than Controls on the PL measure and the majority of CE tasks. On new learning tasks, the TBI group consistently produced fewer words than Controls across the learning and delayed recall phases. Results revealed impaired PL function related to poor encoding and acquisition on a new verbal learning task in the TBI group. CE retrieval deficits in the TBI group contributed to general memory dysfunction in acquisition, retrieval and recognition memory. These results suggest that the nature of learning and memory deficits in children with TBI is related to working memory impairment.
Houck, Jon M; Feldstein Ewing, Sarah W
Brief addiction treatments including motivational interviewing (MI) have shown promise with adolescents, but the factors that influence treatment efficacy in this population remain unknown. One candidate is working memory, the ability to hold a fact or thought in mind. This is relevant, as in therapy, a client must maintain and manipulate ideas while working with a clinician. Working memory depends upon brain structures and functions that change markedly during neurodevelopment and that can be negatively impacted by substance use. In a secondary analysis of data from a clinical trial for adolescent substance use comparing alcohol/marijuana education and MI, we evaluated the relationship between working memory and three-month treatment-outcomes with the hypothesis that the relationship between intervention conditions and outcome would be moderated by working memory. With a diverse sample of adolescents currently using alcohol and/or marijuana (N = 153, 64.7% male, 70.6% Hispanic), we examined the relationship between baseline measures of working memory and alcohol and cannabis-related problem scores measured at the three-month follow-up. The results showed that lower working memory scores were associated with poorer treatment response only for alcohol use, and only within the education group. No relationship was found between working memory and treatment outcomes in the MI group. The results suggest that issues with working memory capacity may interfere with adolescents' ability to process and implement didactic alcohol and marijuana content in standard education interventions. These results also suggest that MI can be implemented equally effectively across the range of working memory functioning in youth.
Miller, Lisa M Soederberg; Cohen, Jason A; Wingfield, Arthur
An experiment is reported in which young, middle-aged, and older adults read and recalled ambiguous texts either with or without the topic title that supplied contextual knowledge. Within each of the age groups, the participants were divided into those with high or low working memory (WM) spans, with available WM capacity further manipulated by the presence or absence of an auditory target detection task concurrent with the reading task. Differences in reading efficiency (reading time per proposition recalled) between low WM span and high WM span groups were greater among readers who had access to contextual knowledge relative to those who did not, suggesting that contextual knowledge reduces demands on WM capacity. This position was further supported by the finding that increased age and attentional demands, two factors associated with reduced WM capacity, exaggerated the benefits of contextual knowledge on reading efficiency. The relative strengths of additional potential predictors of reading efficiency (e.g., interest, effort, and memory beliefs), along with knowledge, WM span, and age, are reported. Findings showed that contextual knowledge was the strongest predictor of reading efficiency even after controlling for the effects of all of the other predictors.
Hubbard, Nicholas A; Hutchison, Joanna L; Turner, Monroe; Montroy, Janelle; Bowles, Ryan P; Rypma, Bart
Dysphoria is associated with persistence of attention on mood-congruent information. Longer time attending to mood-congruent information for dysphoric individuals (DIs) detracts from goal-relevant information processing and should reduce working memory (WM) capacity. Study 1 showed that DIs and non-DIs have similar WM capacities. Study 2 embedded depressive information into a WM task. Compared to non-DIs, DIs showed significantly reduced WM capacity for goal-relevant information in this task. Study 3 replicated results from Studies 1 and 2, and further showed that DIs had a significantly greater association between processing speed and recall on the depressively modified WM task compared to non-DIs. The presence of inter-task depressive information leads to DI-related decreased WM capacity. Results suggest dysphoria-related WM capacity deficits when depressive thoughts are present. WM capacity deficits in the presence of depressive thoughts are a plausible mechanism to explain day-to-day memory and concentration difficulties associated with depressed mood.
Uncapher, Melina R; K Thieu, Monica; Wagner, Anthony D
Increasing access to media in the 21st century has led to a rapid rise in the prevalence of media multitasking (simultaneous use of multiple media streams). Such behavior is associated with various cognitive differences, such as difficulty filtering distracting information and increased trait impulsivity. Given the rise in media multitasking by children, adolescents, and adults, a full understanding of the cognitive profile of media multitaskers is imperative. Here we investigated the relationship between chronic media multitasking and working memory (WM) and long-term memory (LTM) performance. Four key findings are reported (1) heavy media multitaskers (HMMs) exhibited lower WM performance, regardless of whether external distraction was present or absent; (2) lower performance on multiple WM tasks predicted lower LTM performance; (3) media multitasking-related differences in memory reflected differences in discriminability rather than decision bias; and (4) attentional impulsivity correlated with media multitasking behavior and reduced WM performance. These findings suggest that chronic media multitasking is associated with a wider attentional scope/higher attentional impulsivity, which may allow goal-irrelevant information to compete with goal-relevant information. As a consequence, heavy media multitaskers are able to hold fewer or less precise goal-relevant representations in WM. HMMs' wider attentional scope, combined with their diminished WM performance, propagates forward to yield lower LTM performance. As such, chronic media multitasking is associated with a reduced ability to draw on the past--be it very recent or more remote--to inform present behavior.
Dombrowe, I.; Olivers, C.N.L.; Donk, M.
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
Shi, Zhan; Liu, Peiru
Sixty-one high-math-anxious persons and sixty-one low-math-anxious persons completed a modified working memory capacity task, designed to measure working memory capacity under a dysfunctional math-related context and working memory capacity under a valence-neutral context. Participants were required to perform simple tasks with emotionally benign material (i.e., lists of letters) over short intervals while simultaneously reading and making judgments about sentences describing dysfunctional math-related thoughts or sentences describing emotionally-neutral facts about the world. Working memory capacity for letters under the dysfunctional math-related context, relative to working memory capacity performance under the valence-neutral context, was poorer overall in the high-math-anxious group compared with the low-math-anxious group. The findings show a particular difficulty employing working memory in math-related contexts in high-math-anxious participants. Theories that can provide reasonable interpretations for these findings and interventions that can reduce anxiety-induced worrying intrusive thoughts or improve working memory capacity for math anxiety are discussed.
Trübutschek, Darinka; Marti, Sébastien; Ojeda, Andrés; King, Jean-Rémi; Mi, Yuanyuan; Tsodyks, Misha; Dehaene, Stanislas
Working memory and conscious perception are thought to share similar brain mechanisms, yet recent reports of non-conscious working memory challenge this view. Combining visual masking with magnetoencephalography, we investigate the reality of non-conscious working memory and dissect its neural mechanisms. In a spatial delayed-response task, participants reported the location of a subjectively unseen target above chance-level after several seconds. Conscious perception and conscious working memory were characterized by similar signatures: a sustained desynchronization in the alpha/beta band over frontal cortex, and a decodable representation of target location in posterior sensors. During non-conscious working memory, such activity vanished. Our findings contradict models that identify working memory with sustained neural firing, but are compatible with recent proposals of ‘activity-silent’ working memory. We present a theoretical framework and simulations showing how slowly decaying synaptic changes allow cell assemblies to go dormant during the delay, yet be retrieved above chance-level after several seconds. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.23871.001 PMID:28718763
Full Text Available Sixty-one high-math-anxious persons and sixty-one low-math-anxious persons completed a modified working memory capacity task, designed to measure working memory capacity under a dysfunctional math-related context and working memory capacity under a valence-neutral context. Participants were required to perform simple tasks with emotionally benign material (i.e., lists of letters over short intervals while simultaneously reading and making judgments about sentences describing dysfunctional math-related thoughts or sentences describing emotionally-neutral facts about the world. Working memory capacity for letters under the dysfunctional math-related context, relative to working memory capacity performance under the valence-neutral context, was poorer overall in the high-math-anxious group compared with the low-math-anxious group. The findings show a particular difficulty employing working memory in math-related contexts in high-math-anxious participants. Theories that can provide reasonable interpretations for these findings and interventions that can reduce anxiety-induced worrying intrusive thoughts or improve working memory capacity for math anxiety are discussed.
Riley, Mitchell R.; Constantinidis, Christos
The prefrontal cortex is activated during working memory, as evidenced by fMRI results in human studies and neurophysiological recordings in animal models. Persistent activity during the delay period of working memory tasks, after the offset of stimuli that subjects are required to remember, has traditionally been thought of as the neural correlate of working memory. In the last few years several findings have cast doubt on the role of this activity. By some accounts, activity in other brain areas, such as the primary visual and posterior parietal cortex, is a better predictor of information maintained in visual working memory and working memory performance; dynamic patterns of activity may convey information without requiring persistent activity at all; and prefrontal neurons may be ill-suited to represent non-spatial information about the features and identity of remembered stimuli. Alternative interpretations about the role of the prefrontal cortex have thus been suggested, such as that it provides a top-down control of information represented in other brain areas, rather than maintaining a working memory trace itself. Here we review evidence for and against the role of prefrontal persistent activity, with a focus on visual neurophysiology. We show that persistent activity predicts behavioral parameters precisely in working memory tasks. We illustrate that prefrontal cortex represents features of stimuli other than their spatial location, and that this information is largely absent from early cortical areas during working memory. We examine memory models not dependent on persistent activity, and conclude that each of those models could mediate only a limited range of memory-dependent behaviors. We review activity decoded from brain areas other than the prefrontal cortex during working memory and demonstrate that these areas alone cannot mediate working memory maintenance, particularly in the presence of distractors. We finally discuss the discrepancy between
Carr, Katelyn A; Epstein, Leonard H
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.
Adam, Kirsten C S; Robison, Matthew K; Vogel, Edward K
Neural measures of working memory storage, such as the contralateral delay activity (CDA), are powerful tools in working memory research. CDA amplitude is sensitive to working memory load, reaches an asymptote at known behavioral limits, and predicts individual differences in capacity. An open question, however, is whether neural measures of load also track trial-by-trial fluctuations in performance. Here, we used a whole-report working memory task to test the relationship between CDA amplitude and working memory performance. If working memory failures are due to decision-based errors and retrieval failures, CDA amplitude would not differentiate good and poor performance trials when load is held constant. If failures arise during storage, then CDA amplitude should track both working memory load and trial-by-trial performance. As expected, CDA amplitude tracked load (Experiment 1), reaching an asymptote at three items. In Experiment 2, we tracked fluctuations in trial-by-trial performance. CDA amplitude was larger (more negative) for high-performance trials compared with low-performance trials, suggesting that fluctuations in performance were related to the successful storage of items. During working memory failures, participants oriented their attention to the correct side of the screen (lateralized P1) and maintained covert attention to the correct side during the delay period (lateralized alpha power suppression). Despite the preservation of attentional orienting, we found impairments consistent with an executive attention theory of individual differences in working memory capacity; fluctuations in executive control (indexed by pretrial frontal theta power) may be to blame for storage failures.
Full Text Available The relationship between working memory (WM and attention is a highly interdependent one, with evidence that attention determines the state in which items in WM are retained. Through focusing of attention, an item might be held in a more prioritized state, commonly termed as the focus of attention (FOA. The remaining items, although still retrievable, are considered to be in a different representational state. One means to bring an item into the FOA is to use retrospective cues (‘retro-cues’ which direct attention to one of the objects retained in WM. Alternatively, an item can enter a privileged state once attention is directed towards it through bottom-up influences (e.g. recency effect or by performing an action on one of the retained items (‘incidental’ cueing. In all these cases, the item in the FOA is recalled with better accuracy compared to the other items in WM. Far less is known about the nature of the other items in WM and whether they can be flexibly manipulated in and out of the FOA. We present data from three types of experiments as well as transcranial magnetic stimulation to early visual cortex to manipulate the item inside FOA. Taken together, our results suggest that the context in which items are retained in WM matters. When an item remains behaviourally relevant, despite not being inside the FOA, re-focusing attention upon it can increase its recall precision. This suggests that a non-FOA item can be held in a state in which it can be later retrieved. However, if an item is rendered behaviourally unimportant because it is very unlikely to be probed, it cannot be brought back into the FOA, nor recalled with high precision. Under such conditions, some information appears to be irretrievably lost from WM. These findings, obtained from several different methods, demonstrate quite considerable flexibility with which items in WM can be represented depending upon context. They have important consequences for emerging state
Roberts, Brooke M; Libby, Laura A; Inhoff, Marika C; Ranganath, Charan
Maintaining items in an appropriate sequence is important for many daily activities; however, remarkably little is known about the neural basis of human temporal working memory. Prior work suggests that the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and medial temporal lobe (MTL), including the hippocampus, play a role in representing information about temporal order. The involvement of these areas in successful temporal working memory, however, is less clear. Additionally, it is unknown whether regions in the PFC and MTL support temporal working memory across different timescales, or at coarse or fine levels of temporal detail. To address these questions, participants were scanned while completing 3 working memory task conditions (Group, Position and Item) that were matched in terms of difficulty and the number of items to be actively maintained. Group and Position trials probed temporal working memory processes, requiring the maintenance of hierarchically organized coarse and fine temporal information, respectively. To isolate activation related to temporal working memory, Group and Position trials were contrasted against Item trials, which required detailed working memory maintenance of visual objects. Results revealed that working memory encoding and maintenance of temporal information relative to visual information was associated with increased activation in dorsolateral PFC (DLPFC), and perirhinal cortex (PRC). In contrast, maintenance of visual details relative to temporal information was characterized by greater activation of parahippocampal cortex (PHC), medial and anterior PFC, and retrosplenial cortex. In the hippocampus, a dissociation along the longitudinal axis was observed such that the anterior hippocampus was more active for working memory encoding and maintenance of visual detail information relative to temporal information, whereas the posterior hippocampus displayed the opposite effect. Posterior parietal cortex was the only region to show sensitivity to temporal
Collective biography draws on memory work methods developed initially by feminist sociologists (Haug et al., 1987) where people collaboratively examined the social and discursive resources through which they take themselves up as particular gendered subjects in the world. Their own memories become resources to investigate processes of…
Hills, Thomas T.; Pachur, Thorsten
What are the mechanisms underlying search in social memory (e.g., remembering the people one knows)? Do the search mechanisms involve dynamic local-to-global transitions similar to semantic search, and are these transitions governed by the general control of attention, associated with working memory span? To find out, we asked participants to…
Mansouri, Farshad A; Rosa, Marcello G P; Atapour, Nafiseh
Working memory is a type of short-term memory which has a crucial cognitive function that supports ongoing and upcoming behaviors, allowing storage of information across delay periods. The content of this memory may typically include tangible information about features such as the shape, color or texture of an object, and its location and motion relative to the body, as well as phonological information. The neural correlate of working memory has been found in different brain areas that are involved in organizing perceptual or motor functions. In particular, neuronal activity in prefrontal areas encodes task-related information corresponding to working memory across delay periods, and lesions in the prefrontal cortex severely affect the ability to retain this type of memory. Recent studies have further expanded the scope and possible role of working memory by showing that information of a more abstract nature (including a behavior-guiding rule, or the occurrence of a conflict in information processing) can also be maintained in short-term memory, and used for adjusting the allocation of executive control in dynamic environments. It has also been shown that neuronal activity in the prefrontal cortex encodes and maintains information about such abstract entities. These findings suggest that the prefrontal cortex plays crucial roles in the organization of goal-directed behavior by supporting many different mnemonic processes, which maintain a wide range of information required for the executive control of ongoing and upcoming behaviors.
Sims, Chris R.; Jacobs, Robert A.; Knill, David C.
Limits in visual working memory (VWM) strongly constrain human performance across many tasks. However, the nature of these limits is not well understood. In this article we develop an ideal observer analysis of human VWM by deriving the expected behavior of an optimally performing but limited-capacity memory system. This analysis is framed around…
Torrens, Vicenç; Yagüe, Esther
This article studies three measures of phonological working memory as tools to identify SLI children: word repetition, nonce word repetition, and digit memory. We propose that a deficit in the phonological loop causes a delay in the acquisition of lexicon, morphosyntax, and discourse. In this research we try to find out whether the scores in these…
Loosli, Sandra V; Buschkuehl, Martin; Perrig, Walter J; Jaeggi, Susanne M
The goal of this study was to investigate whether a brief cognitive training intervention results in a specific performance increase in the trained task, and whether there are transfer effects to other nontrained measures. A computerized, adaptive working memory intervention was conducted with 9- to 11-year-old typically developing children. The children considerably improved their performance in the trained working memory task. Additionally, compared to a matched control group, the experimental group significantly enhanced their reading performance after training, providing further evidence for shared processes between working memory and reading.
Atkins, Paul W. B.; Baddeley, Alan D.
Tested the hypothesis that individual differences in immediate-verbal-memory span predict success in second-language vocabulary acquisition. In the two-session study, adult subjects learned 56 English-Finnish translations. Tested one week later, subjects were less likely to remember those words they had difficulty learning, even though they had…
Wunderlich, A.P.; Groen, G.; Braun, V.
Information concerning the tissue adjacent to a brain tumour is crucial for planning and performing a neurosurgical intervention. In this study, we evaluated the usefulness of functional imaging of working memory in terms of working memory preservation. Working memory performance of 14 patients with prefrontal tumours was tested preoperatively by means of a standardized neuropsychological test battery. Also, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) using a so-called two-back paradigm was performed to visualize brain areas related to that task. Working memory areas were reliably detected in all patients. Surgery was then planned on the basis of this information, and the data were used for intra-operative cranial neuronavigation. Three to twelve months after surgery, patients were tested again with the test battery in order to detect possible changes in working memory performance. In 13 cases the memory performance was unchanged, only one female patient had a slight impairment of working memory compared to the pre-operative status. (orig.)
Jeneson, Annette; Wixted, John T; Hopkins, Ramona O; Squire, Larry R
Patients with medial temporal lobe (MTL) damage are sometimes impaired at remembering visual information across delays as short as a few seconds. Such impairments could reflect either impaired visual working memory capacity or impaired long-term memory (because attention has been diverted or because working memory capacity has been exceeded). Using a standard change-detection task, we asked whether visual working memory capacity is intact or impaired after MTL damage. Five patients with hippocampal lesions and one patient with large MTL lesions saw an array of 1, 2, 3, 4, or 6 colored squares, followed after 3, 4, or 8 s by a second array where one of the colored squares was cued. The task was to decide whether the cued square had the same color as the corresponding square in the first array or a different color. At the 1 s delay typically used to assess working memory capacity, patients performed as well as controls at all array sizes. At the longer delays, patients performed as well as controls at small array sizes, thought to be within the capacity limit, and worse than controls at large array sizes, thought to exceed the capacity limit. The findings suggest that visual working memory capacity in humans is intact after damage to the MTL structures and that damage to these structures impairs performance only when visual working memory is insufficient to support performance.
George, Elyse M; Coch, Donna
While previous research has suggested that music training is associated with improvements in various cognitive and linguistic skills, the mechanisms mediating or underlying these associations are mostly unknown. Here, we addressed the hypothesis that previous music training is related to improved working memory. Using event-related potentials (ERPs) and a standardized test of working memory, we investigated both neural and behavioral aspects of working memory in college-aged, non-professional musicians and non-musicians. Behaviorally, musicians outperformed non-musicians on standardized subtests of visual, phonological, and executive memory. ERPs were recorded in standard auditory and visual oddball paradigms (participants responded to infrequent deviant stimuli embedded in lists of standard stimuli). Electrophysiologically, musicians demonstrated faster updating of working memory (shorter latency P300s) in both the auditory and visual domains and musicians allocated more neural resources to auditory stimuli (larger amplitude P300), showing increased sensitivity to the auditory standard/deviant difference and less effortful updating of auditory working memory. These findings demonstrate that long-term music training is related to improvements in working memory, in both the auditory and visual domains and in terms of both behavioral and ERP measures. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Bradley, Claire; Pearson, Joel
EARLY VISUAL MEMORY CAN BE SPLIT INTO TWO PRIMARY COMPONENTS: a high-capacity, short-lived iconic memory followed by a limited-capacity visual working memory that can last many seconds. Whereas a large number of studies have investigated visual working memory for low-level sensory features, much research on iconic memory has used more "high-level" alphanumeric stimuli such as letters or numbers. These two forms of memory are typically examined separately, despite an intrinsic overlap in their characteristics. Here, we used a purely sensory paradigm to examine visual short-term memory for 10 homogeneous items of three different visual features (color, orientation and motion) across a range of durations from 0 to 6 s. We found that the amount of information stored in iconic memory is smaller for motion than for color or orientation. Performance declined exponentially with longer storage durations and reached chance levels after ∼2 s. Further experiments showed that performance for the 10 items at 1 s was contingent on unperturbed attentional resources. In addition, for orientation stimuli, performance was contingent on the location of stimuli in the visual field, especially for short cue delays. Overall, our results suggest a smooth transition between an automatic, high-capacity, feature-specific sensory-iconic memory, and an effortful "lower-capacity" visual working memory.
Full Text Available Early visual memory can be split into two primary components: a high-capacity, short-lived iconic memory followed by a limited-capacity visual working memory that can last many seconds. Whereas a large number of studies have investigated visual working memory for low-level sensory features, much research on iconic memory has used more high-level alphanumeric stimuli such as letters or numbers. These two forms of memory are typically examined separately, despite an intrinsic overlap in their characteristics. Here, we used a purely sensory paradigm to examine visual short-term memory for 10 homogeneous items of 3 different visual features (colour, orientation and motion across a range of durations from 0 to 6 seconds. We found that the amount of information stored in iconic memory is smaller for motion than for colour or orientation. Performance declined exponentially with longer storage durations and reached chance levels after ~2 seconds. Further experiments showed that performance for the 10 items at 1 second was contingent on unperturbed attentional resources. In addition, for orientation stimuli, performance was contingent on the location of stimuli in the visual field, especially for short cue delays. Overall, our results suggest a smooth transition between an automatic, high-capacity, feature-specific sensory-iconic memory and an effortful ‘lower-capacity’ visual working memory.
Nyberg, Lars; Eriksson, Johan
“Working memory” refers to a vast set of mnemonic processes and associated brain networks, relates to basic intellectual abilities, and underlies many real-world functions. Working-memory maintenance involves frontoparietal regions and distributed representational areas, and can be based on persistent activity in reentrant loops, synchronous oscillations, or changes in synaptic strength. Manipulation of content of working memory depends on the dorsofrontal cortex, and updating is realized by a frontostriatal ‘“gating” function. Goals and intentions are represented as cognitive and motivational contexts in the rostrofrontal cortex. Different working-memory networks are linked via associative reinforcement-learning mechanisms into a self-organizing system. Normal capacity variation, as well as working-memory deficits, can largely be accounted for by the effectiveness and integrity of the basal ganglia and dopaminergic neurotransmission. PMID:26637287
Neher, Tobias; Wagener, Kirsten C.; Fischer, Rosa-Linde
OBJECTIVE: Research findings concerning the relation between benefit from hearing aid (HA) noise suppression and working memory function are inconsistent. The current study thus investigated the effects of three noise suppression algorithms on auditory working memory and the relation with reading......-to-noise ratio (SNR) improvement. Auditory working memory was assessed at +6 dB SNR using listening span and N-back paradigms. STUDY SAMPLE: Twenty experienced HA users ages 55-80 with large differences in reading span. RESULTS: For the listening span measurements, there was an influence of HA setting....... CONCLUSIONS: HA noise suppression may affect the recognition and recall of speech at positive SNRs, irrespective of individual reading span. Future work should improve the reliability of the auditory working memory measurements....
Baucom, Brian R; Weusthoff, Sarah; Atkins, David C; Hahlweg, Kurt
Many studies have examined the importance of learning skills in behaviorally based couple interventions but none have examined predictors of long-term memory for skills. Associations between emotional arousal and long-term recall of communication skills delivered to couples during a behaviorally based relationship distress prevention program were examined in a sample of 49 German couples. Fundamental frequency (f(0)), a vocal measure of encoded emotional arousal, was measured during pre-treatment couple conflict. Higher levels of f(0) were linked to fewer skills remembered 11 years after completing the program, and women remembered more skills than men. Implications of results for behaviorally based couple interventions are discussed. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
The ability to recall and recognize facts we experienced in the past is based on a complex mechanism in which several cerebral regions are implicated.Neuroimaging and lesion studies agree in identifying the frontal lobe as a crucial structure for memory processes,and in particular for working memory and episodic memory and their relationships.Furthermore,with the introduction of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) a new way was proposed to investigate the relationships between brain correlates,memory functions and behavior.The aim of this review is to present the main findings that have emerged from experiments which used the TMS technique for memory analysis.They mainly focused on the role of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in memory process.Furthermore,we present state-of-the-art evidence supporting a possible use of TMS in the clinic.Specifically we focus on the treatment of memory deficits in depression and anxiety disorders.
Janes, Amy C; Ross, Robert S; Farmer, Stacey; Frederick, Blaise B; Nickerson, Lisa D; Lukas, Scott E; Stern, Chantal E
Nicotine dependence is a chronic and difficult to treat disorder. While environmental stimuli associated with smoking precipitate craving and relapse, it is unknown whether smoking cues are cognitively processed differently than neutral stimuli. To evaluate working memory differences between smoking-related and neutral stimuli, we conducted a delay-match-to-sample (DMS) task concurrently with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in nicotine-dependent participants. The DMS task evaluates brain activation during the encoding, maintenance and retrieval phases of working memory. Smoking images induced significantly more subjective craving, and greater midline cortical activation during encoding in comparison to neutral stimuli that were similar in content yet lacked a smoking component. The insula, which is involved in maintaining nicotine dependence, was active during the successful retrieval of previously viewed smoking versus neutral images. In contrast, neutral images required more prefrontal cortex-mediated active maintenance during the maintenance period. These findings indicate that distinct brain regions are involved in the different phases of working memory for smoking-related versus neutral images. Importantly, the results implicate the insula in the retrieval of smoking-related stimuli, which is relevant given the insula's emerging role in addiction. © 2013 Society for the Study of Addiction.
Sheridan, Margaret A.; Hinshaw, Stephen; D'Esposito, Mark
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…
Full Text Available Efficiency of working memory is the concept which connects psychology of memory with different fields of cognitive, differential and applied psychology. In this paper, the history of interest for the assessment of the capacity of short-term memory is presented in brief, as well as the different methods used nowadays to assess the individual differences in the efficiency of working memory. What follows is the consideration of studies that indicate the existence of significant links between the efficiency of working memory and general intelligence, the ability of reasoning, personality variables, as well as some socio-psychological phenomena. Special emphasis is placed on the links between the efficiency of working memory and certain aspects of pedagogical practice: acquiring the skill of reading, learning arithmetic and shedding light on the cause of general failure in learning at school. What is also provided are the suggestions that, in the light of knowledge about the development and limitations of working memory at school age, can be useful for teaching practice.
Olson, Ingrid R; Page, Katie; Moore, Katherine Sledge; Chatterjee, Anjan; Verfaellie, Mieke
A prominent theory of hippocampal function proposes that the hippocampus is importantly involved in relating or binding together separate pieces of information to form an episodic representation. This hypothesis has only been applied to studies of long-term memory because the paradigmatic view of the hippocampus is that it is not critical for short-term forms of memory. However, relational processing is important in many working memory tasks, especially tasks using visual stimuli. Here, we test the hypothesis that the medial temporal lobes are important for relational memory even over short delays. The task required patients with medial temporal lobe amnesia and controls to remember three objects, locations, or object-location conjunctions over 1 or 8 s delays. The results show that working memory for objects and locations was at normal levels, but that memory for conjunctions was severely impaired at 8 s delays. Additional analyses suggest that the hippocampus per se is critical for accurate conjunction working memory. We propose that the hippocampus is critically involved in memory for conjunctions at both short and long delays.
Oberauer, Klaus; Vockenberg, Kerstin
Three experiments investigated proactive interference and proactive facilitation in a memory-updating paradigm. Participants remembered several letters or spatial patterns, distinguished by their spatial positions, and updated them by new stimuli up to 20 times per trial. Self-paced updating times were shorter when an item previously remembered and then replaced reappeared in the same location than when it reappeared in a different location. This effect demonstrates residual memory for no-longer-relevant bindings of items to locations. The effect increased with the number of items to be remembered. With one exception, updating times did not increase, and recall of final values did not decrease, over successive updating steps, thus providing little evidence for proactive interference building up cumulatively.
Lewis-Peacock, Jarrod A; Norman, Kenneth A
Switching attention from one thought to the next propels our mental lives forward. However, it is unclear how this thought-juggling affects our ability to remember these thoughts. Here we show that competition between the neural representations of pictures in working memory can impair subsequent recognition of those pictures. We use pattern classifiers to decode functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from a retro-cueing task where participants juggle two pictures in working memory. Trial-by-trial fluctuations in neural dynamics are predictive of performance on a surprise recognition memory test: trials that elicit similar levels of classifier evidence for both pictures (indicating close competition) are associated with worse memory performance than trials where participants switch decisively from thinking about one picture to the other. This result is consistent with the non-monotonic plasticity hypothesis, which predicts that close competition can trigger weakening of memories that lose the competition, leading to subsequent forgetting.
Morsella, Ezequiel; Krauss, Robert M
Co-speech gestures traditionally have been considered communicative, but they may also serve other functions. For example, hand-arm movements seem to facilitate both spatial working memory and speech production. It has been proposed that gestures facilitate speech indirectly by sustaining spatial representations in working memory. Alternatively, gestures may affect speech production directly by activating embodied semantic representations involved in lexical search. Consistent with the first hypothesis, we found participants gestured more when describing visual objects from memory and when describing objects that were difficult to remember and encode verbally. However, they also gestured when describing a visually accessible object, and gesture restriction produced dysfluent speech even when spatial memory was untaxed, suggesting that gestures can directly affect both spatial memory and lexical retrieval.
Mousavi, Shokoufeh; Zare, Hossein; Etemadifar, Masoud; Taher Neshatdoost, Hamid
The main cognitive impairments in multiple sclerosis (MS) affect the working memory, processing speed, and performances that are in close interaction with one another. Cognitive problems in MS are influenced to a lesser degree by disease recovery medications or treatments,but cognitive rehabilitation is considered one of the promising methods for cure. There is evidence regarding the effectiveness of cognitive rehabilitation for MS patients in various stages of the disease. Since the impairment in working memory is one of the main MS deficits, a particular training that affects this cognitive domain can be of a great value. This study aims to determine the effectiveness of memory rehabilitation on the working memory performance of MS patients. Sixty MS patients with cognitive impairment and similar in terms of demographic characteristics, duration of disease, neurological problems, and mental health were randomly assigned to three groups: namely, experimental, placebo, and control. Patients' cognitive evaluation incorporated baseline assessments immediately post-intervention and 5 weeks post-intervention. The experimental group received a cognitive rehabilitation program in one-hour sessions on a weekly basis for 8 weeks. The placebo group received relaxation techniques on a weekly basis; the control group received no intervention. The results of this study showed that the cognitive rehabilitation program had a positive effect on the working memory performance of patients with MS in the experimental group. These results were achieved in immediate evaluation (post-test) and follow-up 5 weeks after intervention. There was no significant difference in working memory performance between the placebo group and the control group. According to the study, there is evidence for the effectiveness of a memory rehabilitation program for the working memory of patients with MS. Cognitive rehabilitation can improve working memory disorders and have a positive effect on the
de Fockert, Jan W.; Bremner, Andrew J.
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…
Barrouillet , Pierre; Bernardin , Sophie; Portrat , Sophie; Vergauwe , Evie; Camos , Valérie
International audience; According to the time-based resource-sharing model (P. Barrouillet, S. Bernardin, & V. Camos, 2004), the cognitive load a given task involves is a function of the proportion of time during which it captures attention, thus impeding other attention-demanding processes. Accordingly, the present study demonstrates that the disruptive effect on concurrent maintenance of memory retrievals and response selections increases with their duration. Moreover, the effect on recall ...
Roffman, Joshua L; Tanner, Alexandra S; Eryilmaz, Hamdi; Rodriguez-Thompson, Anais; Silverstein, Noah J; Ho, New Fei; Nitenson, Adam Z; Chonde, Daniel B; Greve, Douglas N; Abi-Dargham, Anissa; Buckner, Randy L; Manoach, Dara S; Rosen, Bruce R; Hooker, Jacob M; Catana, Ciprian
Local prefrontal dopamine signaling supports working memory by tuning pyramidal neurons to task-relevant stimuli. Enabled by simultaneous positron emission tomography-magnetic resonance imaging (PET-MRI), we determined whether neuromodulatory effects of dopamine scale to the level of cortical networks and coordinate their interplay during working memory. Among network territories, mean cortical D1 receptor densities differed substantially but were strongly interrelated, suggesting cross-network regulation. Indeed, mean cortical D1 density predicted working memory-emergent decoupling of the frontoparietal and default networks, which respectively manage task-related and internal stimuli. In contrast, striatal D1 predicted opposing effects within these two networks but no between-network effects. These findings specifically link cortical dopamine signaling to network crosstalk that redirects cognitive resources to working memory, echoing neuromodulatory effects of D1 signaling on the level of cortical microcircuits.
Lewandowsky, Stephan; Yang, Lee-Xieng; Newell, Ben R; Kalish, Michael L
Working memory is crucial for many higher level cognitive functions, ranging from mental arithmetic to reasoning and problem solving. Likewise, the ability to learn and categorize novel concepts forms an indispensable part of human cognition. However, very little is known about the relationship between working memory and categorization. This article reports 2 studies that related people's working memory capacity (WMC) to their learning performance on multiple rule-based and information-integration perceptual categorization tasks. In both studies, structural equation modeling revealed a strong relationship between WMC and category learning irrespective of the requirement to integrate information across multiple perceptual dimensions. WMC was also uniformly related to people's ability to focus on the most task-appropriate strategy, regardless of whether or not that strategy involved information integration. Contrary to the predictions of the multiple systems view of categorization, working memory thus appears to underpin performance in both major classes of perceptual category-learning tasks. 2012 APA, all rights reserved
Full Text Available A number of recent studies have reported that working memory does not seem to show typical age-related deficits in healthy older adults when emotional information is involved. Differently, studies about the short-term ability to encode and actively manipulate emotional information in dementia of Alzheimer’s type are few and have yielded mixed results. Here, we review behavioural and neuroimaging evidence that points to a complex interaction between emotion modulation and working memory in Alzheimer’s. In fact, depending on the function involved, patients may or may not show an emotional benefit in their working memory performance. In addition, this benefit is not always clearly biased (e.g., towards negative or positive information. We interpret this complex pattern of results as a consequence of the interaction between multiple factors including the severity of Alzheimer’s disease, the nature of affective stimuli, and type of working memory task.
Gotoh, Fumiko; Kikuchi, Tadashi; Olofsson, Ulrich
Previous studies have shown that negatively valenced information impaired working memory performance due to an attention-capturing effect. The present study examined whether negative valence could also facilitate working memory. Affective words (negative, neutral, positive) were used as retro-cues in a working memory task that required participants to remember colors at different spatial locations on a computer screen. Following the cue, a target detection task was used to either shift attention to a different location or keep attention at the same location as the retro-cue. Finally, participants were required to discriminate the cued color from a set of distractors. It was found that negative cues yielded shorter response times (RTs) in the attention-shift condition and longer RTs in the attention-stay condition, compared with neutral and positive cues. The results suggest that negative affective valence may enhance working memory performance (RTs), provided that attention can be disengaged.
Ohlenforst, Barbara; MacDonald, Ewen; Souza, Pamela
Previous studies have shown that individuals with poor working memory perform worse in speech recognition tests when fast compression release time is applied. However, it is not clear why this effect occurs only when modulations are present in the background noise. This study explored...... was varied. Results suggest that the combined effect of short compression release times, a low working memory capacity and glimpsing due to presence of amplitude modulation results in poor speech recognition performance. There was no interaction between working memory and different noise backgrounds...... the relationship between working memory capacity, compression release time and characteristics of the background noise. This relationship is important to understand because the majority of everyday listening situations involve modulated noise. The investigation was carried out by testing two groups of older adults...
Robert H Logie
Full Text Available Multitasking refers to the performance of a range of tasks that have to be completed within a limited time period. it differs from dual task paradigms in that tasks are performed not in parallel, but by interleaving, switching from one to the other. it differs also from task switching paradigms in that the time scale is very much longer, multiple different tasks are involved, and most tasks have a clear end point. Multitasking has been studied extensively with particular sets of experts such as in aviation and in the military, and impairments of multitasking performance have been studied in patients with frontal lobe lesions. Much less is known as to how multitasking is achieved in healthy adults who have not had specific training in the necessary skills. This paper will provide a brief review of research on everyday multitasking, and summarise the results of some recent experiments on simulated everyday tasks chosen to require advance and on-line planning, retrospective memory, prospective memory, and visual, spatial and verbal short-term memory.
Rahm, Benjamin; Kaiser, Jochen; Unterrainer, Josef M; Simon, Juliane; Bledowski, Christoph
Encoding and maintenance of information in visual working memory have been extensively studied, highlighting the crucial and capacity-limiting role of fronto-parietal regions. In contrast, the neural basis of recognition in visual working memory has remained largely unspecified. Cognitive models suggest that recognition relies on a matching process that compares sensory information with the mental representations held in memory. To characterize the neural basis of recognition we varied both the need for recognition and the degree of similarity between the probe item and the memory contents, while independently manipulating memory load to produce load-related fronto-parietal activations. fMRI revealed a fractionation of working memory functions across four distributed networks. First, fronto-parietal regions were activated independent of the need for recognition. Second, anterior parts of load-related parietal regions contributed to recognition but their activations were independent of the difficulty of matching in terms of sample-probe similarity. These results argue against a key role of the fronto-parietal attention network in recognition. Rather the third group of regions including bilateral temporo-parietal junction, posterior cingulate cortex and superior frontal sulcus reflected demands on matching both in terms of sample-probe-similarity and the number of items to be compared. Also, fourth, bilateral motor regions and right superior parietal cortex showed higher activation when matching provided clear evidence for a decision. Together, the segregation between the well-known fronto-parietal activations attributed to attentional operations in working memory from those regions involved in matching supports the theoretical view of separable attentional and mnemonic contributions to working memory. Yet, the close theoretical and empirical correspondence to perceptual decision making may call for an explicit consideration of decision making mechanisms in
Kreitz, Carina; Furley, Philip; Memmert, Daniel; Simons, Daniel J
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.
Sidney Groffman, OD, MA
Working memory (WM) is one of the most significant psychological ideas developed in the last forty years. WM is the cognitive function responsible for storing information, manipulating it, and using it in thinking. WM is a multidimensional system comprising three separable yet interactive domains. They are an executive domain and verbal and visual domains. Working memory affects many perceptuo-cognitive activities, and WM deficits can create a variety of problems, many of which fa...
Lewis-Peacock, Jarrod A.; Norman, Kenneth A.
Switching attention from one thought to the next propels our mental lives forward. However, it is unclear how this thought-juggling affects our ability to remember these thoughts. Here we show that competition between the neural representations of pictures in working memory can impair subsequent recognition of those pictures. We use pattern classifiers to decode functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from a retro-cueing task where participants juggle two pictures in working memory....
Chen, Chi-Ming A.; Stanford, Arielle D.; Mao, Xiangling; Abi-Dargham, Anissa; Shungu, Dikoma C.; Lisanby, Sarah H.; Schroeder, Charles E.; Kegeles, Lawrence S.
A relationship between working memory impairment, disordered neuronal oscillations, and abnormal prefrontal GABA function has been hypothesized in schizophrenia; however, in vivo GABA measurements and gamma band neural synchrony have not yet been compared in schizophrenia. This case–control pilot study (N = 24) compared baseline and working memory task-induced neuronal oscillations acquired with high-density electroencephalograms (EEGs) to GABA levels measured in vivo with magnetic resonance ...
Full Text Available Working memory is a vital cognitive capacity without which meaningful thinking and logical reasoning would be impossible. Working memory is integrally dependent upon prefrontal cortex and it has been suggested that voluntary control of working memory, enabling sustained emotion inhibition, was the crucial step in the evolution of modern humans. Consistent with this, recent fMRI studies suggest that working memory performance depends upon the capacity of prefrontal cortex to suppress bottom-up amygdala signals during emotional arousal. However fMRI is not well-suited to definitively resolve questions of causality. Moreover, the amygdala is neither structurally or functionally homogenous and fMRI studies do not resolve which amygdala sub-regions interfere with working memory. Lesion studies on the other hand can contribute unique causal evidence on aspects of brain-behaviour phenomena fMRI cannot "see". To address these questions we investigated working memory performance in three adult female subjects with bilateral basolateral amygdala calcification consequent to Urbach-Wiethe Disease and ten healthy controls. Amygdala lesion extent and functionality was determined by structural and functional MRI methods. Working memory performance was assessed using the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III digit span forward task. State and trait anxiety measures to control for possible emotional differences between patient and control groups were administered. Structural MRI showed bilateral selective basolateral amygdala damage in the three Urbach-Wiethe Disease subjects and fMRI confirmed intact functionality in the remaining amygdala sub-regions. The three Urbach-Wiethe Disease subjects showed significant working memory facilitation relative to controls. Control measures showed no group anxiety differences. Results are provisionally interpreted in terms of a 'cooperation through competition' networks model that may account for the observed paradoxical
Fischer, Rosa-Linde; Neher, Tobias; Wagener, Kirsten C.
OBJECTIVE: Research findings concerning the relation between benefit from hearing aid (HA) noise suppression and working memory function are inconsistent. The current study thus investigated the effects of three noise suppression algorithms on auditory working memory and the relation with reading span.DESIGN: Using a computer simulation of bilaterally fitted HAs, four settings were tested: (1) unprocessed, (2) directional microphones, (3) single-channel noise reduction and (4) binaural cohere...
Ohlenforst, Barbara; MacDonald, Ewen; Souza, Pamela
Previous studies have shown that individuals with poor working memory perform worse in speech recognition tests when fast compression release time is applied. However, it is not clear why this effect occurs only when modulations are present in the background noise. This study explored the relationship between working memory capacity, compression release time and characteristics of the background noise. This relationship is important to understand because the majority of everyday listening sit...
Na, Dong Gyu; Ryu, Jae Wook; Byun, Hong Sik; Lee, Eun Jeong; Chung, Woo In; Cho, Jae Min; Han, Boo Kyung; Choi, Dae Seob
In order to investigate the functional brain anatomy associated with verbal and visual working memory, functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed. In ten normal right handed subjects, functional MR images were obtained using a 1.5-T MR scanner and the EPI BOLD technique. An item recognition task was used for stimulation, and during the activation period of the verbal working memory task, consonant letters were used. During the activation period of the visual working memory task, symbols or diagrams were employed instead of letters. For the post-processing of images, the SPM program was used, with the threshold of significance set at p < .001. We assessed activated brain areas during the two stimulation tasks and compared the activated regions between the two tasks. The prefrontal cortex and secondary visual cortex were activated bilaterally by both verbal and visual working memory tasks, and the patterns of activated signals were similar in both tasks. The superior parietal cortex was also activated by both tasks, with lateralization to the left in the verbal task, and bilaterally without lateralization in the visual task. The inferior frontal cortex, inferior parietal cortex and temporal gyrus were activated exclusively by the verbal working memory task, predominantly in the left hemisphere. The prefrontal cortex is activated by two stimulation tasks, and this is related to the function of the central executive. The language areas activated by the verbal working memory task may be a function of the phonological loop. Bilateral prefrontal and superior parietal cortices activated by the visual working memory task may be related to the visual maintenance of objects, representing visual working memory
Na, Dong Gyu; Ryu, Jae Wook; Byun, Hong Sik; Lee, Eun Jeong; Chung, Woo In; Cho, Jae Min; Han, Boo Kyung [Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Choi, Dae Seob [Dongguk University College of Medicine, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)
In order to investigate the functional brain anatomy associated with verbal and visual working memory, functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed. In ten normal right handed subjects, functional MR images were obtained using a 1.5-T MR scanner and the EPI BOLD technique. An item recognition task was used for stimulation, and during the activation period of the verbal working memory task, consonant letters were used. During the activation period of the visual working memory task, symbols or diagrams were employed instead of letters. For the post-processing of images, the SPM program was used, with the threshold of significance set at p < .001. We assessed activated brain areas during the two stimulation tasks and compared the activated regions between the two tasks. The prefrontal cortex and secondary visual cortex were activated bilaterally by both verbal and visual working memory tasks, and the patterns of activated signals were similar in both tasks. The superior parietal cortex was also activated by both tasks, with lateralization to the left in the verbal task, and bilaterally without lateralization in the visual task. The inferior frontal cortex, inferior parietal cortex and temporal gyrus were activated exclusively by the verbal working memory task, predominantly in the left hemisphere. The prefrontal cortex is activated by two stimulation tasks, and this is related to the function of the central executive. The language areas activated by the verbal working memory task may be a function of the phonological loop. Bilateral prefrontal and superior parietal cortices activated by the visual working memory task may be related to the visual maintenance of objects, representing visual working memory.
Endres, Michael J; Houpt, Joseph W; Donkin, Chris; Finn, Peter R
Working memory capacity (WMC) is typically measured by the amount of task-relevant information an individual can keep in mind while resisting distraction or interference from task-irrelevant information. The current research investigated the extent to which differences in WMC were associated with performance on a novel redundant memory probes (RMP) task that systematically varied the amount of to-be-remembered (targets) and to-be-ignored (distractor) information. The RMP task was designed to both facilitate and inhibit working memory search processes, as evidenced by differences in accuracy, response time, and Linear Ballistic Accumulator (LBA) model estimates of information processing efficiency. Participants (N = 170) completed standard intelligence tests and dual-span WMC tasks, along with the RMP task. As expected, accuracy, response-time, and LBA model results indicated memory search and retrieval processes were facilitated under redundant-target conditions, but also inhibited under mixed target/distractor and redundant-distractor conditions. Repeated measures analyses also indicated that, while individuals classified as high (n = 85) and low (n = 85) WMC did not differ in the magnitude of redundancy effects, groups did differ in the efficiency of memory search and retrieval processes overall. Results suggest that redundant information reliably facilitates and inhibits the efficiency or speed of working memory search, and these effects are independent of more general limits and individual differences in the capacity or space of working memory.
Coppin, Géraldine; Nolan-Poupart, Sarah; Jones-Gotman, Marilyn; Small, Dana M
Obesity has been associated with impaired executive functions including working memory. Less explored is the influence of obesity on learning and memory. In the current study we assessed stimulus reward association learning, explicit learning and memory and working memory in healthy weight, overweight and obese individuals. Explicit learning and memory did not differ as a function of group. In contrast, working memory was significantly and similarly impaired in both overweight and obese individuals compared to the healthy weight group. In the first reward association learning task the obese, but not healthy weight or overweight participants consistently formed paradoxical preferences for a pattern associated with a negative outcome (fewer food rewards). To determine if the deficit was specific to food reward a second experiment was conducted using money. Consistent with Experiment 1, obese individuals selected the pattern associated with a negative outcome (fewer monetary rewards) more frequently than healthy weight individuals and thus failed to develop a significant preference for the most rewarded patterns as was observed in the healthy weight group. Finally, on a probabilistic learning task, obese compared to healthy weight individuals showed deficits in negative, but not positive outcome learning. Taken together, our results demonstrate deficits in working memory and stimulus reward learning in obesity and suggest that obese individuals are impaired in learning to avoid negative outcomes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Wang, Xiao-Qin; Wang, Gong-Wu
Moderate exercise promotes learning and memory. Most studies mainly focused on memory exercise effects of in the ageing and patients. There is lack of quantitative research about effect of regular exercise intensity on different memory types in normal subjects. Present study investigated the effects of different intensities of treadmill exercise on working memory and long-term memory. Fifty female Wistar rats were trained by T-maze delayed spatial alternation (DSA) task with 3 delays (10s, 60s and 300s). Then they got a 30min treadmill exercise for 30days in 4 intensities (control, 0m/min; lower, 15m/min; middle, 20m/min, and higher, 30m/min). Then animals were tested in DSA, passive avoidance and Morris water maze tasks. 1. Exercise increased the neuronal density of hippocampal subregions (CA1, CA3 and dentate gyrus) vs. naïve/control. 2. In DSA task, all groups have similar baseline, lower intensity improved 10s delay accuracy vs. baseline/control; middle and higher intensities improved 300s delay accuracy vs. baseline/control. 3. In water maze learning, all groups successfully found the platform, but middle intensity improved platform field crossing times vs. control in test phase. Present results suggested that treadmill exercise can improve long-term spatial memory and working memory; lower intensity benefits to short-term delayed working memory, and middle or higher intensity benefits to long-term delayed working memory. There was an inverted U dose-effect relationship between exercise intensity and memory performance, but exercise -working memory effect was impacted by delay duration. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Quinette, Peggy; Guillery-Girard, Bérengère; Noël, Audrey; de la Sayette, Vincent; Viader, Fausto; Desgranges, Béatrice; Eustache, Francis
In a previous study, we investigated the relationship between the disorders of both episodic memory and working memory in the acute phase of transient global amnesia (TGA). Since executive functions were spared, another dysfunction may be responsible for the binding and maintenance of multimodal informations and contribute to the encoding disorders observed in some patients [Quinette, P., Guillery, B., Desgranges, B., de la Sayette, V., Viader, F., & Eustache, F. (2003). Working memory and executive functions in transient global amnesia. Brain, 126, 1917-1934.]. The aim of this present study was to assess the functions of binding and maintenance of multimodal information during TGA and explore their involvement in episodic memory disorders. We therefore conducted a more thorough investigation of working memory in 16 new patients during the acute phase of TGA using two tasks designed to assess the binding process and both dimensions of the maintenance, namely the active storage and the memory load ability. We also investigated the nature of the episodic memory impairment in distinguishing between the performance of patients with preferential encoding deficits and those of patients with preferential storage disorders on the episodic memory task. This distinction was closely related to the severity of amnesia, i.e. an encoding disorder was observed rather in the early phase of TGA. The results showed that while the functions of binding and maintenance of multimodal information were intact in patients with storage disorders, they were impaired in the case of encoding deficits. These results are interpreted in the recent framework of episodic buffer proposed by Baddeley [Baddeley, A. D. (2000). The episodic buffer: A new component of working memory? Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 4, 417-423] that represents an interface between working memory and episodic memory.
Liu, Tiaotiao; Bai, Wenwen; Xia, Mi; Tian, Xin
Working memory refers to a system that is essential for performing complex cognitive tasks such as reasoning, comprehension and learning. Evidence shows that hippocampus (HPC) and prefrontal cortex (PFC) play important roles in working memory. The HPC-PFC interaction via theta-band oscillatory synchronization is critical for successful execution of working memory. However, whether one brain region is leading or lagging relative to another is still unclear. Therefore, in the present study, we simultaneously recorded local field potentials (LFPs) from rat ventral hippocampus (vHPC) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and while the rats performed a Y-maze working memory task. We then applied instantaneous amplitudes cross-correlation method to calculate the time lag between PFC and vHPC to explore the functional dynamics of the HPC-PFC interaction. Our results showed a strong lead from vHPC to mPFC preceded an animal's correct choice during the working memory task. These findings suggest the vHPC-leading interaction contributes to the successful execution of working memory. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Caldwell-Tarr, Amanda; Low, Keri E.; Lowenstein, Joanna H.
Purpose Verbal working memory in children with cochlear implants and children with normal hearing was examined. Participants Ninety-three fourth graders (47 with normal hearing, 46 with cochlear implants) participated, all of whom were in a longitudinal study and had working memory assessed 2 years earlier. Method A dual-component model of working memory was adopted, and a serial recall task measured storage and processing. Potential predictor variables were phonological awareness, vocabulary knowledge, nonverbal IQ, and several treatment variables. Potential dependent functions were literacy, expressive language, and speech-in-noise recognition. Results Children with cochlear implants showed deficits in storage and processing, similar in size to those at second grade. Predictors of verbal working memory differed across groups: Phonological awareness explained the most variance in children with normal hearing; vocabulary explained the most variance in children with cochlear implants. Treatment variables explained little of the variance. Where potentially dependent functions were concerned, verbal working memory accounted for little variance once the variance explained by other predictors was removed. Conclusions The verbal working memory deficits of children with cochlear implants arise due to signal degradation, which limits their abilities to acquire phonological awareness. That hinders their abilities to store items using a phonological code. PMID:29075747
Postle, Bradley R; Idzikowski, Christopher; Sala, Sergio Della; Logie, Robert H; Baddeley, Alan D
In the late 1970s/early 1980s, Baddeley and colleagues conducted a series of experiments investigating the role of eye movements in visual working memory. Although only described briefly in a book, these studies have influenced a remarkable number of empirical and theoretical developments in fields ranging from experimental psychology to human neuropsychology to nonhuman primate electrophysiology. This paper presents, in full detail, three critical studies from this series, together with a recently performed study that includes a level of eye movement measurement and control that was not available for the older studies. Together, the results demonstrate several facts about the sensitivity of visuospatial working memory to eye movements. First, it is eye movement control, not movement per se, that produces the disruptive effects. Second, these effects are limited to working memory for locations and do not generalize to visual working memory for shapes. Third, they can be isolated to the storage/maintenance components of working memory (e.g., to the delay period of the delayed-recognition task). These facts have important implications for models of visual working memory.
Waechter, Stephanie; Moscovitch, David A; Vidovic, Vanja; Bielak, Tatiana; Rowa, Karen; McCabe, Randi E
In one of the few studies examining working memory processes in social anxiety disorder (SAD), Amir and Bomyea (2011) recruited participants with and without SAD to complete a working memory span task with neutral and social threat words. Those with SAD showed better working memory performance for social threat words compared to neutral words, suggesting an enhancement in processing efficiency for socially threatening information in SAD. The current study sought to replicate and extend these findings. In this study, 25 participants with a principal diagnosis of SAD, 24 anxious control (AC) participants with anxiety disorders other than SAD, and 27 healthy control (HC) participants with no anxiety disorder completed a working memory task with social threat, general threat, and neutral stimuli. The groups in the current study demonstrated similar working memory performance within each of the word type conditions, thus failing to replicate the principal findings of Amir and Bomyea (2011). Post hoc analyses revealed a significant association between higher levels of anxiety symptomatology and poorer overall WM performance. These results inform our understanding of working memory in the anxiety disorders and support the importance of replication in psychological research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).
Meyer, Meghan L; Lieberman, Matthew D
Navigating the social world requires the ability to maintain and manipulate information about people's beliefs, traits, and mental states. We characterize this capacity as social working memory (SWM). To date, very little research has explored this phenomenon, in part because of the assumption that general working memory systems would support working memory for social information. Various lines of research, however, suggest that social cognitive processing relies on a neurocognitive network (i.e., the "mentalizing network") that is functionally distinct from, and considered antagonistic with, the canonical working memory network. Here, we review evidence suggesting that demanding social cognition requires SWM and that both the mentalizing and canonical working memory neurocognitive networks support SWM. The neural data run counter to the common finding of parametric decreases in mentalizing regions as a function of working memory demand and suggest that the mentalizing network can support demanding cognition, when it is demanding social cognition. Implications for individual differences in social cognition and pathologies of social cognition are discussed.
Tu, Hsiao-Wei; Hampton, Robert R.
Cognitive control is critical for efficiently using the limited resources in working memory. It is well established that humans use rehearsal to increase the probability of remembering needed information, but little is known in nonhumans, with some studies reporting the absence of active control and others subject to alternative explanations. We trained monkeys in a visual matching-to-sample paradigm with a post-sample memory cue. Monkeys either saw a remember cue that predicted the occurrence of a matching test that required memory for the sample, or a forget cue that predicted a discrimination test that did not require memory of the sample. Infrequent probe trials on which monkeys were given tests of the type not cued on that trial were used to assess whether memory was under cognitive control. Our procedures controlled for reward expectation and for the surprising nature of the probes. Monkeys matched less accurately after forget cues, while discrimination accuracy was equivalent in the two cue conditions. We also tested monkeys with lists of two consecutive sample images that shared the same cue. Again, memory for expected memory tests was superior to that on unexpected tests. Together these results show that monkeys cognitively control their working memory. PMID:25436219
Schneegans, Sebastian; Spencer, John P.; Schöner, Gregor; Hwang, Seongmin; Hollingworth, Andrew
Recent psychophysical experiments have shown that working memory for visual surface features interacts with saccadic motor planning, even in tasks where the saccade target is unambiguously specified by spatial cues. Specifically, a match between a memorized color and the color of either the designated target or a distractor stimulus influences saccade target selection, saccade amplitudes, and latencies in a systematic fashion. To elucidate these effects, we present a dynamic neural field model in combination with new experimental data. The model captures the neural processes underlying visual perception, working memory, and saccade planning relevant to the psychophysical experiment. It consists of a low-level visual sensory representation that interacts with two separate pathways: a spatial pathway implementing spatial attention and saccade generation, and a surface feature pathway implementing color working memory and feature attention. Due to bidirectional coupling between visual working memory and feature attention in the model, the working memory content can indirectly exert an effect on perceptual processing in the low-level sensory representation. This in turn biases saccadic movement planning in the spatial pathway, allowing the model to quantitatively reproduce the observed interaction effects. The continuous coupling between representations in the model also implies that modulation should be bidirectional, and model simulations provide specific predictions for complementary effects of saccade target selection on visual working memory. These predictions were empirically confirmed in a new experiment: Memory for a sample color was biased toward the color of a task-irrelevant saccade target object, demonstrating the bidirectional coupling between visual working memory and perceptual processing. PMID:25228628
Schneegans, Sebastian; Spencer, John P; Schöner, Gregor; Hwang, Seongmin; Hollingworth, Andrew
Recent psychophysical experiments have shown that working memory for visual surface features interacts with saccadic motor planning, even in tasks where the saccade target is unambiguously specified by spatial cues. Specifically, a match between a memorized color and the color of either the designated target or a distractor stimulus influences saccade target selection, saccade amplitudes, and latencies in a systematic fashion. To elucidate these effects, we present a dynamic neural field model in combination with new experimental data. The model captures the neural processes underlying visual perception, working memory, and saccade planning relevant to the psychophysical experiment. It consists of a low-level visual sensory representation that interacts with two separate pathways: a spatial pathway implementing spatial attention and saccade generation, and a surface feature pathway implementing color working memory and feature attention. Due to bidirectional coupling between visual working memory and feature attention in the model, the working memory content can indirectly exert an effect on perceptual processing in the low-level sensory representation. This in turn biases saccadic movement planning in the spatial pathway, allowing the model to quantitatively reproduce the observed interaction effects. The continuous coupling between representations in the model also implies that modulation should be bidirectional, and model simulations provide specific predictions for complementary effects of saccade target selection on visual working memory. These predictions were empirically confirmed in a new experiment: Memory for a sample color was biased toward the color of a task-irrelevant saccade target object, demonstrating the bidirectional coupling between visual working memory and perceptual processing. © 2014 ARVO.
van den Hout, Marcel A.; Eidhof, Marloes B.; Verboom, Jesse; Littel, Marianne; Engelhard, Iris M.
Memories that are recalled while working memory (WM) is taxed, e.g., by making eye movements (EM), become blurred during the recall + EM and later recall, without EM. This may help to explain the effects of Eye Movement and Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) in the treatment of post-traumatic
Engelhard, I.M.; van Uijen, S.L.; Van den Hout, M.A.
BACKGROUND: Earlier studies have shown that horizontal eye movement (EM) during retrieval of a negative memory reduces its vividness and emotionality. This may be due to both tasks competing for working memory (WM) resources. This study examined whether playing the computer game "Tetris" also blurs
Artuso, Caterina; Palladino, Paola
The aim of the present study was to investigate how working memory updating for verbal material is modulated by enduring properties of long-term memory. Two coexisting perspectives that account for the relation between long-term representation and short-term performance were addressed. First, evidence suggests that performance is more closely linked to lexical properties, that is, co-occurrences within the language. Conversely, other evidence suggests that performance is linked more to long-term representations which do not entail lexical/linguistic representations. Our aim was to investigate how these two kinds of long-term memory associations (i.e., lexical or nonlexical) modulate ongoing working memory activity. Therefore, we manipulated (between participants) the strength of the association in letters based on either frequency of co-occurrences (lexical) or contiguity along the sequence of the alphabet (nonlexical). Results showed a cost in working memory updating for strongly lexically associated stimuli only. Our findings advance knowledge of how lexical long-term memory associations between consonants affect working memory updating and, in turn, contribute to the study of factors which impact the updating process across memory systems.
Morra, Sergio; Camba, Roberta
The goal of this study was to investigate which working memory and long-term memory components predict vocabulary learning. We used a nonword learning paradigm in which 8- to 10-year-olds learned picture-nonword pairs. The nonwords varied in length (two vs. four syllables) and phonology (native sounding vs. including one Russian phoneme). Short,…
Geldorp, B. van; Heringa, S.M.; Berg, E. van den; Olde Rikkert, M.G.M.; Biessels, G.J.; Kessels, R.P.C.
INTRODUCTION: Recent studies indicate that in both normal and pathological aging working memory (WM) performance deteriorates, especially when associations have to be maintained. However, most studies typically do not assess the relationship between WM and episodic memory formation. In the present
Spillers, Gregory J.; Unsworth, Nash
Unsworth and Engle (2007) recently proposed a model of working memory capacity characterized by, among other things, the ability to conduct a strategic, cue-dependent search of long-term memory. Although this ability has been found to mediate individual variation in a number of higher order cognitive tasks, the component processes involved remain…
Voigt, B.; Mahy, C.E.V.; Ellis, J.; Schnitzspahn, K.M.; Krause, I.; Altgassen, A.M.; Kliegel, M.
This large-scale study examined the development of time-based prospective memory (PM) across childhood and the roles that working memory updating and time monitoring play in driving age effects in PM performance. One hundred and ninety-seven children aged 5 to 14 years completed a time-based PM task
Full Text Available Networks with continuous set of attractors are considered to be a paradigmatic model for parametric working memory, but require fine-tuning of connections and are thus structurally unstable. Here we analyzed the network with ring attractor, where connections are not perfectly tuned and the activity state therefore drifts in the absence of the stabilizing stimulus. We derive an analytical expression for the drift dynamics and conclude that the network cannot function as working memory for a period of several seconds, a typical delay time in monkey memory experiments. We propose that short-term synaptic facilitation in recurrent connections significantly improves the robustness of the model by slowing down the drift of activity bump. Extending the calculation of the drift velocity to network with synaptic facilitation, we conclude that facilitation can slow down the drift by a large factor, rendering the network suitable as a model of working memory.
Pearson, David G; Ball, Keira; Smith, Daniel T
There is little consensus regarding the specific processes responsible for encoding, maintenance, and retrieval of information in visuo-spatial working memory (VSWM). One influential theory is that VSWM may involve activation of the eye-movement (oculomotor) system. In this study we experimentally prevented healthy participants from planning or executing saccadic eye-movements during the encoding, maintenance, and retrieval stages of visual and spatial working memory tasks. Participants experienced a significant reduction in spatial memory span only when oculomotor preparation was prevented during encoding or maintenance. In contrast there was no reduction when oculomotor preparation was prevented only during retrieval. These results show that (a) involvement of the oculomotor system is necessary for optimal maintenance of directly-indicated locations in spatial working memory and (b) oculomotor preparation is not necessary during retrieval from spatial working memory. We propose that this study is the first to unambiguously demonstrate that the oculomotor system contributes to the maintenance of spatial locations in working memory independently from the involvement of covert attention. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Stiles, Derek J; McGregor, Karla K; Bentler, Ruth A
To determine whether children with mild-to-moderately severe sensorineural hearing loss (CHL) present with disturbances in working memory and whether these disturbances relate to the size of their receptive vocabularies. Children 6 to 9 years of age participated. Aspects of working memory were tapped by articulation rate, forward and backward digit span in the auditory and visual modalities, Corsi span, parent surveys, and a sequential encoding task. Articulation rate, digit spans, and Corsi spans were also administered in low-level broadband noise. CHL and children with normal hearing (CNH) demonstrated auditory advantage in forward serial recall. CHL demonstrated slower articulation rates than CNH, but similar memory spans. CHL with poor executive function presented with poorer performance on the Corsi span task. The presence of background noise had no effect on performance in either group. CHL presented with significantly smaller receptive vocabularies than their CNH peers. Across groups, receptive vocabulary size was positively correlated with digit span in quiet, Corsi span in noise, and articulation rate. In the presence of mild-to-moderately severe hearing loss, children demonstrated resilient working memory systems. For all children, working memory and vocabulary were related; that is, children with poorer working memory had smaller vocabulary sizes.
Full Text Available Despite the interest in the neuroimaging of working memory, little is still known about the neurobiology of complex working memory in tasks that require simultaneous manipulation and storage of information. In addition to the central executive network, we assumed that the recently described salience network (involving the anterior insular cortex and the anterior cingulate cortex might be of particular importance to working memory tasks that require complex, effortful processing. Method: Healthy participants (n=26 and participants suffering from working memory problems related to the Kleine-Levin syndrome (a specific form of periodic idiopathic hypersomnia; n=18 participated in the study. Participants were further divided into a high and low capacity group, according to performance on a working memory task (listening span. In a functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI study, participants were administered the reading span complex working memory task tapping cognitive effort. Principal findings: The fMRI-derived blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD signal was modulated by 1 effort in both the central executive and the salience network and 2 capacity in the salience network in that high performers evidenced a weaker BOLD signal than low performers. In the salience network there was a dichotomy between the left and the right hemisphere; the right hemisphere elicited a steeper increase of the BOLD signal as a function of increasing effort. There was also a stronger functional connectivity within the central executive network because of increased task difficulty. Conclusion: The ability to allocate cognitive effort in complex working memory is contingent upon focused resources in the executive and in particular the salience network. Individual capacity during the complex working memory task is related to activity in the salience (but not the executive network so that high-capacity participants evidence a lower signal and possibly hence a larger
Karbach, Julia; Verhaeghen, Paul
This meta-analysis examined the effects of process-based cognitive training (49 studies) in the domains of executive function and working memory in older adults (>60 years). The interventions resulted in significant effects on the trained task (pre-to-posttest net gain: MSD = 0.5 compared to active control, MSD = 0.8 compared to passive control; net posttest effect: MSD = 1.2 compared to active control, MSD = 1.1 compared to passive control), significant near transfer (pre-post: MSD = 0.3, 0....
Conway, Andrew R. A.; Cowan, Nelsin; Bunting, Michael F.; Therriault, David J.; Minkoff, Scott R. B.
Studied the interrelationships among general fluid intelligence, short-term memory capacity, working memory capacity, and processing speed in 120 young adults and used structural equation modeling to determine the best predictor of general fluid intelligence. Results suggest that working memory capacity, but not short-term memory capacity or…
Redick, Thomas S.; Shipstead, Zach; Wiemers, Elizabeth A.; Melby-Lervåg, Monica; Hulme, Charles
Working memory training programs have generated great interest, with claims that the training interventions can have profound beneficial effects on children’s academic and intellectual attainment. We describe the criteria by which to evaluate evidence for or against the benefit of working memory training. Despite the promising results of initial research studies, the current review of all of the available evidence of working memory training efficacy is less optimistic. Our conclusion is that working memory training produces limited benefits in terms of specific gains on short-term and working memory tasks that are very similar to the training programs, but no advantage for academic and achievement-based reading and arithmetic outcomes. PMID:26640352
Üstün, Sertaç; Kale, Emre H.; Çiçek, Metehan
Time is an important concept which determines most human behaviors, however questions remain about how time is perceived and which areas of the brain are responsible for time perception. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between time perception and working memory in healthy adults. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used during the application of a visual paradigm. In all of the conditions, the participants were presented with a moving black rectangle on a gray screen. The rectangle was obstructed by a black bar for a time period and then reappeared again. During different conditions, participants (n = 15, eight male) responded according to the instructions they were given, including details about time and the working memory or dual task requirements. The results showed activations in right dorsolateral prefrontal and right intraparietal cortical networks, together with the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), anterior insula and basal ganglia (BG) during time perception. On the other hand, working memory engaged the left prefrontal cortex, ACC, left superior parietal cortex, BG and cerebellum activity. Both time perception and working memory were related to a strong peristriate cortical activity. On the other hand, the interaction of time and memory showed activity in the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC). These results support a distributed neural network based model for time perception and that the intraparietal and posterior cingulate areas might play a role in the interface of memory and timing. PMID:28286475
Swanson, H L; Berninger, V W
The purpose of this research is to address (a) whether individual differences in working memory (WM) and writing are related to a general or process-specific system, (b) whether WM tasks operate independently of phonological short-term memory (STM) on measures of writing and reading, and (c) whether working memory predicts variance in writing beyond that predicted by reading alone. The present study correlated several WM and phonological STM measures with writing and reading measures. The study showed among the memory measures that a four-factor model reflecting phonological STM, verbal WM span, executive processing, and visual-spatial WM span best fit the multivariate data set. Working memory was correlated significantly with a number of writing measures, particularly those related to text generation. WM measures contributed unique variance to writing that was independent of reading skill, and STM measures best predicted transcription processes and reading recognition, whereas WM measures best predicted text generation and reading comprehension. Both verbal and visual-spatial working memory measures predicted reading comprehension, whereas only WM measures that reflect executive processing significantly predicted writing. In general, the results suggest that individual differences in children's writing reflect a specific capacity system, whereas reading comprehension draws upon a multiple capacity system.
Wang, Jin-Hui; Cui, Shan
The acquisition, integration and storage of exogenous associated signals are termed as associative learning and memory. The consequences and processes of associative thinking and logical reasoning based on these stored exogenous signals can be memorized as endogenous signals, which are essential for decision making, intention, and planning. Associative memory cells recruited in these primary and secondary associative memories are presumably the foundation for the brain to fulfill cognition events and emotional reactions in life, though the plasticity of synaptic connectivity and neuronal activity has been believed to be involved in learning and memory. Current reports indicate that associative memory cells are recruited by their mutual synapse innervations among co-activated brain regions to fulfill the integration, storage and retrieval of associated signals. The activation of these associative memory cells initiates information recall in the mind, and the successful activation of their downstream neurons endorses memory presentations through behaviors and emotion reactions. In this review, we aim to draw a comprehensive diagram for associative memory cells, working principle and modulation, as well as propose their roles in cognition, emotion and behaviors. PMID:29487741
Price, Catherine C; Garvan, Cynthia; Hizel, Loren P; Lopez, Marcos G; Billings, Frederic T
Reduced preoperative cognition is a risk factor for postoperative delirium. The significance for type of preoperative cognitive deficit, however, has yet to be explored and could provide important insights into mechanisms and prediction of delirium. Our goal was to determine if certain cognitive domains from the general cognitive screener, the Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE), predict delirium after cardiac surgery. Patients completed a preoperative MMSE prior to undergoing elective cardiac surgery. Following surgery, delirium was assessed throughout ICU stay using the Confusion Assessment Method for ICU delirium and the Richmond Agitation and Sedation Scale. Cardiac surgery patients who developed delirium (n = 137) had lower total MMSE scores than patients who did not develop delirium (n = 457). In particular, orientation to place, working memory, delayed recall, and language domain scores were lower. Of these, only the working memory and delayed recall domains predicted delirium in a regression model adjusting for history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, age, sex, and duration of cardiopulmonary bypass. For each word not recalled on the three-word delayed recall assessment, the odds of delirium increased by 50%. For each item missed on the working memory index, the odds of delirium increased by 36%. Of the patients who developed delirium, 47% had a primary impairment in memory, 21% in working memory, and 33% in both domains. The area under the receiver operating characteristics curve using only the working memory and delayed recall domains was 0.75, compared to 0.76 for total MMSE score. Delirium risk is greater for individuals with reduced MMSE scores on the delayed recall and working memory domains. Research should address why patients with memory and executive vulnerabilities are more prone to postoperative delirium than those with other cognitive limitations.
Olivers, C.N.L.; Meijer, F.; Theeuwes, J.
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
Rapp, Brenda; Purcell, Jeremy; Hillis, Argye E; Capasso, Rita; Miceli, Gabriele
Spelling a word involves the retrieval of information about the word's letters and their order from long-term memory as well as the maintenance and processing of this information by working memory in preparation for serial production by the motor system. While it is known that brain lesions may selectively affect orthographic long-term memory and working memory processes, relatively little is known about the neurotopographic distribution of the substrates that support these cognitive processes, or the lesions that give rise to the distinct forms of dysgraphia that affect these cognitive processes. To examine these issues, this study uses a voxel-based mapping approach to analyse the lesion distribution of 27 individuals with dysgraphia subsequent to stroke, who were identified on the basis of their behavioural profiles alone, as suffering from deficits only affecting either orthographic long-term or working memory, as well as six other individuals with deficits affecting both sets of processes. The findings provide, for the first time, clear evidence of substrates that selectively support orthographic long-term and working memory processes, with orthographic long-term memory deficits centred in either the left posterior inferior frontal region or left ventral temporal cortex, and orthographic working memory deficits primarily arising from lesions of the left parietal cortex centred on the intraparietal sulcus. These findings also contribute to our understanding of the relationship between the neural instantiation of written language processes and spoken language, working memory and other cognitive skills. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: email@example.com.
Degé, Franziska; Kerkovius, Katharina
Our study investigated the effect of a music training program on working memory (verbal memory, visual memory, and as a part of central executive processing working memory) in older adults. The experimental group was musically trained (drumming and singing), whereas one control group received a literature training program and a second control group was untrained. We randomly assigned 24 participants (all females; M = 77 years and 3 months) to the music group, the literature group, and the untrained group. The training groups were trained for 15 weeks. The three groups did not differ significantly in age, socioeconomic status, music education, musical aptitude, cognitive abilities, or depressive symptoms. We did not find differences in the music group in central executive function. However, we found a potential effect of music training on verbal memory and an impact of music training on visual memory. Musically trained participants remembered more words from a word list than both control groups, and they were able to remember more symbol sequences correctly than the control groups. Our findings show a possible effect of music training on verbal and visual memory in older people. © 2018 New York Academy of Sciences.
Cowan, Nelson; Saults, J. Scott; Clark, Katherine M.
Recent research has shown marked developmental increases in the apparent capacity of working memory. This recent research is based largely on performance on tasks in which a visual array is to be retained briefly for comparison with a subsequent probe display. Here we examine a possible theoretical alternative (or supplement) to a developmental increase in working memory, in which children could improve in the ability to combine items in an array to form a coherent configuration. Elementary s...
Barr, Mera S; Rajji, Tarek K; Zomorrodi, Reza; Radhu, Natasha; George, Tony P; Blumberger, Daniel M; Daskalakis, Zafiris J
Working memory deficits represent a core feature of schizophrenia. These deficits have been associated with dysfunctional dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) cortical oscillations. Theta-gamma coupling describes the modulation of gamma oscillations by theta phasic activity that has been directly associated with the ordering of information during working memory performance. Evaluating theta-gamma coupling may provide greater insight into the neural mechanisms mediating working memory deficits in this disorder. Thirty-eight patients diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and 38 healthy controls performed the verbal N-Back task administered at 4 levels, while EEG was recorded. Theta (4-7Hz)-gamma (30-50Hz) coupling was calculated for target and non-target correct trials for each working memory load. The relationship between theta-gamma coupling and accuracy was determined. Theta-gamma coupling was significantly and selectively impaired during correct responses to target letters among schizophrenia patients compared to healthy controls. A significant and positive relationship was found between theta-gamma coupling and 3-Back accuracy in controls, while this relationship was not observed in patients. These findings suggest that impaired theta-gamma coupling contribute to working memory dysfunction in schizophrenia. Future work is needed to evaluate the predictive utility of theta-gamma coupling as a neurophysiological marker for functional outcomes in this disorder. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Karbach, Julia; Verhaeghen, Paul
This meta-analysis examined the effects of process-based executive-function and working memory training (49 articles, 61 independent samples) in older adults (> 60 years). The interventions resulted in significant effects on performance on the trained task and near-transfer tasks; significant results were obtained for the net pretest-to-posttest gain relative to active and passive control groups and for the net effect at posttest relative to active and passive control groups. Far-transfer effects were smaller than near-transfer effects but were significant for the net pretest-to-posttest gain relative to passive control groups and for the net gain at posttest relative to both active and passive control groups. We detected marginally significant differences in training-induced improvements between working memory and executive-function training, but no differences between the training-induced improvements observed in older adults and younger adults, between the benefits associated with adaptive and nonadaptive training, or between the effects in active and passive control conditions. Gains did not vary with total training time. © The Author(s) 2014.
Fegen, David; Buchsbaum, Bradley R; D'Esposito, Mark
While many neuroimaging studies have investigated verbal working memory (WM) by manipulating memory load, the subvocal rehearsal rate at these various memory loads has generally been left uncontrolled. Therefore, the goal of this study was to investigate how mnemonic load and the rate of subvocal rehearsal modulate patterns of activity in the core neural circuits underlying verbal working memory. Using fMRI in healthy subjects, we orthogonally manipulated subvocal rehearsal rate and memory load in a verbal WM task with long 45-s delay periods. We found that middle frontal gyrus (MFG) and superior parietal lobule (SPL) exhibited memory load effects primarily early in the delay period and did not exhibit rehearsal rate effects. In contrast, we found that inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), premotor cortex (PM) and Sylvian-parietal-temporal region (area Spt) exhibited approximately linear memory load and rehearsal rate effects, with rehearsal rate effects lasting through the entire delay period. These results indicate that IFG, PM and area Spt comprise the core articulatory rehearsal areas involved in verbal WM, while MFG and SPL are recruited in a general supervisory role once a memory load threshold in the core rehearsal network has been exceeded. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Logie, Robert H; Cowan, Nelson
More than 40 years ago, Baddeley and Hitch (1974) published an article with a wealth of experimentation and theorization on working memory, the small amount of information held in mind and often used within cognitive processes such as language comprehension and production, reasoning, and problem solving. We honor this seminal accomplishment in the present special issue, and take this opportunity to provide an introduction to our perspectives on the origin of the theory of working memory, how it has affected our work, what may be coming in the near future, and how the research articles in the present issue contribute to several related themes within the clearly thriving field of working memory.
Demoulin, Catherine; Kolinsky, Régine
Many experimental studies have investigated the relationship between the acquisition of reading and working memory in a unidirectional way, attempting to determine to what extent individual differences in working memory can predict reading achievement. In contrast, very little attention has been dedicated to the converse possibility that learning to read shapes the development of verbal memory processes. In this paper, we present available evidence that advocates a more prominent role for reading acquisition on verbal working memory and then discuss the potential mechanisms of such literacy effects. First, the early decoding activities might bolster the development of subvocal rehearsal, which, in turn, would enhance serial order performance in immediate memory tasks. In addition, learning to read and write in an alphabetical system allows the emergence of phonemic awareness and finely tuned phonological representations, as well as of orthographic representations. This could improve the quality, strength, and precision of lexical representations, and hence offer better support for the temporary encoding of memory items and/or for their retrieval.
Storm, Benjamin C; Bui, Dung C
Retrieving a subset of items from memory can cause forgetting of other items in memory, a phenomenon referred to as retrieval-induced forgetting (RIF). Individuals who exhibit greater amounts of RIF have been shown to also exhibit superior working memory capacity (WMC) and faster stop-signal reaction times (SSRTs), results which have been interpreted as suggesting that RIF reflects an inhibitory process that is mediated by the processes of executive control. Across four experiments, we sought to further elucidate this issue by manipulating the way in which participants retrieved items during retrieval practice and examining how the resulting effects of forgetting correlated with WMC (Experiments 1-3) and SSRT (Experiment 4). Significant correlations were observed when participants retrieved items from an earlier study phase (within-list retrieval practice), but not when participants generated items from semantic memory (extra-list retrieval practice). These results provide important new insight into the role of executive-control processes in RIF.
Engel de Abreu, Pascale M J
This research investigates whether early childhood bilingualism affects working memory performance in 6- to 8-year-olds, followed over a longitudinal period of 3 years. The study tests the hypothesis that bilinguals might exhibit more efficient working memory abilities than monolinguals, potentially via the opportunity a bilingual environment provides to train cognitive control by combating interference and intrusions from the non-target language. A total of 44 bilingual and monolingual children, matched on age, sex, and socioeconomic status, completed assessments of working memory (simple span and complex span tasks), fluid intelligence, and language (vocabulary and syntax). The data showed that the monolinguals performed significantly better on the language measures across the years, whereas no language group effect emerged on the working memory and fluid intelligence tasks after verbal abilities were considered. The study suggests that the need to manage several language systems in the bilingual mind has an impact on children's language skills while having little effects on the development of working memory.
Taís Crema Remoli
Full Text Available Creativity and working memory are academic and professional success markers. Paradoxically, correlational studies do not always find associations between these constructs; some studies show positive associations between them and others show negative associations. Probably, the contradictory findings arise from different parameters, because of that it is important to identify them in order to have a more coherent understanding of this relationship. Thus, this systematic literature review aimed to answer the questions: “What is the relationship between working memory and creativity? Do update and serial recall mnemonic processes also interfere in the production of convergent or divergent thinking?” For this purpose, a survey of specific descriptors generated 384 articles found in Scopus, Web of Science and Pubmed databases, from which fifteen studies were selected. Despite the methodological variability between the selected studies, the results found suggest associations between working memory and creativity, which are explained by the attentional, inhibitory, analytical and motivational processes involved. A systematic review of these studies concluded that the characteristics of experimental tasks to study creativity and working memory used can influence the results of this association. It is also possible to infer that working memory overload can impair creative performance.
Thompson, Todd W.; Waskom, Michael L.; Garel, Keri-Lee A.; Cardenas-Iniguez, Carlos; Reynolds, Gretchen O.; Winter, Rebecca; Chang, Patricia; Pollard, Kiersten; Lala, Nupur; Alvarez, George A.; Gabrieli, John D. E.
Fluid intelligence is important for successful functioning in the modern world, but much evidence suggests that fluid intelligence is largely immutable after childhood. Recently, however, researchers have reported gains in fluid intelligence after multiple sessions of adaptive working memory training in adults. The current study attempted to replicate and expand those results by administering a broad assessment of cognitive abilities and personality traits to young adults who underwent 20 sessions of an adaptive dual n-back working memory training program and comparing their post-training performance on those tests to a matched set of young adults who underwent 20 sessions of an adaptive attentional tracking program. Pre- and post-training measurements of fluid intelligence, standardized intelligence tests, speed of processing, reading skills, and other tests of working memory were assessed. Both training groups exhibited substantial and specific improvements on the trained tasks that persisted for at least 6 months post-training, but no transfer of improvement was observed to any of the non-trained measurements when compared to a third untrained group serving as a passive control. These findings fail to support the idea that adaptive working memory training in healthy young adults enhances working memory capacity in non-trained tasks, fluid intelligence, or other measures of cognitive abilities. PMID:23717453
Barrouillet, Pierre; Portrat, Sophie; Camos, Valérie
Working memory is usually defined in cognitive psychology as a system devoted to the simultaneous processing and maintenance of information. However, although many models of working memory have been put forward during the last decades, they often leave underspecified the dynamic interplay between processing and storage. Moreover, the account of their interaction proposed by the most popular A. D. Baddeley and G. Hitch's (1974) multiple-component model is contradicted by facts, leaving unresolved one of the main issues of cognitive functioning. In this article, the author derive from the time-based resource-sharing model of working memory a mathematical function relating the cognitive load involved by concurrent processing to the amount of information that can be simultaneously maintained active in working memory. A meta-analysis from several experiments testing the effects of processing on storage corroborates the parameters of the predicted function, suggesting that it properly reflects the law relating the 2 functions of working memory. 2011 APA, all rights reserved
Bomyea, Jessica; Taylor, Charles T; Spadoni, Andrea D; Simmons, Alan N
The extent to which one can use cognitive resources to keep information in working memory is known to rely on (1) active maintenance of target representations and (2) downregulation of interference from irrelevant representations. Neurobiologically, the global capacity of working memory is thought to depend on the prefrontal and parietal cortices; however, the neural mechanisms involved in controlling interference specifically in working memory capacity tasks remain understudied. In this study, 22 healthy participants completed a modified complex working memory capacity task (Reading Span) with trials of varying levels of interference control demands while undergoing functional MRI. Neural activity associated with interference control demands was examined separately during encoding and recall phases of the task. Results suggested a widespread network of regions in the prefrontal, parietal, and occipital cortices, and the cingulate and cerebellum associated with encoding, and parietal and occipital regions associated with recall. Results align with prior findings emphasizing the importance of frontoparietal circuits for working memory performance, including the role of the inferior frontal gyrus, cingulate, occipital cortex, and cerebellum in regulation of interference demands. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Shipstead, Zach; Harrison, Tyler L; Engle, Randall W
Working memory capacity and fluid intelligence have been demonstrated to be strongly correlated traits. Typically, high working memory capacity is believed to facilitate reasoning through accurate maintenance of relevant information. In this article, we present a proposal reframing this issue, such that tests of working memory capacity and fluid intelligence are seen as measuring complementary processes that facilitate complex cognition. Respectively, these are the ability to maintain access to critical information and the ability to disengage from or block outdated information. In the realm of problem solving, high working memory capacity allows a person to represent and maintain a problem accurately and stably, so that hypothesis testing can be conducted. However, as hypotheses are disproven or become untenable, disengaging from outdated problem solving attempts becomes important so that new hypotheses can be generated and tested. From this perspective, the strong correlation between working memory capacity and fluid intelligence is due not to one ability having a causal influence on the other but to separate attention-demanding mental functions that can be contrary to one another but are organized around top-down processing goals. © The Author(s) 2016.
Full Text Available The utilization of game elements in a non-game context is currently used in a vast range of different domains. However, research on game elements’ effects in cognitive tasks is still sparse. Thus, in this study we implemented three game elements, namely, progress bar, level indicator, and a thematic setting, in a working memory training task. We evaluated the impact of game elements on user performance and perceived state of flow when compared to a conventional version of the task. Participants interacting with game elements showed higher scores in the working memory training task than participants from a control group who completed the working memory training task without the game elements. Moreover, game elements facilitated the individuals’ performance closer to their maximum working memory capacity. Finally, the perceived flow did not differ between the two groups, which indicates that game elements can induce better performance without changing the perception of being “in the zone”, that is without an increase in anxiety or boredom. This empirical study indicates that certain game elements can improve the performance and efficiency in a working memory task by increasing users’ ability and willingness to train at their optimal performance level.
Todd W Thompson
Full Text Available Fluid intelligence is important for successful functioning in the modern world, but much evidence suggests that fluid intelligence is largely immutable after childhood. Recently, however, researchers have reported gains in fluid intelligence after multiple sessions of adaptive working memory training in adults. The current study attempted to replicate and expand those results by administering a broad assessment of cognitive abilities and personality traits to young adults who underwent 20 sessions of an adaptive dual n-back working memory training program and comparing their post-training performance on those tests to a matched set of young adults who underwent 20 sessions of an adaptive attentional tracking program. Pre- and post-training measurements of fluid intelligence, standardized intelligence tests, speed of processing, reading skills, and other tests of working memory were assessed. Both training groups exhibited substantial and specific improvements on the trained tasks that persisted for at least 6 months post-training, but no transfer of improvement was observed to any of the non-trained measurements when compared to a third untrained group serving as a passive control. These findings fail to support the idea that adaptive working memory training in healthy young adults enhances working memory capacity in non-trained tasks, fluid intelligence, or other measures of cognitive abilities.
Drew, Trafton; Boettcher, Sage E P; Wolfe, Jeremy M
In "hybrid search" tasks, such as finding items on a grocery list, one must search the scene for targets while also searching the list in memory. How is the representation of a visual item compared with the representations of items in the memory set? Predominant theories would propose a role for visual working memory (VWM) either as the site of the comparison or as a conduit between visual and memory systems. In seven experiments, we loaded VWM in different ways and found little or no effect on hybrid search performance. However, the presence of a hybrid search task did reduce the measured capacity of VWM by a constant amount regardless of the size of the memory or visual sets. These data are broadly consistent with an account in which VWM must dedicate a fixed amount of its capacity to passing visual representations to long-term memory for comparison to the items in the memory set. The data cast doubt on models in which the search template resides in VWM or where memory set item representations are moved from LTM through VWM to earlier areas for comparison to visual items.
Shen, Mowei; Xu, Haokui; Zhang, Haihang; Shui, Rende; Zhang, Meng; Zhou, Jifan
Visual working memory (VWM) has been traditionally viewed as a mental structure subsequent to visual perception that stores the final output of perceptual processing. However, VWM has recently been emphasized as a critical component of online perception, providing storage for the intermediate perceptual representations produced during visual processing. This interactive view holds the core assumption that VWM is not the terminus of perceptual processing; the stored visual information rather continues to undergo perceptual processing if necessary. The current study tests this assumption, demonstrating an example of involuntary integration of the VWM content, by creating the Ponzo illusion in VWM: when the Ponzo illusion figure was divided into its individual components and sequentially encoded into VWM, the temporally separated components were involuntarily integrated, leading to the distorted length perception of the two horizontal lines. This VWM Ponzo illusion was replicated when the figure components were presented in different combinations and presentation order. The magnitude of the illusion was significantly correlated between VWM and perceptual versions of the Ponzo illusion. These results suggest that the information integration underling the VWM Ponzo illusion is constrained by the laws of visual perception and similarly affected by the common individual factors that govern its perception. Thus, our findings provide compelling evidence that VWM functions as a buffer serving perceptual processes at early stages. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Wang, Benchi; Cao, Xiaohua; Theeuwes, Jan; Olivers, Christian N. L.; Wang, Zhiguo
Recent empirical and theoretical work suggests that visual features such as color and orientation can be stored or retrieved independently in visual working memory (VWM), even in cases when they belong to the same object. Yet it remains unclear whether different feature dimensions have their own capacity limits, or whether they compete for shared…
Dumas, Julie A; Kutz, Amanda M; McDonald, Brenna C; Naylor, Magdalena R; Pfaff, Ashley C; Saykin, Andrew J; Newhouse, Paul A
Individuals who report subjective cognitive complaints but perform normally on neuropsychological tests might be at increased risk for pathological cognitive aging. The current study examined the effects of the presence of subjective cognitive complaints on functional brain activity during a working memory task in a sample of middle-aged postmenopausal women. Twenty-three postmenopausal women aged 50-60 completed a cognitive complaint battery of questionnaires. Using 20% of items endorsed as the threshold, 12 women were categorized as cognitive complainers (CC) and 11 were noncomplainers (NC). All subjects then took part in a functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning session during which they completed a visual-verbal N-back test of working memory. Results showed no difference in working memory performance between CC and NC groups. However, the CC group showed greater activation relative to the NC group in a broad network involved in working memory including the middle frontal gyrus (Brodmann area [BA] 9 and 10), the precuneus (BA 7), and the cingulate gyrus (BA 24 and 32). The CC group recruited additional regions of the working memory network compared with the NC group as the working memory load and difficulty of the task increased. This study showed brain activation differences during working memory performance in a middle-aged group of postmenopausal women with subjective cognitive complaints but without objective cognitive deficit. These findings suggest that subjective cognitive complaints in postmenopausal women might be associated with increased cortical activity during effort-demanding cognitive tasks. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Balderston, Nicholas L; Quispe-Escudero, David; Hale, Elizabeth; Davis, Andrew; O'Connell, Katherine; Ernst, Monique; Grillon, Christian
According to the attentional control theory (ACT) proposed by Eysenck and colleagues, anxiety interferes with cognitive processing by prioritizing bottom-up attentional processes over top-down attentional processes, leading to competition for access to limited resources in working memory, particularly the central executive (Eysenck, Derakshan, Santos, & Calvo, ). However, previous research using the n-back working memory task suggests that working memory load also reduces state anxiety. Assuming that similar mechanisms underlie the effect of anxiety on cognition, and the effect of cognition on anxiety, one possible implication of the ACT would suggest that the reduction of state anxiety with increasing working memory load is driven by activation of central executive attentional control processes. We tested this hypothesis using the Sternberg working memory paradigm, where maintenance processes can be isolated from central executive processes (Altamura et al., ; Sternberg, ). Consistent with the n-back results, subjects showed decreased state anxiety during the maintenance period of high-load trials relative to low-load trials, suggesting that maintenance processes alone are sufficient to achieve this state anxiety reduction. Given that the Sternberg task does not require central executive engagement, these results are not consistent with an implication of the ACT where the cognition/anxiety relationship and anxiety/cognition relationship are mediated by similar central executive mechanisms. Instead, we propose an extension of the ACT such that engaging working memory maintenance suppresses state anxiety in a load-dependent manner. Furthermore, we hypothesize that the efficacy of this effect may moderate the effect of trait anxiety on cognition. Published 2016. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
Full Text Available Many studies do visual working memory research under sundry sound conditions (Alley & Greene, 2008 Current Psychology 27 277–289; Iwanaga & Ito, 2002 Perceptual Motor Skills 94 1251–1258; Pring & Walker, 1994 Current Psychology 13 165–171. In order to understand more about background music, we modified previous studies to examine how the performance of working memory is affected by four different music conditions. Participants were randomly assigned into two groups to listen to two different pop songs to see if they have the similar effect on the performance of working memory. They were required to do six trials of digit span tasks under each music condition (silence, classical music, non-vocal music, vocal music. After being shown ten digits, each for 800 ms, participants were asked to recall and write down the digits in the correct order within 20 s. The results showed that there was no significant difference between two pop songs. Therefore, data were pooled for further analysis and indicated that there are significant differences and correlations in working memory among the four music conditions. The finding that the effect of non-vocal music affects working memory is greater in this study than in that of western films (Alley & Greene, 2008; Pring & Walker, 1994, which is consistent with the previous study in Japan (Iwanaga & Ito, 2002. The application of this study will be discussed in detail.
Boudewyn, Megan A; Long, Debra L; Traxler, Matthew J; Lesh, Tyler A; Dave, Shruti; Mangun, George R; Carter, Cameron S; Swaab, Tamara Y
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.
Brocken, J E A; Kal, E C; van der Kamp, J
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.
Full Text Available Recognizing and responding to a remembered stimulus requires the coordination of perception, working memory and decision-making. To investigate the role of visual cortex in these processes, we recorded responses of single V4 neurons during performance of a delayed match-to-sample task that incorporates rapid serial visual presentation of natural images. We found that neuronal activity during the delay period after the cue but before the images depends on the identity of the remembered image and that this change persists while distractors appear. This persistent response modulation has been identified as a diagnostic criterion for putative working memory signals; our data thus suggest that working memory may involve reactivation of sensory neurons. When the remembered image reappears in the neuron’s receptive field, visually evoked responses are enhanced; this match enhancement is a diagnostic criterion for decision. One model that predicts these data is the matched filter hypothesis, which holds that during search V4 neurons change their tuning so as to match the remembered cue, and thus become detectors for that image. More generally, these results suggest that V4 neurons participate in the perceptual, working memory and decision processes that are needed to perform memory-guided decision-making.
Full Text Available The capacity of visual working memory is limited to no more than four items. At the same time, it is limited not only by the number of objects, but also by the total amount of information that needs to be memorized, and the relation between the information load per object and the number of objects that can be stored into visual working memory is inverse. The objective of the present experiment was to compute visual working memory capacity for emotional facial expressions, and in order to do so, change detection tasks were applied. Pictures of human emotional facial expressions were presented to 24 participants in 1008 experimental trials, each of which began with a presentation of a fixation mark, which was followed by a short simultaneous presentation of six emotional facial expressions. After that, a blank screen was presented, and after such inter-stimulus interval, one facial expression was presented at one of previously occupied locations. Participants had to answer if the facial expression presented at test is different or identical as the expression presented at that same location before the retention interval. Memory capacity was estimated through accuracy of responding, by the formula constructed by Pashler (1988, adopted from signal detection theory. It was found that visual working memory capacity for emotional facial expressions equals 3.07, which is high compared to capacity for facial identities and other visual stimuli. The obtained results were explained within the framework of evolutionary psychology.
Chun, Marvin M
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.
Hayden, Benjamin Y; Gallant, Jack L
Recognizing and responding to a remembered stimulus requires the coordination of perception, working memory, and decision-making. To investigate the role of visual cortex in these processes, we recorded responses of single V4 neurons during performance of a delayed match-to-sample task that incorporates rapid serial visual presentation of natural images. We found that neuronal activity during the delay period after the cue but before the images depends on the identity of the remembered image and that this change persists while distractors appear. This persistent response modulation has been identified as a diagnostic criterion for putative working memory signals; our data thus suggest that working memory may involve reactivation of sensory neurons. When the remembered image reappears in the neuron's receptive field, visually evoked responses are enhanced; this match enhancement is a diagnostic criterion for decision. One model that predicts these data is the matched filter hypothesis, which holds that during search V4 neurons change their tuning so as to match the remembered cue, and thus become detectors for that image. More generally, these results suggest that V4 neurons participate in the perceptual, working memory, and decision processes that are needed to perform memory-guided decision-making.
Harrison, Tyler L; Shipstead, Zach; Engle, Randall W
One of the reasons why working memory capacity is so widely researched is its substantial relationship with fluid intelligence. Although this relationship has been found in numerous studies, researchers have been unable to provide a conclusive answer as to why the two constructs are related. In a recent study, researchers examined which attributes of Raven's Progressive Matrices were most strongly linked with working memory capacity (Wiley, Jarosz, Cushen, & Colflesh, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 37, 256-263, 2011). In that study, Raven's problems that required a novel combination of rules to solve were more strongly correlated with working memory capacity than were problems that did not. In the present study, we wanted to conceptually replicate the Wiley et al. results while controlling for a few potential confounds. Thus, we experimentally manipulated whether a problem required a novel combination of rules and found that repeated-rule-combination problems were more strongly related to working memory capacity than were novel-rule-combination problems. The relationship to other measures of fluid intelligence did not change based on whether the problem required a novel rule combination.
Veenstra, Amy L.; Riley, Jeffrey D.; Barrett, Lauren E.; Muhonen, Michael G.; Zupanc, Mary; Romain, Jonathan E.; Lin, Jack J.; Mucci, Grace
Impairments in executive skills broadly span across multiple childhood epilepsy syndromes and can adversely affect quality of life. Bilingualism has been previously shown to correlate with enhanced executive functioning in healthy individuals. This study seeks to determine whether the bilingual advantage in executive functioning exists in the context of pediatric epilepsy. We retrospectively analyzed neuropsychological data in 52 children with epilepsy and compared executive function scores in monolingual versus bilingual children with epilepsy, while controlling for socioeconomic status and ethnicity. Bilingual children performed significantly better on the Working Memory scale than did monolingual children. There were no significant differences on the remaining executive function variables. The bilingual advantage appears to persist for working memory in children with epilepsy. These findings suggest that bilingualism is potentially a protective variable in the face of epilepsy-related working memory dysfunction. PMID:26720703
The contents of visual working memory are likely to reflect the influence of both executive control resources and information present in the environment. We investigated whether executive attention is critical in the ability to exclude unwanted stimuli by introducing concurrent potentially distracting irrelevant items to a visual working memory paradigm, and manipulating executive load using simple or more demanding secondary verbal tasks. Across 7 experiments varying in presentation format, timing, stimulus set, and distractor number, we observed clear disruptive effects of executive load and visual distraction, but relatively minimal evidence supporting an interactive relationship between these factors. These findings are in line with recent evidence using delay-based interference, and suggest that different forms of attentional selection operate relatively independently in visual working memory. PMID:28414499
Allen, Richard J; Baddeley, Alan D; Hitch, Graham J
The contents of visual working memory are likely to reflect the influence of both executive control resources and information present in the environment. We investigated whether executive attention is critical in the ability to exclude unwanted stimuli by introducing concurrent potentially distracting irrelevant items to a visual working memory paradigm, and manipulating executive load using simple or more demanding secondary verbal tasks. Across 7 experiments varying in presentation format, timing, stimulus set, and distractor number, we observed clear disruptive effects of executive load and visual distraction, but relatively minimal evidence supporting an interactive relationship between these factors. These findings are in line with recent evidence using delay-based interference, and suggest that different forms of attentional selection operate relatively independently in visual working memory. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Evans, William S.; Caplan, David; Ostrowski, Adam; Michaud, Jennifer; Guarino, Anthony; Waters, Gloria
Two hundred participants, 50 in each of four age ranges (19 – 29; 30 – 49, 50 – 69, 70 – 90) were tested for short term working memory, speed of processing and on-line processing of three types of sentences in which an initially assigned syntactic structure and/or semantic interpretation had to be revised. Self-paced reading times were longer for the segments which signaled the need for revision, and there were interactions of age and sentence type and of speed of processing and sentence type, but not of working memory and sentence type, on reading times for these segments. The results provide evidence that working memory does not support the processes that revise the structure and interpretation of sentences and discourse. PMID:25485458
Etherton, Joseph L; Oberle, Crystal D; Rhoton, Jayson; Ney, Ashley
Research on the cognitive benefits of working memory training programs has produced inconsistent results. Such research has frequently used laboratory-specific training tasks, or dual-task n-back training. The current study used the commercial Cogmed Working Memory (WM) Training program, involving several different training tasks involving visual and auditory input. Healthy college undergraduates were assigned to either the full Cogmed training program of 25, 40-min training sessions; an abbreviated Cogmed program of 25, 20-min training sessions; or a no-contact control group. Pretest and posttest measures included multiple measures of attention, working memory, fluid intelligence, and executive functions. Although improvement was observed for the full training group for a digit span task, no training-related improvement was observed for any of the other measures. Results of the study suggest that WM training does not improve performance on unrelated tasks or enhance other cognitive abilities.
Tsujii, Takeo; Yamamoto, Eriko; Masuda, Sayako; Watanabe, Shigeru
This study longitudinally compared activity in the frontal cortex during a spatial working memory task between 5-year-old and 7-year-old children using near-infrared spectroscopy. Eight children participated in this study twice, once at 5 years and once at 7 years of age. Behavioral analysis showed that older children performed the working memory task more precisely and more rapidly than younger children. Near-infrared spectroscopy analysis showed that right hemisphere dominance was observed in older children, whereas no hemispheric difference was apparent in younger children. Children with strengthened lateralization showed improved performance from 5 to 7 years. We therefore offer the first demonstration of the developmental changes in frontal cortical activation during spatial working memory tasks during the preschool period.
Veenstra, Amy L; Riley, Jeffrey D; Barrett, Lauren E; Muhonen, Michael G; Zupanc, Mary; Romain, Jonathan E; Lin, Jack J; Mucci, Grace
Impairments in executive skills broadly span across multiple childhood epilepsy syndromes and can adversely affect quality of life. Bilingualism has been previously shown to correlate with enhanced executive functioning in healthy individuals. This study sought to determine whether the bilingual advantage in executive functioning exists in the context of pediatric epilepsy. We retrospectively analyzed neuropsychological data in 52 children with epilepsy and compared executive function scores in monolingual versus bilingual children with epilepsy while controlling for socioeconomic status and ethnicity. Bilingual children performed significantly better on the Working Memory Index than did monolingual children. There were no significant differences on the remaining executive function variables. The bilingual advantage appears to persist for working memory in children with epilepsy. These findings suggest that bilingualism is potentially a protective variable in the face of epilepsy-related working memory dysfunction. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Neher, Tobias; Wagener, Kirsten C.; Fischer, Rosa-Linde
OBJECTIVE: Research findings concerning the relation between benefit from hearing aid (HA) noise suppression and working memory function are inconsistent. The current study thus investigated the effects of three noise suppression algorithms on auditory working memory and the relation with reading......-to-noise ratio (SNR) improvement. Auditory working memory was assessed at +6 dB SNR using listening span and N-back paradigms. STUDY SAMPLE: Twenty experienced HA users ages 55-80 with large differences in reading span. RESULTS: For the listening span measurements, there was an influence of HA setting...... on sentence-final word recognition and recall, with the directional microphones leading to ~6% better performance than the single-channel noise reduction. For the N-back measurements, there was substantial test-retest variability and no influence of HA setting. No interactions with reading span were found...
Fischer, Rosa-Linde; Neher, Tobias; Wagener, Kirsten C.
Research findings concerning the relation between outcome from hearing aid (HA) noise suppression and working memory function are unclear. The current study thus investigated the effects of three noise suppression algorithms on auditory working memory as well as the relation with reading span......) improvement. Auditory working memory was assessed at +6 dB SNR using a listening span and an N-back paradigm. Twenty experienced HA users aged 55-80 yr with large differences in reading span took part. For the listening span measurements, there was an influence of HA setting on final word recognition...... and recall, with the directional microphone setting leading to approx. 6% better performance than the single-channel noise reduction setting. For the N-back measurements, there was substantial test-retest variability and no influence of HA setting. No interactions with reading span were found. These results...
Ester, Edward F; Anderson, David E; Serences, John T; Awh, Edward
Recent studies suggest that the temporary storage of visual detail in working memory is mediated by sensory recruitment or sustained patterns of stimulus-specific activation within feature-selective regions of visual cortex. According to a strong version of this hypothesis, the relative "quality" of these patterns should determine the clarity of an individual's memory. Here, we provide a direct test of this claim. We used fMRI and a forward encoding model to characterize population-level orientation-selective responses in visual cortex while human participants held an oriented grating in memory. This analysis, which enables a precise quantitative description of multivoxel, population-level activity measured during working memory storage, revealed graded response profiles whose amplitudes were greatest for the remembered orientation and fell monotonically as the angular distance from this orientation increased. Moreover, interparticipant differences in the dispersion-but not the amplitude-of these response profiles were strongly correlated with performance on a concurrent memory recall task. These findings provide important new evidence linking the precision of sustained population-level responses in visual cortex and memory acuity.
Kim, Yujin; Woo, Jihwan; Woo, Minjung
This study investigated interactive effects of stress and task difficulty on working memory and cortico-cortical communication during memory encoding. Thirty-eight adolescent participants (mean age of 15.7 ± 1.5 years) completed easy and hard working memory tasks under low- and high-stress conditions. We analyzed the accuracy and reaction time (RT) of working memory performance and inter- and intrahemispheric electroencephalogram coherences during memory encoding. Working memory accuracy was higher, and RT shorter, in the easy versus the hard task. RT was shorter under the high-stress (TENS) versus low-stress (no-TENS) condition, while there was no difference in memory accuracy between the two stress conditions. For electroencephalogram coherence, we found higher interhemispheric coherence in all bands but only at frontal electrode sites in the easy versus the hard task. On the other hand, intrahemispheric coherence was higher in the left hemisphere in the easy (versus hard task) and higher in the right hemisphere (with one exception) in the hard (versus easy task). Inter- and intracoherences were higher in the low- versus high-stress condition. Significant interactions between task difficulty and stress condition were observed in coherences of the beta frequency band. The difference in coherence between low- and high-stress conditions was greater in the hard compared with the easy task, with lower coherence under the high-stress condition relative to the low-stress condition. Stress seemed to cause a decrease in cortical network communications between memory-relevant cortical areas as task difficulty increased.
Brady, Timothy F; Alvarez, George A
Influential slot and resource models of visual working memory make the assumption that items are stored in memory as independent units, and that there are no interactions between them. Consequently, these models predict that the number of items to be remembered (the set size) is the primary determinant of working memory performance, and therefore these models quantify memory capacity in terms of the number and quality of individual items that can be stored. Here we demonstrate that there is substantial variance in display difficulty within a single set size, suggesting that limits based on the number of individual items alone cannot explain working memory storage. We asked hundreds of participants to remember the same sets of displays, and discovered that participants were highly consistent in terms of which items and displays were hardest or easiest to remember. Although a simple grouping or chunking strategy could not explain this individual-display variability, a model with multiple, interacting levels of representation could explain some of the display-by-display differences. Specifically, a model that includes a hierarchical representation of items plus the mean and variance of sets of the colors on the display successfully accounts for some of the variability across displays. We conclude that working memory representations are composed only in part of individual, independent object representations, and that a major factor in how many items are remembered on a particular display is interitem representations such as perceptual grouping, ensemble, and texture representations.
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
Karen Johanne Pallesen
Full Text Available Musical competence may confer cognitive advantages that extend beyond processing of familiar musical sounds. Behavioural evidence indicates a general enhancement of both working memory and attention in musicians. It is possible that musicians, due to their training, are better able to maintain focus on task-relevant stimuli, a skill which is crucial to working memory. We measured the blood oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD activation signal in musicians and non-musicians during working memory of musical sounds to determine the relation among performance, musical competence and generally enhanced cognition. All participants easily distinguished the stimuli. We tested the hypothesis that musicians nonetheless would perform better, and that differential brain activity would mainly be present in cortical areas involved in cognitive control such as the lateral prefrontal cortex. The musicians performed better as reflected in reaction times and error rates. Musicians also had larger BOLD responses than non-musicians in neuronal networks that sustain attention and cognitive control, including regions of the lateral prefrontal cortex, lateral parietal cortex, insula, and putamen in the right hemisphere, and bilaterally in the posterior dorsal prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate gyrus. The relationship between the task performance and the magnitude of the BOLD response was more positive in musicians than in non-musicians, particularly during the most difficult working memory task. The results confirm previous findings that neural activity increases during enhanced working memory performance. The results also suggest that superior working memory task performance in musicians rely on an enhanced ability to exert sustained cognitive control. This cognitive benefit in musicians may be a consequence of focused musical training.