Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Integration of information streams into a unitary representation is an important task of our cognitive system. Within working memory, the medial temporal lobe (MTL has been conceptually linked to the maintenance of bound representations. In a previous fMRI study, we have shown that the MTL is indeed more active during working-memory maintenance of spatial associations as compared to non-spatial associations or single items. There are two explanations for this result, the mere presence of the spatial component activates the MTL, or the MTL is recruited to bind associations between neurally non-overlapping representations. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The current fMRI study investigates this issue further by directly comparing intrinsic intra-item binding (object/colour, extrinsic intra-item binding (object/location, and inter-item binding (object/object. The three binding conditions resulted in differential activation of brain regions. Specifically, we show that the MTL is important for establishing extrinsic intra-item associations and inter-item associations, in line with the notion that binding of information processed in different brain regions depends on the MTL. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings indicate that different forms of working-memory binding rely on specific neural structures. In addition, these results extend previous reports indicating that the MTL is implicated in working-memory maintenance, challenging the classic distinction between short-term and long-term memory systems.
Piekema, C.; Rijpkema, M.J.P.; Fernandez, G.S.E.; Kessels, R.P.C.
BACKGROUND: Integration of information streams into a unitary representation is an important task of our cognitive system. Within working memory, the medial temporal lobe (MTL) has been conceptually linked to the maintenance of bound representations. In a previous fMRI study, we have shown that the
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…
Ecker, Ullrich K. H.; Maybery, Murray; Zimmer, Hubert D.
There is ongoing debate concerning the mechanisms of feature binding in working memory. In particular, there is controversy regarding the extent to which these binding processes are automatic. The present article demonstrates that binding mechanisms differ depending on whether the to-be-integrated features are perceived as forming a coherent…
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.
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.
Ecker, Ullrich K H; Maybery, Murray; Zimmer, Hubert D
There is ongoing debate concerning the mechanisms of feature binding in working memory. In particular, there is controversy regarding the extent to which these binding processes are automatic. The present article demonstrates that binding mechanisms differ depending on whether the to-be-integrated features are perceived as forming a coherent object. We presented a series of experiments that investigated the binding of color and shape, whereby color was either an intrinsic feature of the shape or an extrinsic feature of the shape's background. Results show that intrinsic color affected shape recognition, even when it was incidentally studied and irrelevant for the recognition task. In contrast, extrinsic color did not affect shape recognition, even when the association of color and shape was encoded and retrievable on demand. This strongly suggests that binding of intrinsic intra-item information but not extrinsic contextual information is obligatory in visual working memory. We highlight links to perception as well as implicit and explicit long-term memory, which suggest that the intrinsic-extrinsic dimension is a principle relevant to multiple domains of human cognition. 2013 APA, all rights reserved
Schneegans, Sebastian; Bays, Paul M
Binding refers to the operation that groups different features together into objects. We propose a neural architecture for feature binding in visual working memory that employs populations of neurons with conjunction responses. We tested this model using cued recall tasks, in which subjects had to memorize object arrays composed of simple visual features (color, orientation, and location). After a brief delay, one feature of one item was given as a cue, and the observer had to report, on a continuous scale, one or two other features of the cued item. Binding failure in this task is associated with swap errors, in which observers report an item other than the one indicated by the cue. We observed that the probability of swapping two items strongly correlated with the items' similarity in the cue feature dimension, and found a strong correlation between swap errors occurring in spatial and nonspatial report. The neural model explains both swap errors and response variability as results of decoding noisy neural activity, and can account for the behavioral results in quantitative detail. We then used the model to compare alternative mechanisms for binding nonspatial features. We found the behavioral results fully consistent with a model in which nonspatial features are bound exclusively via their shared location, with no indication of direct binding between color and orientation. These results provide evidence for a special role of location in feature binding, and the model explains how this special role could be realized in the neural system. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The problem of feature binding is of central importance in understanding the mechanisms of working memory. How do we remember not only that we saw a red and a round object, but that these features belong together to a single object rather than to different objects in our environment? Here we present evidence for a neural mechanism for feature binding in working memory, based on encoding of visual
Dundon, Neil Michael; Katshu, Mohammad Zia Ul Haq; Harry, Bronson; Roberts, Daniel; Leek, E Charles; Downing, Paul; Sapir, Ayelet; Roberts, Craig; d'Avossa, Giovanni
Studies investigating the functional organization of the medial temporal lobe (MTL) suggest that parahippocampal cortex (PHC) generates representations of spatial and contextual information used by the hippocampus in the formation of episodic memories. However, evidence from animal studies also implicates PHC in spatial binding of visual information held in short term, working memory. Here we examined a 46-year-old man (P.J.), after he had recovered from bilateral medial occipitotemporal cortex strokes resulting in ischemic lesions of PHC and hippocampal atrophy, and a group of age-matched healthy controls. When recalling the color of 1 of 2 objects, P.J. misidentified the target when cued by its location, but not shape. When recalling the position of 1 of 3 objects, he frequently misidentified the target, which was cued by its color. Increasing the duration of the memory delay had no impact on the proportion of binding errors, but did significantly worsen recall precision in both P.J. and controls. We conclude that PHC may play a crucial role in spatial binding during encoding of visual information in working memory. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emrich, Stephen M; Ferber, Susanne
When faced with maintaining multiple objects in visual working memory, item information must be bound to the correct object in order to be correctly recalled. Sometimes, however, binding errors occur, and participants report the feature (e.g., color) of an unprobed, non-target item. In the present study, we examine whether the configuration of sample stimuli affects the proportion of these binding errors. The results demonstrate that participants mistakenly report the identity of the unprobed item (i.e., they make a non-target response) when sample items are presented close together in space, suggesting that binding errors can increase independent of increases in memory load. Moreover, the proportion of these non-target responses is linearly related to the distance between sample items, suggesting that these errors are spatially specific. Finally, presenting sample items sequentially decreases non-target responses, suggesting that reducing competition between sample stimuli reduces the number of binding errors. Importantly, these effects all occurred without increases in the amount of error in the memory representation. These results suggest that competition during encoding can account for some of the binding errors made during VWM recall.
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.
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.
Geldorp, B. van; Bouman, Z.; Hendriks, M.P.H.; Kessels, R.P.C.
The medial temporal lobe is an important structure for long-term memory formation, but its role in working memory is less clear. Recent studies have shown hippocampal involvement during working memory tasks requiring binding of information. It is yet unclear whether this is limited to tasks
The question of whether binding information affects the capacity of visual working memory has not been established to date. Different trends in thought have hypothesized different effects for the way information is stored in this memory system. Using a change-detection paradigm this study tested the binding of colour with colour (Experiment 1) and colour with shape (Experiment 2) in visual working memory with the aim of replicating the previously found decrement in binding perf...
van Geldorp, Bonnie; Bouman, Zita; Hendriks, Marc P H; Kessels, Roy P C
The medial temporal lobe is an important structure for long-term memory formation, but its role in working memory is less clear. Recent studies have shown hippocampal involvement during working memory tasks requiring binding of information. It is yet unclear whether this is limited to tasks containing spatial features. The present study contrasted three binding conditions and one single-item condition in patients with unilateral anterior temporal lobectomy. A group of 43 patients with temporal lobectomy (23 left; 20 right) and 20 matched controls were examined with a working memory task assessing spatial relational binding (object-location), non-spatial relational binding (object-object), conjunctive binding (object-colour) and working memory for single items. We varied the delay period (3 or 6s), as there is evidence showing that delay length may modulate working memory performance. The results indicate that performance was worse for patients than for controls in both relational binding conditions, whereas patients were unimpaired in conjunctive binding. Single-item memory was found to be marginally impaired, due to a deficit on long-delay trials only. In conclusion, working memory binding deficits are found in patients with unilateral anterior temporal lobectomy. The role of the medial temporal lobe in working memory is not limited to tasks containing spatial features. Rather, it seems to be involved in relational binding, but not in conjunctive binding. The medial temporal lobe gets involved when working memory capacity does not suffice, for example when relations have to be maintained or when the delay period is long. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Rossi-Arnaud, C; Pieroni, L; Baddeley, A
Three experiments study the impact of symmetry on a sequential block tapping immediate memory task in human subjects. Experiment 1 shows an advantage from vertical symmetry over non-symmetrical sequences, while finding no effect of horizontal or diagonal symmetry. Experiment 2 tests the possible role of verbal labeling by means of a secondary task that prevents this by articulatory suppression. No evidence of verbalization was observed. A third study examines the effects of a concurrent executive load, finding an overall impairment, that did not differ between symmetrical and asymmetric patterns, suggesting that the effect of symmetry reflects automatic rather than executive processes. Implications for the episodic buffer component of working memory are discussed.
Peterson, Dwight J.; Naveh-Benjamin, Moshe
An important yet unresolved question regarding visual working memory (VWM) relates to whether or not binding processes within VWM require additional attentional resources compared with processing solely the individual components comprising these bindings. Previous findings indicate that binding of surface features (e.g., colored shapes) within VWM…
Allen, Richard J; Vargha-Khadem, Faraneh; Baddeley, Alan D
A general consensus is emerging that the hippocampus has an important and active role in the creation of new long-term memory representations of associations or bindings between elements. However, it is less clear whether this contribution can be extended to the creation of temporary bound representations in working memory, involving the retention of small numbers of items over short delays. We examined this by administering a series of recognition and recall tests of working memory for colour-location binding and object-location binding to a patient with highly selective hippocampal damage (Jon), and groups of control participants. Jon achieved high levels of accuracy in all working memory tests of recognition and recall binding across retention intervals of up to 10s. In contrast, Jon performed at chance on an unexpected delayed test of the same object-location binding information. These findings indicate a clear dissociation between working memory and long-term memory, with no evidence for a critical hippocampal contribution to item-location binding in working memory. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Grot, Stéphanie; Légaré, Virginie Petel; Lipp, Olivier; Soulières, Isabelle; Dolcos, Florin; Luck, David
Working memory deficits have been widely reported in schizophrenia, and may result from inefficient binding processes. These processes, and their neural correlates, remain understudied in schizophrenia. Thus, we designed an FMRI study aimed at investigating the neural correlates of both passive and active binding in working memory in schizophrenia. Nineteen patients with schizophrenia and 23 matched controls were recruited to perform a working memory binding task, in which they were instructed to memorize three letters and three spatial locations. In the passive binding condition, letters and spatial locations were directly presented as bound. Conversely, in the active binding condition, words and spatial locations were presented as separated, and participants were instructed to intentionally create associations between them. Patients exhibited a similar performance to the controls for the passive binding condition, but a significantly lower performance for the active binding. FMRI analyses revealed that this active binding deficit was related to aberrant activity in the posterior parietal cortex and the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. This study provides initial evidence of a specific deficit for actively binding information in schizophrenia, which is linked to dysfunctions in the neural networks underlying attention, manipulation of information, and encoding strategies. Together, our results suggest that all these dysfunctions may be targets for neuromodulation interventions known to improve cognitive deficits in schizophrenia. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Hollingworth, Andrew; Rasmussen, Ian P.
The relationship between object files and visual working memory (VWM) was investigated in a new paradigm combining features of traditional VWM experiments (color change detection) and object-file experiments (memory for the properties of moving objects). Object-file theory was found to account for a key component of object-position binding in VWM:…
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,…
Baddeley, Alan; Allen, Richard; Vargha-Khadem, Faraneh
A series of experiments test the recent claim that the hippocampus is necessary for the binding of features in working memory. Some potential limitations of studies underlying this claim are discussed, and an attempt is made to further test the hypothesis by studying a case of developmental amnesia whose extensively investigated pathology appears…
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
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
Wang, Shinmin; Allen, Richard J
Recent research has suggested that the creation of temporary bound representations of information from different sources within working memory uniquely relates to word recognition abilities in school-age children. However, it is unclear to what extent this link is attributable specifically to the binding ability for cross-modal information. This study examined the performance of Grade 3 (8-9 years old) children on binding tasks requiring either temporary association formation of two visual items (i.e., within-modal binding) or pairs of visually presented abstract shapes and auditorily presented nonwords (i.e., cross-modal binding). Children's word recognition skills were related to performance on the cross-modal binding task but not on the within-modal binding task. Further regression models showed that cross-modal binding memory was a significant predictor of word recognition when memory for its constituent elements, general abilities, and crucially, within-modal binding memory were taken into account. These findings may suggest a specific link between the ability to bind information across modalities within working memory and word recognition skills.
Kelly, Shane P.; Brockmole, James R.
Observers determined whether two sequentially presented arrays of six lines were the same or different. Differences, when present, involved either a swap in the color of two lines or a swap in the orientation of two lines. Thus, accurate change detection required the binding of color and orientation information for each line within visual working memory. Holding viewing distance constant, the proximity of the arrays to the hands was manipulated. Placing the hands near the to-be-remembered...
van Geldorp, Bonnie; Parra, Mario A; Kessels, Roy P C
The ability to form associations (i.e., binding) is critical for memory formation. Recent studies suggest that aging specifically affects relational binding (associating separate features) but not conjunctive binding (integrating features within an object). Possibly, this dissociation may be driven by the spatial nature of the studies so far. Alternatively, relational binding may simply require more attentional resources. We assessed relational and conjunctive binding in three age groups and we included an interfering task (i.e., an articulatory suppression task). Binding was examined in a working memory (WM) task using non-spatial features: shape and colour. Thirty-one young adults (mean age = 22.35), 30 middle-aged adults (mean age = 54.80) and 30 older adults (mean age = 70.27) performed the task. Results show an effect of type of binding and an effect of age but no interaction between type of binding and age. The interaction between type of binding and interference was significant. These results indicate that aging affects relational binding and conjunctive binding similarly. However, relational binding is more susceptible to interference than conjunctive binding, which suggests that relational binding may require more attentional resources. We suggest that a general decline in WM resources associated with frontal dysfunction underlies age-related deficits in WM binding.
Cowan, Nelson; Naveh-Benjamin, Moshe; Kilb, Angela; Saults, J. Scott
We asked whether the ability to keep in working memory the binding between a visual object and its spatial location changes with development across the life span more than memory for item information. Paired arrays of colored squares were identical or differed in the color of one square and, in the latter case, the changed color was unique on that trial (item change) or was duplicated elsewhere in the array (color-location binding change). Children (8–10 and 11–12 years old) and older adults ...
Peterson, Dwight J; Naveh-Benjamin, Moshe
An important yet unresolved question regarding visual working memory (VWM) relates to whether or not binding processes within VWM require additional attentional resources compared with processing solely the individual components comprising these bindings. Previous findings indicate that binding of surface features (e.g., colored shapes) within VWM is not demanding of resources beyond what is required for single features. However, it is possible that other types of binding, such as the binding of complex, distinct items (e.g., faces and scenes), in VWM may require additional resources. In 3 experiments, we examined VWM item-item binding performance under no load, articulatory suppression, and backward counting using a modified change detection task. Binding performance declined to a greater extent than single-item performance under higher compared with lower levels of concurrent load. The findings from each of these experiments indicate that processing item-item bindings within VWM requires a greater amount of attentional resources compared with single items. These findings also highlight an important distinction between the role of attention in item-item binding within VWM and previous studies of long-term memory (LTM) where declines in single-item and binding test performance are similar under divided attention. The current findings provide novel evidence that the specific type of binding is an important determining factor regarding whether or not VWM binding processes require attention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Baddeley, Alan; Allen, Richard; Vargha-Khadem, Faraneh
A series of experiments test the recent claim that the hippocampus is necessary for the binding of features in working memory. Some potential limitations of studies underlying this claim are discussed, and an attempt is made to further test the hypothesis by studying a case of developmental amnesia whose extensively investigated pathology appears to be principally limited to the hippocampus, and who shows the expected deficit in episodic long-term memory. One series of experiments studied the short-term visual binding of color and shape under conditions ranging from simple presentation of colored objects through the more demanding task of combining the features when separated in space, or in time. A second set of experiments studied the capacity to use sentence structure to bind words into chunks in short-term verbal memory. Hippocampal pathology did not lead to a decrement on any of these tasks, suggesting that the hippocampus is not essential for short-term binding in working memory. Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Darling, Stephen; Parker, Mary-Jane; Goodall, Karen E; Havelka, Jelena; Allen, Richard J
When participants carry out visually presented digit serial recall, their performance is better if they are given the opportunity to encode extra visuospatial information at encoding-a phenomenon that has been termed visuospatial bootstrapping. This bootstrapping is the result of integration of information from different modality-specific short-term memory systems and visuospatial knowledge in long term memory, and it can be understood in the context of recent models of working memory that address multimodal binding (e.g., models incorporating an episodic buffer). Here we report a cross-sectional developmental study that demonstrated visuospatial bootstrapping in adults (n=18) and 9-year-old children (n=15) but not in 6-year-old children (n=18). This is the first developmental study addressing visuospatial bootstrapping, and results demonstrate that the developmental trajectory of bootstrapping is different from that of basic verbal and visuospatial working memory. This pattern suggests that bootstrapping (and hence integrative functions such as those associated with the episodic buffer) emerge independent of the development of basic working memory slave systems during childhood. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Parra, Mario A; Della Sala, Sergio; Logie, Robert H; Morcom, Alexa M
The present study addressed an outstanding issue regarding feature binding in working memory (WM): whether this function engages specific resources relative to those required to process individual features. We investigated the brain regions supporting the encoding and maintenance of features and bindings in a change detection task, in which 22 healthy young volunteers remembered visual arrays of abstract shapes, colors or shape-color bindings while undergoing fMRI. After an unfilled delay they saw a second array and judged whether the features or combination of features presented across the two arrays were the same or different. Temporary retention of feature bindings was found to involve additional cortical regions compared with retaining single features, regardless of whether the number of objects or the number of features differed between feature-only and binding conditions. This binding-specific activation is consistent with the involvement of different neural generators that collectively support visual temporary memory for features and for feature bindings. Regions within the parietal, temporal and occipital cortex, but not within the prefrontal cortex or the medial temporal lobe, appear to support the integrated object binding function investigated in this study. Our findings suggest that both individual features and their binding within integrated objects are used to represent complex objects in WM. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Shen, Mowei; Huang, Xiang; Gao, Zaifeng
Feature binding is a core concept in many research fields, including the study of working memory (WM). Over the past decade, it has been debated whether keeping the feature binding in visual WM consumes more visual attention than the constituent single features. Previous studies have only explored the contribution of domain-general attention or space-based attention in the binding process; no study so far has explored the role of object-based attention in retaining binding in visual WM. We hypothesized that object-based attention underlay the mechanism of rehearsing feature binding in visual WM. Therefore, during the maintenance phase of a visual WM task, we inserted a secondary mental rotation (Experiments 1-3), transparent motion (Experiment 4), or an object-based feature report task (Experiment 5) to consume the object-based attention available for binding. In line with the prediction of the object-based attention hypothesis, Experiments 1-5 revealed a more significant impairment for binding than for constituent single features. However, this selective binding impairment was not observed when inserting a space-based visual search task (Experiment 6). We conclude that object-based attention underlies the rehearsal of binding representation in visual WM. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved.
Baddeley, Alan D; Allen, Richard J; Hitch, Graham J
The episodic buffer component of working memory is assumed to play a central role in the binding of features into objects, a process that was initially assumed to depend upon executive resources. Here, we review a program of work in which we specifically tested this assumption by studying the effects of a range of attentionally demanding concurrent tasks on the capacity to encode and retain both individual features and bound objects. We found no differential effect of concurrent load, even when the process of binding was made more demanding by separating the shape and color features spatially, temporally or across visual and auditory modalities. Bound features were however more readily disrupted by subsequent stimuli, a process we studied using a suffix paradigm. This suggested a need to assume a feature-based attentional filter followed by an object based storage process. Our results are interpreted within a modified version of the multicomponent working memory model. We also discuss work examining the role of the hippocampus in visual feature binding. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Gao, Zaifeng; Wu, Fan; Qiu, Fangfang; He, Kaifeng; Yang, Yue; Shen, Mowei
Over the past decade, it has been debated whether retaining bindings in working memory (WM) requires more attention than retaining constituent features, focusing on domain-general attention and space-based attention. Recently, we proposed that retaining bindings in WM needs more object-based attention than retaining constituent features (Shen, Huang, & Gao, 2015, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, doi: 10.1037/xhp0000018 ). However, only unitized visual bindings were examined; to establish the role of object-based attention in retaining bindings in WM, more emperical evidence is required. We tested 4 new bindings that had been suggested requiring no more attention than the constituent features in the WM maintenance phase: The two constituent features of binding were stored in different WM modules (cross-module binding, Experiment 1), from auditory and visual modalities (cross-modal binding, Experiment 2), or temporally (cross-time binding, Experiments 3) or spatially (cross-space binding, Experiments 4-6) separated. In the critical condition, we added a secondary object feature-report task during the delay interval of the change-detection task, such that the secondary task competed for object-based attention with the to-be-memorized stimuli. If more object-based attention is required for retaining bindings than for retaining constituent features, the secondary task should impair the binding performance to a larger degree relative to the performance of constituent features. Indeed, Experiments 1-6 consistently revealed a significantly larger impairment for bindings than for the constituent features, suggesting that object-based attention plays a pivotal role in retaining bindings in WM.
Full Text Available Information on an object’s features bound to its location is very important for maintaining object representations in visual working memory. Interactions with dynamic multi-dimensional objects in an external environment require complex cognitive control, including the selective maintenance of feature-location binding. Here, we used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate brain activity and functional connectivity related to the maintenance of complex feature-location binding. Participants were required to detect task-relevant changes in feature-location binding between objects defined by color, orientation, and location. We compared a complex binding task requiring complex feature-location binding (color-orientation-location with a simple binding task in which simple feature-location binding, such as color-location, was task-relevant and the other feature was task-irrelevant. Univariate analyses showed that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC, hippocampus, and frontoparietal network were activated during the maintenance of complex feature-location binding. Functional connectivity analyses indicated cooperation between the inferior precentral sulcus (infPreCS, DLPFC, and hippocampus during the maintenance of complex feature-location binding. In contrast, the connectivity for the spatial updating of simple feature-location binding determined by reanalyzing the data from Takahama et al. (2010 demonstrated that the superior parietal lobule (SPL cooperated with the DLPFC and hippocampus. These results suggest that the connectivity for complex feature-location binding does not simply reflect general memory load and that the DLPFC and hippocampus flexibly modulate the dorsal frontoparietal network, depending on the task requirements, with the infPreCS involved in the maintenance of complex feature-location binding and the SPL involved in the spatial updating of simple feature-location binding.
Full Text Available Recent works evince the critical role of visual short-term memory (STM binding deficits as a clinical and preclinical marker of Alzheimer’s disease (AD. These studies suggest a potential role of posterior brain regions in both the neurocognitive deficits of Alzheimer’s patients and STM binding in general. Thereupon, we surmised that stimulation of the posterior parietal cortex (PPC might be a successful approach to tackle working memory deficits in this condition, especially at early stages. To date, no causal evidence exists of the role of the parietal cortex in STM binding. A unique approach to assess this issue is afforded by single-subject direct intracranial electrical stimulation of specific brain regions during a relevant cognitive task. Electrical stimulation has been used both for clinical purposes and to causally probe brain mechanisms. Previous evidence of electrical currents spreading through white matter along well defined functional circuits indicates that visual working memory mechanisms are subserved by a specific widely distributed network. Here, we stimulated the parietal cortex of a subject with intracranial electrodes as he performed the visual STM task. We compared the ensuing results to those from a non-stimulated condition and to the performance of a matched control group. In brief, direct stimulation of the parietal cortex induced a selective improvement in STM. These results, together with previous studies, provide very preliminary but promising ground to examine behavioral changes upon parietal stimulation in AD. We discuss our results regarding: (a the usefulness of the task to target prodromal stages of AD; (b the role of a posterior network in STM binding and in AD; and (c the potential opportunity to improve STM binding through brain stimulation.
Rhodes, Stephen; Parra, Mario A; Logie, Robert H
A large body of research has clearly demonstrated that healthy ageing is accompanied by an associative memory deficit. Older adults exhibit disproportionately poor performance on memory tasks requiring the retention of associations between items (e.g., pairs of unrelated words). In contrast to this robust deficit, older adults' ability to form and temporarily hold bound representations of an object's surface features, such as colour and shape, appears to be relatively well preserved. However, the findings of one set of experiments suggest that older adults may struggle to form temporary bound representations in visual working memory when given more time to study objects. However, these findings were based on between-participant comparisons across experimental paradigms. The present study directly assesses the role of presentation time in the ability of younger and older adults to bind shape and colour in visual working memory using a within-participant design. We report new evidence that giving older adults longer to study memory objects does not differentially affect their immediate memory for feature combinations relative to individual features. This is in line with a growing body of research suggesting that there is no age-related impairment in immediate memory for colour-shape binding.
Kelly, Shane P; Brockmole, James R
Observers determined whether two sequentially presented arrays of six lines were the same or different. Differences, when present, involved either a swap in the color of two lines or a swap in the orientation of two lines. Thus, accurate change detection required the binding of color and orientation information for each line within visual working memory. Holding viewing distance constant, the proximity of the arrays to the hands was manipulated. Placing the hands near the to-be-remembered array decreased participants' ability to remember color information, but increased their ability to remember orientation information. This pair of results indicates that hand proximity differentially affects the processing of various types of visual information, a conclusion broadly consistent with functional and anatomical differences in the magnocellular and parvocellular pathways. It further indicates that hand proximity affects the likelihood that various object features will be encoded into integrated object files.
Shane P. Kelly
Full Text Available Observers determined whether two sequentially presented arrays of six lines were the same or different. Differences, when present, involved either a swap in the color of two lines or a swap in the orientation of two lines. Thus, accurate change detection required the binding of color and orientation information for each line within visual working memory. Holding viewing distance constant, the proximity of the arrays to the hands was manipulated. Placing the hands near the to-be-remembered array decreased participants’ ability to remember color information, but increased their ability to remember orientation information. This pair of results indicates that hand proximity differentially affects the processing of various types of visual information, a conclusion broadly consistent with functional and anatomical differences in the magnocellular and parvocellular pathways. It further indicates that hand proximity affects the likelihood that various object features will be encoded into integrated object files.
Stollery, Brian; Christian, Leonie
There is evidence that glucose temporarily enhances cognition and that processes dependent on the hippocampus may be particularly sensitive. As the hippocampus plays a key role in binding processes, we examined the influence of glucose on memory for object-location bindings. This study aims to study how glucose modifies performance on an object-location memory task, a task that draws heavily on hippocampal function. Thirty-one participants received 30 g glucose or placebo in a single 1-h session. After seeing between 3 and 10 objects (words or shapes) at different locations in a 9 × 9 matrix, participants attempted to immediately reproduce the display on a blank 9 × 9 matrix. Blood glucose was measured before drink ingestion, mid-way through the session, and at the end of the session. Glucose significantly improves object-location binding (d = 1.08) and location memory (d = 0.83), but not object memory (d = 0.51). Increasing working memory load impairs object memory and object-location binding, and word-location binding is more successful than shape-location binding, but the glucose improvement is robust across all difficulty manipulations. Within the glucose group, higher levels of circulating glucose are correlated with better binding memory and remembering the locations of successfully recalled objects. The glucose improvements identified are consistent with a facilitative impact on hippocampal function. The findings are discussed in the context of the relationship between cognitive processes, hippocampal function, and the implications for glucose's mode of action.
The mechanism by which nonspatial features, such as color and shape, are bound in visual working memory, and the role of those features' location in their binding, remains unknown. In the current study, I modified a redundancy-gain paradigm to investigate these issues. A set of features was presented in a two-object memory display, followed by a single object probe. Participants judged whether the probe contained any features of the memory display, regardless of its location. Response time distributions revealed feature coactivation only when both features of a single object in the memory display appeared together in the probe, regardless of the response time benefit from the probe and memory objects sharing the same location. This finding suggests that a shared location is necessary in the formation of bound representations but unnecessary in their maintenance. Electroencephalography data showed that amplitude modulations reflecting location-unbound feature coactivation were different from those reflecting the location-sharing benefit, consistent with the behavioral finding that feature-location binding is unnecessary in the maintenance of color-shape binding. © The Author(s) 2015.
Nicole A Kochan
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The capacity of visual working memory (WM is substantially limited and only a fraction of what we see is maintained as a temporary trace. The process of binding visual features has been proposed as an adaptive means of minimising information demands on WM. However the neural mechanisms underlying this process, and its modulation by task and load effects, are not well understood. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the neural correlates of feature binding and its modulation by WM load during the sequential phases of encoding, maintenance and retrieval. METHODS AND FINDINGS: 18 young healthy participants performed a visuospatial WM task with independent factors of load and feature conjunction (object identity and position in an event-related functional MRI study. During stimulus encoding, load-invariant conjunction-related activity was observed in left prefrontal cortex and left hippocampus. During maintenance, greater activity for task demands of feature conjunction versus single features, and for increased load was observed in left-sided regions of the superior occipital cortex, precuneus and superior frontal cortex. Where these effects were expressed in overlapping cortical regions, their combined effect was additive. During retrieval, however, an interaction of load and feature conjunction was observed. This modulation of feature conjunction activity under increased load was expressed through greater deactivation in medial structures identified as part of the default mode network. CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE: The relationship between memory load and feature binding qualitatively differed through each phase of the WM task. Of particular interest was the interaction of these factors observed within regions of the default mode network during retrieval which we interpret as suggesting that at low loads, binding processes may be 'automatic' but at higher loads it becomes a resource-intensive process leading to disengagement of activity in this
Zokaei, Nahid; Heider, Maike; Husain, Masud
Working memory and attention are intimately connected. However, understanding the relationship between the two is challenging. Currently, there is an important controversy about whether objects in working memory are maintained automatically or require resources that are also deployed for visual or auditory attention. Here we investigated the effects of loading attention resources on precision of visual working memory, specifically on correct maintenance of feature-bound objects, using a dual-...
McCormick-Huhn, John M; Chen, Hui; Wyble, Bradley P; Dennis, Nancy A
Previous work has shown mixed evidence regarding age-related deficits for binding in working memory. The current study used the newly developed attribute amnesia effect (H. Chen & Wyble, 2015a) to test the associative-deficit hypothesis during working memory and to probe whether hyper-binding extends to include binding of de-selected information. In studies of attribute amnesia, participants use target attributes (e.g., identity, color) to demonstrate near ceiling levels of reporting of a second target attribute (e.g., location) across a series of trials (H. Chen & Wyble, 2015a, 2016). Yet, despite having just processed the target-defining attribute, they have difficulty reporting it on a surprise trial. This effect provides several predictions for associative binding in aging. The associative-deficit hypothesis predicts age-related decline on the surprise trial, whereas an extension of hyper-binding predicts age-related increase in performance in older adults. In Experiment 1, when working memory load was low, older adults demonstrated attribute amnesia equal to that found in younger adults. When load increased in Experiment 2, older adults again demonstrated attribute amnesia as well as an age deficit for reporting target attributes. In lieu of spontaneous binding, results suggest that expectancy plays a critical role in older adults' propensity to encode and bind target attributes in working memory. Results further suggest that expectancy alone is not enough for older adults to form bound representations when task demands are high. Taken together results revealed a boundary condition of hyper-binding and further provided conditional support for the associative-deficit hypothesis in working memory. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).
Full Text Available Information about the identity and the location of perceptual objects can be automatically integrated in perception and working memory (WM. Contrasting results in visual and auditory WM studies indicate that the characteristics of feature-to-location binding can vary according to the sensory modality of the input. The present study provides first evidence of binding between "what" and "where" information in WM for haptic stimuli. In an old-new recognition task, blindfolded participants were presented in their peripersonal space with sequences of three haptic stimuli varying in texture and location. They were then required to judge if a single probe stimulus was previously included in the sequence. Recall was measured both in a condition in which both texture and location were relevant for the task (Experiment 1 and in two conditions where only one feature had to be recalled (Experiment 2. Results showed that when both features were task-relevant, even if the association of location and texture was neither necessary nor required to perform the task, participants exhibited a recall advantage in conditions in which the location and the texture of the target probe was kept unaltered between encoding and recall. By contrast, when only one feature was task-relevant, the concurrent feature did not influence the recall of the target feature. We conclude that attention to feature binding is not necessary for the emergence of feature integration in haptic WM. For binding to take place, however, it is necessary to encode and maintain in memory both the identity and the location of items.
Peterson, Dwight J.; Naveh-Benjamin, Moshe
Aging is accompanied by declines in both working memory and long-term episodic memory processes. Specifically, important age-related memory deficits are characterized by performance impairments exhibited by older relative to younger adults when binding distinct components into a single integrated representation, despite relatively intact memory…
van Geldorp, Bonnie; Heringa, Sophie M; van den Berg, Esther; Olde Rikkert, Marcel G M; Biessels, Geert Jan; Kessels, Roy P C
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 study, we examined WM and episodic memory formation in normal aging and in patients with early Alzheimer's disease (mild cognitive impairment, MCI; and Alzheimer's dementia, AD). In the first study, 26 young adults (mean age 29.6 years) were compared to 18 middle-aged adults (mean age 52.2 years) and 25 older adults (mean age 72.8 years). We used an associative delayed-match-to-sample WM task, which requires participants to maintain two pairs of faces and houses presented on a computer screen for short (3 s) or long (6 s) maintenance intervals. After the WM task, an unexpected subsequent associative memory task was administered (two-alternative forced choice). In the second study, 27 patients with AD and 19 patients with MCI were compared to 25 older controls, using the same paradigm as that in Experiment 1. Older adults performed worse than both middle-aged and young adults. No effect of delay was observed in the healthy adults, and pairs that were processed during long maintenance intervals were not better remembered in the subsequent memory task. In the MCI and AD patients, longer maintenance intervals hampered the task performance. Also, both patient groups performed significantly worse than controls on the episodic memory task as well as the associative WM task. Aging and AD present with a decline in WM binding, a finding that extends similar results in episodic memory. Longer delays in the WM task did not affect episodic memory formation. We conclude that WM deficits are found when WM capacity is exceeded, which may occur during associative processing.
Zokaei, Nahid; Heider, Maike; Husain, Masud
Working memory and attention are intimately connected. However, understanding the relationship between the two is challenging. Currently, there is an important controversy about whether objects in working memory are maintained automatically or require resources that are also deployed for visual or auditory attention. Here we investigated the effects of loading attention resources on precision of visual working memory, specifically on correct maintenance of feature-bound objects, using a dual-task paradigm. Participants were presented with a memory array and were asked to remember either direction of motion of random dot kinematograms of different colour, or orientation of coloured bars. During the maintenance period, they performed a secondary visual or auditory task, with varying levels of load. Following a retention period, they adjusted a coloured probe to match either the motion direction or orientation of stimuli with the same colour in the memory array. This allowed us to examine the effects of an attention-demanding task performed during maintenance on precision of recall on the concurrent working memory task. Systematic increase in attention load during maintenance resulted in a significant decrease in overall working memory performance. Changes in overall performance were specifically accompanied by an increase in feature misbinding errors: erroneous reporting of nontarget motion or orientation. Thus in trials where attention resources were taxed, participants were more likely to respond with nontarget values rather than simply making random responses. Our findings suggest that resources used during attention-demanding visual or auditory tasks also contribute to maintaining feature-bound representations in visual working memory-but not necessarily other aspects of working memory.
Heider, Maike; Husain, Masud
Working memory and attention are intimately connected. However, understanding the relationship between the two is challenging. Currently, there is an important controversy about whether objects in working memory are maintained automatically or require resources that are also deployed for visual or auditory attention. Here we investigated the effects of loading attention resources on precision of visual working memory, specifically on correct maintenance of feature-bound objects, using a dual-task paradigm. Participants were presented with a memory array and were asked to remember either direction of motion of random dot kinematograms of different colour, or orientation of coloured bars. During the maintenance period, they performed a secondary visual or auditory task, with varying levels of load. Following a retention period, they adjusted a coloured probe to match either the motion direction or orientation of stimuli with the same colour in the memory array. This allowed us to examine the effects of an attention-demanding task performed during maintenance on precision of recall on the concurrent working memory task. Systematic increase in attention load during maintenance resulted in a significant decrease in overall working memory performance. Changes in overall performance were specifically accompanied by an increase in feature misbinding errors: erroneous reporting of nontarget motion or orientation. Thus in trials where attention resources were taxed, participants were more likely to respond with nontarget values rather than simply making random responses. Our findings suggest that resources used during attention-demanding visual or auditory tasks also contribute to maintaining feature-bound representations in visual working memory—but not necessarily other aspects of working memory. PMID:24266343
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
Fiacconi, Chris M; Milliken, Bruce
The purpose of the present study was to highlight the role of location-identity binding mismatches in obscuring explicit awareness of a strong contingency. In a spatial-priming procedure, we introduced a high likelihood of location-repeat trials. Experiments 1, 2a, and 2b demonstrated that participants' explicit awareness of this contingency was heavily influenced by the local match in location-identity bindings. In Experiment 3, we sought to determine why location-identity binding mismatches produce such low levels of contingency awareness. Our results suggest that binding mismatches can interfere substantially with visual-memory performance. We attribute the low levels of contingency awareness to participants' inability to remember the critical location-identity binding in the prime on a trial-to-trial basis. These results imply a close interplay between object files and visual working memory.
Fallon, SJ; Mattiesing, RM; Dolfen, N; Manohar, SGM; Husain, M
Ignoring distracting information and updating current contents are essential components of working memory (WM). Yet, although both require controlling irrelevant information, it is unclear whether they have the same effects on recall and produce the same level of misbinding errors (incorrectly joining the features of different memoranda). Moreover, the likelihood of misbinding may be affected by the feature similarity between the items already encoded into memory and the information that has ...
Reports an error in "Life-span development of visual working memory: When is feature binding difficult?" by Nelson Cowan, Moshe Naveh-Benjamin, Angela Kilb and J. Scott Saults ( Developmental Psychology , 2006[Nov], Vol 42, 1089-1102). In the article, there were two errors in experiment 1a. The mean for color item information in older adults was incorrectly calculated. As a result, Figure 3 shows a mean of over .70. The true mean was .63 ( SEM =.04). This change diminishes the magnitude of the aging deficit for associative information, although this deficit still appears to remain, to a smaller extent. (For a conceptual replication see Peterson & Naveh-Benjamin, 2016). There also was an error in the experimental procedure of Experiment 1a. The older adults in that experiment received only half the number of trials specified in the methods section, and half as much as the other groups. For all groups, when there were 4 or 6 items and the probe was a binding change, the probed location was matched by the same color at 1 other location but, when there were 8 or 10 squares, the probed location was matched by the same color at 1, 2, or 3 other locations. For 8 squares the number of trials was identical for these three trial subtypes whereas, for 10 squares, most of the trials had the same color at just 1 other location. These errors suggest that the experiment should be taken as only preliminary evidence that there is an aging deficit in color-location binding in visual working memory when color and binding trials are mixed in the same trial blocks. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2006-20488-009.) We asked whether the ability to keep in working memory the binding between a visual object and its spatial location changes with development across the life span more than memory for item information. Paired arrays of colored squares were identical or differed in the color of one square, and in the latter case, the changed color was unique
Full Text Available Information about where and when events happened seem naturally linked to each other, but only few studies have investigated whether and how they are associated in working memory. We tested whether the location of items and their temporal order are jointly or independently encoded. We also verified if spatio-temporal binding is influenced by the sensory modality of items. Participants were requested to memorize the location and/or the serial order of five items (environmental sounds or pictures sequentially presented from five different locations. Next, they were asked to recall either the item location or their order of presentation within the sequence. Attention during encoding was manipulated by contrasting blocks of trials in which participants were requested to encode only one feature, to blocks of trials where they had to encode both features. Results show an interesting interaction between task and attention. Accuracy in the serial order recall was affected by the simultaneous encoding of item location, whereas the recall of item location was unaffected by the concurrent encoding of the serial order of items. This asymmetric influence of attention on the two tasks was similar for the auditory and visual modality. Together, these data indicate that item location is processed in a relatively automatic fashion, whereas maintaining serial order is more demanding in terms of attention. The remarkably analogous results for auditory and visual memory performance, suggest that the binding of serial order and location in working memory is not modality-dependent, and may involve common intersensory mechanisms.
Morey, Candice C.
Much research on memory for binding depends on incidental measures. However, if encoding associations benefits from conscious attention, then incidental measures of binding memory might not yield a sufficient understanding of how binding is accomplished. Memory for letters and spatial locations was
Geldorp, B. van; Parra, M.A.; Kessels, R.P.C.
The ability to form associations (i.e., binding) is critical for memory formation. Recent studies suggest that aging specifically affects relational binding (associating separate features) but not conjunctive binding (integrating features within an object). Possibly, this dissociation may be driven
Calia, Clara; Darling, Stephen; Havelka, Jelena; Allen, Richard J
Immediate serial recall of digits is better when the digits are shown by highlighting them in a familiar array, such as a phone keypad, compared with presenting them serially in a single location, a pattern referred to as "visuospatial bootstrapping." This pattern implies the establishment of temporary links between verbal and spatial working memory, alongside access to information in long-term memory. However, the role of working memory control processes like those implied by the "Central Executive" in bootstrapping has not been directly investigated. Here, we report a study addressing this issue, focusing on executive processes of attentional shifting. Tasks in which information has to be sequenced are thought to be heavily dependent on shifting. Memory for digits presented in keypads versus single locations was assessed under two secondary task load conditions, one with and one without a sequencing requirement, and hence differing in the degree to which they invoke shifting. Results provided clear evidence that multimodal binding (visuospatial bootstrapping) can operate independently of this form of executive control process.
Allen, Richard J; Hitch, Graham J; Mate, Judit; Baddeley, Alan D
We aimed to resolve an apparent contradiction between previous experiments from different laboratories, using dual-task methodology to compare effects of a concurrent executive load on immediate recognition memory for colours or shapes of items or their colour-shape combinations. Results of two experiments confirmed previous evidence that an irrelevant attentional load interferes equally with memory for features and memory for feature bindings. Detailed analyses suggested that previous contradictory evidence arose from limitations in the way recognition memory was measured. The present findings are inconsistent with an earlier suggestion that feature binding takes place within a multimodal episodic buffer Baddeley, ( 2000 ) and support a subsequent account in which binding takes place automatically prior to information entering the episodic buffer Baddeley, Allen, & Hitch, ( 2011 ). Methodologically, the results suggest that different measures of recognition memory performance (A', d', corrected recognition) give a converging picture of main effects, but are less consistent in detecting interactions. We suggest that this limitation on the reliability of measuring recognition should be taken into account in future research so as to avoid problems of replication that turn out to be more apparent than real.
Spotorno, Sara; Evans, Megan; Jackson, Margaret C
It is well established that visual working memory (WM) for face identity is enhanced when faces display threatening versus nonthreatening expressions. During social interaction, it is also important to bind person identity with location information in WM to remember who was where, but we lack a clear understanding of how emotional expression influences this. Here, we conducted two touchscreen experiments to investigate how angry versus happy expressions displayed at encoding influenced the precision with which participants relocated a single neutral test face to its original position. Maintenance interval was manipulated (Experiment 2; 1 s, 3 s, 6 s) to assess durability of binding. In both experiments, relocation accuracy was enhanced when faces were happy versus angry, and this happy benefit endured from 1-s to 6-s maintenance interval. Eye movement measures during encoding showed no convincing effects of oculomotor behavior that could readily explain the happy benefit. However, accuracy in general was improved, and the happy benefit was strongest for the last, most recent face fixated at encoding. Improved, durable binding of who was where in the presence of a happy expression may reflect the importance of prosocial navigation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).
Oberauer, Klauss; Lange, Elke B.
The article presents a mathematical model of short-term recognition based on dual-process models and the three-component theory of working memory [Oberauer, K. (2002). Access to information in working memory: Exploring the focus of attention. "Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 28", 411-421]. Familiarity arises…
Simmering, Vanessa R; Wood, Chelsey M
Working memory is a basic cognitive process that predicts higher-level skills. A central question in theories of working memory development is the generality of the mechanisms proposed to explain improvements in performance. Prior theories have been closely tied to particular tasks and/or age groups, limiting their generalizability. The cognitive dynamics theory of visual working memory development has been proposed to overcome this limitation. From this perspective, developmental improvements arise through the coordination of cognitive processes to meet demands of different behavioral tasks. This notion is described as real-time stability, and can be probed through experiments that assess how changing task demands impact children's performance. The current studies test this account by probing visual working memory for colors and shapes in a change detection task that compares detection of changes to new features versus swaps in color-shape binding. In Experiment 1, 3- to 4-year-old children showed impairments specific to binding swaps, as predicted by decreased real-time stability early in development; 5- to 6-year-old children showed a slight advantage on binding swaps, but 7- to 8-year-old children and adults showed no difference across trial types. Experiment 2 tested the proposed explanation of young children's binding impairment through added perceptual structure, which supported the stability and precision of feature localization in memory-a process key to detecting binding swaps. This additional structure improved young children's binding swap detection, but not new-feature detection or adults' performance. These results provide further evidence for the cognitive dynamics and real-time stability explanation of visual working memory development. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
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
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…
Garcia, Ricardo Basso; Mammarella, Irene C; Tripodi, Doriana; Cornoldi, Cesare
This study examined forward and backward recall of locations and colours and the binding of locations and colours, comparing typically developing children - aged between 8 and 10 years - with two different groups of children of the same age with learning disabilities (dyslexia in one group, non-verbal learning disability [NLD] in the other). Results showed that groups with learning disabilities had different visuospatial working memory problems and that children with NLD had particular difficulties in the backward recall of locations. The differences between the groups disappeared, however, when locations and colours were bound together. It was concluded that specific processes may be involved in children in the binding and backward recall of different types of information, as they are not simply the resultant of combining the single processes needed to recall single features. © 2013 The British Psychological Society.
.... 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…
Del Gatto, Claudia; Brunetti, Riccardo; Delogu, Franco
In this study we tested incidental feature-to-location binding in a spatial task, both in unimodal and cross-modal conditions. In Experiment 1 we administered a computerised version of the Corsi Block-Tapping Task (CBTT) in three different conditions: the first one analogous to the original CBTT test; the second one in which locations were associated with unfamiliar images; the third one in which locations were associated with non-verbal sounds. Results showed no effect on performance by the addition of identity information. In Experiment 2, locations on the screen were associated with pitched sounds in two different conditions: one in which different pitches were randomly associated with locations and the other in which pitches were assigned to match the vertical position of the CBTT squares congruently with their frequencies. In Experiment 2 we found marginal evidence of a pitch facilitation effect in the spatial memory task. We ran a third experiment to test the same conditions of Experiment 2 with a within-subject design. Results of Experiment 3 did not confirm the pitch-location facilitation effect. We concluded that the identity of objects does not affect recalling their locations. We discuss our results within the framework of the debate about the mechanisms of "what" and "where" feature binding in working memory.
Simmering, Vanessa R.; Wood, Chelsey M.
Working memory is a basic cognitive process that predicts higher-level skills. A central question in theories of working memory development is the generality of the mechanisms proposed to explain improvements in performance. Prior theories have been closely tied to particular tasks and/or age groups, limiting their generalizability. The cognitive…
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.
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…
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
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
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...
Tempel, Tobias; Wippich, Werner
We investigated influences of item generation and emotional valence on retrieval-induced forgetting. Drawing on postulates of the three-factor theory of generation effects, generation tasks differentially affecting the processing of inter-item relations were applied. Whereas retrieval-induced forgetting of freely generated items was moderated by the emotional valence as well as retrieval-induced forgetting of read items, even though in the reverse direction (Experiment 1), fragment completion...
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.
Vergauwe, Evie; Langerock, Naomi; Cowan, Nelson
Working memory (WM) keeps information temporarily accessible for ongoing cognition. One proposed mechanism to keep information active in WM is refreshing. This mechanism is assumed to operate by bringing memory items into the focus of attention, thereby serially refreshing the content of WM. We report two experiments in which we examine evidence for the spontaneous occurrence of serial refreshing in verbal WM. Participants had to remember series of red letters, while black probe letters were presented between these memory items, with each probe to be judged present in or absent from the list presented so far, as quickly as possible (i.e., the probe-span task). Response times to the probes were used to infer the status of the representations in WM and, in particular, to examine whether the content of the focus of attention changed over time, as would be expected if serial refreshing occurs spontaneously during inter-item pauses. In sharp contrast with this hypothesis, our results indicate that the last-presented memory item remained in the focus of attention during the inter-item pauses of the probe-span task. We discuss how these findings help to define the boundary conditions of spontaneous refreshing of verbal material in WM, and discuss implications for verbal WM maintenance and forgetting.
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.
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.
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.
Luciano Grüdtner Buratto
Full Text Available The emotional content of words can affect both true and false memory performance. One hypothesis suggests that the effects of emotion on memory stem from the semantic cohesion of these words. Emotional words are better remembered because they are more inter-related than neutral words (semantic cohesion hypothesis. Although support for this assumption has been found in tasks that measure true memory, less is known about how the structure of lexical knowledge affects emotional false memories. This is partially due to the scarcity of norms that capture the pre-existing knowledge structure of verbal materials commonly used to investigate emotional false memories, such as the Deese/Roediger-McDermott word lists. In this study, we present inter-item association norms for the 44 lists of the Brazilian version of the DRM paradigm. Free-association responses were collected from a sample of 1,042 undergraduates and were used to estimate the level of connectivity among the words present in the DRM lists. Connectivity measures were then used to test the semantic cohesion hypothesis. No significant correlations were found between the emotional measures (valence and arousal and the connectivity measures. The results do not give support to the semantic cohesion hypothesis and suggest that, for the Brazilian version of DRM lists, inter-item association and emotionality can be independently manipulated.
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.
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.
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.
Bergmann, Heiko C.; Rijpkema, Mark; Fernández, Guillén; Kessels, Roy P. C.
Background Emotion can either facilitate or impair memory, depending on what, when and how memory is tested and whether the paradigm at hand is administered as a working memory (WM) or a long-term memory (LTM) task. Whereas emotionally arousing single stimuli are more likely to be remembered, memory for the relationship between two or more component parts (i.e., relational memory) appears to be worse in the presence of emotional stimuli, at least in some relational memory tasks. The current study investigated the effects of both valence (neutral vs. positive vs. negative) and arousal (low vs. high) in an inter-item WM binding and LTM task. Methodology/Principal Findings A five-pair delayed-match-to-sample (WM) task was administered. In each trial, study pairs consisted of one neutral picture and a second picture of which the emotional qualities (valence and arousal levels) were manipulated. These pairs had to be remembered across a delay interval of 10 seconds. This was followed by a probe phase in which five pairs were tested. After completion of this task, an unexpected single item LTM task as well as an LTM task for the pairs was assessed. As expected, emotional arousal impaired WM processing. This was reflected in lower accuracy for pairs consisting of high-arousal pictures compared to pairs with low-arousal pictures. A similar effect was found for the associative LTM task. However, the arousal effect was modulated by affective valence for the WM but not the LTM task; pairs with low-arousal negative pictures were not processed as well in the WM task. No significant differences were found for the single-item LTM task. Conclusions/Significance The present study provides additional evidence that processes during initial perception/encoding and post-encoding processes, the time interval between study and test and the interaction between valence and arousal might modulate the effects of “emotion” on associative memory. PMID:23300724
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…
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, 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…
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.
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…
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.
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...
Ricardo Basso Garcia
Visuospatial working memory (VSWM) comprises specialised subsystems devoted to storage of visual features and spatial locations. Recently, research has been focused on understanding feature binding in memory and how bound objects are temporarily held in working memory. In the current thesis we have addressed two broad questions: What is the nature of bound visual representations in working memory? Is there a specific deficit in binding in individuals with learning difficulties? In Study 1, yo...
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...
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 ...
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.
Cowan, Nelson; Blume, Christopher L.; Saults, J. Scott
It has been debated on the basis of change-detection procedures whether visual working memory is limited by the number of objects, task-relevant attributes within those objects, or bindings between attributes. This debate, however, has been hampered by several limitations, including the use of conditions that vary between studies and the absence…
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.
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.
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).
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 ...
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...
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.
.... 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...
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.
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…
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…
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…
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Full Text Available Executive processes, such as coding for sequential order, are of extreme importance for higher-order cognitive tasks. One of the significant questions is, how order information is coded in working memory and what cognitive mechanisms and processes mediate it. The aim of this review paper is to summarize results of studies that explore whether order and item memory are two separable processes. Furthermore, we reviewed evidence for each of the proposed cognitive mechanism that might mediate order processing. Previous behavioural and neuroimaging data suggest different representation and processing of item and order information in working memory. Both information are maintained and recalled separately and this separation seems to hold for recognition as well as for recall. To explain the result of studies of order coding, numerous cognitive mechanisms were proposed. We focused on four different mechanisms by which order information might be coded and retrieved, namely inter-item associations, direct coding, hierarchical coding and magnitude coding. Each of the mechanisms can explain some of the aspect of order information coding, however none of them is able to explain all of the empirical findings. Due to its complex nature it is not surprising that a single mechanism has difficulties accounting for all the behavioral data and order memory may be more accurately characterized as the result of a set of mechanisms rather than a single one. Moreover, the findings beget a question of whether different types of memory for order information might exist.
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.
Cowan, Nelson; Saults, J. Scott; Blume, Christopher L.
This study re-examines the issue of how much of working memory storage is central, or shared across sensory modalities and verbal and nonverbal codes, and how much is peripheral, or specific to a modality or code. In addition to the exploration of many parameters in 9 new dual-task experiments and re-analysis of some prior evidence, the innovations of the present work compared to previous studies of memory for two stimulus sets include (1) use of a principled set of formulas to estimate the number of items in working memory, and (2) a model to dissociate central components, which are allocated to very different stimulus sets depending on the instructions, from peripheral components, which are used for only one kind of material. We consistently find that the central contribution is smaller than was suggested by Saults and Cowan (2007), and that the peripheral contribution is often much larger when the task does not require the binding of features within an object. Previous capacity estimates are consistent with the sum of central plus peripheral components observed here. We consider the implications of the data as constraints on theories of working memory storage and maintenance. PMID:24867488
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.
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.
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…
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
James R. Brockmole
Full Text Available Visual working memory abilities of 55,753 individuals between the ages of 8 and 75 were assessed to provide the most fine-grain analysis of age-related change in visual working memory to date. Results showed that visual working memory changes throughout the lifespan, peaking at age 20. A sharp linear decline follows that is so severe that by age 55, adults possess poorer immediate visual memory than 8 and 9 year olds. These developmental changes were largely explained by changing visual working memory capacity coupled with small short-term visual feature binding difficulties among children and older adults.
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.
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…
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.
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
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.
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
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…
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…
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…
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.
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
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…
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 ...
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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...
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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...
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...
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).
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kárpáti, Judit; Donauer, Nándor; Somogyi, Eszter; Kónya, Anikó
Benign epilepsy of childhood with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS) is the most frequent focal epilepsy in children; however, the pattern of affected memory processes remains controversial. Previous studies in BECTS imply deficits in complex working memory tasks, but not in simple modality-specific tasks. We studied working memory processes in children with BECTS by comparing performance in memory binding tasks of different complexities. We compared 17 children with BECTS (aged 6 to 13 years) to 17 healthy children matched for age, sex, and intelligence quotient. We measured spatial and verbal memory components separately and jointly on three single-binding tasks (binding of what and where; what and when; and where and when) and a combined-binding task (integration of what, where, and when). We also evaluated basic visuospatial memory functions with subtests of the Children's Memory Scale, and intellectual abilities with verbal tasks of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Fourth Edition and the Raven Progressive Matrices. We found no difference between the BECTS and control groups in single-binding tasks; however, the children with BECTS performed significantly worse on the combined task, which included integration of spatial, verbal, and temporal information. We found no deficits in their intellectual abilities or basic visuospatial memory functions. Children with BECTS may have intact simple maintenance processes of working memory, but difficulty with high-level functions requiring attentional and executive resources. Our findings imply no specific memory dysfunction in BECTS, but suggest difficulties in integrating information within working memory, and possible frontal lobe disturbances.
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
In 1974, Baddeley and Hitch proposed a three-component model of working memory. Over the years, this has been successful in giving an integrated account not only of data from normal adults, but also neuropsychological, developmental and neuroimaging data. There are, however, a number of phenomena that are not readily captured by the original model. These are outlined here and a fourth component to the model, the episodic buffer, is proposed. It comprises a limited capacity system that provides temporary storage of information held in a multimodal code, which is capable of binding information from the subsidiary systems, and from long-term memory, into a unitary episodic representation. Conscious awareness is assumed to be the principal mode of retrieval from the buffer. The revised model differs from the old principally in focussing attention on the processes of integrating information, rather than on the isolation of the subsystems. In doing so, it provides a better basis for tackling the more complex aspects of executive control in working memory.
Bertolino, Alessandro; Taurisano, Paolo; Pisciotta, Nicola Marco; Blasi, Giuseppe; Fazio, Leonardo; Romano, Raffaella; Gelao, Barbara; Lo Bianco, Luciana; Lozupone, Madia; Di Giorgio, Annabella; Caforio, Grazia; Sambataro, Fabio; Niccoli-Asabella, Artor; Papp, Audrey; Ursini, Gianluca; Sinibaldi, Lorenzo; Popolizio, Teresa; Sadee, Wolfgang; Rubini, Giuseppe
Variation of the gene coding for D2 receptors (DRD2) has been associated with risk for schizophrenia and with working memory deficits. A functional intronic SNP (rs1076560) predicts relative expression of the two D2 receptors isoforms, D2S (mainly pre-synaptic) and D2L (mainly post-synaptic). However, the effect of functional genetic variation of DRD2 on striatal dopamine D2 signaling and on its correlation with prefrontal activity during working memory in humans is not known. Thirty-seven healthy subjects were genotyped for rs1076560 (G>T) and underwent SPECT with [123I]IBZM (which binds primarily to post-synaptic D2 receptors) and with [123I]FP-CIT (which binds to pre-synaptic dopamine transporters, whose activity and density is also regulated by pre-synaptic D2 receptors), as well as BOLD fMRI during N-Back working memory. Subjects carrying the T allele (previously associated with reduced D2S expression) had striatal reductions of [123I]IBZM and of [123I]FP-CIT binding. DRD2 genotype also differentially predicted the correlation between striatal dopamine D2 signaling (as identified with factor analysis of the two radiotracers) and activity of the prefrontal cortex during working memory as measured with BOLD fMRI, which was positive in GG subjects and negative in GT. Our results demonstrate that this functional SNP within DRD2 predicts striatal binding of the two radiotracers to dopamine transporters and D2 receptors as well as the correlation between striatal D2 signaling with prefrontal cortex activity during performance of a working memory task. These data are consistent with the possibility that the balance of excitatory/inhibitory modulation of striatal neurons may also affect striatal outputs in relationship with prefrontal activity during working memory performance within the cortico-striatal-thalamic-cortical pathway.
Full Text Available Variation of the gene coding for D2 receptors (DRD2 has been associated with risk for schizophrenia and with working memory deficits. A functional intronic SNP (rs1076560 predicts relative expression of the two D2 receptors isoforms, D2S (mainly pre-synaptic and D2L (mainly post-synaptic. However, the effect of functional genetic variation of DRD2 on striatal dopamine D2 signaling and on its correlation with prefrontal activity during working memory in humans is not known.Thirty-seven healthy subjects were genotyped for rs1076560 (G>T and underwent SPECT with [123I]IBZM (which binds primarily to post-synaptic D2 receptors and with [123I]FP-CIT (which binds to pre-synaptic dopamine transporters, whose activity and density is also regulated by pre-synaptic D2 receptors, as well as BOLD fMRI during N-Back working memory.Subjects carrying the T allele (previously associated with reduced D2S expression had striatal reductions of [123I]IBZM and of [123I]FP-CIT binding. DRD2 genotype also differentially predicted the correlation between striatal dopamine D2 signaling (as identified with factor analysis of the two radiotracers and activity of the prefrontal cortex during working memory as measured with BOLD fMRI, which was positive in GG subjects and negative in GT.Our results demonstrate that this functional SNP within DRD2 predicts striatal binding of the two radiotracers to dopamine transporters and D2 receptors as well as the correlation between striatal D2 signaling with prefrontal cortex activity during performance of a working memory task. These data are consistent with the possibility that the balance of excitatory/inhibitory modulation of striatal neurons may also affect striatal outputs in relationship with prefrontal activity during working memory performance within the cortico-striatal-thalamic-cortical pathway.
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...
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
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.
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…
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
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…
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.
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.
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...
Kaldy, Zsuzsa; Guillory, Sylvia B.; Blaser, Erik
We tested 8- and 10-month-old infants' visual working memory (VWM) for object-location bindings--"what is where"--with a novel paradigm, Delayed Match Retrieval, that measured infants' anticipatory gaze responses (using a Tobii T120 eye tracker). In an inversion of Delayed-Match-to-Sample tasks and with inspiration from the game…
Mammarella, Nicola; Fairfield, Beth; Di Domenico, Alberto
Two experiments examined the effects of spatial and temporal contiguities in a working memory binding task that required participants to remember coloured objects. In Experiment 1, a black and white drawing and a corresponding phrase that indicated its colour perceptually were either near or far (spatial study condition), while in Experiment 2,…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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
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.
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…
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…
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,
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Wang, Shinmin; Allen, Richard J; Lee, Jun Ren; Hsieh, Chia-En
The creation of temporary bound representation of information from different sources is one of the key abilities attributed to the episodic buffer component of working memory. Whereas the role of working memory in word learning has received substantial attention, very little is known about the link between the development of word recognition skills and the ability to bind information in the episodic buffer of working memory and how it may develop with age. This study examined the performance of Grade 2 children (8 years old), Grade 3 children (9 years old), and young adults on a task designed to measure their ability to bind visual and auditory-verbal information in working memory. Children's performance on this task significantly correlated with their word recognition skills even when chronological age, memory for individual elements, and other possible reading-related factors were taken into account. In addition, clear developmental trajectories were observed, with improvements in the ability to hold temporary bound information in working memory between Grades 2 and 3, and between the child and adult groups, that were independent from memory for the individual elements. These findings suggest that the capacity to temporarily bind novel auditory-verbal information to visual form in working memory is linked to the development of word recognition in children and improves with age. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
Atkinson, Amy L; Baddeley, Alan D; Allen, Richard J
Recent research (Bengson & Luck, 2015) has indicated that visual working memory capacity for unidimensional items might be boosted by focusing on all presented items, as opposed to a subset of them. However, it is not clear whether the same outcomes would be observed if more complex items were used which require feature binding, a potentially more demanding task. The current experiments therefore examined the effects of encoding strategy using multidimensional items in tasks that required feature binding. Effects were explored across a range of different age groups (Experiment 1) and task conditions (Experiment 2). In both experiments, participants performed significantly better when focusing on a subset of items, regardless of age or methodological variations, suggesting this is the optimal strategy to employ when several multidimensional items are presented and binding is required. Implications for task interpretation and visual working memory function are discussed.
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...
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Rajsic, Jason; Wilson, Daryl E
Models of visual working memory (VWM) have benefitted greatly from the use of the delayed-matching paradigm. However, in this task, the ability to recall a probed feature is confounded with the ability to maintain the proper binding between the feature that is to be reported and the feature (typically location) that is used to cue a particular item for report. Given that location is typically used as a cue-feature, we used the delayed-estimation paradigm to compare memory for location to memory for color, rotating which feature was used as a cue and which was reported. Our results revealed several novel findings: 1) the likelihood of reporting a probed object's feature was superior when reporting location with a color cue than when reporting color with a location cue; 2) location report errors were composed entirely of swap errors, with little to no random location reports; and 3) both colour and location reports greatly benefitted from the presence of nonprobed items at test. This last finding suggests that it is uncertainty over the bindings between locations and colors at memory retrieval that drive swap errors, not at encoding. We interpret our findings as consistent with a representational architecture that nests remembered object features within remembered locations.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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...
Full Text Available A latent variable study examined whether different classes of working-memory tasks measure the same general construct of working-memory capacity (WMC. Data from 270 subjects were used to examine the relationship between Binding, Updating, Recall-N-back, and Complex Span tasks, and the relations of WMC with secondary memory measures, indicators of cognitive control from two response-conflict paradigms (Simon task and Eriksen flanker task, and fluid intelligence. Confirmatory factor analyses support the concept of a general WMC factor. Results from structural-equation modeling show negligible relations of WMC with response-conflict resolution, and very strong relations of WMC with secondary memory and fluid intelligence. The findings support the hypothesis that individual differences in WMC reflect the ability to build, maintain and update arbitrary bindings.
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.
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
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
Artuso, Caterina; Palladino, Paola; Ricciardelli, Paola
The aim of the study was to investigate how the biological binding between different facial dimensions, and their social and communicative relevance, may impact updating processes in working memory (WM). We focused on WM updating because it plays a key role in ongoing processing. Gaze direction and facial expression are crucial and changeable components of face processing. Direct gaze enhances the processing of approach-oriented facial emotional expressions (e.g., joy), while averted gaze enh...
Gray, Shelley; Green, Samuel; Alt, Mary; Hogan, Tiffany P.; Kuo, Trudy; Brinkley, Shara; Cowan, Nelson
This study investigated the structure of working memory in young school-age children by testing the fit of three competing theoretical models using a wide variety of tasks. The best fitting models were then used to assess the relationship between working memory and nonverbal measures of fluid reasoning (Gf) and visual processing (Gv) intelligence. One hundred sixty-eight English-speaking 7–9 year olds with typical development, from three states, participated. Results showed that Cowan’s three-factor embedded processes model fit the data slightly better than Baddeley and Hitch’s (1974) three-factor model (specified according to Baddeley, 1986) and decisively better than Baddeley’s (2000) four-factor model that included an episodic buffer. The focus of attention factor in Cowan’s model was a significant predictor of Gf and Gv. The results suggest that the focus of attention, rather than storage, drives the relationship between working memory, Gf, and Gv in young school-age children. Our results do not rule out the Baddeley and Hitch model, but they place constraints on both it and Cowan’s model. A common attentional component is needed for feature binding, running digit span, and visual short-term memory tasks; phonological storage is separate, as is a component of central executive processing involved in task manipulation. The results contribute to a zeitgeist in which working memory models are coming together on common ground (cf. Cowan, Saults, & Blume, 2014; Hu, Allen, Baddeley, & Hitch, 2016). PMID:27990060
Gray, Shelley; Green, Samuel; Alt, Mary; Hogan, Tiffany P; Kuo, Trudy; Brinkley, Shara; Cowan, Nelson
This study investigated the structure of working memory in young school-age children by testing the fit of three competing theoretical models using a wide variety of tasks. The best fitting models were then used to assess the relationship between working memory and nonverbal measures of fluid reasoning ( Gf ) and visual processing ( Gv ) intelligence. One hundred sixty-eight English-speaking 7-9 year olds with typical development, from three states, participated. Results showed that Cowan's three-factor embedded processes model fit the data slightly better than Baddeley and Hitch's (1974) three-factor model (specified according to Baddeley, 1986) and decisively better than Baddeley's (2000) four-factor model that included an episodic buffer. The focus of attention factor in Cowan's model was a significant predictor of Gf and Gv . The results suggest that the focus of attention, rather than storage, drives the relationship between working memory, Gf , and Gv in young school-age children. Our results do not rule out the Baddeley and Hitch model, but they place constraints on both it and Cowan's model. A common attentional component is needed for feature binding, running digit span, and visual short-term memory tasks; phonological storage is separate, as is a component of central executive processing involved in task manipulation. The results contribute to a zeitgeist in which working memory models are coming together on common ground (cf. Cowan, Saults, & Blume, 2014; Hu, Allen, Baddeley, & Hitch, 2016).
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
Cyr, Marilyn; Nee, Derek E; Nelson, Eric; Senger, Thea; Jonides, John; Malapani, Chara
Working memory (WM) is a cognitive system responsible for actively maintaining and processing relevant information and is central to successful cognition. A process critical to WM is the resolution of proactive interference (PI), which involves suppressing memory intrusions from prior memories that are no longer relevant. Most studies that have examined resistance to PI in a process-pure fashion used verbal material. By contrast, studies using non-verbal material are scarce, and it remains unclear whether the effect of PI is domain-general or whether it applies solely to the verbal domain. The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of PI in visual WM using both objects with high and low nameability. Using a Directed-Forgetting paradigm, we varied discriminability between WM items on two dimensions, one verbal (high-nameability vs. low-nameability objects) and one perceptual (colored vs. gray objects). As in previous studies using verbal material, effects of PI were found with object stimuli, even after controlling for verbal labels being used (i.e., low-nameability condition). We also found that the addition of distinctive features (color, verbal label) increased performance in rejecting intrusion probes, most likely through an increase in discriminability between content-context bindings in WM.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pratte, Michael S; Tong, Frank
Recent fMRI decoding studies have demonstrated that early retinotopic visual areas exhibit similar patterns of activity during the perception of a stimulus and during the maintenance of that stimulus in working memory. These findings provide support for the sensory recruitment hypothesis that the mechanisms underlying perception serve as a foundation for visual working memory. However, a recent study by Ester, Serences, and Awh (2009) found that the orientation of a peripheral grating maintained in working memory could be classified from both the contralateral and ipsilateral regions of the primary visual cortex (V1), implying that, unlike perception, feature-specific information was maintained in a nonretinotopic manner. Here, we evaluated the hypothesis that early visual areas can maintain information in a spatially specific manner and will do so if the task encourages the binding of feature information to a specific location. To encourage reliance on spatially specific memory, our experiment required observers to retain the orientations of two laterally presented gratings. Multivariate pattern analysis revealed that the orientation of each remembered grating was classified more accurately based on activity patterns in the contralateral than in the ipsilateral regions of V1 and V2. In contrast, higher extrastriate areas exhibited similar levels of performance across the two hemispheres. A time-resolved analysis further indicated that the retinotopic specificity of the working memory representation in V1 and V2 was maintained throughout the retention interval. Our results suggest that early visual areas provide a cortical basis for actively maintaining information about the features and locations of stimuli in visual working memory.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
.... 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...
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.
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....
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...
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
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...
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....
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...
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.
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...
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...
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
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Full Text Available Many verbal theories describe working memory in terms of physical metaphors such as information flow or information containers. These metaphors are often useful but can also be misleading. This article contrasts the verbal version of the author’s three-embedded-component theory with a computational implementation of the theory. The analysis focuses on phenomena that have been attributed to the focus of attention in working memory. The verbal theory characterizes the focus of attention by a container metaphor, which gives rise to questions such as: How many items fit into the focus? The computational model explains the same phenomena mechanistically through a combination of strengthened bindings between items and their retrieval cues, and priming of these cues. The author applies the computational model to three findings that have been used to argue about how many items can be held in the focus of attention (Gilchrist & Cowan, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 2011; Oberauer & Bialkova, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 2009; Oberauer & Bialkova, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 2011. The modeling results imply a new interpretation of those findings: The different patterns of results across those studies don’t imply different capacity estimates for the focus of attention; they rather reflect to what extent retrieval from working memory is parallel or serial.
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).
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.
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.
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...
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
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
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.
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.
Craig, Stewart; Lewandowsky, Stephan
Recent research has found a positive relationship between people's working memory capacity (WMC) and their speed of category learning. To date, only classification-learning tasks have been considered, in which people learn to assign category labels to objects. It is unknown whether learning to make inferences about category features might also be related to WMC. We report data from a study in which 119 participants undertook classification learning and inference learning, and completed a series of WMC tasks. Working memory capacity was positively related to people's classification and inference learning performance.
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.
The present paper discusses four aspects : (1) the relation between the process of language comprehension and working memory, (2) overview of studies on working memory model, (3) application of the working memory to studies of listening comprehension in previous studies, (4) potentiality of application of the working memory model to studies of listening comprehension of second language acquisition.
Thomas, Laura E.
Directed actions can play a causal role in cognition, shaping thought processes. What drives this cross-talk between action and thought? I investigated the hypothesis that representations in spatial working memory mediate interactions between directed actions and problem solving. Participants attempted to solve an insight problem while…
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…
Motor affordances have been shown to play a role in visual object identification and categorization. The present study explored whether working memory is likewise supported by motor affordances. Use of motor affordances should be disrupted by motor interference, and this effect should be larger for objects that have motor affordances than for…
Foos, Paul W; Goolkasian, Paula
Format effects refer to lower recall of printed words from working memory when compared to spoken words or pictures. These effects have been attributed to an attenuation of attention to printed words. The present experiment compares younger and older adults' recall of three or six items presented as pictures, spoken words, printed words, and alternating case WoRdS. The latter stimuli have been shown to increase attention to printed words and, thus, reduce format effects. The question of interest was whether these stimuli would also reduce format effects for older adults whose working memory capacity has fewer attentional resources to allocate. Results showed that older adults performed as well as younger adults with three items but less well with six and that format effects were reduced for both age groups, but more for young, when alternating case words were used. Other findings regarding executive control of working memory are discussed. The obtained differences support models of reduced capacity in older adult working memory.
Gayet, Surya; Paffen, Chris L E; Van der Stigchel, Stefan
Human visual processing is subject to a dynamic influx of visual information. Visual working memory (VWM) allows for maintaining relevant visual information available for subsequent behavior. According to the dominating view, VWM recruits sensory processing areas to maintain this visual information
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.
Dovis, S.; van der Oord, S.; Wiers, R.W.; Prins, P.J.M.
Both cognitive and motivational deficits are thought to give rise to the problems in the combined (ADHD-C) and inattentive subtype (ADHD-I) of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In both subtypes one of the most prominent cognitive weaknesses appears to be in visuospatial working memory
Visual attention is the collection of mechanisms by which relevant visual information is selected, and irrelevant visual information is ignored. Visual working memory is the mechanism by which relevant visual information is retained, and irrelevant information is suppressed. In addition to this
Lee, Yuh-shiow; Lu, Min-ju; Ko, Hsiu-ping
In this study we examined the effects of skill training, in particular mental abacus and music training, on working memory. Two groups of participants--children who had received mental abacus training and their controls--participated in Experiment 1. All participants performed the following span tasks: forward digit span, backward digit span,…
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…
Towse, John N.; Hitch, Graham J.; Hamilton, Z.; Pirrie, Sarah
We analyze the timing of recall as a source of information about children's performance in complex working memory tasks. A group of 8-year-olds performed a traditional operation span task in which sequence length increased across trials and an operation period task in which processing requirements were extended across trials of constant sequence…
de Ruiter, M.B.; Phaf, R.H.; Elzinga, B.M.; van Dyck, R.
Dissociative style is mostly studied as a risk factor for dissociative pathology, but it may also reflect a fundamental characteristic of healthy information processing. Due to the close link between attention and working memory and the previous finding of enhanced attentional abilities with a high
Boehringer, Andreas; Macher, Katja; Dukart, Juergen; Villringer, Arno; Pleger, Burkhard
Neuroimaging studies show cerebellar activations in a wide range of cognitive tasks and patients with cerebellar lesions often present cognitive deficits suggesting a cerebellar role in higher-order cognition. We used cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), known to inhibit neuronal excitability, over the cerebellum to investigate if cathodal tDCS impairs verbal working memory, an important higher-order cognitive faculty. We tested verbal working memory as measured by forward and backward digit spans in 40 healthy young participants before and after applying cathodal tDCS (2 mA, stimulation duration 25 min) to the right cerebellum using a randomized, sham-controlled, double-blind, cross-over design. In addition, we tested the effect of cerebellar tDCS on word reading, finger tapping and a visually cued sensorimotor task. In line with lower digit spans in patients with cerebellar lesions, cerebellar tDCS reduced forward digit spans and blocked the practice dependent increase in backward digit spans. No effects of tDCS on word reading, finger tapping or the visually cued sensorimotor task were found. Our results support the view that the cerebellum contributes to verbal working memory as measured by forward and backward digit spans. Moreover, the induction of reversible "virtual cerebellar lesions" in healthy individuals by means of tDCS may improve our understanding of the mechanistic basis of verbal working memory deficits in patients with cerebellar lesions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Wolff, Michael J.; Ding, Jacqueline; Myers, Nicholas E.; Stokes, Mark G.
It is often assumed that information in visual working memory (vWM) is maintained via persistent activity. However, recent evidence indicates that information in vWM could be maintained in an effectively "activity-silent" neural state. Silent vWM is consistent with recent cognitive and neural
Nagel, Bonnie J.; Herting, Megan M.; Maxwell, Emily C.; Bruno, Richard; Fair, Damien
Adult functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) literature suggests that a left-right hemispheric dissociation may exist between verbal and spatial working memory (WM), respectively. However, investigation of this type has been obscured by incomparable verbal and spatial WM tasks and/or visual inspection at arbitrary thresholds as means to…
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.
Macizo, P.; Soriano, M. F.; Paredes, N.
We evaluated phonological and visuospatial working memory (WM) in autism spectrum disorders. Autistic children and typically developing children were compared. We used WM tasks that measured phonological and visuospatial WM up to the capacity limit of each children. Overall measures of WM did not show differences between autistic children and…
Kaiser, Cheryl R.; Hagiwara, Nao
This investigation examined whether gender identification moderates women's working memory following exposure to situations that threaten the integrity of their gender group. Young adults read sentences that either threatened women's gender identity (in the social identity threat condition) or did not threaten this identity (in the control…
Barriga-Paulino, Catarina I; Rodríguez-Martínez, Elena I; Rojas-Benjumea, Ma Ángeles; Gómez, Carlos M
The purpose of the present study is to analyze how the Slow Wave develops in the retention period on a visual Delayed Match-to-Sample task performed by 170 subjects between 6 and 26 years old, divided into 5 age groups. In addition, a neuropsychological test (Working Memory Test Battery for Children) was correlated with this Event Related Potential (ERP) in order to observe possible relationships between Slow Wave maturation and the components of Baddeley and Hitch's Working Memory model. The results showed a slow negativity during the retention period in the posterior region in all the age groups, possibly resulting from sustained neural activity related to the visual item presented. In the anterior region, a positive slow wave was observed in the youngest subjects. Dipole analysis suggests that this fronto-central positivity in children (6-13 years old) consists of the positive side of the posterior negativity, once these subjects only needed two posterior dipoles to explain almost all the neural activity. Negative correlations were shown between the Slow Wave and the Working Memory Test Battery for Children, indicating a commonality in assessing Working Memory with the Slow Wave and the neuropsychological testing. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Wilson, Corrie L.
Working memory (WM) has long been associated with deficiencies in reading. Approximately 35% of students in the United States who receive special education services do so under the category of specific learning disability (SLD). The study's theoretical underpinning was Baddeley's model of WM; previous research revealed a significant literature gap…
Bayliss, Donna M.; Jarrold, Christopher; Baddeley, Alan D.; Gunn, Deborah M.; Leigh, Eleanor
This study investigated the constraints underlying developmental improvements in complex working memory span performance among 120 children of between 6 and 10 years of age. Independent measures of processing efficiency, storage capacity, rehearsal speed, and basic speed of processing were assessed to determine their contribution to age-related…
Burnett Heyes, Stephanie; Zokaei, Nahid; van der Staaij, Irene; Bays, Paul M; Husain, Masud
Visual working memory (VWM) is the facility to hold in mind visual information for brief periods of time. Developmental studies have suggested an increase during childhood in the maximum number of complete items that can simultaneously be stored in VWM. Here, we exploit a recent theoretical and
Antoine, Sophie; Ranzini, Mariagrazia; van Dijck, Jean-Philippe; Slama, Hichem; Bonato, Mario; Tousch, Ann; Dewulf, Myrtille; Bier, Jean-Christophe; Gevers, Wim
Working memory refers to our ability to actively maintain and process a limited amount of information during a brief period of time. Often, not only the information itself but also its serial order is crucial for good task performance. It was recently proposed that serial order is grounded in spatial cognition. Here, we compared performance of a group of right hemisphere-damaged patients with hemispatial neglect to healthy controls in verbal working memory tasks. Participants memorized sequences of consonants at span level and had to judge whether a target consonant belonged to the memorized sequence (item task) or whether a pair of consonants were presented in the same order as in the memorized sequence (order task). In line with this idea that serial order is grounded in spatial cognition, we found that neglect patients made significantly more errors in the order task than in the item task compared to healthy controls. Furthermore, this deficit seemed functionally related to neglect severity and was more frequently observed following right posterior brain damage. Interestingly, this specific impairment for serial order in verbal working memory was not lateralized. We advance the hypotheses of a potential contribution to the deficit of serial order in neglect patients of either or both (1) reduced spatial working memory capacity that enables to keep track of the spatial codes that provide memorized items with a positional context, (2) a spatial compression of these codes in the intact representational space. © 2018 The British Psychological Society.
Hurst, Michelle; Cordes, Sara
Rational number understanding is a critical building block for success in more advanced mathematics; however, how rational number magnitudes are conceptualized is not fully understood. In the current study, we used a dual-task working memory (WM) interference paradigm to investigate the dominant type of strategy (i.e., requiring verbal WM…
Mishra, Sushmit; Lunner, Thomas; Stenfelt, Stefan; Ronnberg, Jerker; Rudner, Mary
Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the new Cognitive Spare Capacity Test (CSCT), which measures aspects of working memory capacity for heard speech in the audiovisual and auditory-only modalities of presentation. Method: In Experiment 1, 20 young adults with normal hearing performed the CSCT and an independent battery of…
Suchan, Boris; Linnewerth, Britta; Köster, Odo; Daum, Irene; Schmid, Gebhard
This study aimed to further explore processing of auditory and visual stimuli in working memory. Smith and Jonides (1997) [Smith, E.E., Jonides, J., 1997. Working memory: A view from neuroimaging. Cogn. Psychol. 33, 5-42] described a modified working memory model in which visual input is automatically transformed into a phonological code. To study this process, auditory and the corresponding visual stimuli were presented in a variant of the 2-back task which involved changes from the auditory to the visual modality and vice versa. Brain activation patterns underlying visual and auditory processing as well as transformation mechanisms were analyzed. Results yielded a significant activation in the left primary auditory cortex associated with transformation of visual into auditory information which reflects the matching and recoding of a stored item and its modality. This finding yields empirical evidence for a transformation of visual input into a phonological code, with the auditory cortex as the neural correlate of the recoding process in working memory.
Bedard, Anne-Claude; Tannock, Rosemary
Objective: To investigate the effects of methylphenidate (MPH) on components of working memory (WM) in children with ADHD and determine whether MPH produces differential effects on WM in children with comorbid anxiety (ANX). Method: Participants were a clinical sample of 130 children with ADHD, aged 6 to 12 years old (32% comorbid ANX). Each child…
Bedard, Anne-Claude; Jain, Umesh; Hogg-Johnson, Sheilah; Tannock, Rosemary
Background: To investigate the effects of methylphenidate (MPH) on components of working memory (WM) in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and determine the responsiveness of WM measures to MPH. Methods: Participants were a clinical sample of 50 children and adolescents with ADHD, aged 6 to 16 years old, who participated in an acute…
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 manipulated by asking subjects to memorize the spatial locations of 6 or 3 disks. The grid was always presented between the encoding and recognition of the disk pattern. As a baseline condition, grid stimuli were presented without a VSWM context. VSWM load altered both perceptual performance and neural networks active during intervening grid encoding. Participants performed faster and more accurately on a challenging perceptual task under high VSWM load as compared to the low load and the baseline condition. Visual evoked potential (VEP) analyses identified changes in the configuration of the underlying sources in one particular period occurring 160-190 ms post-stimulus onset. Source analyses further showed an occipito-parietal down-regulation concurrent to the increased involvement of temporal and frontal resources in the high VSWM context. Together, these data suggest that cognitive control mechanisms supporting working memory may selectively enhance concurrent visual processing related to an independent goal. More broadly, our findings are in line with theoretical models implicating the engagement of frontal regions in synchronizing and optimizing mnemonic and perceptual resources towards multiple goals. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Gulbinaite, Rasa; Johnson, Addie; de Jong, Ritske; Morey, Candice C.; van Rijn, Hedderik
Individuals scoring relatively high on measures of working memory tend to be more proficient at controlling attention to minimize the effect of distracting information. It is currently unknown whether such superior attention control abilities are mediated by stronger suppression of irrelevant
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.
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
Lewandowsky, Stephan; Oberauer, Klaus
What drives forgetting in working memory? Recent evidence suggests that in a complex-span task in which an irrelevant processing task alternates with presentation of the memoranda, recall declines when the time taken to complete the processing task is extended while holding the time for rehearsal in between processing steps constant (Portrat,…
Theeuwes, J.; Belopolsky, A.V.; Olivers, C.N.L.
This paper reviews the recent findings on working memory, attention and eye movements. We discuss the research that shows that many phenomena related to visual attention taking place when selecting relevant information from the environment are similar to processes needed to keep information active
Camos, V.; Lagner, P.; Barrouillet, P.
The present study evaluated the interplay between two mechanisms of maintenance of verbal information in working memory, namely articulatory rehearsal as described in Baddeley's model, and attentional refreshing as postulated in Barrouillet and Camos's Time-Based Resource-Sharing (TBRS) model. In four experiments using complex span paradigm, we…
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.
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, 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…
Gayet, S.; Paffen, C.L.E.; Stigchel, S. van der
Human visual processing is subject to a dynamic influx of visual information. Visual working memory (VWM) allows for maintaining relevant visual information available for subsequent behavior. According to the dominating view, VWM recruits sensory processing areas to maintain this visual information
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
Proactive interference (PI) may influence the predictive utility of working memory span tasks. Participants in one experiment (N=70) completed Ravens Advanced Progressive Matrices (RAPM) and multiple versions of operation span and probed recall, modified for the type of memoranda (digits or words). Changing memoranda within- or across-trials…
Bunting, Michael F; Cowan, Nelson
We argue that attention and awareness form the basis of one type of working-memory storage. In contrast to models of working memory in which storage and retrieval occur effortlessly, we document that an attention-demanding goal conflict within a retrieval cue impairs recall from working memory. In a conceptual span task, semantic and color-name cues prompted recall of four consecutive words from a twelve-word list. The first-four, middle-four, and final-four words belonged to different semantic categories (e.g., body parts, animals, and tools) and were shown in different colors (e.g., red, blue, and green). In Experiment 1, the color of the cue matched that of cued items 75% of the time, and the rare mismatch impaired recall. In Experiment 2, though, the color of the cue matched that of the cued items only 25% of the time, and the now-more-frequent mismatches no longer mattered. These results are difficult to explain with passive storage alone and indicate that a processing difficulty impedes recall from working memory, presumably by distracting attention away from its storage function.
G.E. van den Bosch (Gerbrich); H.E. Marroun (Hanan); M. Schmidt (Marcus); D. Tibboel (Dick); D.S. Manoach (Dara); V.D. Calhoun (Vince); T.J.H. White (Tonya)
textabstractWorking memory (WkM) is a fundamental cognitive process that serves as a building block for higher order cognitive functions. While studies have shown that children and adolescents utilize similar brain regions during verbal WkM, there have been few studies that evaluate the
Cowan, Nelson; Ricker, Timothy J.; Clark, Katherine M.; Hinrichs, Garrett A.; Glass, Bret A.
According to some views of cognitive growth, the development of working memory capacity can account for increases in the complexity of cognition. It has been difficult to ascertain, though, that there actually is developmental growth in capacity that cannot be attributed to other developing factors. Here we assess the role of item familiarity. We…
Mackey, Alison; Adams, Rebecca; Stafford, Catherine; Winke, Paula
This study examines the relationship between learners' production of modified output and their working memory (WM) capacity. The task-based interactions of 42 college-level, native English-speaking learners of Spanish as a foreign language were examined. A relationship was found between learners' WM test scores and their tendency to modify output.…
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.
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.
J. Scott Payne
Full Text Available Recently a number of quasi-experimental studies have investigated the potential of a cross-modality transfer of second language competency between real-time, conversational exchange via text and speech (Abrams, 2003; Beauvious, 1998; Kost, 2004; Payne & Whitney, 2002. Payne and Whitney employed Levelt's (1989 model of language production and concepts from working memory as a rationale for a hypothesized connection between synchronous computer-mediated communication (SCMC and second language (L2 speech and as a basis for predicting the differential contributions of SCMC to the L2 oral proficiency development.This study extends the psycholinguistic framework reported in Payne and Whitney (2002 with discourse and corpus analytic techniques to explore how individual differences in working memory capacity may affect the frequency of repetition and other patterns of language use in chatroom discourse. Working memory capacity was measured by a reading span and nonword repetition test. Oral proficiency was measured with a speaking task that solicited a 5-minute speech sample and was scored based on a holistic scale. The data collected from 20 chat sessions were analyzed for occurrences of repetition and relexicalization, as well as language output measures. Findings suggest a connection between working memory and language output as measured in this study.
Simmering, Vanessa R.
The change detection task has been used in dozens of studies with adults to measure visual working memory capacity. Two studies have recently tested children in this task, suggesting a gradual increase in capacity from 5 years to adulthood. These results contrast with findings from an infant looking paradigm suggesting that capacity reaches…
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…
Gulbinaite, Rasa; Johnson, Addie
The relationship between the ability to maintain task goals and working memory capacity (WMC) is firmly established, but evidence for WMC-related differences in conflict processing is mixed. We investigated whether WMC (measured using two complex-span tasks) mediates differences in adjustments of
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.
Lechuga, M. Teresa; Pelegrina, Santiago; Pelaez, Jose L.; Martin-Puga, M. Eva; Justicia, M. Jose
There is growing evidence supporting the importance of executive functions, and specifically working memory updating (WMU), for children's academic achievement. This study aimed to assess the specific contribution of updating to the prediction of academic performance. Two updating tasks, which included different updating components, were…
Nawanto Agung Prastowo
Dark chocolate as a single dose is capable of improving verbal working memory in students, 3 hours after its consumption. Since cocoa contains multiple bioactive compounds, one approach might be to examine the neurocognitive effects of combinations of potential functional ingredients.
Soto, David; Wriglesworth, Alice; Bahrami-Balani, Alex; Humphreys, Glyn W.
We show that perceptual sensitivity to visual stimuli can be modulated by matches between the contents of working memory (WM) and stimuli in the visual field. Observers were presented with an object cue (to hold in WM or to merely attend) and subsequently had to identify a brief target presented within a colored shape. The cue could be…
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…
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: email@example.com.
Wood, Justin N.
Visual working memory (VWM) is widely thought to contain specialized buffers for retaining spatial and object information: a "spatial-object architecture." However, studies of adults, infants, and nonhuman animals show that visual cognition builds on core knowledge systems that retain more specialized representations: (1) spatiotemporal…
Hudac, Caitlin M; Cortesa, Cathryn S; Ledwidge, Patrick S; Molfese, Dennis L
Sports-related concussions occur in approximately 21% of college athletes with implications for long-term cognitive impairments in working memory. Working memory involves the capacity to maintain short-term information and integrate with higher-order cognitive processing for planning and behavior execution, critical skills for optimal cognitive and athletic performance. This study quantified working memory impairments in 36 American football college athletes (18-23years old) using event-related potentials (ERPs). Despite performing similarly in a standard 2-back working memory task, athletes with history of concussion exhibited larger P1 and P3 amplitudes compared to Controls. Concussion History group latencies were slower for the P1 and faster for the N2. Source estimation analyses indicated that previously concussed athletes engaged different brain regions compared to athletes with no concussion history. These findings suggest that ERPs may be a sensitive and objective measure to detect long-term cognitive consequences of concussion. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Perrachione, Tyler K.; Ghosh, Satrajit S.; Ostrovskaya, Irina; Gabrieli, John D. E.; Kovelman, Ioulia
Purpose: The primary purpose of this study was to identify the brain bases of phonological working memory (the short-term maintenance of speech sounds) using behavioral tasks analogous to clinically sensitive assessments of nonword repetition. The secondary purpose of the study was to identify how individual differences in brain activation were…
Raver, C. Cybele; Blair, Clancy
In this article, Cybele Raver and Clancy Blair explore a group of cognitive processes called executive function (EF)--including the flexible control of attention, the ability to hold information through working memory, and the ability to maintain inhibitory control. EF processes are crucial for young children's learning. On the one hand, they can…
Botta, Fabiano; Santangelo, Valerio; Raffone, Antonino; Sanabria, Daniel; Lupianez, Juan; Belardinelli, Marta Olivetti
In the present study, we investigate how spatial attention, driven by unisensory and multisensory cues, can bias the access of information into visuo-spatial working memory (VSWM). In a series of four experiments, we compared the effectiveness of spatially-nonpredictive visual, auditory, or audiovisual cues in capturing participants' spatial…
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…
Ricker, Timothy J.; Cowan, Nelson; Morey, Candice C.
If working memory (WM) depends on a central resource as is posited in some theories, but not in others it should be possible to observe interference between tasks that share few features with each other. We investigated whether interference with WM for visual arrays would occur, even if the
Schuchardt, Kirsten; Maehler, Claudia; Hasselhorn, Marcus
This article examines working memory functioning in children with specific developmental disorders of scholastic skills as defined by ICD-10. Ninety-seven second to fourth graders with a minimum IQ of 80 are compared using a 2 x 2 factorial (dyscalculia vs. no dyscalculia; dyslexia vs. no dyslexia) design. An extensive test battery assesses the…
Plancher, Gaën; Lévêque, Yohana; Fanuel, Lison; Piquandet, Gaëlle; Tillmann, Barbara
Music cognition research has provided evidence for the benefit of temporally regular structures guiding attention over time. The present study investigated whether maintenance in working memory can benefit from an isochronous rhythm. Participants were asked to remember series of 6 letters for serial recall. In the rhythm condition of Experiment…
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…
Baltruschat, Lisa; Hasselhorn, Marcus; Tarbox, Jonathan; Dixon, Dennis R.; Najdowski, Adel C.; Mullins, Ryan D.; Gould, Evelyn R.
Children with autism often struggle with executive function (EF) deficits, particularly with regard to working memory (WM). Despite the documented deficits in these areas, very little controlled research has evaluated treatments for remediation of EF or WM deficits in children with autism. This study examined the use of positive reinforcement for…
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…
Hansen, Laura Birke; Macizo, Pedro; Duñabeitia, Jon Andoni; Saldaña, David; Carreiras, Manuel; Fuentes, Luis J.; Bajo, M. Teresa
The present research explores working memory (WM) development in monolingual as well as emergent bilingual children immersed in an L2 at school. Evidence from recent years suggests that bilingualism may boost domain-general executive control, but impair nonexecutive linguistic processing. Both are relevant for verbal WM, but different paradigms…
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…
Huang, Jia; Tan, Shu-ping; Walsh, Sarah C; Spriggens, Lauren K; Neumann, David L; Shum, David H K; Chan, Raymond C K
The current study aimed to examine the contribution of neurocognition and social cognition to components of social problem solving. Sixty-seven inpatients with schizophrenia and 31 healthy controls were administrated batteries of neurocognitive tests, emotion perception tests, and the Chinese Assessment of Interpersonal Problem Solving Skills (CAIPSS). MANOVAs were conducted to investigate the domains in which patients with schizophrenia showed impairments. Correlations were used to determine which impaired domains were associated with social problem solving, and multiple regression analyses were conducted to compare the relative contribution of neurocognitive and social cognitive functioning to components of social problem solving. Compared with healthy controls, patients with schizophrenia performed significantly worse in sustained attention, working memory, negative emotion, intention identification and all components of the CAIPSS. Specifically, sustained attention, working memory and negative emotion identification were found to correlate with social problem solving and 1-back accuracy significantly predicted the poor performance in social problem solving. Among the dysfunctions in schizophrenia, working memory contributed most to deficits in social problem solving in patients with schizophrenia. This finding provides support for targeting working memory in the development of future social problem solving rehabilitation interventions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Smith, Jean Louise M.; Sáez, Leilani; Doabler, Christian T.
Students are frequently expected to complete multistep tasks within a range of academic or classroom routines and to do so independently. Students' ability to complete these tasks successfully may vary as a consequence of both their working-memory capacity and the conditions under which they are expected to learn. Crucial features in the design or…
Roberts, Gehan; Quach, Jon; Spencer-Smith, Megan; Anderson, Peter J; Gathercole, Susan; Gold, Lisa; Sia, Kah-Ling; Mensah, Fiona; Rickards, Field; Ainley, John; Wake, Melissa
Working memory training may help children with attention and learning difficulties, but robust evidence from population-level randomized controlled clinical trials is lacking. To test whether a computerized adaptive working memory intervention program improves long-term academic outcomes of children 6 to 7 years of age with low working memory compared with usual classroom teaching. Population-based randomized controlled clinical trial of first graders from 44 schools in Melbourne, Australia, who underwent a verbal and visuospatial working memory screening. Children were classified as having low working memory if their scores were below the 15th percentile on either the Backward Digit Recall or Mister X subtest from the Automated Working Memory Assessment, or if their scores were below the 25th percentile on both. These children were randomly assigned by an independent statistician to either an intervention or a control arm using a concealed computerized random number sequence. Researchers were blinded to group assignment at time of screening. We conducted our trial from March 1, 2012, to February 1, 2015; our final analysis was on October 30, 2015. We used intention-to-treat analyses. Cogmed working memory training, comprising 20 to 25 training sessions of 45 minutes' duration at school. Directly assessed (at 12 and 24 months) academic outcomes (reading, math, and spelling scores as primary outcomes) and working memory (also assessed at 6 months); parent-, teacher-, and child-reported behavioral and social-emotional functioning and quality of life; and intervention costs. Of 1723 children screened (mean [SD] age, 6.9 [0.4] years), 226 were randomized to each arm (452 total), with 90% retention at 1 year and 88% retention at 2 years; 90.3% of children in the intervention arm completed at least 20 sessions. Of the 4 short-term and working memory outcomes, 1 outcome (visuospatial short-term memory) benefited the children at 6 months (effect size, 0.43 [95% CI, 0
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.
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…
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…
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
Kreitz, Carina; Furley, Philip; Memmert, Daniel; Simons, Daniel J
Working memory and attention are closely related constructs. Models of working memory often incorporate an attention component, and some even equate working memory and attentional control. Although some attention-related processes, including inhibitory control of response conflict and interference resolution, are strongly associated with working memory, for other aspects of attention the link is less clear. We examined the association between working-memory performance and attentional breadth, the ability to spread attention spatially. If the link between attention and working memory is broader than inhibitory and interference resolution processes, then working-memory performance might also be associated with other attentional abilities, including attentional breadth. We tested 123 participants on a variety of working-memory and attentional-breadth measures, finding a strong correlation between performances on these two types of tasks. This finding demonstrates that the link between working memory and attention extends beyond inhibitory processes.
Nijboer, Menno; Borst, Jelmer; van Rijn, Hedderik; Taatgen, Niels
Working memory can be a major source of interference in dual tasking. However, there is no consensus on whether this interference is the result of a single working memory bottleneck, or of interactions between different working memory components that together form a complete working-memory system. We report a behavioral and an fMRI dataset in which working memory requirements are manipulated during multitasking. We show that a computational cognitive model that assumes a distributed version of working memory accounts for both behavioral and neuroimaging data better than a model that takes a more centralized approach. The model's working memory consists of an attentional focus, declarative memory, and a subvocalized rehearsal mechanism. Thus, the data and model favor an account where working memory interference in dual tasking is the result of interactions between different resources that together form a working-memory system. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available A wealth of experimental evidence suggests that working memory circuits preferentially represent information that is behaviorally relevant. Still, we are missing a mechanistic account of how these representations come about. Here we provide a simple explanation for a range of experimental findings, in light of prefrontal circuits adapting to task constraints by reward-dependent learning. In particular, we model a neural network shaped by reward-modulated spike-timing dependent plasticity (r-STDP and homeostatic plasticity (intrinsic excitability and synaptic scaling. We show that the experimentally-observed neural representations naturally emerge in an initially unstructured circuit as it learns to solve several working memory tasks. These results point to a critical, and previously unappreciated, role for reward-dependent learning in shaping prefrontal cortex activity.
Bayliss, Donna M; Jarrold, Christopher; Baddeley, Alan D; Gunn, Deborah M; Leigh, Eleanor
This study investigated the constraints underlying developmental improvements in complex working memory span performance among 120 children of between 6 and 10 years of age. Independent measures of processing efficiency, storage capacity, rehearsal speed, and basic speed of processing were assessed to determine their contribution to age-related variance in complex span. Results showed that developmental improvements in complex span were driven by 2 age-related but separable factors: 1 associated with general speed of processing and 1 associated with storage ability. In addition, there was an age-related contribution shared between working memory, processing speed, and storage ability that was important for higher level cognition. These results pose a challenge for models of complex span performance that emphasize the importance of processing speed alone.
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.
Goulet, S; Doré, F Y; Rousseau, R
Cats (Felis catus) find an object when it is visibly moved behind a succession of screens. However, when the object is moved behind a container and is invisibly transferred from the container to the back of a screen, cats try to find the object at or near the container rather than at the true hiding place. Four experiments were conducted to study search behavior and working memory in visible and invisible displacement tests of object permanence. Experiment 1 compared performance in single and in double visible displacement trials. Experiment 2 analyzed search behavior in invisible displacement tests and in analogs using a transparent container. Experiments 3 and 4 tested predictions made from Experiment 1 and 2 in a new situation of object permanence. Results showed that only the position changes that cats have directly perceived are encoded and activated in working memory, because they are unable to represent or infer invisible movements.
Schuchardt, Kirsten; Maehler, Claudia; Hasselhorn, Marcus
This article examines working memory functioning in children with specific developmental disorders of scholastic skills as defined by ICD-10. Ninety-seven second to fourth graders with a minimum IQ of 80 are compared using a 2 x 2 factorial (dyscalculia vs. no dyscalculia; dyslexia vs. no dyslexia) design. An extensive test battery assesses the three subcomponents of working memory described by Baddeley (1986): phonological loop, visual-spatial sketchpad, and central executive. Children with dyscalculia show deficits in visual-spatial memory; children with dyslexia show deficits in phonological and central executive functioning. When controlling for the influence of the phonological loop on the performance of the central executive, however, the effect is no longer significant. Although children with both reading and arithmetic disorders are consistently outperformed by all other groups, there is no significant interaction between the factors dyscalculia and dyslexia.
Soemer, Alexander; Saito, Satoru
According to the multicomponent view of working memory, both auditory-nonverbal information and auditory-verbal information are stored in a phonological code and are maintained by an articulation-based rehearsal mechanism (Baddeley, 2012). Two experiments have been carried out to investigate this hypothesis using sound materials that are difficult to label verbally and difficult to articulate. Participants were required to maintain 2 to 4 sounds differing in timbre over a delay of up to 12 seconds while performing different secondary tasks. While there was no convincing evidence for articulatory rehearsal as a main maintenance mechanism for auditory-nonverbal information, the results suggest that processes similar or identical to auditory imagery might contribute to maintenance. We discuss the implications of these results for multicomponent models of working memory.
Full Text Available Teacher efficacy has a great impact on effective teaching and has been studied in various perspectives. The updating information ability in working memory is always related with many capabilities of cognition. An experiment of N-back task and a questionnaire of teacher efficacy were conducted in this study to test the effect of the ability of information updating in working memory on the teacher efficacy. A significant difference was found in the reaction time between high teacher efficacy group and low teacher efficacy group. The results showed that teachers who scored higher in the teacher efficacy scale tended to react faster than those who scored lower based on the same accuracy. And the updating information ability could serve as a predictor of teacher efficacy.
Furley, Philip A; Memmert, Daniel
The controlled attention theory of working memory capacity (WMC, Engle 2002) suggests that WMC represents a domain free limitation in the ability to control attention and is predictive of an individual's capability of staying focused, avoiding distraction and impulsive errors. In the present paper we test the predictive power of WMC in computer-based sport decision-making tasks. Experiment 1 demonstrated that high-WMC athletes were better able at focusing their attention on tactical decision making while blocking out irrelevant auditory distraction. Experiment 2 showed that high-WMC athletes were more successful at adapting their tactical decision making according to the situation instead of relying on prepotent inappropriate decisions. The present results provide additional but also unique support for the controlled attention theory of WMC by demonstrating that WMC is predictive of controlling attention in complex settings among different modalities and highlight the importance of working memory in tactical decision making.