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Sample records for n-back working memory

  1. Complex span and n-back measures of working memory: a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redick, Thomas S; Lindsey, Dakota R B

    2013-12-01

    Working memory is a construct of primary relevance to many areas of psychology. Two types of tasks have been used to measure working memory, primarily in different research areas: Complex span tasks are commonly used in behavioral studies in the cognitive and individual-differences literature, whereas n-back tasks have been used more frequently in cognitive neuroscience studies investigating the neural underpinnings of working memory. Despite both categories of tasks being labeled as "working memory" measures, previous empirical studies have provided mixed evidence regarding the shared amount of overlapping processes between complex span and n-back tasks. The present meta-analysis showed that the complex span and n-back tasks are weakly correlated, although significant heterogeneity across studies was observed. A follow-up analysis of unpublished data indicated that the sample composition affects the relationship between the complex span and n-back tasks, following the law of diminishing returns. Finally, a separate meta-analysis indicated that the simple span and n-back tasks are correlated to the same extent as are the complex span and n-back tasks. The present findings indicate that the complex span and n-back tasks cannot be used interchangeably as working memory measures in research applications.

  2. Psychosocial stress induces working memory impairments in an n-back paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoofs, Daniela; Preuss, Diana; Wolf, Oliver T

    2008-06-01

    In contrast to the substantial number of studies investigating the effects of stress on declarative memory, effects of stress on working memory have received less attention. We compared working memory (numerical n-back task with single digits) in 40 men exposed either to psychosocial stress (Trier Social Stress Test (TSST)) or a control condition. Task difficulty was varied using two conditions (2-back vs. 3-back). Salivary cortisol (as a marker of hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity) and salivary alpha-amylase (sAA as a marker of sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity) were assessed immediately before and three times after the stress or control condition. As expected stress resulted in an increase in cortisol, sAA, and negative affect. Subjects exposed to stress showed significant working memory impairments in both workload conditions. The analysis of variance indicated a main effect of stress for reaction time as well as accuracy. In addition, for reaction time a stress-block interaction occurred. Follow up tests revealed that only during the first block at each level of difficulty performance was significantly impaired by stress. Thus, the effects of stress became smaller the longer the task was performed. Results provide further evidence for impaired working memory after acute stress and illustrate the time course of this phenomenon.

  3. Differential effects of wakeful rest, music and video game playing on working memory performance in the n-back task

    OpenAIRE

    Kuschpel, Maxim S.; Shuyan eLiu; Daniel J Schad; Stephan eHeinzel; Andreas eHeinz; Rapp, Michael A.

    2015-01-01

    The interruption of learning processes by breaks filled with diverse activities is common in everyday life. We investigated the effects of active computer gaming and passive relaxation (rest and music) breaks on working memory performance. Young adults were exposed to breaks involving (i) eyes-open resting, (ii) listening to music and (iii) playing the video game Angry Birds before performing the n-back working memory task. Based on linear mixed-effects modeling, we found that playing the Ang...

  4. Differential effects of wakeful rest, music and video game playing on working memory performance in the n-back task

    OpenAIRE

    Kuschpel, Maxim S.; Liu, Shuyan; Schad, Daniel J.; Heinzel, Stephan; Heinz, Andreas; Michael A Rapp

    2015-01-01

    The interruption of learning processes by breaks filled with diverse activities is common in everyday life. We investigated the effects of active computer gaming and passive relaxation (rest and music) breaks on working memory performance. Young adults were exposed to breaks involving (i) eyes-open resting, (ii) listening to music and (iii) playing the video game “Angry Birds” before performing the n-back working memory task. Based on linear mixed-effects modeling, we found that playing the “...

  5. Comparison of the Working Memory Load in N-Back and Working Memory Span Tasks by Means of EEG Frequency Band Power and P300 Amplitude.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharinger, Christian; Soutschek, Alexander; Schubert, Torsten; Gerjets, Peter

    2017-01-01

    According to theoretical accounts, both, N-back and complex span tasks mainly require working memory (WM) processing. In contrast, simple span tasks conceptually mainly require WM storage. Thus, conceptually, an N-back task and a complex span task share more commonalities as compared to a simple span task. In the current study, we compared an N-back task, a complex operation span task (Ospan), and a simple digit span task (Dspan) by means of typical WM load-related measures of the Electroencephalogram (EEG) like the parietal alpha and beta frequency band power, the frontal theta frequency band power, and the P300 amplitude, to examine whether these tasks would show commonalities or differences in WM processing-load. We expected that increasing WM-load would generally lead to a decreased alpha and beta frequency band power, an increased theta frequency band power, and a decreased P300 amplitude. Yet, based on the conceptual considerations, we hypothesized that the outcomes of these measures would be more comparable between the N-back and the Ospan as compared to the Dspan. Our hypotheses were partly confirmed. The N-back and the Ospan showed timely more prolonged alpha frequency band power effects as compared to the Dspan. This might indicate higher demands on WM processing in the former two tasks. The theta frequency band power and the P300 amplitude were most pronounced in the N-back task as compared to both span tasks. This might indicate specific demands on cognitive control in the N-back task. Additionally, we observed that behavioral performance measures correlated with changes in EEG alpha power of the N-back and the Ospan, yet not of the Dspan. Taken together, the hypothesized conceptual commonalities between the N-back task and the Ospan (and, for the Dspan, differences) were only partly confirmed by the electrophysiological WM load-related measures, indicating a potential need for reconsidering the theoretical accounts on WM tasks and the value of a closer

  6. Comparison of the Working Memory Load in N-Back and Working Memory Span Tasks by Means of EEG Frequency Band Power and P300 Amplitude

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharinger, Christian; Soutschek, Alexander; Schubert, Torsten; Gerjets, Peter

    2017-01-01

    According to theoretical accounts, both, N-back and complex span tasks mainly require working memory (WM) processing. In contrast, simple span tasks conceptually mainly require WM storage. Thus, conceptually, an N-back task and a complex span task share more commonalities as compared to a simple span task. In the current study, we compared an N-back task, a complex operation span task (Ospan), and a simple digit span task (Dspan) by means of typical WM load-related measures of the Electroencephalogram (EEG) like the parietal alpha and beta frequency band power, the frontal theta frequency band power, and the P300 amplitude, to examine whether these tasks would show commonalities or differences in WM processing-load. We expected that increasing WM-load would generally lead to a decreased alpha and beta frequency band power, an increased theta frequency band power, and a decreased P300 amplitude. Yet, based on the conceptual considerations, we hypothesized that the outcomes of these measures would be more comparable between the N-back and the Ospan as compared to the Dspan. Our hypotheses were partly confirmed. The N-back and the Ospan showed timely more prolonged alpha frequency band power effects as compared to the Dspan. This might indicate higher demands on WM processing in the former two tasks. The theta frequency band power and the P300 amplitude were most pronounced in the N-back task as compared to both span tasks. This might indicate specific demands on cognitive control in the N-back task. Additionally, we observed that behavioral performance measures correlated with changes in EEG alpha power of the N-back and the Ospan, yet not of the Dspan. Taken together, the hypothesized conceptual commonalities between the N-back task and the Ospan (and, for the Dspan, differences) were only partly confirmed by the electrophysiological WM load-related measures, indicating a potential need for reconsidering the theoretical accounts on WM tasks and the value of a closer

  7. Can we measure working memory via the Internet? The reliability and factorial validity of an online n-back task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kulikowski Konrad

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to check whether an online n-back task conducted in the uncontrolled environment of the Internet can yield valid and reliable data. For this purpose, 169 participants completed an online n-back task with n1, n2 and n3 blocks on their home computers. The results have shown acceptable reliability for overall accuracy and reaction time indices across n1, n2, n3 blocks, as well as for reaction time indices for each n block. Unacceptable reliability has been found for separate n levels accuracy indices and for response bias indices. Confirmatory factor analysis has revealed that, among 8 proposed measurement models, the best fit for the data collected is a model with two uncorrelated factors: accuracy consisting of n1, n2, n3 indices and reaction time consisting of n2, n3 indices. The results of this study have demonstrated for the first time that a reliable administration of online n-back task is possible and may therefore give rise to new opportunities for working memory research.

  8. Measuring working memory in aphasia: Comparing performance on complex span and N-back tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Ivanova

    2014-04-01

    No significant correlations were observed between performance on complex span task and N-back tasks.Furthermore, performance on the modified listening span was related to performance on the comprehension subtest of the QASA, while no relationship was found for 2-back and 0-back tasks.Our results mirror studies in healthy controls that demonstrated no relationship between performance on the two tasks(Jaeggi et al., 2010; Kane et al., 2007. Thus although N-back tasks seem similar to traditional complex span measures and may also index abilities related to cognitive processing, the evidence to date does not warrant their direct association with the construct of WM. Implications for future investigation of cognitive deficits in aphasia will be discussed.

  9. Differential effects of wakeful rest, music and video game playing on working memory performance in the n-back task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuschpel, Maxim S; Liu, Shuyan; Schad, Daniel J; Heinzel, Stephan; Heinz, Andreas; Rapp, Michael A

    2015-01-01

    The interruption of learning processes by breaks filled with diverse activities is common in everyday life. We investigated the effects of active computer gaming and passive relaxation (rest and music) breaks on working memory performance. Young adults were exposed to breaks involving (i) eyes-open resting, (ii) listening to music and (iii) playing the video game "Angry Birds" before performing the n-back working memory task. Based on linear mixed-effects modeling, we found that playing the "Angry Birds" video game during a short learning break led to a decline in task performance over the course of the task as compared to eyes-open resting and listening to music, although overall task performance was not impaired. This effect was associated with high levels of daily mind wandering and low self-reported ability to concentrate. These findings indicate that video games can negatively affect working memory performance over time when played in between learning tasks. We suggest further investigation of these effects because of their relevance to everyday activity.

  10. Differential effects of wakeful rest, music and video game playing on working memory performance in the n-back task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maxim S Kuschpel

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The interruption of learning processes by breaks filled with diverse activities is common in everyday life. We investigated the effects of active computer gaming and passive relaxation (rest and music breaks on working memory performance. Young adults were exposed to breaks involving (i eyes-open resting, (ii listening to music and (iii playing the video game Angry Birds before performing the n-back working memory task. Based on linear mixed-effects modeling, we found that playing the Angry Birds video game during a short learning break led to a decline in task performance over the course of the task as compared to eyes-open resting and listening to music, although overall task performance was not impaired. This effect was associated with high levels of daily mind wandering and low self-reported ability to concentrate. These findings indicate that video games can negatively affect working memory performance over time when played in between learning tasks. We suggest further investigation of these effects because of their relevance to everyday activity.

  11. Differential effects of wakeful rest, music and video game playing on working memory performance in the n-back task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuschpel, Maxim S.; Liu, Shuyan; Schad, Daniel J.; Heinzel, Stephan; Heinz, Andreas; Rapp, Michael A.

    2015-01-01

    The interruption of learning processes by breaks filled with diverse activities is common in everyday life. We investigated the effects of active computer gaming and passive relaxation (rest and music) breaks on working memory performance. Young adults were exposed to breaks involving (i) eyes-open resting, (ii) listening to music and (iii) playing the video game “Angry Birds” before performing the n-back working memory task. Based on linear mixed-effects modeling, we found that playing the “Angry Birds” video game during a short learning break led to a decline in task performance over the course of the task as compared to eyes-open resting and listening to music, although overall task performance was not impaired. This effect was associated with high levels of daily mind wandering and low self-reported ability to concentrate. These findings indicate that video games can negatively affect working memory performance over time when played in between learning tasks. We suggest further investigation of these effects because of their relevance to everyday activity. PMID:26579055

  12. Effective connectivity among the working memory regions during preparation for and during performance of the n-back task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna eManelis

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Recent neuroimaging studies have shown that working memory (WM task difficulty can be decoded from patterns of brain activation in the WM network during preparation to perform those tasks. The inter-regional connectivity among the WM regions during task preparation has not yet been investigated. We examined this question using the graph modeling methods IMaGES and LOFS, applied to the previously published fMRI data of Manelis and Reder (2013. In that study, subjects performed 1-, 2-, and 3-back tasks. Each block of n-back was preceded by a preparation period and followed by a rest period. The analyses of task-related brain activity identified a network of 18 regions that increased in activation from 1- to 3-back (Increase network and a network of 17 regions that decreased in activation from 1- to 3-back (Decrease network. The graph analyses revealed two types of connectivity sub-networks within the Increase and Decrease networks: default and preparation-related. The default connectivity was present not only during task performance, but also during task preparation and during rest. We propose that this sub-network may serve as a core system that allows one to quickly activate cognitive, perceptual and motor systems in response to the relevant stimuli. The preparation-related connectivity was present during task preparation and task performance, but not at rest, and depended on the n-back condition. The role of this sub-network may be to pre-activate a connectivity road map in order to establish a top-down and bottom-up regulation of attention prior to performance on WM tasks.

  13. Effective connectivity among the working memory regions during preparation for and during performance of the n-back task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manelis, Anna; Reder, Lynne M

    2014-01-01

    Recent neuroimaging studies have shown that working memory (WM) task difficulty can be decoded from patterns of brain activation in the WM network during preparation to perform those tasks. The inter-regional connectivity among the WM regions during task preparation has not yet been investigated. We examined this question using the graph modeling methods IMaGES and LOFS, applied to the previously published fMRI data of Manelis and Reder (2013). In that study, subjects performed 1-, 2-, and 3-back tasks. Each block of n-back was preceded by a preparation period and followed by a rest period. The analyses of task-related brain activity identified a network of 18 regions that increased in activation from 1- to 3-back (Increase network) and a network of 17 regions that decreased in activation from 1- to 3-back (Decrease network). The graph analyses revealed two types of connectivity sub-networks within the Increase and Decrease networks: "default" and "preparation-related." The "default" connectivity was present not only during task performance, but also during task preparation and during rest. We propose that this sub-network may serve as a core system that allows one to quickly activate cognitive, perceptual and motor systems in response to the relevant stimuli. The "preparation-related" connectivity was present during task preparation and task performance, but not at rest, and depended on the n-back condition. The role of this sub-network may be to pre-activate a connectivity "road map" in order to establish a top-down and bottom-up regulation of attention prior to performance on WM tasks.

  14. A task is a task is a task: Putting complex span, n-back, and other working memory indicators in psychometric context

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    Florian eSchmiedek

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Based on a meta-analysis, Redick and Lindsey (2013 found that complex span and n-back tasks show an average correlation of r = .20, and concluded that complex span and n-back tasks cannot be used interchangeably as working memory measures in research applications (p. 1102. Here, we comment on this conclusion from a psychometric perspective. In addition to construct variance, performance on a test contains measurement error, task-specific variance, and paradigm-specific variance. Hence, low correlations among dissimilar indicators do not provide strong evidence for the existence, or absence, of a construct common to both indicators. One way to arrive at such evidence is to fit hierarchical latent factors that model task-specific, paradigm-specific, and construct variance. We report analyses for 101 younger and 103 older adults who worked on 9 different working memory tasks. The data are consistent with a hierarchical model of working memory, according to which both complex span and n-back tasks are valid indicators of working memory. The working memory factor predicts 71% of the variance in a factor of reasoning among younger adults (83% for among older adults. When the working memory factor was restricted to any possible triplet of working memory tasks, the correlation between working memory and reasoning was inversely related to the average magnitude of the correlations among the indicators, indicating that more highly intercorrelated indicators may provide poorer coverage of the construct space. We stress the need to go beyond specific tasks and paradigms when studying higher-order cognitive constructs, such as working memory.

  15. A task is a task is a task: putting complex span, n-back, and other working memory indicators in psychometric context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmiedek, Florian; Lövdén, Martin; Lindenberger, Ulman

    2014-01-01

    Based on a meta-analysis, Redick and Lindsey (2013) found that complex span and n-back tasks show an average correlation of r = 0.20, and concluded that "complex span and n-back tasks cannot be used interchangeably as working memory measures in research applications" (p. 1102). Here, we comment on this conclusion from a psychometric perspective. In addition to construct variance, performance on a test contains measurement error, task-specific variance, and paradigm-specific variance. Hence, low correlations among dissimilar indicators do not provide strong evidence for the existence, or absence, of a construct common to both indicators. One way to arrive at such evidence is to fit hierarchical latent factors that model task-specific, paradigm-specific, and construct variance. We report analyses for 101 younger and 103 older adults who worked on nine different working memory tasks. The data are consistent with a hierarchical model of working memory, according to which both complex span and n-back tasks are valid indicators of working memory. The working memory factor predicts 71% of the variance in a factor of reasoning among younger adults (83% for among older adults). When the working memory factor was restricted to any possible triplet of working memory tasks, the correlation between working memory and reasoning was inversely related to the average magnitude of the correlations among the indicators, indicating that more highly intercorrelated indicators may provide poorer coverage of the construct space. We stress the need to go beyond specific tasks and paradigms when studying higher-order cognitive constructs, such as working memory.

  16. Cerebral Inefficient Activation in Schizophrenia Patients and Their Unaffected Parents during the N-Back Working Memory Task: A Family fMRI Study.

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    Sisi Jiang

    Full Text Available It has been suggested that working memory deficits is a core feature of symptomatology of schizophrenia, which can be detected in patients and their unaffected relatives. The impairment of working memory has been found related to the abnormal activity of human brain regions in many functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI studies. This study investigated how brain region activation was altered in schizophrenia and how it was inherited independently from performance deficits.The authors used fMRI method during N-back task to assess working memory related cortical activation in four groups (N = 20 in each group, matching task performance, age, gender and education: schizophrenic patients, their unaffected biological parents, young healthy controls for the patients and older healthy controls for their parents.Compared to healthy controls, patients showed an exaggerated response in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (brodmann area [BA] 46 and bilateral ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, and had reduced activation in bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (BA 9. In the conjunction analysis, the effect of genetic risk (parents versus older control shared significantly overlapped activation with effect of disease (patients versus young control in the right middle frontal gyrus (BA 46 and left inferior parietal gyrus (BA 40.Physiological inefficiency of dorsal prefrontal cortex and compensation involvement of ventral prefrontal cortex in working memory function may one physiological characteristics of schizophrenia. And relatively inefficient activation in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex probably can be a promising intermediate phenotype for schizophrenia.

  17. Functional imaging studies of cognition using {sup 99m}Tc-HMPAO SPECT: empirical validation using the n-back working memory paradigm

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ludwig, Catherine; Ribaupierre, Anik de [University of Geneva, Center for Interdisciplinary Gerontology, Geneva (Switzerland); Chicherio, Christian [Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Center for Lifespan Psychology, Berlin (Germany); Terraneo, Luc [Geneva University Hospitals, Service of Nuclear Medicine, Geneva (Switzerland); Magistretti, Pierre [EPFL, Brain Mind Institute, Lausanne (Switzerland); Slosman, Daniel [Clinique Generale-Beaulieu, Nuclear Medicine Institute, Geneva (Switzerland)

    2008-04-15

    Functional activation protocols are widely applied for the study of brain-cognition relations. Only few take advantage of the intrinsic characteristics of SPECT, particularly those allowing cognitive assessment outside of the camera, in settings close to the standard clinical or laboratory ones. The purpose of the study was to assess the feasibility of a split-dose activation protocol with {sup 99m}Tc-HMPAO using low irradiation dose. A two-scans protocol was applied to 12 healthy young volunteers using 270 MBq of {sup 99m}Tc-HMPAO per scan, with each image associated to a particular experimental condition of the verbal n-back working memory task (0-back, 2-back). Subtraction method was used to identify regional brain activity related to the task. Voxel-wise statistical analysis showed left lateralized activity associated with the 2-back task, compared to the 0-back task. Activated regions, mainly prefrontal and parietal, were similar to those observed in previous fMRI and {sup 15}O-PET studies. The results support the use of {sup 99m}Tc-HMPAO SPECT for the investigation of brain-cognition relations and demonstrate the feasibility of optimal quality images despite low radiopharmaceutical doses. The findings also acknowledge the use of HMPAO as a radioligand to capture neuro-energetic modulations linked to cognitive activity. They encourage extending the application of the described activation protocol to clinical populations. (orig.)

  18. When flanker meets the n-back: What EEG and pupil dilation data reveal about the interplay between the two central-executive working memory functions inhibition and updating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharinger, Christian; Soutschek, Alexander; Schubert, Torsten; Gerjets, Peter

    2015-10-01

    We investigated the interplay between inhibition and updating, two executive working memory (WM) functions. We applied a novel task paradigm consisting of flanker stimuli presented within an n-back task and studied the interaction between inhibitory demands and load on WM updating using behavioral measures, EEG, and pupil dilation. In contrast to studies that examine the interaction between inhibitory demands and load on WM storage components, the current task paradigm allowed testing the interaction between the executive WM components updating and inhibition. We found a reduced flanker interference effect for the highest (2-back) updating load condition compared to lower updating load conditions on most measures. We interpret these findings as indicating that inhibitory control and WM updating are closely intertwined executive functions. Increased load on updating seemed to result in an overall more activated attentional network thus enhancing inhibitory control, such that task performance is less susceptible to distracting information. © 2015 The Authors. Psychophysiology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  19. Comparative Study of Working Memory Ability in Schizophreniac Patients Using the Visual Digital and Visual Spatial N-back Tasks%精神分裂症患者视觉数字和视觉空间N-back任务下工作记忆的相关研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李培福; 冒海瀛; 吴士豪; 杨柳青; 王惠玲

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To study the schizophreniac's working memory using the visual digital and visual spatial n-back in different memory loads. Methods: Thirty-three schizophreniac patients (case group) and 50 normal con-trols (control group) were recruited to accomplish the visual digital and visual spatial n-back in different memory loads. The performance of the working memory was evaluatedby discriminative power(d’). Results: The discrimi-native power(d’) in the case group was significantly lower than that in the control group (P<0.05).With the increase of the memory load, the discriminative power (d’) decreased significantly in the both groups. The interaction be-tween the memory load and groups was evident (P = 0.000) in visual spatial n-back, while the interaction between the memory load and groups was not (P = 0.223) in visual digital n-back. Conclusion: Working memory impair-ments in schizophreniac patients are independent of the mental symptoms.Working memory impairments in schizophrenia patients are more sensitive to the increase of the spatial working memory loads.%目的:通过不同记忆负荷的视觉数字和视觉空间 n-back 任务,了解精神分裂症患者的工作记忆能力的受损情况。方法:选取精神分裂症患者33例(患者组)及正常对照50例(对照组),分别完成视觉数字、视觉空间两种 n-back 范式任务,以信号检测论中的辨别力指标来评价受试者的工作记忆能力。结果:在各范式和记忆负荷下,患者组的辨别力低于对照组(P<0.05)。随着记忆负荷的增大,无论是患者组还是对照组的辨别力都有显著下降。视觉数字 n-back 记忆负荷与分组的交互作用不显著(P=0.223),视觉空间 n-back 记忆负荷与分组的交互作用显著(P=0.000)。结论:精神分裂症患者存在工作记忆能力受损,且其工作记忆能力的损害独立于精神症状之外;精神分裂症患者工作记忆的受损

  20. Tarefa N-Back Visual: construção de um instrumento de avaliação de memória de trabalho para crianças = Visual N-Back Task: development of an assessment instrument to working memory for children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lima, Mariana

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Prejuízos em tarefas que avaliem a WM têm sido observados em estudos com crianças acometidas por trans- tornos psiquiátricos com características neurodesenvolvimentais. Objetivo: elaborar estímulos visuais para serem usados na tarefa N-Back para crianças de 6 a 12 anos. Método: serão apresentadas fotos selecionadas de animais. Realizou-se um estudo com 38 crianças. Resultados: observou-se que os animais dos estímulos do N-Back são facilmente reconhecidos pelas crianças. Conclusão: a partir deste estudo preliminar, a tarefa N-Back mostrou-se apta à utilização em larga escala. Os dados deverão receber medidas de padronização e normatização

  1. The influence of N-back working memory training with Gabor signal on visual function and fluid intelligence%基于Gabor视标的N-back工作记忆训练对视功能和流体智力的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王丽萍; 林珊珊; 邱飞岳; 陈宏

    2012-01-01

    Objective To investigate influence on adults'visual function and fluid intelligence with N-back working memory training based on Gabor signal.Methods Controlling group including 13 adults had no training,training group including 14 adults received an eight-days training,half an hour a day.The stimulus was N-back training which has on improved Gabor signal with adjustable spatial frequency and contrast sensitivity.The contrast sensitivity and fluid intelligence were record using OPTEC 6500 and Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices before and after training,then the data was analyzed and processed by SPSS.Results Contrast sensitivity:there was a siguificant different of the contrast sensitivity between pretest and posttest ( ( 1.93 ± 0.17 ) log,( 1.76 ±0.20 ) log) in training group ( t =-4.579,P =0.001 ).Fluid intelligence:there was a significant different of fluid intelligence between pretest and posttest( ( 129.9 ± 9.0 ) scores,( 113.7 4-16.0 ) scores ) in training group ( t =-4.373,P =0.001 ),and superior to controlling group,which also had a statistical significance (F =1.353,P =0.004).Conclusion The method of N-back working memory training based on Gabor signal not only enhances working memory and fluid intelligence,but also improves the visual function effectively,and more various effect is acquired comparing to traditional training method.%目的 探索基于Gabor视标的N-back工作记忆训练对成人视觉功能和流体智力的影响作用.方法 控制组(13人)不参加训练,对试验组(14人)进行为期8d,每天约30 min的训练.训练任务以N-back方式,视觉刺激改进为Gabor视标且空间频率和对比度调整.采用OPTEC6500和瑞文标准推理测验,记录训练前和训练后的对比敏感度和流体智力数据,利用SPSS软件对数据进行分析处理.结果 对比敏感度:试验组训练后对比敏感度高于训练前[分别为(1.93 ±0.17)个log单位,(1.76±0.20)个log单位],差异有统计学意义(t=-4.579,P=0

  2. Orbitofrontal contributions to human working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbey, Aron K; Koenigs, Michael; Grafman, Jordan

    2011-04-01

    Although cognitive neuroscience has made remarkable progress in understanding the involvement of the prefrontal cortex in human memory, the necessity of the orbitofrontal cortex for key competencies of working memory remains largely unexplored. We therefore studied human brain lesion patients to determine whether the orbitofrontal cortex is necessary for working memory function, administering subtests of the Wechsler memory scale, the Wechsler adult intelligence scale, and the n-back task to 3 participant groups: orbitofrontal lesions (n = 24), prefrontal lesions not involving orbitofrontal cortex (n = 40), and no brain lesions (n = 54). Orbitofrontal damage was reliably associated with deficits on neuropsychological tests involving the coordination of working memory maintenance, manipulation, and monitoring processes (n-back task) but not on pure tests of working memory maintenance (digit/spatial span forward) or manipulation (digit/spatial span backward and letter-number sequencing). Our findings elucidate a central component of the neural architecture of working memory, providing key neuropsychological evidence for the necessity of the orbitofrontal cortex in executive control functions underlying the joint maintenance, manipulation, and monitoring of information in working memory.

  3. Working memory of emotional stimuli: Electrophysiological characterization.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yanmin; Verhaeghen, Paul; Cerella, John

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Working Memory Training Does Not Improve Intelligence in Healthy Young Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chooi, Weng-Tink; Thompson, Lee A.

    2012-01-01

    Jaeggi and her colleagues claimed that they were able to improve fluid intelligence by training working memory. Subjects who trained their working memory on a dual n-back task for a period of time showed significant improvements in working memory span tasks and fluid intelligence tests such as the Raven's Progressive Matrices and the Bochumer…

  6. Processing distinct linguistic information types in working memory in aphasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Heather Harris; Downey, Ryan A; Gravier, Michelle; Love, Tracy; Shapiro, Lewis P

    2007-06-01

    BACKGROUND: Recent investigations have suggested that adults with aphasia present with a working memory deficit that may contribute to their language-processing difficulties. Working memory capacity has been conceptualised as a single "resource" pool for attentional, linguistic, and other executive processing-alternatively, it has been suggested that there may be separate working memory abilities for different types of linguistic information. A challenge in this line of research is developing an appropriate measure of working memory ability in adults with aphasia. One candidate measure of working memory ability that may be appropriate for this population is the n-back task. By manipulating stimulus type, the n-back task may be appropriate for tapping linguistic-specific working memory abilities. AIMS: The purposes of this study were (a) to measure working memory ability in adults with aphasia for processing specific types of linguistic information, and (b) to examine whether a relationship exists between participants' performance on working memory and auditory comprehension measures. METHOD #ENTITYSTARTX00026; PROCEDURES: Nine adults with aphasia participated in the study. Participants completed three n-back tasks, each tapping different types of linguistic information. They included the PhonoBack (phonological level), SemBack (semantic level), and SynBack (syntactic level). For all tasks, two n-back levels were administered: a 1-back and 2-back. Each level contained 20 target items; accuracy was recorded by stimulus presentation software. The Subject-relative, Object-relative, Active, Passive Test of Syntactic Complexity (SOAP) was the syntactic sentence comprehension task administered to all participants. OUTCOMES #ENTITYSTARTX00026; RESULTS: Participants' performance declined as n-back task difficulty increased. Overall, participants performed better on the SemBack than PhonoBack and SynBack tasks, but the differences were not statistically significant. Finally

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Evolution of working memory

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Peter Carruthers

    2013-01-01

    Working memory (WM) is fundamental to many aspects of human life, including learning, speech and text comprehension, prospection and future planning, and explicit "system 2" forms of reasoning, as well as overlapping...

  9. Working Memory in Early-School-Age Children with Asperger's Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Jifang; Gao, Dingguo; Chen, Yinghe; Zou, Xiaobing; Wang, Ya

    2010-01-01

    Using a battery of working memory span tasks and n-back tasks, this study aimed to explore working memory functions in early-school-age children with Asperger's syndrome (AS). Twelve children with AS and 29 healthy children matched on age and IQ were recruited. Results showed: (a) children with AS performed better in digit and word recall tasks,…

  10. Working memory and fluid intelligence

    OpenAIRE

    Engel de Abreu, Pascale; Gathercole; Conway, A.

    2009-01-01

    The present study investigates how working memory and fluid intelligence are related in young children and which aspect of working memory span tasks– short-term storage or controlled attention - might drive the relationship. A sample of 119 children were followed from kindergarten to 2nd grade and completed assessments of working memory, short-term memory, and fluid intelligence. The data showed that working memory, verbal short-term memory, and fluid intelligence were highly related but sepa...

  11. Impaired working memory in geriatric depression: an FMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumas, Julie A; Newhouse, Paul A

    2015-04-01

    Older adults with major depressive disorder (MDD) experience poor cognitive and behavioral outcomes as MDD occurs in the context of other age-related brain changes. Patients with depression often have impairments on measures of frontal lobe functioning such as working memory. Understanding the effects of depression on cognitive functioning in older adults is important for the development of treatment strategies that focus on cognitive changes as well as mood. Eleven older adults with current MDD and 12 nondepressed comparison participants (all aged 60 years and older) performed the N-back test of working memory during fMRI. Depressed older adults performed worse than nondepressed participants on the N-back task. Depressed older adults had decreased lateral frontal and parietal activation during the most difficult working memory load condition on the N-back compared with nondepressed older adults. Cognitive dysfunction in geriatric depression may be related to reorganization of brain networks involved in working memory. Copyright © 2015 American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. The Impact of Auditory Working Memory Training on the Fronto-Parietal Working Memory Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia eSchneiders

    2012-06-01

    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.

  13. Skill and Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1982-04-30

    Bower (Ed.), The Psychology of Learning and-Motivation, Vol. 16, Academic Press, in press. 19. KEY WORDS (Continue on revees side It necoessar md...Spence & J.T. Spence (Eds.), The Psychology of Learning and Motivation: Advances in Research and Theory. New York: Academic Press, Inc., 1968...Cognition, 1981, 10, 17-23. Baddeley, A.D. & Hitch, G. Working Memory. In G.. Bower (Ed.), The Psychology of Learning and Motivation. : ,1974. Biederman

  14. A pilot study on the working memory capacity in migraineurs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ting-ting HUANG

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In order to explore whether working memory capacity of migraineurs was impaired or not, N-back Test was applied in 23 migraineurs and 25 healthy controls who were matched in sex, age, education, Verbal Fluency Test (VF, Digit Span Test (DS, Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS and Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS with migraineurs. It showed that when these migraineurs dealed with primary task of N-back Test (0-back, they showed higher accuracy rate (t = 2.627, P = 0.017 but slower reaction time (t = 1.483, P = 0.012. However, there were no significant differences between 2 groups when they dealed with advanced task of N-back Test (1-back: accuracy rate t = 1.399, P = 0.387, reaction time t = 1.069, P = 0.335; 2-back: accuracy rate t = 0.016, P = 0.209, reaction time t = 3.736, P = 0.777. As a result, working memory capacity of migraineurs was basically matched with healthy controls. DOI: 10.3969/j.issn.1672-6731.2015.01.014

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  16. Working memory maintenance is sufficient to reduce state anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balderston, Nicholas L; Quispe-Escudero, David; Hale, Elizabeth; Davis, Andrew; O'Connell, Katherine; Ernst, Monique; Grillon, Christian

    2016-11-01

    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.

  17. Developmental trajectories in primary schoolchildren using n-back task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mónica eLópez-Vicente

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Background: Neuropsychological instruments to assess cognitive trajectories during childhood in epidemiological studies are needed. This would improve neurodevelopment characterization in order to identify its potential determinants. We aimed to study whether repeated measures of n-back, a working memory task, detect developmental trajectories in schoolchildren during a one-year follow-up.Methods: We administered the n-back task to 2,897 healthy children aged 7-11 years old from 39 schools in Barcelona (Spain. The task consisted of 2 levels of complexity or loads (2- and 3-back and 2 different stimuli (numbers and words. Participants performed the task four times from January 2012 to March 2013. To study the trajectories during the follow-up, we performed linear mixed-effects models including school, individual and age as random effects.Results: We observed improvements related to age in n-back outcomes d’, HRT and accuracy, as well as reduced cognitive growth at older ages in d’ and HRT. Greater improvements in performance were observed at younger ages, in 2-back, in verbal rather than numerical stimuli and in girls compared to boys. Boys responded faster at baseline, while girls showed increased growth in 2-back numbers. Children with ADHD (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder symptoms (15% of boys and 6% of girls had a lower working memory at baseline, but they showed similar cognitive growth trajectories in numbers variants of the task, as compared to children without ADHD symptoms. However, the age-related improvement in response speed was not observed in children with ADHD symptoms. Conclusions: Changes in n-back outcomes reflected developmental trajectories in one-year follow-up. The present results suggest that the repeated administration of this task can be used to study the factors that may alter the cognitive development during childhood.

  18. N-Back auditory test performance in normal individuals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Tomé Gonçalves

    Full Text Available Abstract The working memory construct refers to the capacity to maintain information for a limited time. Objectives: To devise stimuli and adapt the 5-back test and to verify the effect of age in normal Brazilian individuals. Methods: 31 healthy adults (15 young adults and 16 older adults were evaluated by batteries of auditory stimuli to verify the inter-group differences (age effect in working memory span, total correct answers and intrusions, and the intra-group effect of type of stimulus. Results: There was no intra-group stimulus effect. Individuals from both groups processed di and tri-syllables similarly. No difference between groups (no age effect was observed for any N-Back parameters: total score, span, number of intrusions, in either di or tri-syllable presentation. Conclusion: the processing capacity of 5 elements in phonological working memory was not affected by age.

  19. LSTM with Working Memory

    OpenAIRE

    Pulver, Andrew; Lyu, Siwei

    2016-01-01

    LSTM is arguably the most successful RNN architecture for many tasks that involve sequential information. In the past few years there have been several proposed improvements to LSTM. We propose an improvement to LSTM which allows communication between memory cells in different blocks and allows an LSTM layer to carry out internal computation within its memory.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah R Rudebeck

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

  1. Working memory in early-school-age children with Asperger's syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Jifang; Gao, Dingguo; Chen, Yinghe; Zou, Xiaobing; Wang, Ya

    2010-08-01

    Using a battery of working memory span tasks and n-back tasks, this study aimed to explore working memory functions in early-school-age children with Asperger's syndrome (AS). Twelve children with AS and 29 healthy children matched on age and IQ were recruited. Results showed: (a) children with AS performed better in digit and word recall tasks, but worse in block recall task and variant-visual-patterns test; (b) children with AS took longer time in most conditions of n-back tasks, and showed larger effects of task load. These findings indicated imbalance of working memory development in AS children: they had advantage in the phonological loop storing, but disadvantage in the visuospatial sketchpad storing, and partial deficit in central executive.

  2. The ERP research about the influence of the music of Chopin on working memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, C. A.; Wei, Hong-tao; Yue, Li-juan

    2011-10-01

    This study is to examine the effect of the music of Chopin on working memory and the electrical activity of the brain in different conditions by using event-related potentials (ERPs), adopting n-back experimental paradigm and to study the neuromechanism. Thirty adults performed behavioral experiments with three conditions of music and two levels of n-back task. Fourteen normal adults performed ERP experiments with the same program as the behavioral experiment and the EEG were recorded. Chopin music improved people's working memory and pilot music improved most effectively.P3 peak amplitude decreased as working memory load increased. Especially in high load task, P3 peak amplitude decreased gradually in pilot music, background music and free music condition.

  3. Auditory Discrimination Learning: Role of Working Memory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu-Xuan Zhang

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

  4. Caffeine, extraversion and working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Andrew P

    2013-01-01

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Information Updating in Working Memory: Its Effect on Teacher Efficacy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Tao

    2012-01-01

    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.

  8. Normative data on the n-back task for children and young adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelegrina, Santiago; Lechuga, M Teresa; García-Madruga, Juan A; Elosúa, M Rosa; Macizo, Pedro; Carreiras, Manuel; Fuentes, Luis J; Bajo, M Teresa

    2015-01-01

    The n-back task is a frequently used measure of working memory (WM) in cognitive neuroscience research contexts, and it has become widely adopted in other areas over the last decade. This study aimed to obtain normative data for the n-back task from a large sample of children and adolescents. To this end, a computerized verbal n-back task with three levels of WM load (1-back, 2-back, and 3-back) was administered to 3722 Spanish school children aged 7-13 years. Results showed an overall age-related increase in performance for the different levels of difficulty. This trend was less pronounced at 1-back than at 2-back when hits were considered. Gender differences were also observed, with girls outperforming boys although taking more time to respond. The theoretical implications of these results are discussed. Normative data stratified by age and gender for the three WM load levels are provided.

  9. Associative working memory and subsequent episodic memory in Alzheimer's disease.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geldorp, B. van; Konings, E.P.; Tilborg, I.A. Van; Kessels, R.P.C.

    2012-01-01

    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

  10. Associative working memory and subsequent episodic memory in Alzheimer's disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geldorp, B. van; Konings, E.P.C.; Tilborg, I.A.D.A. van; Kessels, R.P.C.

    2012-01-01

    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

  11. Dynamics of auditory working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jochen eKaiser

    2015-05-01

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron T. Mattfeld

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Visual Working Memory Capacity and Proactive Interference

    OpenAIRE

    Hartshorne, Joshua K.

    2008-01-01

    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...

  15. Working and strategic memory deficits in schizophrenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stone, M.; Gabrieli, J. D.; Stebbins, G. T.; Sullivan, E. V.

    1998-01-01

    Working memory and its contribution to performance on strategic memory tests in schizophrenia were studied. Patients (n = 18) and control participants (n = 15), all men, received tests of immediate memory (forward digit span), working memory (listening, computation, and backward digit span), and long-term strategic (free recall, temporal order, and self-ordered pointing) and nonstrategic (recognition) memory. Schizophrenia patients performed worse on all tests. Education, verbal intelligence, and immediate memory capacity did not account for deficits in working memory in schizophrenia patients. Reduced working memory capacity accounted for group differences in strategic memory but not in recognition memory. Working memory impairment may be central to the profile of impaired cognitive performance in schizophrenia and is consistent with hypothesized frontal lobe dysfunction associated with this disease. Additional medial-temporal dysfunction may account for the recognition memory deficit.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew L Stanley

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

  18. THE DRUG-RELATED N-BACK TASK OF MEMORY IMPAIRMENT IN METHAMPHETAMINE ABSTINENTS%甲基苯丙胺戒断者记忆障碍的毒品相关n-back任务

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李明哲; 徐平; 李煜; 虎力; 陈兴旺

    2013-01-01

    目的:利用毒品相关n-back任务测量甲基苯丙胺戒断者是否存在记忆障碍.方法:利用NuAmps 40导事件相关电位系统,记录并比较甲基苯丙胺戒断者(研究组)与健康志愿者(对照组)(各12例)对3类汉字(包括毒品主要相关词、毒品次要相关词、无关词)的反应.结果:正常对照组的P300波幅随着记忆负荷逐步增加而逐渐下降(1-back>2-back),而甲基苯丙胺戒断组没有显著性差异.正常对照组与甲基苯丙胺戒断组P300峰值有显著性差异.在顶区(PZ电极)P300峰值有显著性的组间差异.结论:甲基苯丙胺戒断者存在记忆功能障碍,毒品相关n-back任务可成为检测甲基苯丙胺戒断者记忆功能障碍较好的工具之一.%Objective:To investigate whether methamphetamine abstinents have memory impairment with the drug -related n -back task.Methods:NuAmps 40 event - related potential system was used to record and compare the reaction in abstinent and normal groups (12 cases in each group) for the three types of items including the main drug related words, secondary drug related words and unrelated ones.Results:The amplitude of P300 in normal group decreased with memory load gradually increasing ( 1 - back > 2 - back) , while no significant difference in methamphetamine abstitents group.The P300 ' s peak values in normal group and methamphetamine abstinents group were significantly different.In the parietal area ( PZ electrode) P300' s peak values were significantly different between the two groups.Conclusion:Methamphetamine abstinents have memory impairment, and drug - related n -back task can be a good method to test memory impairment in methamphetamine abstinents.

  19. Tarefa N-back auditiva: desempenho entre diferentes grupos etários Auditory N-back task: different age groups performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana De Nardi

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Um dos instrumentos mais utilizados internacionalmente para avaliação da Memória de Trabalho (MT é a Tarefa N-back Auditiva. Recursos para avaliação desse sistema são escassos no Brasil. O presente estudo objetiva observar o desempenho da Tarefa N-back Auditiva em indivíduos de diferentes faixas etárias: 27 crianças, 22 pré-adolescentes, 26 adultos e 27 idosos. Os resultados mostram que o grupo etário influencia no desempenho da Tarefa N-back Auditiva. A acurácia foi aumentando na transição da infância para a pré-adolescência e seguiu em crescimento até a adultez. Observou-se um declínio no desempenho de idosos. Os dados da Tarefa N-back Auditiva corrobora a trajetória desenvolvimental, sugerindo que essa tarefa possa ser utilizada no contexto experimental. Pesquisas de normatização contribuirão para melhor compreensão dessa tarefa.One of the most internationally used instruments for evaluation of Working Memory (WM is the Auditory N-Back Task. In Brazil, resources to evaluate this system are scarce. The aim of this study is to investigate the performance of different age subjects in auditory n-back tasks. We divided the 102 subjects in four groups: 27 children, 22 adolescents, 26 young adults and 27 older adults. The results demonstrate an age-related difference in the n-back task performance. The accuracy increased in the transition from childhood to adolescence and kept growing from adolescence to adulthood. We also found a decrease in the performance of aged subjects. The Auditory N-Back Task results are in agreement with WM development trajectory, and so, it demonstrates to be an adjusted instrument to evaluate this system in experimental setting.

  20. Enhanced dimension-specific visual working memory in grapheme–color synesthesia☆

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terhune, Devin Blair; Wudarczyk, Olga Anna; Kochuparampil, Priya; Cohen Kadosh, Roi

    2013-01-01

    There is emerging evidence that the encoding of visual information and the maintenance of this information in a temporarily accessible state in working memory rely on the same neural mechanisms. A consequence of this overlap is that atypical forms of perception should influence working memory. We examined this by investigating whether having grapheme–color synesthesia, a condition characterized by the involuntary experience of color photisms when reading or representing graphemes, would confer benefits on working memory. Two competing hypotheses propose that superior memory in synesthesia results from information being coded in two information channels (dual-coding) or from superior dimension-specific visual processing (enhanced processing). We discriminated between these hypotheses in three n-back experiments in which controls and synesthetes viewed inducer and non-inducer graphemes and maintained color or grapheme information in working memory. Synesthetes displayed superior color working memory than controls for both grapheme types, whereas the two groups did not differ in grapheme working memory. Further analyses excluded the possibilities of enhanced working memory among synesthetes being due to greater color discrimination, stimulus color familiarity, or bidirectionality. These results reveal enhanced dimension-specific visual working memory in this population and supply further evidence for a close relationship between sensory processing and the maintenance of sensory information in working memory. PMID:23892185

  1. Enhanced dimension-specific visual working memory in grapheme-color synesthesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terhune, Devin Blair; Wudarczyk, Olga Anna; Kochuparampil, Priya; Cohen Kadosh, Roi

    2013-10-01

    There is emerging evidence that the encoding of visual information and the maintenance of this information in a temporarily accessible state in working memory rely on the same neural mechanisms. A consequence of this overlap is that atypical forms of perception should influence working memory. We examined this by investigating whether having grapheme-color synesthesia, a condition characterized by the involuntary experience of color photisms when reading or representing graphemes, would confer benefits on working memory. Two competing hypotheses propose that superior memory in synesthesia results from information being coded in two information channels (dual-coding) or from superior dimension-specific visual processing (enhanced processing). We discriminated between these hypotheses in three n-back experiments in which controls and synesthetes viewed inducer and non-inducer graphemes and maintained color or grapheme information in working memory. Synesthetes displayed superior color working memory than controls for both grapheme types, whereas the two groups did not differ in grapheme working memory. Further analyses excluded the possibilities of enhanced working memory among synesthetes being due to greater color discrimination, stimulus color familiarity, or bidirectionality. These results reveal enhanced dimension-specific visual working memory in this population and supply further evidence for a close relationship between sensory processing and the maintenance of sensory information in working memory. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Interaction of threat and verbal working memory in adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Nilam; Vytal, Katherine; Pavletic, Nevia; Stoodley, Catherine; Pine, Daniel S; Grillon, Christian; Ernst, Monique

    2016-04-01

    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.

  3. Effect of a Single Dose of Dextromethorphan on Psychomotor Performance and Working Memory Capacity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Kuraishy, Hayder M.; Al-Gareeb, Ali I.; Ashor, Ammar Waham

    2012-01-01

    Background: Previous studies show that the prolonged use of dextromethorphan produces cognitive deterioration in humans. Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a single dose of dextroemthrophan on psychomotor performance and working memory capacity. Materials and Methods: This is a randomized, double-blind, controlled, and prospective study. Thirty-six (17 women, 19 men) medical students enrolled in the study; half of them (7 women, 11 men) were given placebo, while the other half (10 women, 8 men) received dextromethorphan. The choice reaction time, critical flicker fusion threshold, and N-back working memory task were measured before and after 2 h of taking the drugs. Results: Dextromethorphan showed a significant deterioration in the 3-back working memory task (P0.05). On the other hand, placebo showed no significant changes as regards the choice reaction time, critical flicker fusion threshold, and N-back working memory task (P>0.05). Conclusion: A single dose of dextromethorphan has no effect on attention and arousal but may significantly impair the working memory capacity. PMID:23162189

  4. Effect of a single dose of dextromethorphan on psychomotor performance and working memory capacity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hayder M Al-Kuraishy

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Previous studies show that the prolonged use of dextromethorphan produces cognitive deterioration in humans. Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a single dose of dextroemthrophan on psychomotor performance and working memory capacity. Materials and Methods: This is a randomized, double-blind, controlled, and prospective study. Thirty-six (17 women, 19 men medical students enrolled in the study; half of them (7 women, 11 men were given placebo, while the other half (10 women, 8 men received dextromethorphan. The choice reaction time, critical flicker fusion threshold, and N-back working memory task were measured before and after 2 h of taking the drugs. Results: Dextromethorphan showed a significant deterioration in the 3-back working memory task (P0.05. On the other hand, placebo showed no significant changes as regards the choice reaction time, critical flicker fusion threshold, and N-back working memory task (P>0.05. Conclusion: A single dose of dextromethorphan has no effect on attention and arousal but may significantly impair the working memory capacity.

  5. Enhanced working memory performance via transcranial direct current stimulation: The possibility of near and far transfer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trumbo, Michael C; Matzen, Laura E; Coffman, Brian A; Hunter, Michael A; Jones, Aaron P; Robinson, Charles S H; Clark, Vincent P

    2016-12-01

    Although working memory (WM) training programs consistently result in improvement on the trained task, benefit is typically short-lived and extends only to tasks very similar to the trained task (i.e., near transfer). It is possible that pairing repeated performance of a WM task with brain stimulation encourages plasticity in brain networks involved in WM task performance, thereby improving the training benefit. In the current study, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) was paired with performance of a WM task (n-back). In Experiment 1, participants performed a spatial location-monitoring n-back during stimulation, while Experiment 2 used a verbal identity-monitoring n-back. In each experiment, participants received either active (2.0mA) or sham (0.1mA) stimulation with the anode placed over either the right or the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the cathode placed extracephalically. In Experiment 1, only participants receiving active stimulation with the anode placed over the right DLPFC showed marginal improvement on the trained spatial n-back, which did not extend to a near transfer (verbal n-back) or far transfer task (a matrix-reasoning task designed to measure fluid intelligence). In Experiment 2, both left and right anode placements led to improvement, and right DLPFC stimulation resulted in numerical (though not sham-adjusted) improvement on the near transfer (spatial n-back) and far transfer (fluid intelligence) task. Results suggest that WM training paired with brain stimulation may result in cognitive enhancement that transfers to performance on other tasks, depending on the combination of training task and tDCS parameters used.

  6. The impact of working memory on interpreting

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    白云安; 张国梅

    2016-01-01

    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.

  7. Neural Basis of Working Memory Enhancement after Acute Aerobic Exercise: fMRI Study of Preadolescent Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Ai-Guo; Zhu, Li-Na; Yan, Jun; Yin, Heng-Chan

    2016-01-01

    Working memory lies at the core of cognitive function and plays a crucial role in children's learning, reasoning, problem solving, and intellectual activity. Behavioral findings have suggested that acute aerobic exercise improves children's working memory; however, there is still very little knowledge about whether a single session of aerobic exercise can alter working memory's brain activation patterns, as assessed by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Therefore, we investigated the effect of acute moderate-intensity aerobic exercise on working memory and its brain activation patterns in preadolescent children, and further explored the neural basis of acute aerobic exercise on working memory in these children. We used a within-subjects design with a counterbalanced order. Nine healthy, right-handed children were scanned with a Siemens MAGNETOM Trio 3.0 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging scanner while they performed a working memory task (N-back task), following a baseline session and a 30-min, moderate-intensity exercise session. Compared with the baseline session, acute moderate-intensity aerobic exercise benefitted performance in the N-back task, increasing brain activities of bilateral parietal cortices, left hippocampus, and the bilateral cerebellum. These data extend the current knowledge by indicating that acute aerobic exercise enhances children's working memory, and the neural basis may be related to changes in the working memory's brain activation patterns elicited by acute aerobic exercise.

  8. The effect of binaural beats on verbal working memory and cortical connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beauchene, Christine; Abaid, Nicole; Moran, Rosalyn; Diana, Rachel A.; Leonessa, Alexander

    2017-04-01

    Objective. Synchronization in activated regions of cortical networks affect the brain’s frequency response, which has been associated with a wide range of states and abilities, including memory. A non-invasive method for manipulating cortical synchronization is binaural beats. Binaural beats take advantage of the brain’s response to two pure tones, delivered independently to each ear, when those tones have a small frequency mismatch. The mismatch between the tones is interpreted as a beat frequency, which may act to synchronize cortical oscillations. Neural synchrony is particularly important for working memory processes, the system controlling online organization and retention of information for successful goal-directed behavior. Therefore, manipulation of synchrony via binaural beats provides a unique window into working memory and associated connectivity of cortical networks. Approach. In this study, we examined the effects of different acoustic stimulation conditions during an N-back working memory task, and we measured participant response accuracy and cortical network topology via EEG recordings. Six acoustic stimulation conditions were used: None, Pure Tone, Classical Music, 5 Hz binaural beats, 10 Hz binaural beats, and 15 Hz binaural beats. Main results. We determined that listening to 15 Hz binaural beats during an N-Back working memory task increased the individual participant’s accuracy, modulated the cortical frequency response, and changed the cortical network connection strengths during the task. Only the 15 Hz binaural beats produced significant change in relative accuracy compared to the None condition. Significance. Listening to 15 Hz binaural beats during the N-back task activated salient frequency bands and produced networks characterized by higher information transfer as compared to other auditory stimulation conditions.

  9. Working Memory Capacity: An Individual Differences Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    1989-02-27

    visible lanmage. 355-370, NY: Plenum. Baddeley, A. D., & Hitch, G. (1974). Working memory. In G. A. Bower (Ed.), The psychology of learning and motivation...control architecture for working memory. The Psychology of learning and memory 21. G.H. Bower (Ed.). NY: Academic Press. Shepard, R. N., & Metzler, J

  10. Frontal Structural Neural Correlates of Working Memory Performance in Older Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nissim, Nicole R.; O’Shea, Andrew M.; Bryant, Vaughn; Porges, Eric C.; Cohen, Ronald; Woods, Adam J.

    2017-01-01

    Working memory is an executive memory process that allows transitional information to be held and manipulated temporarily in memory stores before being forgotten or encoded into long-term memory. Working memory is necessary for everyday decision-making and problem solving, making it a fundamental process in the daily lives of older adults. Working memory relies heavily on frontal lobe structures and is known to decline with age. The current study aimed to determine the neural correlates of decreased working memory performance in the frontal lobes by comparing cortical thickness and cortical surface area from two demographically matched groups of healthy older adults, free from cognitive impairment, with high versus low N-Back working memory performance (N = 56; average age = 70.29 ± 10.64). High-resolution structural T1-weighted images (1 mm isotropic voxels) were obtained on a 3T Philips MRI scanner. When compared to high performers, low performers exhibited significantly decreased cortical surface area in three frontal lobe regions lateralized to the right hemisphere: medial orbital frontal gyrus, inferior frontal gyrus, and superior frontal gyrus (FDR p brain structural integrity) in right frontal regions may underlie age-related decline of working memory function. PMID:28101053

  11. Transfer of training from one working memory task to another: Behavioural and neural evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin L. Beatty

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available N-back working memory (WM tasks necessitate the maintenance and updating of dynamic rehearsal sets during performance. The delayed matching-to-sample (dMTS task is another WM task, which in turn involves the encoding, maintenance, and retrieval of stimulus representations in sequential order. Because both n-back and dMTS engage WM function, we hypothesized that compared to a control task not taxing WM, training on the n-back task would be associated with better performance on dMTS by virtue of training a shared mental capacity. We tested this hypothesis by randomly assigning subjects (N = 43 to train on either the n-back (including 2-back and 3-back levels or an active control task. Following training, dMTS was administered in the fMRI scanner. The n-back group performed marginally better than the active control group on dMTS. In addition, although the n-back group improved more on the less difficult 2-back level than the more difficult 3-back level across training sessions, it was improvement on the 3-back level that accounted for 21% of the variance in dMTS performance. For the control group, improvement in training across sessions was unrelated to dMTS performance. At the neural level, greater activation in the left inferior frontal gyrus, right posterior parietal cortex and the cerebellum distinguished the n-back group from the control group in the maintenance phase of dMTS. Degree of improvement on the 3-back level across training sessions was correlated with activation in right lateral prefrontal and motor cortices in the maintenance phase of dMTS. Our results suggest that although n-back training is more likely to improve performance in easier blocks, it is improvement in more difficult blocks that is predictive of performance on a target task drawing on WM. In addition, the extent to which training on a task can transfer to another task is likely due to the engagement of shared cognitive capacities and underlying neural substrates

  12. Dieting and food cue-related working memory performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrian Meule

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available 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 successful eating-related self-regulation. The current study investigated food cue-related working memory performance as a function of dieting status and dieting success in female students. Participants performed an n-back task with pictures of food and neutral objects. Reaction time in response to food pictures was slower than in response to neutral pictures, whereas omission errors did not differ between picture types. Current food craving was increased after performing the food block, but not after the neutral block. There was an indirect effect of current dieting status on higher food craving after the food block, which was mediated by slower reaction time to food vs. neutral pictures. Furthermore, higher dieting success was associated with fewer omission errors in the food vs. neutral block in current dieters. There were no relationships of restrained eating with current food craving and task performance. Results further highlight the need to differentiate between successful and unsuccessful dieting in addition to current dieting status or restrained eating when examining possible mechanisms of overeating or successful restraint. Although palatable food cues induce food craving regardless of dieting success, they may boost executive functioning in successful dieters, which helps them to overcome these temptations.

  13. Working memory and attention in pediatric brain tumor patients treated with and without radiation therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-26

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

  14. Working memory and the memory distortion component of hindsight bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvillo, Dustin P

    2012-01-01

    One component of hindsight bias is memory distortion: Individuals' recollections of their predictions are biased towards known outcomes. The present study examined the role of working memory in the memory distortion component of hindsight bias. Participants answered almanac-like questions, completed a measure of working memory capacity, were provided with the correct answers, and attempted to recollect their original judgements in two conditions: with and without a concurrent working memory load. Participants' recalled judgements were more biased by feedback when they recalled these judgements with a concurrent memory load and working memory capacity was negatively correlated with memory distortion. These findings are consistent with reconstruction accounts of the memory distortion component of hindsight bias and, more generally, with dual process theories of cognition. These results also relate the memory distortion component of hindsight bias with other cognitive errors, such as source monitoring errors, the belief bias in syllogistic reasoning and anchoring effects. Implications for the separate components view of hindsight bias are discussed.

  15. Neural Basis of Working Memory Enhancement after Acute Aerobic Exercise: fMRI Study of Preadolescent Children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ai-Guo Chen

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Working memory lies at the core of cognitive function and plays a crucial role in children’s learning, reasoning, problem solving, and intellectual activity. Behavioral findings have suggested that acute aerobic exercise improves children’s working memory; however, there is still very little knowledge about whether a single session of aerobic exercise can alter working memory’s brain activation patterns, as assessed by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI. Therefore, we investigated the effect of acute moderate-intensity aerobic exercise on working memory and its brain activation patterns in preadolescent children, and further explored the neural basis of acute aerobic exercise on working memory in these children. We used a within-subjects design with a counterbalanced order. Nine healthy, right-handed children were scanned with a Siemens MAGNETOM Trio 3.0 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging scanner while they performed a working memory task (N-back task, following a baseline session and a 30-min, moderate-intensity exercise session. Compared with the baseline session, acute moderate-intensity aerobic exercise benefitted performance in the N-back task, increasing brain activities of bilateral parietal cortices, left hippocampus, and the bilateral cerebellum. These data extend the current knowledge by indicating that acute aerobic exercise enhances children’s working memory, and the neural basis may be related to changes in the working memory’s brain activation patterns elicited by acute aerobic exercise.

  16. The impact of abacus training on working memory and underlying neural correlates in young adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Shanshan; Wang, Chunjie; Xie, Ye; Hu, Yuzheng; Weng, Jian; Chen, Feiyan

    2016-09-22

    Abacus-based mental calculation (AMC) activates the frontoparietal areas largely overlapping with the working memory (WM) network. Given the critical role of WM in cognition, how to improve WM capability has attracted intensive attention in past years. However, it is still unclear whether WM could be enhanced by AMC training. The current research thus explored the impact of AMC training on verbal and visuospatial WM, as well as the underlying neural basis. Participants were randomly assigned to an abacus group and a control group. Their verbal WM was evaluated by digit/letter memory span (DMS/LMS) tests, and visuospatial WM was assessed by a visuospatial n-back task. Neural activity during the n-back task was examined using functional MRI. Our results showed reliable improvements of both verbal and visuospatial WM in the abacus group after 20-day AMC training but not in the control. In addition, the n-back task-induced activations in the right frontoparietal circuitry and left occipitotemporal junction (OTJ) declined as a result of training. Notably, the decreases in activity were positively correlated with performance gains across trained participants. These results suggest AMC training not only improves calculating skills but also have the potential to promote individuals' WM capabilities, which is associated with the functional plasticity of the common neural substrates.

  17. Working Memory Capacity, Confidence and Scientific Thinking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Ahmadi, Fatheya; Oraif, Fatima

    2009-01-01

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

  18. Interactions between working memory and selective attention

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

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

  19. Visual working memory capacity and proactive interference.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  20. How Human Memory and Working Memory Work in Second Language Acquisition

    OpenAIRE

    小那覇, 洋子; Onaha, Hiroko

    2014-01-01

    We often draw an analogy between human memory and computers. Information around us is taken into our memory storage first, and then we use the information in storage whatever we need it in our daily life. Linguistic information is also in storage and we process our thoughts based on the memory that is stored. Memory storage consists of multiple memory systems; one of which is called working memory that includes short-term memory. Working memory is the central system that underpins the process...

  1. Is working memory working against suggestion susceptibility? Results from extended version of DRM paradigm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maciaszek Patrycja

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The paper investigates relationship between working memory efficiency, defined as the result of its’ processing & storage capacity (Oberauer et al., 2003 and the tendency to (1 create assosiative memory distortions (false memories, FM; (2 yield under the influence of external, suggesting factors. Both issues were examined using extended version of Deese-Roediger-McDermott procedure (1959, 1995, modified in order to meet the study demands. Suggestion was contained in an ostentatious feedback information the participants (N=88 received during the DRM procedure. Working memory (WM was measured by standardized tasks (n-back, Jaeggi et al., 2010; automatic-ospan, Unsworth et al., 2005. Study included 3 conditions, differing in the quality of suggestion (positive, negative or neutral. Participants were assigned into 3 groups, depending on results they achieved completing the WM tasks. Obtained results alongside the previously set hypothesis, revealed that (1 WM impacts individuals’ tendency to create false memories in DRM and (2 that the individuals showing higher rates in WM tasks are less willing to yield to suggestion compared to those with lesser ones. It also showed that the greater amount to shift (Gudjonsson, 2003, emerges under the negative suggestion condition (collating positive. Notwithstanding that the interaction effect did not achieve saliency, both analyzed factors (WM and suggesting content are considered as meaningful to explain memory suggestion susceptibility in presented study. Although, obtained results emphasize the crucial role of WM efficiency, that is believed to decide the magnitude of feedback that is influential in every subject. Therefore, issue demands further exploration.

  2. [Repeated measurement of memory with valenced test items: verbal memory, working memory and autobiographic memory].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuffel, A; Terfehr, K; Uhlmann, C; Schreiner, J; Löwe, B; Spitzer, C; Wingenfeld, K

    2013-07-01

    A large number of questions in clinical and/or experimental neuropsychology require the multiple repetition of memory tests at relatively short intervals. Studies on the impact of the associated exercise and interference effects on the validity of the test results are rare. Moreover, hardly any neuropsychological instruments exist to date to record the memory performance with several parallel versions in which the emotional valence of the test material is also taken into consideration. The aim of the present study was to test whether a working memory test (WST, a digit-span task with neutral or negative distraction stimuli) devised by our workgroup can be used with repeated measurements. This question was also examined in parallel versions of a wordlist learning paradigm and an autobiographical memory test (AMT). Both tests contained stimuli with neutral, positive and negative valence. Twenty-four participants completed the memory testing including the working memory test and three versions of a wordlist and the AMT at intervals of a week apiece (measuring points 1. - 3.). The results reveal consistent performances across the three measuring points in the working and autobiographical memory test. The valence of the stimulus material did not influence the memory performance. In the delayed recall of the wordlist an improvement in memory performance over time was seen. The tests on working memory presented and the parallel versions for the declarative and autobiographical memory constitute informal economic instruments within the scope of the measurement repeatability designs. While the WST and AMT are appropriate for study designs with repeated measurements at relatively short intervals, longer intervals might seem more favourable for the use of wordlist learning paradigms. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  3. Dissociable Memory- and Response-Related Activity in Parietal Cortex during Auditory Spatial Working Memory

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    Claude Alain

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Attending and responding to sound location generates increased activity in parietal cortex which may index auditory spatial working memory and/or goal-directed action. Here, we used an n-back task (Experiment 1 and an adaptation paradigm (Experiment 2 to distinguish memory-related activity from that associated with goal-directed action. In Experiment 1, participants indicated, in separate blocks of trials, whether the incoming stimulus was presented at the same location as in the previous trial (1-back or two trials ago (2-back. Prior to a block of trials, participants were told to use their left or right index finger. Accuracy and reaction times were worse for the 2-back than for the 1-back condition. The analysis of fMRI data revealed greater sustained task-related activity in the inferior parietal lobule (IPL and superior frontal sulcus during 2-back than 1-back after accounting for response-related activity elicited by the targets. Target detection and response execution were also associated with enhanced activity in the IPL bilaterally, though the activation was anterior to that associated with sustained task-related activity. In Experiment 2, we used an event-related design in which participants listened (no response required to trials that comprised four sounds presented either at the same location or at four different locations. We found larger IPL activation for changes in sound location than for sounds presented at the same location. The IPL activation overlapped with that observed during auditory spatial working memory task. Together, these results provide converging evidence supporting the role of parietal cortex in auditory spatial working memory which can be dissociated from response selection and execution.

  4. Working Memory and Developmental Language Impairments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, Lucy A.; Botting, Nicola

    2017-01-01

    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…

  5. Working Memory and Developmental Language Impairments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, Lucy A.; Botting, Nicola

    2017-01-01

    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…

  6. Teaching Political Science through Memory Work

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansson, Maria; Wendt, Maria; Ase, Cecilia

    2009-01-01

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

  7. Teaching Political Science through Memory Work

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansson, Maria; Wendt, Maria; Ase, Cecilia

    2009-01-01

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

  8. Dimensions of working memory dysfunction in schizophrenia.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pukrop, R.; Matuschek, E.; Ruhrmann, S.; Brockhaus, A.; Tendolkar, I.; Bertsch, A.; Klosterkötter, J.

    2003-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the underlying structure of eight working memory tests used to assess prefrontal dysfunction in schizophrenia research [Letter-Number Span (LNS), Digit-Symbol Test (DST), Trail-Making Test B (TMT-B), Delayed Response Task (DRT) for spatial working memory, Sub

  9. No significant effect of prefrontal tDCS on working memory performance in older adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonna eNilsson

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS has been put forward as a non-pharmacological alternative for alleviating cognitive decline in old age. Although results have shown some promise, little is known about the optimal stimulation parameters for modulation in the cognitive domain. In this study, the effects of tDCS over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC on working memory performance were investigated in thirty older adults. An N-back task assessed working memory before, during and after anodal tDCS at a current strength of 1mA and 2mA, in addition to sham stimulation. The study used a single-blind, cross-over design. The results revealed no significant effect of tDCS on accuracy or response times during or after stimulation, for any of the current strengths. These results suggest that a single session of tDCS over the dlPFC is unlikely to improve working memory, as assessed by an N-back task, in old age.

  10. What's Working in Working Memory Training? An Educational Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redick, Thomas S.; Shipstead, Zach; Wiemers, Elizabeth A.; Melby-Lervåg, Monica; Hulme, Charles

    2015-01-01

    Working memory training programs have generated great interest, with claims that the training interventions can have profound beneficial effects on children's academic and intellectual attainment. We describe the criteria by which to evaluate evidence for or against the benefit of working memory training. Despite the promising results of initial…

  11. What's Working in Working Memory Training? An Educational Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redick, Thomas S.; Shipstead, Zach; Wiemers, Elizabeth A.; Melby-Lervåg, Monica; Hulme, Charles

    2015-01-01

    Working memory training programs have generated great interest, with claims that the training interventions can have profound beneficial effects on children's academic and intellectual attainment. We describe the criteria by which to evaluate evidence for or against the benefit of working memory training. Despite the promising results of initial…

  12. The nature of working memory for Braille.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henri Cohen

    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.

  13. The nature of working memory for Braille.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-26

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricker, Timothy J.; Cowan, Nelson

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Pushing the limits. Chronotype- and time-of-day modulate working memory-dependent cerebral activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina eSchmidt#

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Morning type individuals experience more difficulties to maintain optimal attentional performance throughout a normal waking day than evening types. However, time-of-day modulations may differ across cognitive domains. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI, we investigated how chronotype and time of day interact with working memory at different levels of cognitive load/complexity in a N-back paradigm (N0-, N2- and N3-back levels. Extreme morning and evening type individuals underwent 2 fMRI sessions during N-back performance, one 1.5 h (morning and one 10.5 h (evening after wake-up time scheduled according to their habitual sleep-wake preference. At the behavioural level, increasing working memory load resulted in lower accuracy, while chronotype and time of day only exerted a marginal impact on performance. Analyses of neuroimaging data disclosed an interaction between chronotype, time of day and the modulation of cerebral activity by working memory load in the thalamus and in the middle frontal cortex. In the subjective evening hours, evening types exhibited higher thalamic activity than morning types at the highest working memory load condition only (N3-back. Conversely, morning type individuals exhibited higher activity than evening type participants in the middle frontal gyrus during the morning session in the N3-back condition. Our data emphasize inter-individual differences in time-of-day preferences and underlying cerebral activity, which should be taken into account when investigating vigilance state effects in task-related brain activity. These results support the hypothesis that higher task complexity leads to a chronotype-dependent increase in thalamic and frontal brain activity, permitting stabilization of working memory performance across the day.

  16. Accessibility Limits Recall from Visual Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajsic, Jason; Swan, Garrett; Wilson, Daryl E.; Pratt, Jay

    2017-01-01

    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…

  17. Direct Access to Working Memory Contents

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bialkova, S.E.; Oberauer, K.

    2010-01-01

    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 t

  18. Working memory contributes to the encoding of object location associations: Support for a 3-part model of object location memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillis, M Meredith; Garcia, Sarah; Hampstead, Benjamin M

    2016-09-15

    A recent model by Postma and colleagues posits that the encoding of object location associations (OLAs) requires the coordination of several cognitive processes mediated by ventral (object perception) and dorsal (spatial perception) visual pathways as well as the hippocampus (feature binding) [1]. Within this model, frontoparietal network recruitment is believed to contribute to both the spatial processing and working memory task demands. The current study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to test each step of this model in 15 participants who encoded OLAs and performed standard n-back tasks. As expected, object processing resulted in activation of the ventral visual stream. Object in location processing resulted in activation of both the ventral and dorsal visual streams as well as a lateral frontoparietal network. This condition was also the only one to result in medial temporal lobe activation, supporting its role in associative learning. A conjunction analysis revealed areas of shared activation between the working memory and object in location phase within the lateral frontoparietal network, anterior insula, and basal ganglia; consistent with prior working memory literature. Overall, findings support Postma and colleague's model and provide clear evidence for the role of working memory during OLA encoding.

  19. Improving fluid intelligence with training on working memory: a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Au, Jacky; Sheehan, Ellen; Tsai, Nancy; Duncan, Greg J; Buschkuehl, Martin; Jaeggi, Susanne M

    2015-04-01

    Working memory (WM), the ability to store and manipulate information for short periods of time, is an important predictor of scholastic aptitude and a critical bottleneck underlying higher-order cognitive processes, including controlled attention and reasoning. Recent interventions targeting WM have suggested plasticity of the WM system by demonstrating improvements in both trained and untrained WM tasks. However, evidence on transfer of improved WM into more general cognitive domains such as fluid intelligence (Gf) has been more equivocal. Therefore, we conducted a meta-analysis focusing on one specific training program, n-back. We searched PubMed and Google Scholar for all n-back training studies with Gf outcome measures, a control group, and healthy participants between 18 and 50 years of age. In total, we included 20 studies in our analyses that met our criteria and found a small but significant positive effect of n-back training on improving Gf. Several factors that moderate this transfer are identified and discussed. We conclude that short-term cognitive training on the order of weeks can result in beneficial effects in important cognitive functions as measured by laboratory tests.

  20. A working memory test battery for MATLAB.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewandowsky, Stephan; Oberauer, Klaus; Yang, Lee-Xieng; Ecker, Ullrich K H

    2010-05-01

    We present a battery of four working memory tasks that are implemented using MATLAB and the free Psychophysics Toolbox. The package includes preprocessing scripts in R and SPSS to facilitate data analysis. The four tasks consist of a sentence-span task, an operation-span task, a spatial short-term memory test, and a memory updating task. These tasks were chosen in order to provide a heterogeneous set of measures of working memory capacity, thus reducing method variance and tapping into two content domains of working memory (verbal, including numerical, vs. spatial) and two of its functional aspects (storage in the context of processing and relational integration). The task battery was validated in three experiments conducted in two languages (English and Chinese), involving more than 350 participants. In all cases, the tasks were found to load on a single latent variable. In a further experiment, the latent working memory variable was found to correlate highly but not perfectly with performance on Raven's matrices test of fluid intelligence. We suggest that the battery constitutes a versatile tool to assess working memory capacity with either English- or Chinese-speaking participants. The battery can be downloaded from www.cogsciwa.com ("Software" button).

  1. Possible Association of APOE Genotype with Working Memory in Young Adults.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lindsey I Sinclair

    Full Text Available Possession of the ε4 allele of the Apolipoprotein E (APOE gene is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease. Early adult life effects of ε4 are less well understood. Working memory has been relatively little studied (compared to episodic memory in relation to APOE genotype despite its importance in cognitive functioning. Our hypothesis was that ε4 would lead to an impairment in working memory in young adults.We studied working memory using a computerised n-back task in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC at age 18. Data was available for 1049-1927 participants and for the 2- and 3-back versions of the task. Using multiple and multi-level regression controlling for important confounders we examined the association between APOE genotype on accuracy and reaction times.There was no evidence of a genotype effect on accuracy when the two difficulty levels were examined separately. There was some evidence to support a deleterious effect of the ε4 allele on n-back accuracy in the multi-level regression. There was weak evidence that the ε22 group were less accurate but the numbers were very low in this group. The ε34 group had faster reaction times than the reference ε33 group in all adjusted analyses but the ε44 group were only faster in the 3-back condition in multi-level analyses.There was no evidence of benefit in ε4 carriers, but there was some evidence of a detrimental effect on working memory in this large study.

  2. The role of nonverbal working memory in morphosyntactic processing by school-aged monolingual and bilingual children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gangopadhyay, Ishanti; Davidson, Meghan M; Ellis Weismer, Susan; Kaushanskaya, Margarita

    2016-02-01

    The current study examined the relationship between nonverbal working memory and morphosyntactic processing in monolingual native speakers of English and bilingual speakers of English and Spanish. We tested 42 monolingual children and 42 bilingual children between the ages of 8 and 10years matched on age and nonverbal IQ. Children were administered an auditory Grammaticality Judgment task in English to measure morphosyntactic processing and a visual N-Back task and Corsi Blocks task to measure nonverbal working memory capacity. Analyses revealed that monolinguals were more sensitive to English morphosyntactic information than bilinguals, but the groups did not differ in reaction times or response bias. Furthermore, higher nonverbal working memory capacity was associated with greater sensitivity to morphosyntactic violations in bilinguals but not in monolinguals. The findings suggest that nonverbal working memory skills link more tightly to syntactic processing in populations with lower levels of language knowledge.

  3. The role of non-verbal working memory in morphosyntactic processing by school-aged monolingual and bilingual children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gangopadhyay, Ishanti; Davidson, Meghan M.; Weismer, Susan Ellis; Kaushanskaya, Margarita

    2015-01-01

    The current study examined the relationship between non-verbal working memory and morphosyntactic processing in monolingual native speakers of English and bilingual speakers of English and Spanish. We tested 42 monolingual children and 42 bilingual children between the ages of 8 and 10, matched on age and non-verbal IQ. Children were administered an auditory Grammaticality Judgment task in English to measure morphosyntatic processing, and a visual N-Back task and a Corsi Blocks task to measure non-verbal working memory capacity. Analyses revealed that monolinguals were more sensitive to English morphosyntactic information than bilinguals, but the groups did not differ in reaction times or response bias. Furthermore, higher non-verbal working memory capacity was associated with greater sensitivity to morphosyntactic violations in bilinguals, but not in monolinguals. The findings suggest that non-verbal working memory skills link more tightly to syntactic processing in populations with lower levels of language knowledge. PMID:26550957

  4. Brain Connectivity Related to Working Memory Performance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hampson, Michelle; Driesen, Naomi R; Skudlarski, Pawel; Gore, John C; Constable, R. Todd

    2006-01-01

    .... This study investigated the functional connectivity between the PCC and MFG/vACC during a working memory task and at rest by examining temporal correlations in magnetic resonance signal levels between the regions...

  5. The neural bases of orthographic working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremy Purcell

    2014-04-01

    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.

  6. Temporal dynamics of visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Working memory predicts the rejection of false memories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leding, Juliana K

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Brain Mechanisms of Social Threat Effects on Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Ast, V A; Spicer, J; Smith, E E; Schmer-Galunder, S; Liberzon, I; Abelson, J L; Wager, T D

    2016-02-01

    Social threat can have adverse effects on cognitive performance, but the brain mechanisms underlying its effects are poorly understood. We investigated the effects of social evaluative threat on working memory (WM), a core component of many important cognitive capabilities. Social threat impaired WM performance during an N-back task and produced widespread reductions in activation in lateral prefrontal cortex and intraparietal sulcus (IPS), among other regions. In addition, activity in frontal and parietal regions predicted WM performance, and mediation analyses identified regions in the bilateral IPS that mediated the performance-impairing effects of social threat. Social threat also decreased connectivity between the IPS and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, while increasing connectivity between the IPS and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, a region strongly implicated in the generation of autonomic and emotional responses. Finally, cortisol response to the stressor did not mediate WM impairment but was rather associated with protective effects. These results provide a basis for understanding interactions between social and cognitive processes at a neural systems level.

  9. Working Memory Processing In Normal Subjects and Subjects with Dyslexia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowyer, S. M.; Lajiness-O'Neill, R.; Weiland, B. J.; Mason, K.; Tepley, N.

    2004-10-01

    Magnetoencephalography (MEG) was used to determine the neuroanatomical location of working memory (WM) processes. Differences between subjects with dyslexia (SD; n=5) and normal readers (NR; n=5) were studied during two WM tasks. A spatial WM task (SMW) consisted of blocks visually presented in one of 12 positions for 2 s each. Subjects were to determine if the current position matched the position presented 2 slides earlier (N-Back Test). The verbal task (VMW) consisted of presentation of a single letter. The location of cortical activity during SWM in NR (determined with MR-FOCUSS analysis) was in the right superior temporal gyrus (STG) and right angular gyrus (AG). Similar activation was seen in SD with a slight delay of approximately 20 ms. During VWM activity was seen in LEFT STG and LEFT AG in NR. In contrast for SD, activation was in the RIGHT STG and RIGHT AG. This study demonstrates the possibility to differentiate WM processing in subjects with and without learning disorders.

  10. On the impacts of working memory training on executive functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiina eSalminen

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have reported improvements in a variety of cognitive functions following sole working memory (WM training. In spite of the emergence of several successful training paradigms, the scope of transfer effects has remained mixed. This is most likely due to the heterogeneity of cognitive functions that have been measured and tasks that have been applied. In the present study, we approached this issue systematically by investigating transfer effects from WM training to different aspects of executive functioning. Our training task was a demanding WM task that requires simultaneous performance of a visual and an auditory n-back task, while the transfer tasks tapped WM updating, coordination of the performance of multiple simultaneous tasks (i.e., dual-tasks and sequential tasks (i.e., task switching, and the temporal distribution of attentional processing. Additionally, we examined whether WM training improves reasoning abilities; a hypothesis that has so far gained mixed support. Following training, participants showed improvements in the trained task as well as in the transfer WM updating task. As for the other executive functions, trained participants improved in a task switching situation and in attentional processing. There was no transfer to the dual-task situation or to reasoning skills. These results therefore confirm previous findings that WM can be trained, and additionally, they show that the training effects can generalize to various other tasks tapping on executive functions.

  11. Developmental differences in sustained and transient activity underlying working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brahmbhatt, Shefali B; White, Desirée A; Barch, Deanna M

    2010-10-01

    The amount of information one can maintain in working memory (WM) increases between childhood and adulthood (Gathercole, 1994, 1999; Klingberg, 1998; Luciana, 1998; Luciana and Nelson, 1998). In addition to cognitive changes that occur early in life, childhood and adolescence are periods marked by significant neuroanatomical changes that are thought to underlie cognitive maturation. This study used a mixed state-item design and a parametric "n-back" task to explore the relationship between WM load and neural activity changes with age. Thirty-five participants from two age groups (9 to 13 and 18 to 23years) were recruited. Our behavioral results indicated that children performed significantly worse than adults at loads of 2-back, but not 0- and 1-back. Our imaging results indicated that during performance of the 2-back task, children showed evidence for increased transient, but decreased sustained activity, in comparison to adults. These results suggest that for the 2-back condition, children had more difficulty maintaining task relevant information across trials and seemed to engage in a more reactive strategy wherein they reactivated context information on a trial-by-trial basis rather than maintaining over a delay. These results have important implications for understanding the development of specific processes within the WM system.

  12. The decline of verbal and visuospatial working memory across the adult life span.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cansino, Selene; Hernández-Ramos, Evelia; Estrada-Manilla, Cinthya; Torres-Trejo, Frine; Martínez-Galindo, Joyce Graciela; Ayala-Hernández, Mariana; Gómez-Fernández, Tania; Osorio, David; Cedillo-Tinoco, Melisa; Garcés-Flores, Lissete; Beltrán-Palacios, Karla; García-Lázaro, Haydée Guadalupe; García-Gutiérrez, Fabiola; Cadena-Arenas, Yadira; Fernández-Apan, Luisa; Bärtschi, Andrea; Rodríguez-Ortiz, María Dolores

    2013-12-01

    It has been well established that working memory abilities decrease with advancing age; however, the specific time point in the adult life span at which this deficit begins and the rate at which it advances are still controversial. There is no agreement on whether working memory declines equally for visuospatial and verbal information, and the literature disagrees on how task difficulty may influence this decay. We addressed these questions in a lifespan sample of 1,500 participants between 21 and 80 years old. The n-back task was used, with letters and circles presented at different positions around an imaginary circle, to evaluate working memory in the verbal and visuospatial domains, respectively. The participants' task was to judge whether the current stimulus matched a stimulus that was shown n trials prior. Both domains were evaluated in two levels of difficulty: 1-back and 2-back. The comparison across decades showed that discrimination in the visuospatial and 1-back tasks started to decline earlier in women than in men; however, discrimination was equal between the sexes in the verbal and 2-back tasks. Performance on tasks in the visuospatial domain exhibited more pronounced decline than in those in the verbal domain. The rate of decline in working memory accuracy was superior in 2-back tasks than in 1-back tasks, independent of the domain. These results revealed that the effects of aging on working memory are less dependent on the type of information and more reliant on the resources demanded by the task.

  13. Working memory load strengthens reward prediction errors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Anne G E; Ciullo, Brittany; Frank, Michael J; Badre, David

    2017-03-20

    Reinforcement learning in simple instrumental tasks is usually modeled as a monolithic process in which reward prediction errors 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 asked how working memory and incremental reinforcement learning processes interact to guide human learning. Working memory 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 working memory process together with slower reinforcement learning. Model-based analysis of fMRI data showed that striatum and lateral prefrontal cortex were sensitive to reward prediction error, as shown previously, but critically, these signals were reduced when the learning problem was within capacity of working memory. The degree of this neural interaction related to individual differences in the use of working memory to guide behavioral learning. These results indicate that the two systems do not process information independently, but rather interact during learning.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTReinforcement learning 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 show in addition that these other players interact with the dopaminergic RL system, interfering with its key computation of reward predictions errors.

  14. Training on Working Memory and Inhibitory Control in Young Adults

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    Maraver, Maria J.; Bajo, M. Teresa; Gomez-Ariza, Carlos J.

    2016-01-01

    Different types of interventions have focused on trying to improve Executive Functions (EFs) due to their essential role in human cognition and behavior regulation. Although EFs are thought to be diverse, most training studies have targeted cognitive processes related to working memory (WM), and fewer have focused on training other control mechanisms, such as inhibitory control (IC). In the present study, we aimed to investigate the differential impact of training WM and IC as compared with control conditions performing non-executive control activities. Young adults were divided into two training (WM/IC) and two (active/passive) control conditions. Over six sessions, the training groups engaged in three different computer-based adaptive activities (WM or IC), whereas the active control group completed a program with low control-demanding activities that mainly involved processing speed. In addition, motivation and engagement were monitored through the training. The WM-training activities required maintenance, updating and memory search processes, while those from the IC group engaged response inhibition and interference control. All participants were pre- and post-tested in criterion tasks (n-back and Stroop), near transfer measures of WM (Operation Span) and IC (Stop-Signal). Non-trained far transfer outcome measures included an abstract reasoning test (Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices) and a well-validated experimental task (AX-CPT) that provides indices of cognitive flexibility considering proactive/reactive control. Training results revealed that strongly motivated participants reached higher levels of training improvements. Regarding transfer effects, results showed specific patterns of near transfer effects depending on the type of training. Interestingly, it was only the IC training group that showed far transfer to reasoning. Finally, all trained participants showed a shift toward a more proactive mode of cognitive control, highlighting a general

  15. Training on Working Memory and Inhibitory Control in Young Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Jesus Maraver

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Different types of interventions have focused on trying to improve Executive Functions (EF due to their essential role in human cognition and behavior regulation. Although EF are thought to be diverse, most training studies have targeted cognitive processes related to working memory (WM, and fewer have focused on training other control mechanisms, such as inhibitory control (IC. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the differential impact of training WM and IC as compared with control conditions performing non-executive control activities. Young adults were divided into two training (WM/IC and two (active/passive control conditions. Over six sessions, the training groups engaged in three different computer-based adaptive activities (WM or IC, whereas the active control group completed a program with low control-demanding activities that mainly involved processing speed. In addition, motivation and engagement were monitored through the training. The WM-training activities required maintenance, updating and memory search processes, while those from the IC group engaged response inhibition, and interference control. All participants were pre- and post-tested in criterion tasks (n-back and Stroop, near transfer measures of WM (Operation Span and IC (Stop-Signal. Non-trained far transfer outcome measures included an abstract reasoning test (Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices and a well-validated experimental task (AX-CPT that provides indices of cognitive flexibility considering proactive/reactive control. Training results revealed that strongly motivated participants reached higher levels of training improvements. Regarding transfer effects, results showed specific patterns of near transfer effects depending on the type of training. Interestingly, it was only the IC training group that showed far transfer to reasoning. Finally, all trained participants showed a shift towards a more proactive mode of cognitive control, highlighting a

  16. Similarity effects in visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yuhong V; Lee, Hyejin J; Asaad, Anthony; Remington, Roger

    2016-04-01

    Perceptual similarity is an important property of multiple stimuli. Its computation supports a wide range of cognitive functions, including reasoning, categorization, and memory recognition. It is important, therefore, to determine why previous research has found conflicting effects of inter-item similarity on visual working memory. Studies reporting a similarity advantage have used simple stimuli whose similarity varied along a featural continuum. Studies reporting a similarity disadvantage have used complex stimuli from either a single or multiple categories. To elucidate stimulus conditions for similarity effects in visual working memory, we tested memory for complex stimuli (faces) whose similarity varied along a morph continuum. Participants encoded 3 morphs generated from a single face identity in the similar condition, or 3 morphs generated from different face identities in the dissimilar condition. After a brief delay, a test face appeared at one of the encoding locations for participants to make a same/different judgment. Two experiments showed that similarity enhanced memory accuracy without changing the response criterion. These findings support previous computational models that incorporate featural variance as a component of working memory load. They delineate limitations of models that emphasize cortical resources or response decisions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Working memory: a proposal for child evaluating

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mayra Monteiro Pires

    2015-01-01

    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.

  19. Distractor devaluation requires visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goolsby, Brian A; Shapiro, Kimron L; Raymond, Jane E

    2009-02-01

    Visual stimuli seen previously as distractors in a visual search task are subsequently evaluated more negatively than those seen as targets. An attentional inhibition account for this distractor-devaluation effect posits that associative links between attentional inhibition and to-be-ignored stimuli are established during search, stored, and then later reinstantiated, implying that distractor devaluation may require visual working memory (WM) resources. To assess this, we measured distractor devaluation with and without a concurrent visual WM load. Participants viewed a memory array, performed a simple search task, evaluated one of the search items (or a novel item), and then viewed a memory test array. Although distractor devaluation was observed with low (and no) WM load, it was absent when WM load was increased. This result supports the notions that active association of current attentional states with stimuli requires WM and that memory for these associations plays a role in affective response.

  20. [Working memory, phonological awareness and spelling hypothesis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gindri, Gigiane; Keske-Soares, Márcia; Mota, Helena Bolli

    2007-01-01

    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.

  1. Consciousness and working memory: Current trends and research perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velichkovsky, Boris B

    2017-07-27

    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.

  2. Spike-timing theory of working memory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Botond Szatmáry

    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.

  3. Precision of working memory for speech sounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Domain-general mechanisms of complex working memory span.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chein, Jason M; Moore, Adam B; Conway, Andrew R A

    2011-01-01

    A new fMRI complex working memory span paradigm was used to identify brain regions making domain-general contributions to working memory task performance. For both verbal and spatial versions of the task, complex working memory span performance increased the activity in lateral prefrontal, anterior cingulate, and parietal cortices during the Encoding, Maintenance, and Coordination phase of task performance. Meanwhile, overlapping activity in anterior prefrontal and medial temporal lobe regions was associated with both verbal and spatial recall from working memory. These findings help to adjudicate several contested issues regarding the executive mechanisms of working memory, the separability of short-term and working memory in the verbal and spatial domains, and the relative contribution of short-term and long-term memory mechanisms to working memory capacity. The study also provides a vital bridge between psychometric and neuroimaging approaches to working memory, and constrains our understanding of how working memory may contribute to the broader landscape of cognitive performance.

  5. Foreign language proficiency and working memory capacity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noort, M.W.M.L. van den; Bosch, M.P.C.; Hugdahl, K.

    2006-01-01

    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,

  6. When Higher Working Memory Capacity Hinders Insight

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Modularity, Working Memory and Language Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baddeley, Alan D.

    2017-01-01

    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…

  8. The Central Executive Component of Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-10-31

    Working memory. In M.S. Gazzaniga (Ed.), The Cognitive Neurosciences. Cambridge MA: MIT Press. Duncan, J. (1993) Selection of input and goal in the...Oxford: Oxford University Press. 24 Duncan, J. (in press) Attention, intelligence and the frontal lobe. In M.S. Gazzaniga (Ed.), The Cognitive

  9. Foreign language proficiency and working memory capacity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noort, M.W.M.L. van den; Bosch, M.P.C.; Hugdahl, K.

    2006-01-01

    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, Norwegi

  10. Reconceptualizing Working Memory in Educational Research

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Aging and verbal working memory capacity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noort, M.W.M.L. van den; Bosch, M.P.C.; Kralingen, R.B.A.S. van

    2008-01-01

    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 adu

  12. Working Memory Components and Intelligence in Children

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  13. Working Memory in the Prefrontal Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shintaro Funahashi

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  14. Intact working memory in non-manifesting LRRK2 carriers--an fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thaler, Avner; Helmich, Rick C; Or-Borichev, Ayelet; van Nuenen, Bart F L; Shapira-Lichter, Irit; Gurevich, Tanya; Orr-Urtreger, Avi; Marder, Karen; Bressman, Susan; Bloem, Bastiaan R; Giladi, Nir; Hendler, Talma; Mirelman, Anat

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive impairments are prevalent in patients with Parkinson's disease. Mutations in the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) gene are the most common cause of genetic Parkinsonism. Non-manifesting carriers of the G2019S mutation in the LRRK2 gene were found to have lower executive functions as measured by the Stroop task. This exploratory study aimed to assess whether the cognitive impairment in non-manifesting carriers is specific for executive functions or includes other cognitive domains such as working memory. We recruited 77 non-manifesting first-degree relatives of Parkinson's disease patients (38 carriers). A block-design fMRI N-back task, with 0-back, 2-back and 3-back conditions, was used in order to assess working memory. Participants were well matched on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test, Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale part III, digit span, age, gender and Beck Depression Inventory. The task achieved the overall expected effect in both groups with longer reaction times and lower accuracy rates with increasing task demands. However, no whole-brain or region-of-interest between-groups differences were found on any of the task conditions. These results indicate that non-manifesting carriers of the G2019S mutation in the LRRK2 gene have a specific cognitive profile with executive functions, as assessed by the Stroop task, demonstrating significant impairment but with working memory, as assessed with the N-back task, remaining relatively intact. These finding shed light on the pre-motor cognitive changes in this unique 'at risk' population and should enable more focused cognitive assessments of these cohorts.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brady, Timothy F.; Tenenbaum, Joshua B.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matzel, Louis D; Kolata, Stefan

    2010-01-01

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

  17. Structural correlates of impaired working memory in hippocampal sclerosis

    OpenAIRE

    Winston, Gavin P.; Stretton, Jason; Sidhu, Meneka K; Symms, Mark R.; Thompson, Pamela J; Duncan, John S.

    2013-01-01

    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...

  18. Functional brain activation associated with working memory training and transfer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Cameron M; Lawlor-Savage, Linette; Goghari, Vina M

    2017-09-15

    While behavioural trials of working memory (WM) training have received much attention in recent years, a lesser explored parallel approach is functional neuroimaging. A small literature has suggested a complex time course for functional activation pattern changes following WM training (i.e. not simply increasing or decreasing due to training); however, no study to date has examined such neuroplastic effects in both the training task (dual n-back) and the fluid intelligence transfer task to which the training is purported to transfer (Raven's Matrices). This study investigated neural correlates of WM training in healthy young adults randomized to six weeks of WM training, or an active control condition (processing speed training) with a pre- and post-training fMRI design. Results indicated significant reductions in activation for the WM trained group in key WM-task related areas for trained WM tasks after training compared to the processing speed active control group. The same pattern of training related decreases in activation for the WM trained group was not observed for the transfer task, which is consistent with null results for all cognitive outcomes of the present trial. The observed pattern of results suggests that repetitive practice with a complex task does indeed lead to neuroplastic processes that very likely represent the reduced demand for attentional control while sub-components of the task become more routinized with practice. We suggest that future research investigate neural correlates of WM training in populations for which WM itself is impaired and/or behavioural trials of WM training have returned more promising results. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Short-term and working memory impairments in aphasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potagas, Constantin; Kasselimis, Dimitrios; Evdokimidis, Ioannis

    2011-08-01

    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.

  3. A Working Memory Test Battery: Java-Based Collection of Seven Working Memory Tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James M Stone

    2015-06-01

    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.

  4. Stress effects on working memory, explicit memory, and implicit memory for neutral and emotional stimuli in healthy men

    OpenAIRE

    Mathias Luethi; Beat Meier; Carmen Sandi

    2009-01-01

    Stress is a strong modulator of memory function. However, memory is not a unitary process and stress seems to exert different effects depending on the memory type under study. Here, we explored the impact of social stress on different aspects of human memory, including tests for explicit memory and working memory (for neutral materials), as well as implicit memory (perceptual priming, contextual priming and classical conditioning for emotional stimuli). A total of 35 young adult...

  5. Supramodal parametric working memory processing in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spitzer, Bernhard; Blankenburg, Felix

    2012-03-07

    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.

  6. Training working memory updating in young adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linares, Rocío; Borella, Erika; Lechuga, M Teresa; Carretti, Barbara; Pelegrina, Santiago

    2017-03-09

    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.

  7. Frontal GABA levels change during working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michels, Lars; Martin, Ernst; Klaver, Peter; Edden, Richard; Zelaya, Fernando; Lythgoe, David J; Lüchinger, Rafael; Brandeis, Daniel; O'Gorman, Ruth L

    2012-01-01

    Functional neuroimaging metrics are thought to reflect changes in neurotransmitter flux, but changes in neurotransmitter levels have not been demonstrated in humans during a cognitive task, and the relationship between neurotransmitter dynamics and hemodynamic activity during cognition has not yet been established. We evaluate the concentration of the major inhibitory (GABA) and excitatory (glutamate + glutamine: Glx) neurotransmitters and the cerebral perfusion at rest and during a prolonged delayed match-to-sample working memory task. Resting GABA levels in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex correlated positively with the resting perfusion and inversely with the change in perfusion during the task. Further, only GABA increased significantly during the first working memory run and then decreased continuously across subsequent task runs. The decrease of GABA over time was paralleled by a trend towards decreased reaction times and higher task accuracy. These results demonstrate a link between neurotransmitter dynamics and hemodynamic activity during working memory, indicating that functional neuroimaging metrics depend on the balance of excitation and inhibition required for cognitive processing.

  8. Frontal GABA levels change during working memory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lars Michels

    Full Text Available Functional neuroimaging metrics are thought to reflect changes in neurotransmitter flux, but changes in neurotransmitter levels have not been demonstrated in humans during a cognitive task, and the relationship between neurotransmitter dynamics and hemodynamic activity during cognition has not yet been established. We evaluate the concentration of the major inhibitory (GABA and excitatory (glutamate + glutamine: Glx neurotransmitters and the cerebral perfusion at rest and during a prolonged delayed match-to-sample working memory task. Resting GABA levels in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex correlated positively with the resting perfusion and inversely with the change in perfusion during the task. Further, only GABA increased significantly during the first working memory run and then decreased continuously across subsequent task runs. The decrease of GABA over time was paralleled by a trend towards decreased reaction times and higher task accuracy. These results demonstrate a link between neurotransmitter dynamics and hemodynamic activity during working memory, indicating that functional neuroimaging metrics depend on the balance of excitation and inhibition required for cognitive processing.

  9. Discrete resource allocation in visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-10-01

    Are resources in visual working memory allocated in a continuous or a discrete fashion? On one hand, flexible resource models suggest that capacity is determined by a central resource pool that can be flexibly divided such that items of greater complexity receive a larger share of resources. On the other hand, if capacity in working memory is defined in terms of discrete storage "slots," then observers may be able to determine which items are assigned to a slot but not how resources are divided between stored items. To test these predictions, the authors manipulated the relative complexity of the items to be stored while holding the number items constant. Although mnemonic resolution declined when set size increased (Experiment 1), resolution for a given item was unaffected by large variations in the complexity of the other items to be stored when set size was held constant (Experiments 2-4). Thus, resources in visual working memory are distributed in a discrete slot-based fashion, even when interitem variations in complexity motivate an asymmetrical division of resources across items. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved.

  10. The disruptive effects of pain on n-back task performance in a large general population sample.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Attridge, Nina; Noonan, Donna; Eccleston, Christopher; Keogh, Edmund

    2015-10-01

    Pain captures attention, displaces current concerns, and prioritises escape and repair. This attentional capture can be measured by its effects on general cognition. Studies on induced pain, naturally occurring acute pain, and chronic pain all demonstrate a detrimental effect on specific tasks of attention, especially those that involve working memory. However, studies to date have relied on relatively small samples and/or one type of pain, thus restricting our ability to generalise to wider populations. We investigated the effect of pain on an n-back task in a large heterogeneous sample of 1318 adults. Participants were recruited from the general population and tested through the internet. Despite the heterogeneity of pain conditions, participant characteristics, and testing environments, we found a performance decrement on the n-back task for those with pain, compared with those without pain; there were significantly more false alarms on nontarget trials. Furthermore, we also found an effect of pain intensity; performance was poorer in participants with higher intensity compared with that in those with lower intensity pain. We suggest that the effects of pain on attention found in the laboratory occur in more naturalistic settings. Pain is common in the general population, and such interruption may have important, as yet uninvestigated, consequences for tasks of everyday cognition that involve working memory, such as concentration, reasoning, motor planning, and prospective memory.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lum, J. A. G.; Conti-Ramsden, G.; Page, D.

    2012-01-01

    in turn explain the grammar problems in the disorder. The abnormalities are also likely to lead to problems with other, non-procedural functions, such as working memory, that rely at least partly on the affected brain structures. In contrast, declarative memory is expected to remain largely intact...... at declarative memory for visual information, and at declarative memory in the verbal domain after controlling for working memory and language. Visuo-spatial short-term memory was intact, whereas verbal working memory was impaired, even when language deficits were held constant. Correlation analyses showed...... neither visuo-spatial nor verbal working memory was associated with either lexical or grammatical abilities in either the SLI or TD children. Declarative memory correlated with lexical abilities in both groups of children. Finally, grammatical abilities were associated with procedural memory in the TD...

  12. Postural responses to specific types of working memory tasks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ramenzoni, V.C.; Riley, M.A.; Shockley, K.; Chiu, C.Y.P.

    2007-01-01

    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

  13. THE COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE OF WORKING MEMORY

    Science.gov (United States)

    D’Esposito, Mark; Postle, Bradley R.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

    Neural networks underpinning working memory demonstrate sign language specific components possibly related to differences in temporary storage mechanisms. A processing approach to memory systems suggests that the organisation of memory storage is related to type of memory processing as well. In the present study, we investigated for the first time semantic, phonological and orthographic processing in working memory for sign- and speech-based language. During fMRI we administered a picture-bas...

  15. The Auditory-Visual Speech Benefit on Working Memory in Older Adults with Hearing Impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frtusova, Jana B; Phillips, Natalie A

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the effect of auditory-visual (AV) speech stimuli on working memory in older adults with poorer-hearing (PH) in comparison to age- and education-matched older adults with better hearing (BH). Participants completed a working memory n-back task (0- to 2-back) in which sequences of digits were presented in visual-only (i.e., speech-reading), auditory-only (A-only), and AV conditions. Auditory event-related potentials (ERP) were collected to assess the relationship between perceptual and working memory processing. The behavioral results showed that both groups were faster in the AV condition in comparison to the unisensory conditions. The ERP data showed perceptual facilitation in the AV condition, in the form of reduced amplitudes and latencies of the auditory N1 and/or P1 components, in the PH group. Furthermore, a working memory ERP component, the P3, peaked earlier for both groups in the AV condition compared to the A-only condition. In general, the PH group showed a more robust AV benefit; however, the BH group showed a dose-response relationship between perceptual facilitation and working memory improvement, especially for facilitation of processing speed. Two measures, reaction time and P3 amplitude, suggested that the presence of visual speech cues may have helped the PH group to counteract the demanding auditory processing, to the level that no group differences were evident during the AV modality despite lower performance during the A-only condition. Overall, this study provides support for the theory of an integrated perceptual-cognitive system. The practical significance of these findings is also discussed.

  16. The Auditory-Visual Speech Benefit on Working Memory in Older Adults with Hearing Impairment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jana B. Frtusova

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available This study examined the effect of auditory-visual (AV speech stimuli on working memory in hearing impaired participants (HIP in comparison to age- and education-matched normal elderly controls (NEC. Participants completed a working memory n-back task (0- to 2-back in which sequences of digits were presented in visual-only (i.e., speech-reading, auditory-only (A-only, and AV conditions. Auditory event-related potentials (ERP were collected to assess the relationship between perceptual and working memory processing. The behavioural results showed that both groups were faster in the AV condition in comparison to the unisensory conditions. The ERP data showed perceptual facilitation in the AV condition, in the form of reduced amplitudes and latencies of the auditory N1 and/or P1 components, in the HIP group. Furthermore, a working memory ERP component, the P3, peaked earlier for both groups in the AV condition compared to the A-only condition. In general, the HIP group showed a more robust AV benefit; however, the NECs showed a dose-response relationship between perceptual facilitation and working memory improvement, especially for facilitation of processing speed. Two measures, reaction time and P3 amplitude, suggested that the presence of visual speech cues may have helped the HIP to counteract the demanding auditory processing, to the level that no group differences were evident during the AV modality despite lower performance during the A-only condition. Overall, this study provides support for the theory of an integrated perceptual-cognitive system. The practical significance of these findings is also discussed.

  17. The impact of cognitive control, incentives, and working memory load on the P3 responses of externalizing prisoners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baskin-Sommers, Arielle R; Krusemark, Elizabeth A; Curtin, John J; Lee, Christopher; Vujnovich, Aleice; Newman, Joseph P

    2014-02-01

    The P3 amplitude reduction is one of the most common correlates of externalizing. However, few studies have used experimental manipulations designed to challenge different cognitive functions in order to clarify the processes that impact this reduction. To examine factors moderating P3 amplitude in trait externalizing, we administered an n-back task that manipulated cognitive control demands, working memory load, and incentives to a sample of male offenders. Offenders with high trait externalizing scores did not display a global reduction in P3 amplitude. Rather, the negative association between trait externalizing and P3 amplitude was specific to trials involving inhibition of a dominant response during infrequent stimuli, in the context of low working memory load, and incentives for performance. In addition, we discuss the potential implications of these findings for externalizing-related psychopathologies. The results complement and expand previous work on the process-level dysfunction contributing to externalizing-related deficits in P3.

  18. Spatial Working Memory Effects in Early Visual Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munneke, Jaap; Heslenfeld, Dirk J.; Theeuwes, Jan

    2010-01-01

    The present study investigated how spatial working memory recruits early visual cortex. Participants were required to maintain a location in working memory while changes in blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signals were measured during the retention interval in which no visual stimulation was present. We show working memory effects during the…

  19. Predictors of Verbal Working Memory in Children with Cerebral Palsy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peeters, Marieke; Verhoeven, Ludo; de Moor, Jan

    2009-01-01

    The goal of the present study was to examine the precursors of verbal working memory in 52 children with cerebral palsy with varying degrees of speech impairments in the first grade of special education. Following Baddeley's model of working memory, children's verbal working memory was measured by means of a forced-recognition task. As precursors…

  20. Predictors of Verbal Working Memory in Children with Cerebral Palsy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peeters, Marieke; Verhoeven, Ludo; de Moor, Jan

    2009-01-01

    The goal of the present study was to examine the precursors of verbal working memory in 52 children with cerebral palsy with varying degrees of speech impairments in the first grade of special education. Following Baddeley's model of working memory, children's verbal working memory was measured by means of a forced-recognition task. As precursors…

  1. Working Memory and Learning: A Practical Guide for Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gathercole, Susan E.; Alloway, Tracy Packiam

    2008-01-01

    A good working memory is crucial to becoming a successful leaner, yet there is very little material available in an easy-to-use format that explains the concept and offers practitioners ways to support children with poor working memory in the classroom. This book provides a coherent overview of the role played by working memory in learning during…

  2. Single-item and associative working memory in stroke patients

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geldorp, B. van; Kessels, R.P.C.; Hendriks, M.P.

    2013-01-01

    In this study, we examined working memory performance of stroke patients. A previous study assessing amnesia patients found deficits on an associative working memory task, although standard neuropsychological working memory tests did not detect any deficits. We now examine whether this may be the ca

  3. Pitch Perception, Working Memory, and Second-Language Phonological Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Posedel, James; Emery, Lisa; Souza, Benjamin; Fountain, Catherine

    2012-01-01

    Previous research has suggested that training on a musical instrument is associated with improvements in working memory and musical pitch perception ability. Good working memory and musical pitch perception ability, in turn, have been linked to certain aspects of language production. The current study examines whether working memory and/or pitch…

  4. Pitch Perception, Working Memory, and Second-Language Phonological Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Posedel, James; Emery, Lisa; Souza, Benjamin; Fountain, Catherine

    2012-01-01

    Previous research has suggested that training on a musical instrument is associated with improvements in working memory and musical pitch perception ability. Good working memory and musical pitch perception ability, in turn, have been linked to certain aspects of language production. The current study examines whether working memory and/or pitch…

  5. Effects of acute nicotine administration on behavioral and neural (EEG) correlates of working memory in non-smokers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Derek J; Daniels, Richelle; Jaworska, Natalia; Knobelsdorf, Amy; Knott, Verner J

    2012-01-06

    Enhancements in working memory (WM) performance have been previously reported following acute smoking/nicotine. Neuroimaging and behavioral assessments of nicotine's effects on WM have yielded inconsistent findings. Few studies, however, have examined the effects of nicotine on WM-related neural activity in non-smokers. The present study examined the effect of acute nicotine gum administration (6 mg) on electroencephalographic (EEG) activity (alpha(1), alpha(2) and theta bands) and performance on the parametrically manipulated N-back task of WM in 20 non-smoking adults. EEG activity varied with WM load (e.g. alpha(1) decreasing and theta increasing). Performance on the N-back was also load-sensitive, with slower reaction times and decreased accuracy associated with increasing memory load. Neither response speed nor accuracy measures were affected by nicotine but EEG was, with the effects varying by load and brain region. Nicotine-induced increases in alpha(2) and theta were observed under lower (0-, 1-back) memory load conditions Additionally, nicotine significantly reduced signal detection sensitivity values and altered response bias toward being more conservative at all levels of the N-back. Taken together, these findings suggest that while nicotine may boost WM neural processes at lower levels of WM load in non-smokers, it also may activate concurrent behavioral inhibition networks that negate any effects on behavioral performance. Additionally, nicotine appears to have no impact, or perhaps a negative impact, on these processes under more demanding (2-back, 3-back) conditions in non-smokers.

  6. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT Genotype Affects Age-Related Changes in Plasticity in Working Memory: A Pilot Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephan Heinzel

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Objectives. Recent work suggests that a genetic variation associated with increased dopamine metabolism in the prefrontal cortex (catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met; COMT amplifies age-related changes in working memory performance. Research on younger adults indicates that the influence of dopamine-related genetic polymorphisms on working memory performance increases when testing the cognitive limits through training. To date, this has not been studied in older adults. Method. Here we investigate the effect of COMT genotype on plasticity in working memory in a sample of 14 younger (aged 24–30 years and 25 older (aged 60–75 years healthy adults. Participants underwent adaptive training in the n-back working memory task over 12 sessions under increasing difficulty conditions. Results. Both younger and older adults exhibited sizeable behavioral plasticity through training (P<.001, which was larger in younger as compared to older adults (P<.001. Age-related differences were qualified by an interaction with COMT genotype (P<.001, and this interaction was due to decreased behavioral plasticity in older adults carrying the Val/Val genotype, while there was no effect of genotype in younger adults. Discussion. Our findings indicate that age-related changes in plasticity in working memory are critically affected by genetic variation in prefrontal dopamine metabolism.

  7. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Genotype Affects Age-Related Changes in Plasticity in Working Memory: A Pilot Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riemer, Thomas G.; Schulte, Stefanie; Onken, Johanna; Heinz, Andreas; Rapp, Michael A.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives. Recent work suggests that a genetic variation associated with increased dopamine metabolism in the prefrontal cortex (catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met; COMT) amplifies age-related changes in working memory performance. Research on younger adults indicates that the influence of dopamine-related genetic polymorphisms on working memory performance increases when testing the cognitive limits through training. To date, this has not been studied in older adults. Method. Here we investigate the effect of COMT genotype on plasticity in working memory in a sample of 14 younger (aged 24–30 years) and 25 older (aged 60–75 years) healthy adults. Participants underwent adaptive training in the n-back working memory task over 12 sessions under increasing difficulty conditions. Results. Both younger and older adults exhibited sizeable behavioral plasticity through training (P < .001), which was larger in younger as compared to older adults (P < .001). Age-related differences were qualified by an interaction with COMT genotype (P < .001), and this interaction was due to decreased behavioral plasticity in older adults carrying the Val/Val genotype, while there was no effect of genotype in younger adults. Discussion. Our findings indicate that age-related changes in plasticity in working memory are critically affected by genetic variation in prefrontal dopamine metabolism. PMID:24772423

  8. Dissociation of Procedural and Working Memory in Pigeons (Columba livia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walter T. Herbranson

    2016-07-01

    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.

  9. Working memory training shows immediate and long-term effects on cognitive performance in children [v3; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/4y9

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fiona Pugin

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Working memory is important for mental reasoning and learning processes. Several studies in adults and school-age children have shown performance improvement in cognitive tests after working memory training. Our aim was to examine not only immediate but also long-term effects of intensive working memory training on cognitive performance tests in children. Fourteen healthy male subjects between 10 and 16 years trained a visuospatial n-back task over 3 weeks (30 min daily, while 15 individuals of the same age range served as a passive control group. Significant differences in immediate (after 3 weeks of training and long-term effects (after 2-6 months in an auditory n-back task were observed compared to controls (2.5 fold immediate and 4.7 fold long-term increase in the training group compared to the controls. The improvement was more pronounced in subjects who improved their performance during the training. Other cognitive functions (matrices test and Stroop task did not change when comparing the training group to the control group. We conclude that visuospatial working memory training in children boosts performance in similar memory tasks such as the auditory n-back task. The sustained performance improvement several months after the training supports the effectiveness of the training.

  10. Working memory training shows immediate and long-term effects on cognitive performance in children [v2; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/4rj

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fiona Pugin

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Working memory is important for mental reasoning and learning processes. Several studies in adults and school-age children have shown performance improvement in cognitive tests after working memory training. Our aim was to examine not only immediate but also long-term effects of intensive working memory training on cognitive performance tests in children. Fourteen healthy male subjects between 10 and 16 years trained a visuospatial n-back task over 3 weeks (30 min daily, while 15 individuals of the same age range served as a passive control group. Significant differences in immediate (after 3 weeks of training and long-term effects (after 2-6 months in an auditory n-back task were observed compared to controls (2.5 fold immediate and 4.7 fold long-term increase in the training group compared to the controls. The improvement was more pronounced in subjects who improved their performance during the training. Other cognitive functions (matrices test and Stroop task did not change when comparing the training group to the control group. We conclude that visuospatial working memory training in children boosts performance in similar memory tasks such as the auditory n-back task. The sustained performance improvement several months after the training supports the effectiveness of the training.

  11. Low-arousal speech noise improves performance in N-back task: an ERP study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Longzhu Han

    Full Text Available The relationship between noise and human performance is a crucial topic in ergonomic research. However, the brain dynamics of the emotional arousal effects of background noises are still unclear. The current study employed meaningless speech noises in the n-back working memory task to explore the changes of event-related potentials (ERPs elicited by the noises with low arousal level vs. high arousal level. We found that the memory performance in low arousal condition were improved compared with the silent and the high arousal conditions; participants responded more quickly and had larger P2 and P3 amplitudes in low arousal condition while the performance and ERP components showed no significant difference between high arousal and silent conditions. These findings suggested that the emotional arousal dimension of background noises had a significant influence on human working memory performance, and that this effect was independent of the acoustic characteristics of noises (e.g., intensity and the meaning of speech materials. The current findings improve our understanding of background noise effects on human performance and lay the ground for the investigation of patients with attention deficits.

  12. Does working memory training work? The promise and challenges of enhancing cognition by training working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, Alexandra B; Chein, Jason M

    2011-02-01

    A growing body of literature shows that one's working memory (WM) capacity can be expanded through targeted training. Given the established relationship between WM and higher cognition, these successful training studies have led to speculation that WM training may yield broad cognitive benefits. This review considers the current state of the emerging WM training literature, and details both its successes and limitations. We identify two distinct approaches to WM training, strategy training and core training, and highlight both the theoretical and practical motivations that guide each approach. Training-related increases in WM capacity have been successfully demonstrated across a wide range of subject populations, but different training techniques seem to produce differential impacts upon the broader landscape of cognitive abilities. In particular, core WM training studies seem to produce more far-reaching transfer effects, likely because they target domain-general mechanisms of WM. The results of individual studies encourage optimism regarding the value of WM training as a tool for general cognitive enhancement. However, we discuss several limitations that should be addressed before the field endorses the value of this approach.

  13. Characterizing "fibrofog": Subjective appraisal, objective performance, and task-related brain activity during a working memory task.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowan, Nelson

    2014-06-01

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

  15. BOLD frequency power indexes working memory performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua Henk Balsters

    2013-05-01

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

  16. Working memory test battery for young adults: Computerized working memory assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Liang; Chang, Lei; Chen, Xiaoying

    2017-01-01

    This study developed a battery of computerized working memory (WM) tests and a scoring system suitable for young adult users. The tests comprised five classic tasks derived from Baddeley’s model of WM, reflecting each of the five WM functions. We recruited 115 undergraduate and graduate students from various academic fields and constructed a preliminary WM scoring norm for young adults. The scoring norm was used as a basis for developing a computerized assessment system. The results of correlation analysis show that the fluid intelligence of young adults is related to the memory function of WM, but not to the central executive system. The proposed working memory test battery for young adults comprehensively reflects the WM capacity of adults. PMID:28362867

  17. Training Planning and Working Memory in Third Graders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldin, Andrea Paula; Segretin, Maria Soledad; Hermida, Maria Julia; Paz, Luciano; Lipina, Sebastian Javier; Sigman, Mariano

    2013-01-01

    Working memory and planning are fundamental cognitive skills supporting fluid reasoning. We show that 2 games that train working memory and planning skills in school-aged children promote transfer to 2 different tasks: an attentional test and a fluid reasoning test. We also show long-term improvement of planning and memory capacities in…

  18. Working Memory, Long-Term Memory, and Medial Temporal Lobe Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeneson, Annette; Squire, Larry R.

    2012-01-01

    Early studies of memory-impaired patients with medial temporal lobe (MTL) damage led to the view that the hippocampus and related MTL structures are involved in the formation of long-term memory and that immediate memory and working memory are independent of these structures. This traditional idea has recently been revisited. Impaired performance…

  19. Working Memory, Long-Term Memory, and Medial Temporal Lobe Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeneson, Annette; Squire, Larry R.

    2012-01-01

    Early studies of memory-impaired patients with medial temporal lobe (MTL) damage led to the view that the hippocampus and related MTL structures are involved in the formation of long-term memory and that immediate memory and working memory are independent of these structures. This traditional idea has recently been revisited. Impaired performance…

  20. Asymmetric cross-domain interference between two working memory tasks : Implications for models of working memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Morey, Candice C.; Morey, Richard D.; van der Reijden, Madeleine; Holweg, Margot

    2013-01-01

    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,

  1. Asymmetric cross-domain interference between two working memory tasks : Implications for models of working memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Morey, Candice C.; Morey, Richard D.; van der Reijden, Madeleine; Holweg, Margot

    2013-01-01

    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,

  2. Cognitive control and brain resources in major depression: an fMRI study using the n-back task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, Philippe-Olivier; Fossati, Philippe; Pochon, Jean-Baptiste; Levy, Richard; Lebastard, Guillaume; Lehéricy, Stéphane; Allilaire, Jean-François; Dubois, Bruno

    2005-07-01

    Several neuroimaging studies have reported 'hypofrontality' in depressed patients performing a cognitive challenge compared to control subjects. Hypofrontality in depression is likely associated with an impaired behavioral performance. It is unclear whether this impaired performance is the consequence or the cause of hypofrontality. Consequently, we proposed to compare the cerebral activity of depressed patients and healthy subjects while controlling for the level of performance. Ten individuals meeting DSM-IV criteria for Major Depression and 10 healthy controls were tested with a verbal version of the n-back task during fMRI scanning. The working memory load was manipulated across the experiment (1,2,3-back) to increase the cognitive demands. fMRI data were acquired on a 1.5-T GE scanner and analyzed using SPM99 software. We did not find any difference between groups in both performance and reaction times for each level of complexity of the n-back task. Depressed patients and control subjects showed bilateral activation of the lateral prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate and parietal cortex. Activation of these regions was modulated by the complexity of the task. Within this n-back neural network, depressed patients showed greater activation of the lateral prefrontal cortex and the anterior cingulate compared to healthy subjects. This study provides evidence that depressed patients need greater activation within the same neural network to maintain a similar level of performance as controls during a working memory task. Our findings suggest that depression may impair the cognitive capacity of depressed patients by recruiting more brain resources than controls during cognitive control.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-05-01

    People often rely on information that is no longer in view, but maintained in visual short-term memory (VSTM). Traditionally, VSTM is thought to operate on either a short time-scale with high capacity - iconic memory - or a long time scale with small capacity - visual working memory. Recent research suggests that in addition, an intermediate stage of memory in between iconic memory and visual working memory exists. This intermediate stage has a large capacity and a lifetime of several seconds, but is easily overwritten by new stimulation. We therefore termed it fragile VSTM. In previous studies, fragile VSTM has been dissociated from iconic memory by the characteristics of the memory trace. In the present study, we dissociated fragile VSTM from visual working memory by showing a differentiation in their dependency on attention. A decrease in attention during presentation of the stimulus array greatly reduced the capacity of visual working memory, while this had only a small effect on the capacity of fragile VSTM. We conclude that fragile VSTM is a separate memory store from visual working memory. Thus, a tripartite division of VSTM appears to be in place, comprising iconic memory, fragile VSTM and visual working memory. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Components of working memory and visual selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  6. The Difference in the Profile of Working Memory, Auditory Working Memory, and Spatial Working Memory between Drug, Stimulant, and Methadone Abusers and Normal People

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmad Alipour

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Objective: The present study was an attempt to examine the difference in the profile of working memory, auditory working memory, and spatial working memory between drug, stimulant, and methadone abusers and normal people. Method: This study was a causal-comparative one with between-group comparison methodology. All the individuals addicted to opiates, stimulants, and methadone who had referred to Khomeini treatment centers of the city from September 2013 to February 2014 constituted the statistical population of the study. The number of 154 abusers (54 drug abusers, 50 stimulant abusers, and 50 methadone abusers and the number of 50 normal participants were chosen as the sample of the study by purposive sampling method. The participants responded to Wechsler Memory Scale—third edition (WMS-III. Results: There was a significant difference between the normal group and drug, stimulant, and methadone abusers in terms of working memory, auditory working memory, and spatial working memory. Conclusion: Drug and stimulant use leads to sustained damage in cognitive processes such as working memory. However, research indicates that these cognitive processes will improve with the passage of time.

  7. Working memory for speech and music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulze, Katrin; Koelsch, Stefan

    2012-04-01

    The present paper reviews behavioral and neuroimaging findings on similarities and differences between verbal and tonal working memory (WM), the influence of musical training, and the effect of strategy use on WM for tones. Whereas several studies demonstrate an overlap of core structures (Broca's area, premotor cortex, inferior parietal lobule), preliminary findings are discussed that imply, if confirmed, the existence of a tonal and a phonological loop in musicians. This conclusion is based on the findings of partly differing neural networks underlying verbal and tonal WM in musicians, suggesting that functional plasticity has been induced by musical training. We further propose a strong link between production and auditory WM: data indicate that both verbal and tonal auditory WM are based on the knowledge of how to produce the to-be-remembered sounds and, therefore, that sensorimotor representations are involved in the temporary maintenance of auditory information in WM. © 2012 New York Academy of Sciences.

  8. Is syntactic working memory language specific?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanja Kljajević

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available One question that has emerged from recent studies on sentence processing pertains to the nature of a specific cognitive mechanism implicated in maintenance of unintegrated syntactic information in ongoing sentence processing. In addition to evidence from language, recent research on musical syntax has suggested that processing of musical sequences may require a similar cognitive mechanism. In this paper evidence is discussed for the implication of syntactic working memory (SWM in processing of language and musical syntax, arithmetic sequences, as well as in complex motor movements used with a specific expressive purpose. The idea is that an anticipatory structure-building component governs interpretation in each of these domains by processing relevant integrations within sequences of structurally dependent elements. The concept of SWM is anchored in representational modularity and the shared syntactic integration resources hypothesis, and empirically supported by neurophysiological and neuroimaging evidence.

  9. Gestalt Effects in Visual Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kałamała, Patrycja; Sadowska, Aleksandra; Ordziniak, Wawrzyniec; Chuderski, Adam

    2017-01-01

    Four experiments investigated whether conforming to Gestalt principles, well known to drive visual perception, also facilitates the active maintenance of information in visual working memory (VWM). We used the change detection task, which required the memorization of visual patterns composed of several shapes. We observed no effects of symmetry of visual patterns on VWM performance. However, there was a moderate positive effect when a particular shape that was probed matched the shape of the whole pattern (the whole-part similarity effect). Data support the models assuming that VWM encodes not only particular objects of the perceptual scene but also the spatial relations between them (the ensemble representation). The ensemble representation may prime objects similar to its shape and thereby boost access to them. In contrast, the null effect of symmetry relates the fact that this very feature of an ensemble does not yield any useful additional information for VWM.

  10. Working memory, deafness and sign language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudner, Mary; Andin, Josefine; Rönnberg, Jerker

    2009-10-01

    Working memory (WM) for sign language has an architecture similar to that for speech-based languages at both functional and neural levels. However, there are some processing differences between language modalities that are not yet fully explained, although a number of hypotheses have been mooted. This article reviews some of the literature on differences in sensory, perceptual and cognitive processing systems induced by auditory deprivation and sign language use and discusses how these differences may contribute to differences in WM architecture for signed and speech-based languages. In conclusion, it is suggested that left-hemisphere reorganization of the motion-processing system as a result of native sign-language use may interfere with the development of the order processing system in WM.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Visual working memory buffers information retrieved from visual long-term memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukuda, Keisuke; Woodman, Geoffrey F

    2017-05-16

    Human memory is thought to consist of long-term storage and short-term storage mechanisms, the latter known as working memory. Although it has long been assumed that information retrieved from long-term memory is represented in working memory, we lack neural evidence for this and need neural measures that allow us to watch this retrieval into working memory unfold with high temporal resolution. Here, we show that human electrophysiology can be used to track information as it is brought back into working memory during retrieval from long-term memory. Specifically, we found that the retrieval of information from long-term memory was limited to just a few simple objects' worth of information at once, and elicited a pattern of neurophysiological activity similar to that observed when people encode new information into working memory. Our findings suggest that working memory is where information is buffered when being retrieved from long-term memory and reconcile current theories of memory retrieval with classic notions about the memory mechanisms involved.

  13. The circadian regulation of sleep: impact of a functional ADA-polymorphism and its association to working memory improvements.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolin F Reichert

    Full Text Available Sleep is regulated in a time-of-day dependent manner and profits working memory. However, the impact of the circadian timing system as well as contributions of specific sleep properties to this beneficial effect remains largely unexplored. Moreover, it is unclear to which extent inter-individual differences in sleep-wake regulation depend on circadian phase and modulate the association between sleep and working memory. Here, sleep electroencephalography (EEG was recorded during a 40-h multiple nap protocol, and working memory performance was assessed by the n-back task 10 times before and after each scheduled nap sleep episode. Twenty-four participants were genotyped regarding a functional polymorphism in adenosine deaminase (rs73598374, 12 G/A-, 12 G/G-allele carriers, previously associated with differences in sleep-wake regulation. Our results indicate that genotype-driven differences in sleep depend on circadian phase: heterozygous participants were awake longer and slept less at the end of the biological day, while they exhibited longer non rapid eye movement (NREM sleep and slow wave sleep concomitant with reduced power between 8-16 Hz at the end of the biological night. Slow wave sleep and NREM sleep delta EEG activity covaried positively with overall working memory performance, independent of circadian phase and genotype. Moreover, REM sleep duration benefitted working memory particularly when occurring in the early morning hours and specifically in heterozygous individuals. Even though based on a small sample size and thus requiring replication, our results suggest genotype-dependent differences in circadian sleep regulation. They further indicate that REM sleep, being under strong circadian control, boosts working memory performance according to genotype in a time-of-day dependent manner. Finally, our data provide first evidence that slow wave sleep and NREM sleep delta activity, majorly regulated by sleep homeostatic mechanisms, is

  14. Working Memory, Reasoning, and Task Switching Training: Transfer Effects, Limitations, and Great Expectations?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pauline L Baniqued

    Full Text Available Although some studies have shown that cognitive training can produce improvements to untrained cognitive domains (far transfer, many others fail to show these effects, especially when it comes to improving fluid intelligence. The current study was designed to overcome several limitations of previous training studies by incorporating training expectancy assessments, an active control group, and "Mind Frontiers," a video game-based mobile program comprised of six adaptive, cognitively demanding training tasks that have been found to lead to increased scores in fluid intelligence (Gf tests. We hypothesize that such integrated training may lead to broad improvements in cognitive abilities by targeting aspects of working memory, executive function, reasoning, and problem solving. Ninety participants completed 20 hour-and-a-half long training sessions over four to five weeks, 45 of whom played Mind Frontiers and 45 of whom completed visual search and change detection tasks (active control. After training, the Mind Frontiers group improved in working memory n-back tests, a composite measure of perceptual speed, and a composite measure of reaction time in reasoning tests. No training-related improvements were found in reasoning accuracy or other working memory tests, nor in composite measures of episodic memory, selective attention, divided attention, and multi-tasking. Perceived self-improvement in the tested abilities did not differ between groups. A general expectancy difference in problem-solving was observed between groups, but this perceived benefit did not correlate with training-related improvement. In summary, although these findings provide modest evidence regarding the efficacy of an integrated cognitive training program, more research is needed to determine the utility of Mind Frontiers as a cognitive training tool.

  15. Working Memory, Reasoning, and Task Switching Training: Transfer Effects, Limitations, and Great Expectations?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baniqued, Pauline L; Allen, Courtney M; Kranz, Michael B; Johnson, Kathryn; Sipolins, Aldis; Dickens, Charles; Ward, Nathan; Geyer, Alexandra; Kramer, Arthur F

    2015-01-01

    Although some studies have shown that cognitive training can produce improvements to untrained cognitive domains (far transfer), many others fail to show these effects, especially when it comes to improving fluid intelligence. The current study was designed to overcome several limitations of previous training studies by incorporating training expectancy assessments, an active control group, and "Mind Frontiers," a video game-based mobile program comprised of six adaptive, cognitively demanding training tasks that have been found to lead to increased scores in fluid intelligence (Gf) tests. We hypothesize that such integrated training may lead to broad improvements in cognitive abilities by targeting aspects of working memory, executive function, reasoning, and problem solving. Ninety participants completed 20 hour-and-a-half long training sessions over four to five weeks, 45 of whom played Mind Frontiers and 45 of whom completed visual search and change detection tasks (active control). After training, the Mind Frontiers group improved in working memory n-back tests, a composite measure of perceptual speed, and a composite measure of reaction time in reasoning tests. No training-related improvements were found in reasoning accuracy or other working memory tests, nor in composite measures of episodic memory, selective attention, divided attention, and multi-tasking. Perceived self-improvement in the tested abilities did not differ between groups. A general expectancy difference in problem-solving was observed between groups, but this perceived benefit did not correlate with training-related improvement. In summary, although these findings provide modest evidence regarding the efficacy of an integrated cognitive training program, more research is needed to determine the utility of Mind Frontiers as a cognitive training tool.

  16. Visuospatial and verbal working memory load: effects on visuospatial vigilance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helton, William S; Russell, Paul N

    2013-02-01

    In this study, we examined the impact of concurrent verbal and visuospatial working memory demands on performance of a visuospatial successive target detection task. Three hundred and four participants performed a visuospatial vigilance task while simultaneously performing either a spatial or verbal working memory task that either required a memory load during the vigil or did not require a memory load during the vigil. Perceptual sensitivity A' to vigilance target stimuli was reduced by concurrent memory load, both verbal and visuospatial. The decline in perceptual sensitivity to vigilance targets, the vigilance decrement, was steeper for a visuospatial memory task than a verbal memory task, regardless of concurrent memory load. Memory performance after vigilance detection trials was much lower for visuospatial than verbal items, even though memory performance before vigilance detection trials was higher for visuospatial than verbal items. Together, this indicates increased interference when a visuospatial vigilance task is paired with a visuospatial memory task, than when paired with a verbal memory task. Overall, the visuospatial and verbal working memory loads both impacted vigilance target detection, suggesting utilization of common executive resources. There may, however, be domain specific interference, and this may be exacerbated for two visuospatial tasks.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2013-01-01

    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.

  18. The importance of working memory updating in the Prisoner's dilemma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soutschek, Alexander; Schubert, Torsten

    2016-03-01

    Successful cooperation requires that humans can flexibly adjust choices to their partner's behaviour. This, in turn, presupposes a representation of a partner's past decisions in working memory. The aim of the current study was to investigate the role of working memory processes in cooperation. For that purpose, we tested the effects of working memory updating (Experiment 1) and working memory maintenance demands (Experiments 2 and 3) on cooperative behaviour in the Prisoner's dilemma game. We found that demands on updating, but not maintenance, of working memory contents impaired strategy use in the Prisoner's dilemma. Thus, our data show that updating a partner's past behaviour in working memory represents an important precondition for strategy use in cooperation.

  19. Differential Effects of Alcohol Consumption Behaviours on Working Memory Processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaunak Sanjay Deshpande

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Alcohol exposure in a clinical population impairs working memory. In order to establish the effects of alcohol on working memory in typical young adults, this study looked at their alcohol consumption behaviours and how they predict working memory. A battery of cognitive tasks and a recreational drug use questionnaire assessed working memory and alcohol consumption of 100 participants. The results revealed that alcohol abstinence predicted set-shifting, verbal executive, phonological loop, spatial and visual working memory performance, which is consistent with current literature. I surmise that the recent use of alcohol plays a role in working memory impairments and offer novel findings that the length of abstinence plays a role in the cognitive recovery of young adults.

  20. High Working Memory Capacity Predicts Less Retrieval Induced Forgetting

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mall, Jonathan T.; Morey, Candice C.

    2013-01-01

    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

  1. Working memory for braille is shaped by experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-01

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

  2. ALE Meta-Analysis of Schizophrenics Performing the N-Back Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrell, Zachary

    2010-10-01

    MRI/fMRI has already proven itself as a valuable tool in the diagnosis and treatment of many illnesses of the brain, including cognitive problems. By exploiting the differences in magnetic susceptibility between oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin, fMRI can measure blood flow in various regions of interest within the brain. This can determine the level of brain activity in relation to motor or cognitive functions and provide a metric for tissue damage or illness symptoms. Structural imaging techniques have shown lesions or deficiencies in tissue volumes in schizophrenics corresponding to areas primarily in the frontal and temporal lobes. These areas are currently known to be involved in working memory and attention, which many schizophrenics have trouble with. The ALE (Activation Likelihood Estimation) Meta-Analysis is able to statistically determine the significance of brain area activations based on the post-hoc combination of multiple studies. This process is useful for giving a general model of brain function in relation to a particular task designed to engage the affected areas (such as working memory for the n-back task). The advantages of the ALE Meta-Analysis include elimination of single subject anomalies, elimination of false/extremely weak activations, and verification of function/location hypotheses.

  3. Training and transfer effects of N-back training for brain-injured and healthy subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindeløv, Jonas Kristoffer; Dall, Jonas Olsen; Kristensen, Casper Daniel; Aagesen, Marie Holt; Olsen, Stine Almgren; Snuggerud, Therese Ruud; Sikorska, Anna

    2016-10-01

    Working memory impairments are prevalent among patients with acquired brain injury (ABI). Computerised training targeting working memory has been researched extensively using samples from healthy populations but this field remains isolated from similar research in ABI patients. We report the results of an actively controlled randomised controlled trial in which 17 patients and 18 healthy subjects completed training on an N-back task. The healthy group had superior improvements on both training tasks (SMD = 6.1 and 3.3) whereas the ABI group improved much less (SMD = 0.5 and 1.1). Neither group demonstrated transfer to untrained tasks. We conclude that computerised training facilitates improvement of specific skills rather than high-level cognition in healthy and ABI subjects alike. The acquisition of these specific skills seems to be impaired by brain injury. The most effective use of computer-based cognitive training may be to make the task resemble the targeted behaviour(s) closely in order to exploit the stimulus-specificity of learning.

  4. Cerebellar damage produces selective deficits in verbal working memory

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ravizza, Susan M; McCormick, Cristin A; Schlerf, John E; Justus, Timothy; Ivry, Richard B; Fiez, Julie A

    .... 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  6. Stress effects on working memory, explicit memory, and implicit memory for neutral and emotional stimuli in healthy men

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathias Luethi

    2009-01-01

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

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

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

    2013-06-01

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

  8. Central additive effect of Ginkgo biloba and rhodiola rosea on psychomotor vigilance task and short-term working memory accuracy

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    hayder M. al-kuraishy

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Aim: The present study investigates the effect of combined treatment with Ginkgo biloba and/or rhodiola rosea on psychomotor vigilance task and short-term working memory accuracy. Subjects and Methods: A total number of 112 volunteers was enrolled to study the effect of Ginkgo biloba and rhodiola rosea on psychomotor vigilance task and short-term working memory accuracy as compared to placebo effects,the central cognitive effect was assessed by Critical flicker-fusion frequency (CFFF, Psychomotor vigilance Task (PVT and computerized N-back test. Results: Placebo produced no significant effects on all neurocognitive tests measure p>0.05 in normal healthy volunteers, Ginkgo biloba or Rhodiola rosea improve psychomotor vigilance task and low to moderate working memory accuracy, The combined effect of Rhodiola rosea and Ginkgo biloba leading to more significant effect on psychomotor vigilance task, all levels of short term working memory accuracy and critical fusion versus flicker p<0.01, more than of Ginkgo biloba or Rhodiola rosea when they used alone. Conclusion: The combined effect of Rhodiola rosea and Ginkgo biloba leading to more significant effect on cognitive function than either Ginkgo biloba or Rhodiola rosea when they used alone. [J Intercult Ethnopharmacol 2016; 5(1.000: 7-13

  9. Working memory and older adults: implications for occupational therapy.

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    Andiel, C; Liu, L

    1995-01-01

    Atkinson and Shiffrin's (1968) modal model of memory is still commonly used by rehabilitation professionals to evaluate memory impairment in older adults. However, research to date has been unable to indicate that short-term memory declines with age. These findings have led some rehabilitation professionals to mistakenly conclude that short-term memory is not affected by the aging process. This article reviews both the traditional concept of short-term memory, as outlined by Atkinson and Shiffrin, and the more recent conceptualization of short-term memory in terms of Baddeley and Hitch's (1974) model of working memory. The implications of the concept of working memory has implications for occupational therapy interventions for older adults. For example, clients with dementia may experience difficulties in performing tasks that require drawing inferences. Similarly, language that contains vague references may present problems for these clients. In addition, changes in working memory in older adults suggest that they may experience difficulties with medication management and what Rule, Milke, and Dobbs (1992) called wayfinding. Therefore, evaluations of working memory would provide a better indication of older adults' memory performance than the modal model.

  10. GABA level, gamma oscillation, and working memory performance in schizophrenia

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    Chi-Ming A. Chen

    2014-01-01

    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.

  11. Acute aerobic exercise increases cortical activity during working memory: a functional MRI study in female college students.

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    Li, Lin; Men, Wei-Wei; Chang, Yu-Kai; Fan, Ming-Xia; Ji, Liu; Wei, Gao-Xia

    2014-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that acute aerobic exercise is associated with improved cognitive function. However, neural correlates of its cognitive plasticity remain largely unknown. The present study examined the effect of a session of acute aerobic exercise on working memory task-evoked brain activity as well as task performance. A within-subjects design with a counterbalanced order was employed. Fifteen young female participants (M = 19.56, SD = 0.81) were scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing a working memory task, the N-back task, both following an acute exercise session with 20 minutes of moderate intensity and a control rest session. Although an acute session of exercise did not improve behavioral performance, we observed that it had a significant impact on brain activity during the 2-back condition of the N-back task. Specifically, acute exercise induced increased brain activation in the right middle prefrontal gyrus, the right lingual gyrus, and the left fusiform gyrus as well as deactivations in the anterior cingulate cortexes, the left inferior frontal gyrus, and the right paracentral lobule. Despite the lack of an effect on behavioral measures, significant changes after acute exercise with activation of the prefrontal and occipital cortexes and deactivation of the anterior cingulate cortexes and left frontal hemisphere reflect the improvement of executive control processes, indicating that acute exercise could benefit working memory at a macro-neural level. In addition to its effects on reversing recent obesity and disease trends, our results provide substantial evidence highlighting the importance of promoting physical activity across the lifespan to prevent or reverse cognitive and neural decline.

  12. Acute aerobic exercise increases cortical activity during working memory: a functional MRI study in female college students.

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    Lin Li

    Full Text Available There is increasing evidence that acute aerobic exercise is associated with improved cognitive function. However, neural correlates of its cognitive plasticity remain largely unknown. The present study examined the effect of a session of acute aerobic exercise on working memory task-evoked brain activity as well as task performance. A within-subjects design with a counterbalanced order was employed. Fifteen young female participants (M = 19.56, SD = 0.81 were scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing a working memory task, the N-back task, both following an acute exercise session with 20 minutes of moderate intensity and a control rest session. Although an acute session of exercise did not improve behavioral performance, we observed that it had a significant impact on brain activity during the 2-back condition of the N-back task. Specifically, acute exercise induced increased brain activation in the right middle prefrontal gyrus, the right lingual gyrus, and the left fusiform gyrus as well as deactivations in the anterior cingulate cortexes, the left inferior frontal gyrus, and the right paracentral lobule. Despite the lack of an effect on behavioral measures, significant changes after acute exercise with activation of the prefrontal and occipital cortexes and deactivation of the anterior cingulate cortexes and left frontal hemisphere reflect the improvement of executive control processes, indicating that acute exercise could benefit working memory at a macro-neural level. In addition to its effects on reversing recent obesity and disease trends, our results provide substantial evidence highlighting the importance of promoting physical activity across the lifespan to prevent or reverse cognitive and neural decline.

  13. Automatization and working memory capacity in schizophrenia.

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    van Raalten, Tamar R; Ramsey, Nick F; Jansma, J Martijn; Jager, Gerry; Kahn, René S

    2008-03-01

    Working memory (WM) dysfunction in schizophrenia is characterized by inefficient WM recruitment and reduced capacity, but it is not yet clear how these relate to one another. In controls practice of certain cognitive tasks induces automatization, which is associated with reduced WM recruitment and increased capacity of concurrent task performance. We therefore investigated whether inefficient function and reduced capacity in schizophrenia was associated with a failure in automatization. FMRI data was acquired with a verbal WM task with novel and practiced stimuli in 18 schizophrenia patients and 18 controls. Participants performed a dual-task outside the scanner to test WM capacity. Patients showed intact performance on the WM task, which was paralleled by excessive WM activity. Practice improved performance and reduced WM activity in both groups. The difference in WM activity after practice predicted performance cost in controls but not in patients. In addition, patients showed disproportionately poor dual-task performance compared to controls, especially when processing information that required continuous adjustment in WM. Our findings support the notion of inefficient WM function and reduced capacity in schizophrenia. This was not related to a failure in automatization, but was evident when processing continuously changing information. This suggests that inefficient WM function and reduced capacity may be related to an inability to process information requiring frequent updating.

  14. Working Memory, Language Skills, and Autism Symptomatology

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    Jillian M. Schuh

    2012-11-01

    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.

  15. Working memory management and predicted utility.

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    Chatham, Christopher H; Badre, David

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Working Memory Is Partially Preserved during Sleep

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    Daltrozzo, Jérôme; Claude, Léa; Tillmann, Barbara; Bastuji, Hélène; Perrin, Fabien

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:23236418

  17. Working memory is partially preserved during sleep.

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    Jérôme Daltrozzo

    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.

  18. Working memory for pitch, timbre, and words

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tillmann, Barbara

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Working memory, worry, and algebraic ability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trezise, Kelly; Reeve, Robert A

    2014-05-01

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

  20. Working memory constraints on imitation and emulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subiaul, Francys; Schilder, Brian

    2014-12-01

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

  1. Have We Forgotten Auditory Sensory Memory? Retention Intervals in Studies of Nonverbal Auditory Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nees, Michael A

    2016-01-01

    Researchers have shown increased interest in mechanisms of working memory for nonverbal sounds such as music and environmental sounds. These studies often have used two-stimulus comparison tasks: two sounds separated by a brief retention interval (often 3-5 s) are compared, and a "same" or "different" judgment is recorded. Researchers seem to have assumed that sensory memory has a negligible impact on performance in auditory two-stimulus comparison tasks. This assumption is examined in detail in this comment. According to seminal texts and recent research reports, sensory memory persists in parallel with working memory for a period of time following hearing a stimulus and can influence behavioral responses on memory tasks. Unlike verbal working memory studies that use serial recall tasks, research paradigms for exploring nonverbal working memory-especially two-stimulus comparison tasks-may not be differentiating working memory from sensory memory processes in analyses of behavioral responses, because retention interval durations have not excluded the possibility that the sensory memory trace drives task performance. This conflation of different constructs may be one contributor to discrepant research findings and the resulting proliferation of theoretical conjectures regarding mechanisms of working memory for nonverbal sounds.

  2. Effects of the D1 dopamine receptor agonist dihydrexidine (DAR-0100A) on working memory in schizotypal personality disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosell, Daniel R; Zaluda, Lauren C; McClure, Margaret M; Perez-Rodriguez, M Mercedes; Strike, K Sloan; Barch, Deanna M; Harvey, Philip D; Girgis, Ragy R; Hazlett, Erin A; Mailman, Richard B; Abi-Dargham, Anissa; Lieberman, Jeffrey A; Siever, Larry J

    2015-01-01

    Pharmacological enhancement of prefrontal D1 dopamine receptor function remains a promising therapeutic approach to ameliorate schizophrenia-spectrum working memory deficits, but has yet to be rigorously evaluated clinically. This proof-of-principle study sought to determine whether the active enantiomer of the selective and full D1 receptor agonist dihydrexidine (DAR-0100A) could attenuate working memory impairments in unmedicated patients with schizotypal personality disorder (SPD). We performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of DAR-0100A (15 mg/150 ml of normal saline administered intravenously over 30 min) in medication-free patients with SPD (n=16) who met the criteria for cognitive impairment (ie, scoring below the 25th percentile on tests of working memory). We employed two measures of verbal working memory that are salient to schizophrenia-spectrum cognitive deficits, and that clinical data implicate as being associated with prefrontal D1 availability: (1) the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT); and (2) the N-back test (ratio of 2-back:0-back scores). Study procedures occurred over four consecutive days, with working memory testing on Days 1 and 4, and DAR-0100A/placebo administration on Days 2-4. Treatment with DAR-0100A was associated with significantly improved PASAT performance relative to placebo, with a very large effect size (Cohen's d=1.14). Performance on the N-back ratio was also significantly improved; however, this effect rested on both a non-significant enhancement and diminution of 2-back and 0-back performance, respectively; therefore interpretation of this finding is more complicated. DAR-0100A was generally well tolerated, with no serious medical or psychiatric adverse events; common side effects were mild to moderate and transient, consisting mainly of sedation, lightheadedness, tachycardia, and hypotension; however, we were able to minimize these effects, without altering the dose, with supportive

  3. Changes in Neural Activity Underlying Working Memory after Computerized Cognitive Training in Older Adults.

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    Tusch, Erich S; Alperin, Brittany R; Ryan, Eliza; Holcomb, Phillip J; Mohammed, Abdul H; Daffner, Kirk R

    2016-01-01

    Computerized cognitive training (CCT) may counter the impact of aging on cognition, but both the efficacy and neurocognitive mechanisms underlying CCT remain controversial. In this study, 35 older individuals were randomly assigned to Cogmed adaptive working memory (WM) CCT or an active control CCT, featuring five weeks of five ∼40 min sessions per week. Before and after the 5-week intervention, event-related potentials were measured while subjects completed a visual n-back task with three levels of demand (0-back, 1-back, 2-back). The anterior P3a served as an index of directing attention and the posterior P3b as an index of categorization/WM updating. We hypothesized that adaptive CCT would be associated with decreased P3 amplitude at low WM demand and increased P3 amplitude at high WM demand. The adaptive CCT group exhibited a training-related increase in the amplitude of the anterior P3a and posterior P3b in response to target stimuli across n-back tasks, while subjects in the active control CCT group demonstrated a post-training decrease in the anterior P3a. Performance did not differ between groups or sessions. Larger overall P3 amplitudes were strongly associated with better task performance. Increased post-CCT P3 amplitude correlated with improved task performance; this relationship was especially robust at high task load. Our findings suggest that adaptive WM training was associated with increased orienting of attention, as indexed by the P3a, and the enhancement of categorization/WM updating processes, as indexed by the P3b. Increased P3 amplitude was linked to improved performance; however. there was no direct association between adaptive training and improved performance.

  4. Changes in neural activity underlying working memory after computerized cognitive training in older adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erich Tusch

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Computerized cognitive training (CCT may counter the impact of aging on cognition, but both the efficacy and neurocognitive mechanisms underlying CCT remain controversial. In this study, 35 older individuals were randomly assigned to Cogmed adaptive working memory (WM CCT or an active control CCT, featuring five weeks of five ~40 minute sessions per week. Before and after the 5-week intervention, ERPs were measured while subjects completed a visual n-back task with 3 levels of demand (0-back, 1-back, 2-back. The anterior P3a served as an index of directing attention and the posterior P3b as an index of categorization/WM updating. We hypothesized that adaptive CCT would be associated with decreased P3 amplitude at low WM demand and increased P3 amplitude at high WM demand. The adaptive CCT group exhibited a training-related increase in the amplitude of the anterior P3a and posterior P3b in response to target stimuli across n-back tasks, while subjects in the active control CCT group demonstrated a post-training decrease in the anterior P3a. Performance did not differ between groups or sessions. Larger overall P3 amplitudes were strongly associated with better task performance. Increased post-CCT P3 amplitude correlated with improved task performance; this relationship was especially robust at high task load. Our findings suggest that adaptive WM training was associated with increased orienting of attention, as indexed by the P3a, and the enhancement of categorization/WM updating processes, as indexed by the P3b. Increased P3 amplitude was linked to improved performance; however there was no direct association between adaptive training and improved performance.

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

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    Wolfe, Jeremy M

    2014-10-01

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

  6. Short term memory and working memory in blind versus sighted children

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Withagen, A.; Kappers, A.M.L.; Vervloed, M.P.J.; Knoors, H.; Verhoeven, L.

    2013-01-01

    There is evidence that blind people may strengthen their memory skills to compensate for absence of vision. However, which aspects of memory are involved is open to debate and a developmental perspective is generally lacking. In the present study, we compared the short term memory (STM) and working

  7. Working Memory and Short-Term Memory Abilities in Accomplished Multilinguals

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    Biedron, Adriana; Szczepaniak, Anna

    2012-01-01

    The role of short-term memory and working memory in accomplished multilinguals was investigated. Twenty-eight accomplished multilinguals were compared to 36 mainstream philology students. The following instruments were used in the study: three memory subtests of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale (Digit Span, Digit-Symbol Coding, and Arithmetic,…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

    People often rely on information that is no longer in view, but maintained in visual short-term memory (VSTM). Traditionally, VSTM is thought to operate on either a short time-scale with high capacity - iconic memory - or a long time scale with small capacity - visual working memory. Recent research

  9. Short term memory and working memory in blind versus sighted children

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Withagen, A.; Kappers, A.M.L.; Vervloed, M.P.J.; Knoors, H.; Verhoeven, L.

    2013-01-01

    There is evidence that blind people may strengthen their memory skills to compensate for absence of vision. However, which aspects of memory are involved is open to debate and a developmental perspective is generally lacking. In the present study, we compared the short term memory (STM) and working

  10. Neural Correlates of Visual Short-term Memory Dissociate between Fragile and Working Memory Representations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vandenbroucke, A.R.; Sligte, I.G.; Vries, J.G. de; Cohen, M.S.; Lamme, V.A.F.

    2015-01-01

    Evidence is accumulating that the classic two-stage model of visual STM (VSTM), comprising iconic memory (IM) and visual working memory (WM), is incomplete. A third memory stage, termed fragile VSTM (FM), seems to exist in between IM and WM [Vandenbroucke, A. R. E., Sligte, I. G., & Lamme, V. A. F.

  11. Preexisting semantic representation improves working memory performance in the visuospatial domain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudner, Mary; Orfanidou, Eleni; Cardin, Velia; Capek, Cheryl M; Woll, Bencie; Rönnberg, Jerker

    2016-05-01

    Working memory (WM) for spoken language improves when the to-be-remembered items correspond to preexisting representations in long-term memory. We investigated whether this effect generalizes to the visuospatial domain by administering a visual n-back WM task to deaf signers and hearing signers, as well as to hearing nonsigners. Four different kinds of stimuli were presented: British Sign Language (BSL; familiar to the signers), Swedish Sign Language (SSL; unfamiliar), nonsigns, and nonlinguistic manual actions. The hearing signers performed better with BSL than with SSL, demonstrating a facilitatory effect of preexisting semantic representation. The deaf signers also performed better with BSL than with SSL, but only when WM load was high. No effect of preexisting phonological representation was detected. The deaf signers performed better than the hearing nonsigners with all sign-based materials, but this effect did not generalize to nonlinguistic manual actions. We argue that deaf signers, who are highly reliant on visual information for communication, develop expertise in processing sign-based items, even when those items do not have preexisting semantic or phonological representations. Preexisting semantic representation, however, enhances the quality of the gesture-based representations temporarily maintained in WM by this group, thereby releasing WM resources to deal with increased load. Hearing signers, on the other hand, may make strategic use of their speech-based representations for mnemonic purposes. The overall pattern of results is in line with flexible-resource models of WM.

  12. Dynamic functional reorganizations and relationship with working memory performance in healthy aging.

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    Roser eSala-Llonch

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, several theories have been proposed in attempts to identify the neural mechanisms underlying successful cognitive aging. Old subjects show increased neural activity during the performance of tasks, mainly in prefrontal areas, which is interpreted as a compensatory mechanism linked to functional brain efficiency. Moreover, resting-state studies have concluded that elders show disconnection or disruption of large-scale functional networks. We used functional MRI during resting-state and a verbal n-back task with different levels of memory load in a cohort of young and old healthy adults to identify patterns of networks associated with working memory and brain default mode. We found that the disruption of resting-state networks in the elderly coexists with task-related overactivations of certain brain areas and with reorganizations within these functional networks. Moreover, elders who were able to activate additional areas and to recruit a more bilateral frontal pattern within the task-related network achieved successful performance on the task. We concluded that the balanced and plastic reorganization of brain networks underlies successful cognitive aging. This observation allows the integration of several theories that have been proposed to date regarding the aging brain.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schweppe, Judith; Rummer, Ralf

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive models of multimedia learning such as the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (Mayer 2009) or the Cognitive Load Theory (Sweller 1999) are based on different cognitive models of working memory (e.g., Baddeley 1986) and long-term memory. The current paper describes a working memory model that has recently gained popularity in basic…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schweppe, Judith; Rummer, Ralf

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive models of multimedia learning such as the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (Mayer 2009) or the Cognitive Load Theory (Sweller 1999) are based on different cognitive models of working memory (e.g., Baddeley 1986) and long-term memory. The current paper describes a working memory model that has recently gained popularity in basic…

  15. Working Memory Development in Monolingual and Bilingual Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales, Julia; Calvo, Alejandra; Bialystok, Ellen

    2013-01-01

    Two studies are reported comparing the performance of monolingual and bilingual children on tasks requiring different levels of working memory. In the first study, 56 5-year-olds performed a Simon-type task that manipulated working memory demands by comparing conditions based on two rules and four rules and manipulated conflict resolution demands…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Cerebellar Damage Produces Selective Deficits in Verbal Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravizza, Susan M.; Mccormick, Cristin A.; Schlerf, John E.; Justus, Timothy; Ivry, Richard B.; Fiez, Julie A.

    2006-01-01

    The cerebellum is often active in imaging studies of verbal working memory, consistent with a putative role in articulatory rehearsal. While patients with cerebellar damage occasionally exhibit a mild impairment on standard neuropsychological tests of working memory, these tests are not diagnostic for exploring these processes in detail. The…

  18. Social working memory: Neurocognitive networks and directions for future research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meghan L Meyer

    2012-12-01

    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.

  19. Sentence Complexity and Working Memory Effects in Ambiguity Resolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Ji Hyon; Christianson, Kiel

    2013-01-01

    Two self-paced reading experiments using a paraphrase decision task paradigm were performed to investigate how sentence complexity contributed to the relative clause (RC) attachment preferences of speakers of different working memory capacities (WMCs). Experiment 1 (English) showed working memory effects on relative clause processing in both…

  20. Preterm Infant Hippocampal Volumes Correlate with Later Working Memory Deficits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beauchamp, Miriam H.; Thompson, Deanne K.; Howard, Kelly; Doyle, Lex W.; Egan, Gary F.; Inder, Terrie E.; Anderson, Peter J.

    2008-01-01

    Children born preterm exhibit working memory deficits. These deficits may be associated with structural brain changes observed in the neonatal period. In this study, the relationship between neonatal regional brain volumes and working memory deficits at age 2 years were investigated, with a particular interest in the dorsolateral prefrontal…

  1. Modularity, Working Memory, and Second Language Acquisition: A Research Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Truscott, John

    2017-01-01

    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,…

  2. Preterm Infant Hippocampal Volumes Correlate with Later Working Memory Deficits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beauchamp, Miriam H.; Thompson, Deanne K.; Howard, Kelly; Doyle, Lex W.; Egan, Gary F.; Inder, Terrie E.; Anderson, Peter J.

    2008-01-01

    Children born preterm exhibit working memory deficits. These deficits may be associated with structural brain changes observed in the neonatal period. In this study, the relationship between neonatal regional brain volumes and working memory deficits at age 2 years were investigated, with a particular interest in the dorsolateral prefrontal…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowan, Nelson

    2014-01-01

    Working memory is the retention of a small amount of information in a readily accessible form. It facilitates planning, comprehension, reasoning, and problem solving. I examine the historical roots and conceptual development of the concept and the theoretical and practical implications of current debates about working memory mechanisms. Then, I…

  4. Working Memory Weaknesses in Students with ADHD: Implications for Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinussen, Rhonda; Major, Ashley

    2011-01-01

    Students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at risk for academic underachievement. Children and youth with ADHD have been found to exhibit impairments on neuropsychological measures of executive functions, including working memory. Working memory is important to attentional control and learning. This article defines working…

  5. Working memory limitations in children with severe language impairment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Daal, J.G.H.L. van; Verhoeven, L.T.W.; Leeuwe, J.F.J. van; Balkom, L.J.M. van

    2008-01-01

    In the present study, the relations of various aspects of working memory to various aspects of language problems in a clinical sample of 97 Dutch speaking 5-year-old children with severe language problems were studied. The working memory and language abilities of the children were examined using an

  6. High visual working memory capacity in trait social anxiety.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Moriya

    Full Text Available 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.

  7. The Impact of Persistent Pain on Working Memory and Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Alexander; Ayres, Paul

    2014-01-01

    The study reviewed the evidence that persistent pain has the capacity to interrupt and consume working memory resources. It was argued that individuals with persistent pain essentially operate within a compromised neurocognitive paradigm of limited working memory resources that impairs task performance. Using cognitive load theory as a theoretical…

  8. Working Memory Capacity and Categorization: Individual Differences and Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewandowsky, Stephan

    2011-01-01

    Working memory is crucial for many higher-level cognitive functions, ranging from mental arithmetic to reasoning and problem solving. Likewise, the ability to learn and categorize novel concepts forms an indispensable part of human cognition. However, very little is known about the relationship between working memory and categorization, and…

  9. Working Memory Weaknesses in Students with ADHD: Implications for Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinussen, Rhonda; Major, Ashley

    2011-01-01

    Students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at risk for academic underachievement. Children and youth with ADHD have been found to exhibit impairments on neuropsychological measures of executive functions, including working memory. Working memory is important to attentional control and learning. This article defines working…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowan, Nelson

    2014-01-01

    Working memory is the retention of a small amount of information in a readily accessible form. It facilitates planning, comprehension, reasoning, and problem solving. I examine the historical roots and conceptual development of the concept and the theoretical and practical implications of current debates about working memory mechanisms. Then, I…

  11. Working Memory and Fluid Intelligence in Young Children

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Working Memory and Executive Dysfunction in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Antiphospholipid Antibody-Positive Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozora, E; Uluğ, A M; Erkan, D; Vo, A; Filley, C M; Ramon, G; Burleson, A; Zimmerman, R; Lockshin, M D

    2016-11-01

    Standardized cognitive tests and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients demonstrate deficits in working memory and executive function. These neurobehavioral abnormalities are not well studied in antiphospholipid syndrome, which may occur independently of or together with SLE. This study compares an fMRI paradigm involving motor skills, working memory, and executive function in SLE patients without antiphospholipid antibody (aPL) (the SLE group), aPL-positive non-SLE patients (the aPL-positive group), and controls. Brain MRI, fMRI, and standardized cognitive assessment results were obtained from 20 SLE, 20 aPL-positive, and 10 healthy female subjects with no history of neuropsychiatric abnormality. Analysis of fMRI data showed no differences in performance across groups on bilateral motor tasks. When analysis of variance was used, significant group differences were found in 2 executive function tasks (word generation and word rhyming) and in a working memory task (N-Back). Patients positive for aPL demonstrated higher activation in bilateral frontal, temporal, and parietal cortices compared to controls during working memory and executive function tasks. SLE patients also demonstrated bilateral frontal and temporal activation during working memory and executive function tasks. Compared to controls, both aPL-positive and SLE patients had elevated cortical activation, primarily in the frontal lobes, during tasks involving working memory and executive function. These findings are consistent with cortical overactivation as a compensatory mechanism for early white matter neuropathology in these disorders. © 2016, American College of Rheumatology.

  13. The interaction of working memory performance and episodic memory formation in patients with Korsakoff's amnesia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geldorp, B. van; Bergmann, H.; Robertson, J.; Wester, A.J.; Kessels, R.P.C.

    2012-01-01

    Both neuroimaging work and studies investigating amnesic patients have shown involvement of the medial temporal lobe during working memory tasks, especially when multiple items or features have to be associated. However, so far no study has examined the relationship between working memory and subseq

  14. The interaction of working memory performance and episodic memory formation in patients with Korsakoff's amnesia.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geldorp, B. van; Bergmann, H.C.; Robertson, J.; Wester, A.J.; Kessels, R.P.C.

    2012-01-01

    Both neuroimaging work and studies investigating amnesic patients have shown involvement of the medial temporal lobe during working memory tasks, especially when multiple items or features have to be associated. However, so far no study has examined the relationship between working memory and

  15. The interaction of working memory performance and episodic memory formation in patients with Korsakoff's amnesia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geldorp, B. van; Bergmann, H.; Robertson, J.; Wester, A.J.; Kessels, R.P.C.

    2012-01-01

    Both neuroimaging work and studies investigating amnesic patients have shown involvement of the medial temporal lobe during working memory tasks, especially when multiple items or features have to be associated. However, so far no study has examined the relationship between working memory and

  16. The interaction of working memory performance and episodic memory formation in patients with Korsakoff's amnesia.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geldorp, B. van; Bergmann, H.C.; Robertson, J.; Wester, A.J.; Kessels, R.P.C.

    2012-01-01

    Both neuroimaging work and studies investigating amnesic patients have shown involvement of the medial temporal lobe during working memory tasks, especially when multiple items or features have to be associated. However, so far no study has examined the relationship between working memory and subseq

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pamela eSouza

    2015-05-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Have We Forgotten Auditory Sensory Memory? Retention Intervals in Studies of Nonverbal Auditory Working Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael A. Nees

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Researchers have shown increased interest in mechanisms of working memory for nonverbal sounds such as music and environmental sounds. These studies often have used two-stimulus comparison tasks: two sounds separated by a brief retention interval (often 3 to 5 s are compared, and a same or different judgment is recorded. Researchers seem to have assumed that sensory memory has a negligible impact on performance in auditory two-stimulus comparison tasks. This assumption is examined in detail in this comment. According to seminal texts and recent research reports, sensory memory persists in parallel with working memory for a period of time following hearing a stimulus and can influence behavioral responses on memory tasks. Unlike verbal working memory studies that use serial recall tasks, research paradigms for exploring nonverbal working memory—especially two-stimulus comparison tasks—may not be differentiating working memory from sensory memory processes in analyses of behavioral responses, because retention interval durations have not excluded the possibility that the sensory memory trace drives task performance. This conflation of different constructs may be one contributor to discrepant research findings and the resulting proliferation of theoretical conjectures regarding mechanisms of working memory for nonverbal sounds.

  20. Disrupted Working Memory Circuitry in Adolescent Psychosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariel Eckfeld

    2017-08-01

    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.

  1. Long-term pitch memory for music recordings is related to auditory working memory precision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Hedger, Stephen C; Heald, Shannon L M; Nusbaum, Howard C

    2017-08-31

    Most individuals have reliable long-term memories for the pitch of familiar music recordings. This pitch memory (1) appears to be normally distributed in the population, (2) does not depend on explicit musical training, and (3) only seems to be weakly related to differences in listening frequency estimates. The present experiment was designed to assess whether individual differences in auditory working memory could explain variance in long-term pitch memory for music recordings. In Experiment 1, participants first completed a musical note adjustment task that has been previously used to assess working memory of musical pitch. Afterwards, participants were asked to judge the pitch of well-known music recordings, which either had or had not been shifted in pitch. We found that performance on the pitch working memory task was significantly related to performance in the pitch memory task using well-known recordings, even when controlling for overall musical experience and familiarity with each recording. In Experiment 2, we replicated these findings in a separate group of participants while additionally controlling for fluid intelligence and non-pitch based components of auditory working memory. In Experiment 3, we demonstrated that participants could not accurately judge the pitch of unfamiliar recordings, suggesting that our method of pitch shifting did not result in unwanted acoustic cues that could have aided participants in Experiments 1 and 2. These results, taken together, suggest that the ability to maintain pitch information in working memory might lead to more accurate long-term pitch memory.

  2. A metacognitive visuospatial working memory training for children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara CAVIOLA

    2009-10-01

    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 post-training 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.

  3. The Role of Motor Affordances in Visual Working Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diane Pecher

    2014-12-01

    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.

  4. Modeling the Role of Working Memory and Episodic Memory in Behavioral Tasks

    OpenAIRE

    Zilli, Eric A.; Hasselmo, Michael E.

    2008-01-01

    The mechanisms of goal-directed behavior have been studied using reinforcement learning theory, but these theoretical techniques have not often been used to address the role of memory systems in performing behavioral tasks. The present work addresses this shortcoming by providing a way in which working memory and episodic memory may be included in the reinforcement learning framework, then simulating the successful acquisition and performance of six behavioral tasks, drawn from or inspired by...

  5. Gender differences in episodic memory and visual working memory including the effects of age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pauls, Franz; Petermann, Franz; Lepach, Anja Christina

    2013-01-01

    Analysing the relationship between gender and memory, and examining the effects of age on the overall memory-related functioning, are the ongoing goals of psychological research. The present study examined gender and age group differences in episodic memory with respect to the type of task. In addition, these subgroup differences were also analysed in visual working memory. A sample of 366 women and 330 men, aged between 16 and 69 years of age, participated in the current study. Results indicate that women outperformed men on auditory memory tasks, whereas male adolescents and older male adults showed higher level performances on visual episodic and visual working memory measures. However, the size of gender-linked effects varied somewhat across age groups. Furthermore, results partly support a declining performance on episodic memory and visual working memory measures with increasing age. Although age-related losses in episodic memory could not be explained by a decreasing verbal and visuospatial ability with age, women's advantage in auditory episodic memory could be explained by their advantage in verbal ability. Men's higher level visual episodic memory performance was found to result from their advantage in visuospatial ability. Finally, possible methodological, biological, and cognitive explanations for the current findings are discussed.

  6. A theory of working memory without consciousness or sustained activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trübutschek, Darinka; Marti, Sébastien; Ojeda, Andrés; King, Jean-Rémi; Mi, Yuanyuan; Tsodyks, Misha; Dehaene, Stanislas

    2017-07-18

    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.

  7. Flexibility of representational states in working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nahid eZokaei

    2014-11-01

    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

  8. fMRI delineation of working memory for emotional prosody in the brain: commonalities with the lexico-semantic emotion network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Rachel L C

    2007-07-01

    Decoding emotional prosody is crucial for successful social interactions, and continuous monitoring of emotional intent via prosody requires working memory. It has been proposed by Ross and others that emotional prosody cognitions in the right hemisphere are organized in an analogous fashion to propositional language functions in the left hemisphere. This study aimed to test the applicability of this model in the context of prefrontal cortex working memory functions. BOLD response data were therefore collected during performance of two emotional working memory tasks by participants undergoing fMRI. In the prosody task, participants identified the emotion conveyed in pre-recorded sentences, and working memory load was manipulated in the style of an N-back task. In the matched lexico-semantic task, participants identified the emotion conveyed by sentence content. Block-design neuroimaging data were analyzed parametrically with SPM5. At first, working memory for emotional prosody appeared to be right-lateralized in the PFC, however, further analyses revealed that it shared much bilateral prefrontal functional neuroanatomy with working memory for lexico-semantic emotion. Supplementary separate analyses of males and females suggested that these language functions were less bilateral in females, but their inclusion did not alter the direction of laterality. It is concluded that Ross et al.'s model is not applicable to prefrontal cortex working memory functions, that evidence that working memory cannot be subdivided in prefrontal cortex according to material type is increased, and that incidental working memory demands may explain the frontal lobe involvement in emotional prosody comprehension as revealed by neuroimaging studies.

  9. Motor threshold predicts working memory performance in healthy humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schicktanz, Nathalie; Schwegler, Kyrill; Fastenrath, Matthias; Spalek, Klara; Milnik, Annette; Papassotiropoulos, Andreas; Nyffeler, Thomas; de Quervain, Dominique J-F

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive functions, such as working memory, depend on neuronal excitability in a distributed network of cortical regions. It is not known, however, if interindividual differences in cortical excitability are related to differences in working memory performance. In the present transcranial magnetic stimulation study, which included 188 healthy young subjects, we show that participants with lower resting motor threshold, which is related to higher corticospinal excitability, had increased 2-back working memory performance. The findings may help to better understand the link between cortical excitability and cognitive functions and may also have important clinical implications with regard to conditions of altered cortical excitability.

  10. Collective Biography and Memory Work: Girls Reading Fiction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gannon, Susanne

    2015-01-01

    Collective biography draws on memory work methods developed initially by feminist sociologists (Haug et al., 1987) where people collaboratively examined the social and discursive resources through which they take themselves up as particular gendered subjects in the world. Their own memories become resources to investigate processes of…

  11. Dynamic Search and Working Memory in Social Recall

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hills, Thomas T.; Pachur, Thorsten

    2012-01-01

    What are the mechanisms underlying search in social memory (e.g., remembering the people one knows)? Do the search mechanisms involve dynamic local-to-global transitions similar to semantic search, and are these transitions governed by the general control of attention, associated with working memory span? To find out, we asked participants to…

  12. Dynamic Search and Working Memory in Social Recall

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hills, Thomas T.; Pachur, Thorsten

    2012-01-01

    What are the mechanisms underlying search in social memory (e.g., remembering the people one knows)? Do the search mechanisms involve dynamic local-to-global transitions similar to semantic search, and are these transitions governed by the general control of attention, associated with working memory span? To find out, we asked participants to…

  13. An Ideal Observer Analysis of Visual Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sims, Chris R.; Jacobs, Robert A.; Knill, David C.

    2012-01-01

    Limits in visual working memory (VWM) strongly constrain human performance across many tasks. However, the nature of these limits is not well understood. In this article we develop an ideal observer analysis of human VWM by deriving the expected behavior of an optimally performing but limited-capacity memory system. This analysis is framed around…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plancher, Gaen; Barrouillet, Pierre

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swanson, H. Lee

    2008-01-01

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

  16. The Dynamics of Access to Groups in Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrell, Simon; Lelievre, Anna

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Functional Neuroanatomy of Spatial Working Memory in Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Charles A.; Monk, Christopher S.; Lin, Joseph; Carver, Leslie J.; Thomas, Kathleen M.; Truwit, Charles L.

    2000-01-01

    Used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine spatial working memory in 8- to 11-year-olds tested under 3 conditions. Found that subtracting activation of the motor condition from the memory condition revealed activity in dorsal aspects of the prefrontal cortex and in the posterior parietal and anterior cingulate cortex. Analysis of…

  18. A Working Memory System With Distributed Executive Control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandierendonck, André

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. What’s working in working memory training? An educational perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Redick, Thomas S.; Shipstead, Zach; Wiemers, Elizabeth A.; Melby-Lervåg, Monica; Hulme, Charles

    2015-01-01

    Working memory training programs have generated great interest, with claims that the training interventions can have profound beneficial effects on children’s academic and intellectual attainment. We describe the criteria by which to evaluate evidence for or against the benefit of working memory training. Despite the promising results of initial research studies, the current review of all of the available evidence of working memory training efficacy is less optimistic. Our conclusion is that ...

  1. The ties to unbind: Age-related differences in feature (unbinding in working memory for emotional faces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Didem ePehlivanoglu

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available In the present study, we investigated age-related differences in the processing of emotional stimuli. Specifically, we were interested in whether older adults would show deficits in unbinding emotional expression (i.e., either no emotion, happiness, anger, or disgust from bound stimuli (i.e., photographs of faces expressing these emotions, as a hyperbinding account of age-related differences in working memory would predict. Younger and older adults completed different N-Back tasks (side-by-side 0-Back, 1-Back, 2-Back under three conditions: match/mismatch judgments based on either the identity of the face (identity condition, the face’s emotional expression (expression condition, or both identity and expression of the face (binding condition. Both age groups performed more slowly and with lower accuracy in the expression condition than in the binding condition, indicating the presence of an unbinding process. This unbinding effect was more pronounced in older adults than in younger adults, but only in the 2-Back task. Thus, older adults seemed to have a specific deficit in unbinding in working memory, over and beyond age-related differences observed in perceptual processing (0-Back and attention/short-term memory (1-Back. Additionally, no age-related differences were found in accuracy in the 0-Back task, but such differences emerged in the 1-Back task, and were further magnified in the 2-Back task, indicating independent age-related differences in attention/short-term memory and working memory. Pupil dilation data confirmed that the attention/short-term memory version of the task (1-Back is more effortful in older adults than younger adults.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Michela Balconi

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Measuring working memory is all fun and games: a four-dimensional spatial game predicts cognitive task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkins, Sharona M; Sprenger, Amber M; Colflesh, Gregory J H; Briner, Timothy L; Buchanan, Jacob B; Chavis, Sydnee E; Chen, Sy-Yu; Iannuzzi, Gregory L; Kashtelyan, Vadim; Dowling, Eamon; Harbison, J Isaiah; Bolger, Donald J; Bunting, Michael F; Dougherty, Michael R

    2014-01-01

    We developed a novel four-dimensional spatial task called Shapebuilder and used it to predict performance on a wide variety of cognitive tasks. In six experiments, we illustrate that Shapebuilder: (1) Loads on a common factor with complex working memory (WM) span tasks and that it predicts performance on quantitative reasoning tasks and Ravens Progressive Matrices (Experiment 1), (2) Correlates well with traditional complex WM span tasks (Experiment 2), predicts performance on the conditional go/no go task (Experiment 3) and N-back (Experiment 4), and showed weak or nonsignificant correlations with the Attention Networks Task (Experiment 5), and task switching (Experiment 6). Shapebuilder shows that it exhibits minimal skew and kurtosis, and shows good reliability. We argue that Shapebuilder has many advantages over existing measures of WM, including the fact that it is largely language independent, is not prone to ceiling effects, and take less than 6 min to complete on average.

  4. Effectiveness of music therapy on focused attention, working memory and stress in Type 2 diabetes: An exploratory study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Indira Tumuluri

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive deficits are reported in diabetes mellitus type 2 (DM2. Previous research has shown that music-based intervention can not only reduce hyperglycemia but also target cognitive functions as well as stress. The aim of this exploratory study was to understand the effect of active participation in music therapy (MT on the cognitive deficits of DM2 patients. MT of twenty sessions was carried out with three participants with DM2. Serum cortisol, perceived stress, Color Trail Test (1 and 2, and verbal n-back (1 and 2 tests were used to measure the outcomes. Feedback was taken for the subjective ratings and satisfaction of the participants. Stress and cortisol reduced and focused attention and working memory improved in varying degrees. Subjectively, participants reported having benefitted from the intervention. This is the first attempt to investigate the effect of music-based intervention on cognitive function in DM2 patients using case study approach.

  5. Multitasking, working memory and remembering intentions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert H Logie

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Multitasking refers to the performance of a range of tasks that have to be completed within a limited time period. it differs from dual task paradigms in that tasks are performed not in parallel, but by interleaving, switching from one to the other. it differs also from task switching paradigms in that the time scale is very much longer, multiple different tasks are involved, and most tasks have a clear end point. Multitasking has been studied extensively with particular sets of experts such as in aviation and in the military, and impairments of multitasking performance have been studied in patients with frontal lobe lesions. Much less is known as to how multitasking is achieved in healthy adults who have not had specific training in the necessary skills. This paper will provide a brief review of research on everyday multitasking, and summarise the results of some recent experiments on simulated everyday tasks chosen to require advance and on-line planning, retrospective memory, prospective memory, and visual, spatial and verbal short-term memory.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Fockert, Jan W.; Bremner, Andrew J.

    2011-01-01

    An unexpected stimulus often remains unnoticed if attention is focused elsewhere. This inattentional blindness has been shown to be increased under conditions of high memory load. Here we show that increasing working memory load can also have the opposite effect of reducing inattentional blindness (i.e., improving stimulus detection) if stimulus…

  7. Memory rehabilitation for the working memory of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mousavi, Shokoufeh; Zare, Hossein; Etemadifar, Masoud; Taher Neshatdoost, Hamid

    2017-07-24

    The main cognitive impairments in multiple sclerosis (MS) affect the working memory, processing speed, and performances that are in close interaction with one another. Cognitive problems in MS are influenced to a lesser degree by disease recovery medications or treatments,but cognitive rehabilitation is considered one of the promising methods for cure. There is evidence regarding the effectiveness of cognitive rehabilitation for MS patients in various stages of the disease. Since the impairment in working memory is one of the main MS deficits, a particular training that affects this cognitive domain can be of a great value. This study aims to determine the effectiveness of memory rehabilitation on the working memory performance of MS patients. Sixty MS patients with cognitive impairment and similar in terms of demographic characteristics, duration of disease, neurological problems, and mental health were randomly assigned to three groups: namely, experimental, placebo, and control. Patients' cognitive evaluation incorporated baseline assessments immediately post-intervention and 5 weeks post-intervention. The experimental group received a cognitive rehabilitation program in one-hour sessions on a weekly basis for 8 weeks. The placebo group received relaxation techniques on a weekly basis; the control group received no intervention. The results of this study showed that the cognitive rehabilitation program had a positive effect on the working memory performance of patients with MS in the experimental group. These results were achieved in immediate evaluation (post-test) and follow-up 5 weeks after intervention. There was no significant difference in working memory performance between the placebo group and the control group. According to the study, there is evidence for the effectiveness of a memory rehabilitation program for the working memory of patients with MS. Cognitive rehabilitation can improve working memory disorders and have a positive effect on the

  8. Taking working memory training from the laboratory into schools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmes, Joni; Gathercole, Susan Elizabeth

    2014-07-01

    Working memory skills have been shown to be enhanced by adaptive training in several randomised controlled trials. Here, two field trials were conducted in which teachers administered working memory training to their own pupils in school. Twenty-two children aged 8-9 years participated in Trial 1. In Trial 2, 50 children aged 9-11 years with the lowest academic performance completed training. They were matched with a group of 50 children who were not trained. Following training, children in Trial 1 improved significantly in both trained and untrained working memory tasks, with effect sizes comparable to those reported in research studies. Improvements on the trained tasks in Trial 2 were comparable, and training was associated with significantly greater progress at school across the academic year in maths and English. These findings indicate that teacher-administered training leads to generalised and robust gains in working memory and educationally significant gains in academic performance.

  9. The role of working memory in tactile selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalton, Polly; Lavie, Nilli; Spence, Charles

    2009-04-01

    Load theory suggests that working memory controls the extent to which irrelevant distractors are processed (e.g., Lavie, Hirst, De Fockert, & Viding, 2004). However, so far this proposal has only been tested in vision. Here, we examine the extent to which tactile selective attention also depends on working memory. In Experiment 1, participants focused their attention on continuous target vibrations while attempting to ignore pulsed distractor vibrations. In Experiment 2, targets were always presented to a particular hand, with distractors being presented to the other hand. In both experiments, a high (vs. low) load in a concurrent working memory task led to greater interference by the tactile distractors. These results establish the role of working memory in the control of tactile selective attention, demonstrating for the first time that the principles of load theory also apply to the tactile modality.

  10. Working memory, fluid intelligence, and impulsiveness in heavy media multitaskers

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Minear, Meredith; Brasher, Faith; McCurdy, Mark; Lewis, Jack; Younggren, Andrea

    2013-01-01

    ...., we identified heavy media multitaskers (HMMs) and light media multitaskers (LMMs) and tested them on measures of attention, working memory, task switching, and fluid intelligence, as well as self-reported impulsivity and self-control...

  11. fMRI characterization of visual working memory recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-15

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

  12. Paradoxical facilitation of working memory after basolateral amygdala damage.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barak Morgan

    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

  13. Cognit activation: a mechanism enabling temporal integration in working memory

    OpenAIRE

    Fuster, Joaquín M.; Bressler, Steven L.

    2012-01-01

    Working memory is critical to the integration of information across time in goal-directed behavior, reasoning and language, yet its neural substrate is unknown. Based on recent research, we propose a mechanism by which the brain can retain working memory for prospective use, thereby bridging time in the perception/action cycle. The essence of the mechanism is the activation of cognits, which consist of distributed, overlapping and interactive cortical networks that in the aggregate encode the...

  14. Dark chocolate administration improves working memory in students

    OpenAIRE

    Nawanto Agung Prastowo; Samuel Kristanto; Poppy Kristina Sasmita

    2016-01-01

    Background Flavonoids have positive effects on health, including the nervous system. High flavonoid content can be found in chocolate, especially dark chocolate. Verbal working memory is important for reasoning, language comprehension, planning, and spatial processing. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of a single dose of dark and white chocolate administration on verbal working memory in medical students. Methods A study of experimental pre-post test design with...

  15. Dark chocolate administration improves working memory in students

    OpenAIRE

    Nawanto Agung Prastowo; Samuel Kristanto; Poppy Kristina Sasmita

    2016-01-01

    Background Flavonoids have positive effects on health, including the nervous system. High flavonoid content can be found in chocolate, especially dark chocolate. Verbal working memory is important for reasoning, language comprehension, planning, and spatial processing. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of a single dose of dark and white chocolate administration on verbal working memory in medical students. Methods A study of experimental pre-post test design with...

  16. Working Memory Capacity and Redundant Information Processing Efficiency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael John Endres

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-27

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

  18. Working memory and reward association learning impairments in obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coppin, Géraldine; Nolan-Poupart, Sarah; Jones-Gotman, Marilyn; Small, Dana M

    2014-12-01

    Obesity has been associated with impaired executive functions including working memory. Less explored is the influence of obesity on learning and memory. In the current study we assessed stimulus reward association learning, explicit learning and memory and working memory in healthy weight, overweight and obese individuals. Explicit learning and memory did not differ as a function of group. In contrast, working memory was significantly and similarly impaired in both overweight and obese individuals compared to the healthy weight group. In the first reward association learning task the obese, but not healthy weight or overweight participants consistently formed paradoxical preferences for a pattern associated with a negative outcome (fewer food rewards). To determine if the deficit was specific to food reward a second experiment was conducted using money. Consistent with Experiment 1, obese individuals selected the pattern associated with a negative outcome (fewer monetary rewards) more frequently than healthy weight individuals and thus failed to develop a significant preference for the most rewarded patterns as was observed in the healthy weight group. Finally, on a probabilistic learning task, obese compared to healthy weight individuals showed deficits in negative, but not positive outcome learning. Taken together, our results demonstrate deficits in working memory and stimulus reward learning in obesity and suggest that obese individuals are impaired in learning to avoid negative outcomes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Effects of treadmill exercise intensity on spatial working memory and long-term memory in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiao-Qin; Wang, Gong-Wu

    2016-03-15

    Moderate exercise promotes learning and memory. Most studies mainly focused on memory exercise effects of in the ageing and patients. There is lack of quantitative research about effect of regular exercise intensity on different memory types in normal subjects. Present study investigated the effects of different intensities of treadmill exercise on working memory and long-term memory. Fifty female Wistar rats were trained by T-maze delayed spatial alternation (DSA) task with 3 delays (10s, 60s and 300s). Then they got a 30min treadmill exercise for 30days in 4 intensities (control, 0m/min; lower, 15m/min; middle, 20m/min, and higher, 30m/min). Then animals were tested in DSA, passive avoidance and Morris water maze tasks. 1. Exercise increased the neuronal density of hippocampal subregions (CA1, CA3 and dentate gyrus) vs. naïve/control. 2. In DSA task, all groups have similar baseline, lower intensity improved 10s delay accuracy vs. baseline/control; middle and higher intensities improved 300s delay accuracy vs. baseline/control. 3. In water maze learning, all groups successfully found the platform, but middle intensity improved platform field crossing times vs. control in test phase. Present results suggested that treadmill exercise can improve long-term spatial memory and working memory; lower intensity benefits to short-term delayed working memory, and middle or higher intensity benefits to long-term delayed working memory. There was an inverted U dose-effect relationship between exercise intensity and memory performance, but exercise -working memory effect was impacted by delay duration. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-08-15

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

  1. Working Memory Regulates Trait Anxiety-Related Threat Processing Biases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Booth, Robert W; Mackintosh, Bundy; Sharma, Dinkar

    2016-12-19

    High trait anxious individuals tend to show biased processing of threat. Correlational evidence suggests that executive control could be used to regulate such threat-processing. On this basis, we hypothesized that trait anxiety-related cognitive biases regarding threat should be exaggerated when executive control is experimentally impaired by loading working memory. In Study 1, 68 undergraduates read ambiguous vignettes under high and low working memory load; later, their interpretations of these vignettes were assessed via a recognition test. Trait anxiety predicted biased interpretation of social threat vignettes under high working memory load, but not under low working memory load. In Study 2, 53 undergraduates completed a dot probe task with fear-conditioned Japanese characters serving as threat stimuli. Trait anxiety predicted attentional bias to the threat stimuli but, again, this only occurred under high working memory load. Interestingly however, actual eye movements toward the threat stimuli were only associated with state anxiety, and this was not moderated by working memory load, suggesting that executive control regulates biased threat-processing downstream of initial input processes such as orienting. These results suggest that cognitive loads can exacerbate trait anxiety-related cognitive biases, and therefore represent a useful tool for assessing cognitive biases in future research. More importantly, since biased threat-processing has been implicated in the etiology and maintenance of anxiety, poor executive control may be a risk factor for anxiety disorders. (PsycINFO Database Record

  2. Psychotic Experiences and Working Memory: A Population-Based Study Using Signal-Detection Analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodolfo Rossi

    Full Text Available Psychotic Experiences (PEs during adolescence index increased risk for psychotic disorders and schizophrenia in adult life. Working memory (WM deficits are a core feature of these disorders. Our objective was to examine the relationship between PEs and WM in a general population sample of young people in a case control study. 4744 individuals of age 17-18 from Bristol and surrounding areas (UK were analyzed in a cross-sectional study nested within the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC birth cohort study. The dependent variable was PEs, assessed using the semi-structured Psychosis-Like Symptom Interview (PLIKSi. The independent variable was performance on a computerized numerical n-back working memory task. Signal-Detection Theory indices, including standardized hits rate, false alarms rate, discriminability index (d' and response bias (c from 2-Back and 3-Back tasks were calculated. 3576 and 3527 individuals had complete data for 2-Back and 3-Back respectively. Suspected/definite PEs prevalence was 7.9% (N = 374. Strongest evidence of association was seen between PEs and false alarms on the 2-Back, (odds ratio (OR = 1.17 [95% confidence intervals (CI 1.01, 1.35] and 3-back (OR = 1.35 [1.18, 1.54] and with c (OR = 1.59 [1.09, 2.34], and lower d' (OR = 0.76 [0.65, 0.89], on the 3-Back. Adjustment for several potential confounders, including general IQ, drug exposure and different psycho-social factors, and subsequent multiple imputation of missing data did not materially alter the results. WM is impaired in young people with PEs in the general population. False alarms, rather than poor accuracy, are more closely related to PEs. Such impairment is consistent with different neuropsychological models of psychosis focusing on signal-to-noise discrimination, probabilistic reasoning and impaired reality monitoring as a basis of psychotic symptoms.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Artuso, Caterina; Palladino, Paola

    2016-02-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

    Memories that are recalled while working memory (WM) is taxed, e.g., by making eye movements (EM), become blurred during the recall + EM and later recall, without EM. This may help to explain the effects of Eye Movement and Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) in the treatment of post-traumatic

  5. Video game training enhances visuospatial working memory and episodic memory in older adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pilar eToril

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available In this longitudinal intervention study with experimental and control groups, we investigated the effects of video game training on the visuospatial working memory and episodic memory of healthy older adults. Participants were 19 volunteer older adults, who received 15 1-hr video game training sessions with a series of video games selected from a commercial package (Lumosity, and a control group of 20 healthy older adults. The results showed that the performance of the trainees improved significantly in all the practiced video games. Most importantly, we found significant enhancements after training in the trained group and no change in the control group in two computerized tasks designed to assess visuospatial working memory, namely the Corsi blocks task and the Jigsaw puzzle task. The episodic memory and short-term memory of the trainees also improved. Gains in some working memory and episodic memory tasks were maintained during a 3-month follow-up period. These results suggest that the aging brain still retains some degree of plasticity, and that video game training might be an effective intervention tool to improve working memory and other cognitive functions in older adults.

  6. Working memory binding and episodic memory formation in aging, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer's dementia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geldorp, B. van; Heringa, S.M.; Berg, E. van den; Olde Rikkert, M.G.M.; Biessels, G.J.; Kessels, R.P.

    2015-01-01

    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

  7. Noninvasive optical evaluation of low frequency oscillations in prefrontal cortex hemodynamics during verbal working memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ting; Zhao, Yue; Li, Kai; Sun, Yunlong

    2014-03-01

    The low frequency oscillation (LFO) around 0.1 Hz has been observed recently in cerebral hemodynamic signals during rest/sleep, enhanced breathing, and head- up-tilting, showing that cerebral autoregulation can be accessed by LFOs. However, many brain function researches require direct measurement of LFOs during specified brain function activities. This pilot study explored using near-infrared spectroscopy/imaging (NIRS) to noninvasively and simultaneously detect LFOs of prefrontal cerebral hemodynamics (i.e., oxygenated/deoxygenated/total hemoglobin concentration: △[oxy-Hb]/ △[deoxy-Hb]/ △[tot-Hb]) during N-back visual verbal working memory task. The LFOs were extracted from the measured variables using power spectral analysis. We found the brain activation sites struck clear LFOs while other sites did not. The LFO of △[deoxy-Hb] acted as a negative pike and ranged in (0.05, 0.1) Hz, while LFOs of △[oxy-Hb] and △[tot-Hb] acted as a positive pike and ranged in (0.1, 0.15) Hz. The amplitude difference and frequency lag between △[deoxy-Hb] and △[oxy-Hb]/ △[tot-Hb] produced a more focused and sensitive activation map compare to hemodynamic amplitude-quantified activation maps. This study observed LFOs in brain activities and showed strong potential of LFOs in accessing brain functions.

  8. Stroop proactive control and task conflict are modulated by concurrent working memory load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalanthroff, Eyal; Avnit, Amir; Henik, Avishai; Davelaar, Eddy J; Usher, Marius

    2015-06-01

    Performance on the Stroop task reflects two types of conflict-informational (between the incongruent word and font color) and task (between the contextually relevant color-naming task and the irrelevant, but automatic, word-reading task). According to the dual mechanisms of control theory (DMC; Braver, 2012), variability in Stroop performance can result from variability in the deployment of a proactive task-demand control mechanism. Previous research has shown that when proactive control (PC) is diminished, both increased Stroop interference and a reversed Stroop facilitation (RF) are observed. Although the current DMC model accounts for the former effect, it does not predict the observed RF, which is considered to be behavioral evidence for task conflict in the Stroop task. Here we expanded the DMC model to account for Stroop RF. Assuming that a concurrent working memory (WM) task reduces PC, we predicted both increased interference and an RF. Nineteen participants performed a standard Stroop task combined with a concurrent n-back task, which was aimed at reducing available WM resources, and thus overloading PC. Although the results indicated common Stroop interference and facilitation in the low-load condition (zero-back), in the high-load condition (two-back), both increased Stroop interference and RF were observed, consistent with the model's prediction. These findings indicate that PC is modulated by concurrent WM load and serves as a common control mechanism for both informational and task Stroop conflicts.

  9. Khat use is associated with impaired working memory and cognitive flexibility.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorenza S Colzato

    Full Text Available RATIONALE: Khat consumption has increased during the last decades in Eastern Africa and has become a global phenomenon spreading to ethnic communities in the rest of the world, such as The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. Very little is known, however, about the relation between khat use and cognitive control functions in khat users. OBJECTIVE: We studied whether khat use is associated with changes in working memory (WM and cognitive flexibility, two central cognitive control functions. METHODS: Khat users and khat-free controls were matched in terms of sex, ethnicity, age, alcohol and cannabis consumption, and IQ (Raven's progressive matrices. Groups were tested on cognitive flexibility, as measured by a Global-Local task, and on WM using an N-back task. RESULT: Khat users performed significantly worse than controls on tasks tapping into cognitive flexibility as well as monitoring of information in WM. CONCLUSIONS: The present findings suggest that khat use impairs both cognitive flexibility and the updating of information in WM. The inability to monitor information in WM and to adjust behavior rapidly and flexibly may have repercussions for daily life activities.

  10. Short-term facilitation may stabilize parametric working memory trace

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    Vladimir eItskov

    2011-10-01

    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.

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

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    Zamora, Leona; Corina, David; Ojemann, George

    2016-06-01

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

  12. A Latent Variable Analysis of Working Memory Capacity, Short-Term Memory Capacity, Processing Speed, and General Fluid Intelligence.

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    Conway, Andrew R. A.; Cowan, Nelsin; Bunting, Michael F.; Therriault, David J.; Minkoff, Scott R. B.

    2002-01-01

    Studied the interrelationships among general fluid intelligence, short-term memory capacity, working memory capacity, and processing speed in 120 young adults and used structural equation modeling to determine the best predictor of general fluid intelligence. Results suggest that working memory capacity, but not short-term memory capacity or…

  13. Comparative Overview of Visuospatial Working Memory in Monkeys and Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsutsui, Ken-Ichiro; Oyama, Kei; Nakamura, Shinya; Iijima, Toshio

    2016-01-01

    Neural mechanisms of working memory, particularly its visuospatial aspect, have long been studied in non-human primates. On the other hand, rodents are becoming more important in systems neuroscience, as many of the innovative research methods have become available for them. There has been a question on whether primates and rodents have similar neural backgrounds for working memory. In this article, we carried out a comparative overview of the neural mechanisms of visuospatial working memory in monkeys and rats. In monkeys, a number of lesion studies indicate that the brain region most responsible for visuospatial working memory is the ventral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (vDLPFC), as the performance in the standard tests for visuospatial working memory, such as delayed response and delayed alternation tasks, are impaired by lesions in this region. Single-unit studies revealed a characteristic firing pattern in neurons in this area, a sustained delay activity. Further studies indicated that the information maintained in the working memory, such as cue location and response direction in a delayed response, is coded in the sustained delay activity. In rats, an area comparable to the monkey vDLPFC was found to be the dorsal part of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), as the delayed alternation in a T-maze is impaired by its lesion. Recently, the sustained delay activity similar to that found in monkeys has been found in the dorsal mPFC of rats performing the delayed response task. Furthermore, anatomical studies indicate that the vDLPFC in monkeys and the dorsal mPFC in rats have much in common, such as that they are both the major targets of parieto-frontal projections. Thus lines of evidence indicate that in both monkeys and rodents, the PFC plays a critical role in working memory.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

    Spelling a word involves the retrieval of information about the word's letters and their order from long-term memory as well as the maintenance and processing of this information by working memory in preparation for serial production by the motor system. While it is known that brain lesions may selectively affect orthographic long-term memory and working memory processes, relatively little is known about the neurotopographic distribution of the substrates that support these cognitive processes, or the lesions that give rise to the distinct forms of dysgraphia that affect these cognitive processes. To examine these issues, this study uses a voxel-based mapping approach to analyse the lesion distribution of 27 individuals with dysgraphia subsequent to stroke, who were identified on the basis of their behavioural profiles alone, as suffering from deficits only affecting either orthographic long-term or working memory, as well as six other individuals with deficits affecting both sets of processes. The findings provide, for the first time, clear evidence of substrates that selectively support orthographic long-term and working memory processes, with orthographic long-term memory deficits centred in either the left posterior inferior frontal region or left ventral temporal cortex, and orthographic working memory deficits primarily arising from lesions of the left parietal cortex centred on the intraparietal sulcus. These findings also contribute to our understanding of the relationship between the neural instantiation of written language processes and spoken language, working memory and other cognitive skills. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. ERP evidence that auditory-visual speech facilitates working memory in younger and older adults.

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    Frtusova, Jana B; Winneke, Axel H; Phillips, Natalie A

    2013-06-01

    Auditory-visual (AV) speech enhances speech perception and facilitates auditory processing, as measured by event-related brain potentials (ERPs). Considering a perspective of shared resources between perceptual and cognitive processes, facilitated speech perception may render more resources available for higher-order functions. This study examined whether AV speech facilitation leads to better working memory (WM) performance in 23 younger and 20 older adults. Participants completed an n-back task (0- to 3-back) under visual-only (V-only), auditory-only (A-only), and AV conditions. The results showed faster responses across all memory loads and improved accuracy in the most demanding conditions (2- and 3-back) during AV compared with unisensory conditions. Older adults benefited from the AV presentation to the same extent as younger adults. WM performance of older adults during the AV presentation did not differ from that of younger adults in the A-only condition, suggesting that an AV presentation can help to counteract some of the age-related WM decline. The ERPs showed a decrease in the auditory N1 amplitude during the AV compared with A-only presentation in older adults, suggesting that the facilitation of perceptual processing becomes especially beneficial with aging. Additionally, the N1 occurred earlier in the AV than in the A-only condition for both age groups. These AV-induced modulations of auditory processing correlated with improvement in certain behavioral and ERP measures of WM. These results support an integrated model between perception and cognition, and suggest that processing speech under AV conditions enhances WM performance of both younger and older adults. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.

  16. Working memory-related functional brain patterns in never medicated children with ADHD.

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    Isabelle Massat

    Full Text Available Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD is a pervasive neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by 3 clusters of age-inappropriate cardinal symptoms: inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. These clinical/behavioural symptoms are assumed to result from disturbances within brain systems supporting executive functions including working memory (WM, which refers to the ability to transiently store and flexibly manipulate task-relevant information. Ongoing or past medications, co-morbidity and differences in task performance are potential, independent confounds in assessing the integrity of cerebral patterns in ADHD. In the present study, we recorded WM-related cerebral activity during a memory updating N-back task using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI in control children and never medicated, prepubescent children with ADHD but without comorbid symptoms. Despite similar updating performance than controls, children with ADHD exhibited decreased, below baseline WM-related activation levels in a widespread cortico-subcortical network encompassing bilateral occipital and inferior parietal areas, caudate nucleus, cerebellum and functionally connected brainstem nuclei. Distinctive functional connectivity patterns were also found in the ADHD in these regions, with a tighter coupling in the updating than in the control condition with a distributed WM-related cerebral network. Especially, cerebellum showed tighter coupling with activity in an area compatible with the brainstem red nucleus. These results in children with clinical core symptoms of ADHD but without comorbid affections and never treated with medication yield evidence for a core functional neuroanatomical network subtending WM-related processes in ADHD, which may participate to the pathophysiology and expression of clinical symptoms.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Logie, Robert H; Cowan, Nelson

    2015-04-01

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

  18. Individual differences in working memory capacity and temporal discrimination.

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    James M Broadway

    Full Text Available Temporal judgment in the milliseconds-to-seconds range depends on consistent attention to time and robust working memory representation. Individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC predict a wide range of higher-order and lower-order cognitive abilities. In the present work we examined whether WMC would predict temporal discrimination. High-WMC individuals were more sensitive than low-WMC at discriminating the longer of two temporal intervals across a range of temporal differences. WMC-related individual differences in temporal discrimination were not eliminated by including a measure of fluid intelligence as a covariate. Results are discussed in terms of attention, working memory and other psychological constructs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  20. Game elements improve performance in a working memory training task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Ninaus

    2015-02-01

    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. 

  1. INTERACTIONS BETWEEN WORKING MEMORY AND CREATIVITY: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW

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    Taís Crema Remoli

    2017-03-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel de Abreu, Pascale M J

    2011-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  4. Walking while performing working memory tasks changes the prefrontal cortex hemodynamic activations and gait kinematics

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    Ming-I Brandon Lin

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available BackgroundIncreasing evidence suggests that walking while performing a concurrent task negatively influences gait performance. However, it remains unclear how higher-level cognitive processes and coordination of limb movements are altered in challenging walking environments. This study investigated the influence of cognitive task complexity and walking road condition on the neutral correlates of executive function and postural control in dual-task walking. MethodsTwenty-four healthy young adults completed a series of overground walks with three walking road conditions (wide, narrow, with obstacles with and without the concurrent n-back working memory tasks of two complexity levels (1-back and 3-back. Prefrontal brain activation was assessed by functional near-infrared spectroscopy. A three-dimensional motion analysis system was used simultaneously to measure gait performance and lower-extremity kinematics. Repeated measures analysis of variance were performed to examine the differences between the conditions. ResultsIn comparison with standing still, participants showed lower n-back task accuracy while walking, with the worst performance from the road with obstacles. Spatiotemporal gait parameters, lower-extremity joint movements, and the relative changes in oxygenated hemoglobin (HbO concentration levels were all significantly different across the task complexity and walking path conditions. While dual-tasking participants were found to flex their hips and knees less, leading to a slower gait speed, longer stride time, shorter step length, and greater gait variability than during normal walking. For narrow-road walking, smaller ankle dorsiflexion and larger hip flexion were observed, along with a reduced gait speed. Obstacle negotiation was mainly characterized by increased gait variability than other conditions. HbO levels appeared to be lower during dual-task walking than normal walking. Compared to wide and obstacle conditions, walking on

  5. The impact of taxing working memory on negative and positive memories

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    Iris M. Engelhard

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: Earlier studies have shown that horizontal eye movement (EM during retrieval of a negative memory reduces its vividness and emotionality. This may be due to both tasks competing for working memory (WM resources. This study examined whether playing the computer game “Tetris” also blurs memory. Method: Participants recalled negative and positive memories in three conditions: recall only, recall with concurrent EM, and recall with playing Tetris. Before and after these conditions, vividness, emotionality, and physiological startle responses during recall were measured. Results: A reaction time task showed that EM and Tetris both draw on WM, compared to no dual-task. Compared to recall only, EM and Tetris decreased reported emotionality and startle responses. Conclusions: The effects of EM and Tetris did not differ, even though the tasks differed in the degree of taxing WM. This suggests that taxing WM and its effects on emotional memories may not be linearly related. Potential clinical implications are discussed.

  6. A Connectionist/Control Architecture for Working Memory and Workload: Why Working Memory Is Not 7+ /-2

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-09-29

    major should be called into question. Klapp . Marshburu. and i experimental effects are often cited as supporting buffer Lester (1983) have clearly...effect found In digit and word Sternberg scanning task (experiment #7). Klapp and span. Buffers are reflected in the connectlonist/control Philipoff...ofcaulto.Cgion1.9510 Klapp , S.T.. Marshburn. E.A.. & P.T. Lester (193). Short-term memory does not Involve the 8working memory* of Information processlng

  7. Sex-Related Differences in the Effects of Sleep Habits on Verbal and Visuospatial Working Memory

    OpenAIRE

    Seishu Nakagawa; Hikaru Takeuchi; Yasuyuki Taki; Rui Nouchi; Atsushi Sekiguchi; Yuka Kotozaki; Carlos Makoto Miyauchi; Kunio Iizuka; Ryoichi Yokoyama; Takamitsu Shinada; Yuki Yamamoto; Sugiko Hanawa; Tsuyoshi Araki; Keiko Kunitoki; Yuko Sassa

    2016-01-01

    Sleep facilitates memory consolidation. Consequently, poor sleep quality negatively affects memory performance, and working memory in particular. We investigated sleep habits related to sleep quality including sleep duration, daytime nap duration, nap frequency, and dream content recall frequency (DCRF). Declarative working memory can be subdivided into verbal working memory (VWM) and visuospatial working memory (VSWM). We hypothesized that sleep habits would have different effects on VWM and...

  8. Why is working memory capacity related to matrix reasoning tasks?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

    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.

  9. Interaction of Working Memory, Compressor Speed and Background Noise Characteristics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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 situations involve modulated noise. The investigation was carried out by testing two groups of older adults...... with similar degrees of mild-­‐to-­‐moderate sensorineural loss but different working memory abilities. The two groups were tested in their ability to understand a speech signal presented within a modulated background noise, processed with slow and fast compression. The extent of background noise modulation...

  10. Longitudinal study of spatial working memory development in young children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsujii, Takeo; Yamamoto, Eriko; Masuda, Sayako; Watanabe, Shigeru

    2009-05-27

    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.

  11. Tactile perception and working memory in rats and humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fassihi, Arash; Akrami, Athena; Esmaeili, Vahid; Diamond, Mathew E

    2014-02-11

    Primates can store sensory stimulus parameters in working memory for subsequent manipulation, but until now, there has been no demonstration of this capacity in rodents. Here we report tactile working memory in rats. Each stimulus is a vibration, generated as a series of velocity values sampled from a normal distribution. To perform the task, the rat positions its whiskers to receive two such stimuli, "base" and "comparison," separated by a variable delay. It then judges which stimulus had greater velocity SD. In analogous experiments, humans compare two vibratory stimuli on the fingertip. We demonstrate that the ability of rats to hold base stimulus information (for up to 8 s) and their acuity in assessing stimulus differences overlap the performance demonstrated by humans. This experiment highlights the ability of rats to perceive the statistical structure of vibrations and reveals their previously unknown capacity to store sensory information in working memory.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  13. Tactile perception and working memory in rats and humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fassihi, Arash; Akrami, Athena; Esmaeili, Vahid; Diamond, Mathew E.

    2014-01-01

    Primates can store sensory stimulus parameters in working memory for subsequent manipulation, but until now, there has been no demonstration of this capacity in rodents. Here we report tactile working memory in rats. Each stimulus is a vibration, generated as a series of velocity values sampled from a normal distribution. To perform the task, the rat positions its whiskers to receive two such stimuli, “base” and “comparison,” separated by a variable delay. It then judges which stimulus had greater velocity SD. In analogous experiments, humans compare two vibratory stimuli on the fingertip. We demonstrate that the ability of rats to hold base stimulus information (for up to 8 s) and their acuity in assessing stimulus differences overlap the performance demonstrated by humans. This experiment highlights the ability of rats to perceive the statistical structure of vibrations and reveals their previously unknown capacity to store sensory information in working memory. PMID:24449850

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  15. Self-regulation and working memory in musical performers.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  17. Working memory and intelligence: the same or different constructs?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

    Several investigators have claimed over the past decade that working memory (WM) and general intelligence (g) are identical, or nearly identical, constructs, from an individual-differences perspective. Although memory measures are commonly included in intelligence tests, and memory abilities are included in theories of intelligence, the identity between WM and intelligence has not been evaluated comprehensively. The authors conducted a meta-analysis of 86 samples that relate WM to intelligence. The average correlation between true-score estimates of WM and g is substantially less than unity (p=.479). The authors also focus on the distinction between short-term memory and WM with respect to intelligence with a supplemental meta-analysis. The authors discuss how consideration of psychometric and theoretical perspectives better informs the discussion of WM-intelligence relations.

  18. Cognitive control in auditory working memory is enhanced in musicians.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  19. Controlling attention to nociceptive stimuli with working memory.

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    Valéry Legrain

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  1. Cognitive control in auditory working memory is enhanced in musicians.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-06-15

    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.

  2. Assessing the Driver’s Current Level of Working Memory Load with High Density Functional Near-infrared Spectroscopy: A Realistic Driving Simulator Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anirudh Unni

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive overload or underload results in a decrease in human performance which may result in fatal incidents while driving. We envision that driver assistive systems which adapt their functionality to the driver’s cognitive state could be a promising approach to reduce road accidents due to human errors. This research attempts to predict variations of cognitive working memory load levels in a natural driving scenario with multiple parallel tasks and to reveal predictive brain areas. We used a modified version of the n-back task to induce five different working memory load levels (from 0-back up to 4-back forcing the participants to continuously update, memorize, and recall the previous ‘n’ speed sequences and adjust their speed accordingly while they drove for approximately 60 min on a highway with concurrent traffic in a virtual reality driving simulator. We measured brain activation using multichannel whole head, high density functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS and predicted working memory load level from the fNIRS data by combining multivariate lasso regression and cross-validation. This allowed us to predict variations in working memory load in a continuous time-resolved manner with mean Pearson correlations between induced and predicted working memory load over 15 participants of 0.61 [standard error (SE 0.04] and a maximum of 0.8. Restricting the analysis to prefrontal sensors placed over the forehead reduced the mean correlation to 0.38 (SE 0.04, indicating additional information gained through whole head coverage. Moreover, working memory load predictions derived from peripheral heart rate parameters achieved much lower correlations (mean 0.21, SE 0.1. Importantly, whole head fNIRS sampling revealed increasing brain activation in bilateral inferior frontal and bilateral temporo-occipital brain areas with increasing working memory load levels suggesting that these areas are specifically involved in workload

  3. Acute stress and working memory in older people.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Dynamics of the Human Structural Connectome Underlying Working Memory Training

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metzler-Baddeley, Claudia; Foley, Sonya; Jones, Derek K.

    2016-01-01

    Brain region-specific changes have been demonstrated with a variety of cognitive training interventions. The effect of cognitive training on brain subnetworks in humans, however, remains largely unknown, with studies limited to functional networks. Here, we used a well-established working memory training program and state-of-the art neuroimaging methods in 40 healthy adults (21 females, mean age 26.5 years). Near and far-transfer training effects were assessed using computerized working memory and executive function tasks. Adaptive working memory training led to improvement on (non)trained working memory tasks and generalization to tasks of reasoning and inhibition. Graph theoretical analysis of the structural (white matter) network connectivity (“connectome”) revealed increased global integration within a frontoparietal attention network following adaptive working memory training compared with the nonadaptive group. Furthermore, the impact on the outcome of graph theoretical analyses of different white matter metrics to infer “connection strength” was evaluated. Increased efficiency of the frontoparietal network was best captured when using connection strengths derived from MR metrics that are thought to be more sensitive to differences in myelination (putatively indexed by the [quantitative] longitudinal relaxation rate, R1) than previously used diffusion MRI metrics (fractional anisotropy or fiber-tracking recovered streamlines). Our findings emphasize the critical role of specific microstructural markers in providing important hints toward the mechanisms underpinning training-induced plasticity that may drive working memory improvement in clinical populations. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT This is the first study to explore training-induced changes in the structural connectome using a well-controlled design to examine cognitive training with up-to-date neuroimaging methods. We found changes in global integration based on white matter connectivity within a

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marton, Klara; Campanelli, Luca; Farkas, Lajos

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Modeling visual working memory with the MemToolbox.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suchow, Jordan W; Brady, Timothy F; Fougnie, Daryl; Alvarez, George A

    2013-08-20

    The MemToolbox is a collection of MATLAB functions for modeling visual working memory. In support of its goal to provide a full suite of data analysis tools, the toolbox includes implementations of popular models of visual working memory, real and simulated data sets, Bayesian and maximum likelihood estimation procedures for fitting models to data, visualizations of data and fit, validation routines, model comparison metrics, and experiment scripts. The MemToolbox is released under the permissive BSD license and is available at http://memtoolbox.org.

  8. Contrasting single and multi-component working-memory systems in dual tasking

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijboer, Menno; Borst, Jelmer; van Rijn, Hedderik; Taatgen, Niels

    2016-01-01

    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.

  9. Contrasting single and multi-component working-memory systems in dual tasking

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijboer, Menno; Borst, Jelmer; van Rijn, Hedderik; Taatgen, Niels

    2016-01-01

    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. W

  10. Have We Forgotten Auditory Sensory Memory? Retention Intervals in Studies of Nonverbal Auditory Working Memory

    OpenAIRE

    Michael A. Nees

    2016-01-01

    Researchers have shown increased interest in mechanisms of working memory for nonverbal sounds such as music and environmental sounds. These studies often have used two-stimulus comparison tasks: two sounds separated by a brief retention interval (often 3 to 5 s) are compared, and a same or different judgment is recorded. Researchers seem to have assumed that sensory memory has a negligible impact on performance in auditory two-stimulus comparison tasks. This assumption is examined in detai...

  11. Have We Forgotten Auditory Sensory Memory? Retention Intervals in Studies of Nonverbal Auditory Working Memory

    OpenAIRE

    Michael A. Nees

    2016-01-01

    Researchers have shown increased interest in mechanisms of working memory for nonverbal sounds such as music and environmental sounds. These studies often have used two-stimulus comparison tasks: two sounds separated by a brief retention interval (often 3–5 s) are compared, and a “same” or “different” judgment is recorded. Researchers seem to have assumed that sensory memory has a negligible impact on performance in auditory two-stimulus comparison tasks. This assumption is examined in detail...

  12. Interactions with musical long-term memory are a critical component of musical working memory

    OpenAIRE

    Gorin, Simon; Majerus, Steve

    2013-01-01

    The nature and mechanisms of working memory (WM) for musical information remain poorly understood. The aim of this study is to show that musical WM strongly depends upon long-term memory (LTM) mechanisms and requires access to the long-term musical knowledge base. Two groups of participants (musicians and non-musicians) participated first in an implicit learning task during which they heard for about 30 minutes a continuous sequence of tones governed by a new musical grammar. Then, they perfo...

  13. Capacity, Control, or Both – Which Aspects of Working Memory Contribute to Children’s General Fluid Intelligence?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nęcka Edward

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Starting from the assumption that working memory capacity is an important predictor of general fluid intelligence, we asked which aspects of working memory account for this relationship. Two theoretical stances are discussed. The first one posits that the important explanatory factor is storage capacity, roughly defined as the number of chunks possible to hold in the focus of attention. The second one claims that intelligence is explained by the efficiency of executive control, for instance, by prepotent response inhibition. We investigated 96 children at the age between 10 and 13. They completed a version of the n-back task that allows assessment of both storage capacity and inhibitory control. They also completed Raven’s Progressive Matrices as the fluid intelligence test and the Test for Creative Thinking - Drawing Production, for control purposes. We found that Raven’s scores correlated negatively with the number of unnecessary responses to irrelevant stimuli but they did not correlate with the number of signal detections. We conclude that children’s fluid intelligence depends on inhibitory control, with no relationship with storage capacity.

  14. Maternal working memory and reactive negativity in parenting.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  15. A bilateral advantage for storage in visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umemoto, Akina; Drew, Trafton; Ester, Edward F; Awh, Edward

    2010-10-01

    Various studies have demonstrated enhanced visual processing when information is presented across both visual hemifields rather than in a single hemifield (the bilateral advantage). For example, Alvarez and Cavanagh (2005) reported that observers were able to track twice as many moving visual stimuli when the tracked items were presented bilaterally rather than unilaterally, suggesting that independent resources enable tracking in the two visual fields. Motivated by similarities in the apparent capacity and neural substrates that mediate tracking and visual working memory (WM), the present work examined whether or not a bilateral advantage also arises during storage in visual WM. Using a recall procedure to assess working memory for orientation information, we found a reliable bilateral advantage; recall error was smaller with bilateral sample displays than with unilateral displays. To demonstrate that the bilateral advantage influenced storage per se rather than just encoding efficiency, we replicated the observed bilateral advantage using sequentially presented stimuli. Finally, to further characterize how bilateral presentations enhanced storage in working memory, we measured both the number and the resolution of the stored items and found that bilateral presentations lead to an increased probability of storage, rather than enhanced mnemonic resolution. Thus, the bilateral advantage extends beyond the initial selection and encoding of visual information to influence online maintenance in visual working memory. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Can we throw information out of visual working memory and does this leave informational residue in long-term memory?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashleigh Monette Maxcey

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Can we entirely erase a temporary memory representation from mind? This question has been addressed in several recent studies that tested the specific hypothesis that a representation can be erased from visual working memory based on a cue that indicated that the representation was no longer necessary for the task. In addition to behavioral results that are consistent with the idea that we can throw information out of visual working memory, recent neurophysiological recordings support this proposal. However, given the infinite capacity of long-term memory, it is unclear whether throwing a representation out of visual working memory really removes its effects on memory entirely. In this paper we advocate for an approach that examines our ability to erase memory representations from working memory, as well as possible traces that those erased representations leave in long-term memory.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-20

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Infanti, Elisa; Hickey, Clayton; Turatto, Massimo

    2015-02-01

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

  20. Context controls access to working and reference memory in the pigeon (Columba livia).

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    The interaction between working and reference memory systems was examined under conditions in which salient contextual cues were presented during memory retrieval. Ambient colored lights (red or green) bathed the operant chamber during the presentation of comparison stimuli in delayed matching-to-sample training (working memory) and during the presentation of the comparison stimuli as S+ and S- cues in discrimination training (reference memory). Strong competition between memory systems appeared when the same contextual cue appeared during working and reference memory training. When different contextual cues were used, however, working memory was completely protected from reference memory interference.

  1. SYNCHRONOUS CMC, WORKING MEMORY, AND L2 ORAL PROFICIENCY DEVELOPMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Scott Payne

    2005-09-01

    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.

  2. Phonological Working Memory for Words and Nonwords in Cerebral Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  3. A Working Memory, Not Bilingual Advantage, in Controlled Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Namazi, Mahchid; Thordardottir, Elin

    2010-01-01

    We explored the relationship between working memory (WM) and visually controlled attention (CA) in young bilingual and monolingual children. Previous research has shown that balanced bilingual children outperform monolinguals in CA. However, it is unclear whether this advantage is truly associated with bilingualism or whether potential WM and/or…

  4. Working Memory Deficits in Children with Specific Learning Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuchardt, Kirsten; Maehler, Claudia; Hasselhorn, Marcus

    2008-01-01

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

  5. Working memory dysfunctions predict social problem solving skills in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jia; Tan, Shu-ping; Walsh, Sarah C; Spriggens, Lauren K; Neumann, David L; Shum, David H K; Chan, Raymond C K

    2014-12-15

    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.

  6. Visual working memory is disrupted by covert verbal retrieval

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ricker, Timothy J.; Cowan, Nelson; Morey, Candice C.

    2010-01-01

    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 interfer

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levens, Sara M.; Gotlib, Ian H.

    2010-01-01

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

  8. No Role for Motor Affordances in Visual Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pecher, Diane

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melby-Lervag, Monica; Hulme, Charles

    2013-01-01

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

  10. ADHD subtype differences in reinforcement sensitivity and visuospatial working memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dovis, S.; van der Oord, S.; Wiers, R.W.; Prins, P.J.M.

    2015-01-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  12. Music Training and Working Memory: An ERP Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, Elyse M.; Coch, Donna

    2011-01-01

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

  13. Effects of Skill Training on Working Memory Capacity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  15. Quantifying the reconfiguration of intrinsic networks during working memory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica R Cohen

    Full Text Available Rapid, flexible reconfiguration of connections across brain regions is thought to underlie successful cognitive control. Two intrinsic networks in particular, the cingulo-opercular (CO and fronto-parietal (FP, are thought to underlie two operations critical for cognitive control: task-set maintenance/tonic alertness and adaptive, trial-by-trial updating. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we directly tested whether the functional connectivity of the CO and FP networks was related to cognitive demands and behavior. We focused on working memory because of evidence that during working memory tasks the entire brain becomes more integrated. When specifically probing the CO and FP cognitive control networks, we found that individual regions of both intrinsic networks were active during working memory and, as expected, integration across the two networks increased during task blocks that required cognitive control. Crucially, increased integration between each of the cognitive control networks and a task-related, non-cognitive control network (the hand somatosensory-motor network; SM was related to increased accuracy. This implies that dynamic reconfiguration of the CO and FP networks so as to increase their inter-network communication underlies successful working memory.

  16. Dark chocolate administration improves working memory in students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nawanto Agung Prastowo

    2016-04-01

    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.

  17. Dissociable mechanisms underlying individual differences in visual working memory capacity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gulbinaite, Rasa; Johnson, Addie; de Jong, Ritske; Morey, Candice C.; van Rijn, Hedderik

    2014-01-01

    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 inform

  18. Effects of Skill Training on Working Memory Capacity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alamolhodaei, Hassan

    2009-01-01

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

  20. Phonological and Visuospatial Working Memory in Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macizo, P.; Soriano, M. F.; Paredes, N.

    2016-01-01

    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…

  1. Working Memory Updating as a Predictor of Academic Attainment

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. The Role of Vocal Practice in Constructing Phonological Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keren-Portnoy, Tamar; Vihman, Marilyn M.; DePaolis, Rory A.; Whitaker, Chris J.; Williams, Nicola M.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: In this study, the authors looked for effects of vocal practice on phonological working memory. Method: A longitudinal design was used, combining both naturalistic observations and a nonword repetition test. Fifteen 26-month-olds (12 of whom were followed from age 11 months) were administered a nonword test including real words,…

  3. Music Training and Working Memory: An ERP Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, Elyse M.; Coch, Donna

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  5. Working memory capacity predicts conflict-task performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gulbinaite, Rasa; Johnson, Addie

    2014-01-01

    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 co

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. The development of time-based prospective memory in childhood: the role of working memory updating.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

    This large-scale study examined the development of time-based prospective memory (PM) across childhood and the roles that working memory updating and time monitoring play in driving age effects in PM performance. One hundred and ninety-seven children aged 5 to 14 years completed a time-based PM task where working memory updating load was manipulated within individuals using a dual task design. Results revealed age-related increases in PM performance across childhood. Working memory updating load had a negative impact on PM performance and monitoring behavior in older children, but this effect was smaller in younger children. Moreover, the frequency as well as the pattern of time monitoring predicted children's PM performance. Our interpretation of these results is that processes involved in children's PM may show a qualitative shift over development from simple, nonstrategic monitoring behavior to more strategic monitoring based on internal temporal models that rely specifically on working memory updating resources. We discuss this interpretation with regard to possible trade-off effects in younger children as well as alternative accounts.

  8. The role of working memory and declarative memory in trace conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connor, David A; Gould, Thomas J

    2016-10-01

    Translational assays of cognition that are similarly implemented in both lower and higher-order species, such as rodents and primates, provide a means to reconcile preclinical modeling of psychiatric neuropathology and clinical research. To this end, Pavlovian conditioning has provided a useful tool for investigating cognitive processes in both lab animal models and humans. This review focuses on trace conditioning, a form of Pavlovian conditioning typified by the insertion of a temporal gap (i.e., trace interval) between presentations of a conditioned stimulus (CS) and an unconditioned stimulus (US). This review aims to discuss pre-clinical and clinical work investigating the mnemonic processes recruited for trace conditioning. Much work suggests that trace conditioning involves unique neurocognitive mechanisms to facilitate formation of trace memories in contrast to standard Pavlovian conditioning. For example, the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC) appear to play critical roles in trace conditioning. Moreover, cognitive mechanistic accounts in human studies suggest that working memory and declarative memory processes are engaged to facilitate formation of trace memories. The aim of this review is to integrate cognitive and neurobiological accounts of trace conditioning from preclinical and clinical studies to examine involvement of working and declarative memory.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Carlisle, Nancy B.; Woodman, Geoffrey F.

    2010-01-01

    Theories of visual attention suggest that working memory representations automatically guide attention toward memory-matching objects. Some empirical tests of this prediction have produced results consistent with working memory automatically guiding attention. However, others have shown that individuals can strategically control whether working memory representations guide visual attention. Previous studies have not independently measured automatic and strategic contributions to the interacti...

  10. A Bayesian hierarchical model for the measurement of working memory capacity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Morey, Richard D.

    Working memory is the memory system that allows for conscious storage and manipulation of information. The capacity of working memory is extremely limited. Measurements of this limit, and what affects it, are critical to understanding working memory. Cowan (2001) and Pashler (1988) suggested

  11. Verbal Working Memory and Story Retelling in School-Age Children with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabig, Cheryl Smith

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: This study examined verbal working memory and language ability in 15 school-age children with autism using 3 verbal working memory tasks and 1 story recall task. Method: Three measures of verbal working memory--nonword repetition, memory for digits span, and sentence imitation--were given to children with autism and age-matched controls.…

  12. The Influence of Working Memory on Listening Comprehension

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张军

    2008-01-01

    @@ We many notice that in listening classroom, what proficient students complain most is that they can get every word in the listening material but the most difficult thing for them is to keep in mind what they have heard. Although listening comprehension is now widely considered to be of great importance in second language learning and is extensively studied, there has not been enough research on listening comprehensionfrom the language processing perspective. And there is not too much studies involving the concept of memory in listening comprehension,especially the relationship between working memory capacity and listening comprehension.

  13. The Role of Long-Term Memory in a Test of Visual Working Memory: Proactive Facilitation but No Proactive Interference

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberauer, Klaus; Awh, Edward; Sutterer, David W.

    2017-01-01

    We report 4 experiments examining whether associations in visual working memory are subject to proactive interference from long-term memory (LTM). Following a long-term learning phase in which participants learned the colors of 120 unique objects, a working memory (WM) test was administered in which participants recalled the precise colors of 3…

  14. The Role of Long-Term Memory in a Test of Visual Working Memory: Proactive Facilitation but No Proactive Interference

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberauer, Klaus; Awh, Edward; Sutterer, David W.

    2017-01-01

    We report 4 experiments examining whether associations in visual working memory are subject to proactive interference from long-term memory (LTM). Following a long-term learning phase in which participants learned the colors of 120 unique objects, a working memory (WM) test was administered in which participants recalled the precise colors of 3…

  15. Short-Term Memory, Working Memory, and Inhibitory Control in Children with Difficulties in Arithmetic Problem Solving.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Passolunghi, M. Chiara; Siegel, Linda S.

    2001-01-01

    Studied relations among children's short-term memory, working memory, inhibitory control, and arithmetic word-problem solving. Found that poor problem solvers had lower scores and made more intrusion errors in working memory tasks requiring inhibition of irrelevant information than good problem solvers. Findings indicated that performance relates…

  16. Hyperactivation of working memory related brain circuits in newly-diagnosed middle-aged type 2 diabetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Xiao-Song; Wang, Zhao-Xin; Zhu, You-Zhi; Wang, Nan; Hu, Xiaoping; Zhang, Da-Ren; Zhu, De-Fa; Zhou, Jiang-Ning

    2014-01-01

    Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is well known for its adverse impacts on brain and cognition, which lead to multidimensional cognitive deficits and wildly-spread cerebral structure abnormalities. However, existing literatures are mainly focused on patients with advanced age or extended T2DM duration. Therefore, it remains unclear whether and how brain function would be affected at the initial onset stage of T2DM in relatively younger population. In current study, twelve newly-diagnosed middle-aged T2DM patients with no previous diabetic treatment history and twelve matched controls were recruited. Brain activations during a working memory task, the digit n-back paradigm (0-, 1- and 2-back), were obtained with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and tested by repeated measures ANOVA. Whereas patients performed the n-back task comparably well as controls, significant load-by-group interactions of brain activation were found in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), left middle/inferior frontal gyrus, and left parietal cortex, where patients exhibited hyperactivation in the 2-back but not the 0-back or 1-back condition compared to controls. Furthermore, the severity of chronic hyperglycemia, estimated by glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) level, was entered into partial correlational analyses with task-related brain activations, while controlling for the real-time influence of glucose, estimated by instant plasma glucose level measured before scanning. Significant positive correlations were found between HbA1c and brain activations in the anterior cingulate cortex and bilateral DLPFC only in patients. Taken together, these findings suggest there might be a compensatory mechanism due to brain inefficiency related to chronic hyperglycemia at the initial onset stage of T2DM. PMID:24993663

  17. Dopamine and cognitive functioning in de novo subjects with Parkinson's disease: effects of pramipexole and pergolide on working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Alberto; Peppe, Antonella; Dell'Agnello, Grazia; Caltagirone, Carlo; Carlesimo, Giovanni Augusto

    2009-04-01

    Very few studies have investigated the relationship between dopaminergic therapy and working memory (WM) functioning in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. The aim of the present study was to explore the effects of pharmacological treatment with pergolide (a D1+D2 receptor agonist) and pramipexole (a D2+D3 receptor agonist) on performance in visual-spatial, visual-object, and verbal WM tasks in PD patients. Participants included 19 "de novo" PD patients and 13 healthy controls (HC). The experimental task consisted of an n-back paradigm with verbal, visual-object, or visual-spatial stimuli. PD patients performed the task twice: after 18-24 h of therapy wash-out and after administration of pergolide (nine patients) or pramipexole (ten patients). HCs performed the task only once, without drug administration. Depending on how they performed in the "Off" and "On" therapy conditions, the nine PD patients each were classified into groups of low performers (i.e., performance on the n-back paradigm was below the median value of the experimental sample) and high performers (i.e., performance was above the median value). One PD patient was excluded from the analysis because his performance pattern clearly revealed that he was an outlier. In the low performer PD patients, administration of both pergolide and pramipexole improved accuracy on all WM tasks. No effect of the drugs was found in the high performer patients. The results of the present study show that stimulation of dopaminergic receptors improves high-level WM processes in PD patients, possibly by modulating activity in frontal-striatal circuits.

  18. Low-level lead exposure effects on spatial reference memory and working memory in rats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xinhua Yang; Ping Zhou; Yonghui Li

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Studies have demonstrated that lead exposure can result in cognitive dysfunction and behavior disorders. However, lead exposure impairments vary under different experimental conditions.OBJECTIVE: To detect changes in spatial learning and memory following low-level lead exposure in rats, in Morris water maze test under the same experimental condition used to analyze lead exposure effects on various memory types and learning processes.DESIGN AND SETTING: The experiment was conducted at the Animal Laboratory, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Science between February 2005 and March 2006. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and behavioral observations were performed.MATERIALS: Sixteen male, healthy, adult, Sprague Dawley rats were randomized into normal control and lead exposure groups (n = 8).METHODS: Rats in the normal control group were fed distilled water, and those in the lead exposure group were fed 250 mL of 0.05% lead acetate once per day. At day 28, all rats performed the Morris water maze test, consisting of four phases: space navigation, probe test, working memory test, and visual cue test.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Place navigation in the Morris water maze was used to evaluate spatial learning and memory, probe trials for spatial reference memory, working memory test for spatial working memory, and visual cue test for non-spatial cognitive function. Perkin-Elmer Model 300 Atomic Absorption Spectrometer was utilized to determine blood lead levels in rats.RESULTS: (1) In the working memory test, the time to reach the platform remained unchanged between the control and lead exposure groups (F(1,1) = 0.007, P = 0.935). A visible decrease in escape latencies was observed in each group (P = 0.028). However, there was no significant difference between the two groups (F(1,1) = 1.869, P = 0.193). The working memory probe test demonstrated no change between the two groups in the time spent in the target quadrant during the working memory probe test

  19. Lifelong caloric restriction increases working memory in mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela Kuhla

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

  20. Lifelong caloric restriction increases working memory in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. The selective impact of chocolate craving on visuospatial working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiggemann, Marika; Kemps, Eva; Parnell, Jasmin

    2010-08-01

    The present study aimed to extend previous research into cognitive impairments as a consequence of food craving. In particular, the study examined the impact of chocolate craving on the three components of working memory: the phonological loop, the visuospatial sketchpad, and the central executive, assessed by the digit span, Corsi blocks, and the double span tasks, respectively. A sample of 96 female undergraduate students was randomly assigned to a craving or control condition. Participants in the craving condition abstained from eating chocolate for 24h prior to testing, and performed the cognitive tasks in the presence of chocolate, a manipulation that successfully elicited chocolate cravings. As predicted on the basis of the visual imagery nature of food cravings, participants in the craving condition performed more poorly on the Corsi blocks task than control participants, but the groups did not differ on the digit span or double span measures. These results indicate that chocolate cravings selectively disrupt performance on visuospatial tasks. According to the working memory model, this occurs because food cravings compete for limited visuospatial working memory resources. These findings have practical implications in that visuospatial memory plays an important role in many everyday behaviours.

  2. Body image, visual working memory and visual mental imagery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darling, Stephen; Uytman, Clare; Allen, Richard J; Havelka, Jelena; Pearson, David G

    2015-01-01

    Body dissatisfaction (BD) is a highly prevalent feature amongst females in society, with the majority of individuals regarding themselves to be overweight compared to their personal ideal, and very few self-describing as underweight. To date, explanations of this dramatic pattern have centred on extrinsic social and media factors, or intrinsic factors connected to individuals' knowledge and belief structures regarding eating and body shape, with little research examining links between BD and basic cognitive mechanisms. This paper reports a correlational study in which visual and executive cognitive processes that could potentially impact on BD were assessed. Visual memory span and self-rated visual imagery were found to be predictive of BD, alongside a measure of inhibition derived from the Stroop task. In contrast, spatial memory and global precedence were not related to BD. Results are interpreted with reference to the influential multi-component model of working memory.

  3. Body image, visual working memory and visual mental imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen Darling

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Body dissatisfaction (BD is a highly prevalent feature amongst females in society, with the majority of individuals regarding themselves to be overweight compared to their personal ideal, and very few self-describing as underweight. To date, explanations of this dramatic pattern have centred on extrinsic social and media factors, or intrinsic factors connected to individuals’ knowledge and belief structures regarding eating and body shape, with little research examining links between BD and basic cognitive mechanisms. This paper reports a correlational study in which visual and executive cognitive processes that could potentially impact on BD were assessed. Visual memory span and self-rated visual imagery were found to be predictive of BD, alongside a measure of inhibition derived from the Stroop task. In contrast, spatial memory and global precedence were not related to BD. Results are interpreted with reference to the influential multi-component model of working memory.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-03

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

  5. Treating verbal working memory in a boy with intellectual disability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margherita eOrsolini

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The present case study investigates the effects of a cognitive training of verbal working memory that was proposed for Davide, a fourteen-year-old boy diagnosed with mild intellectual disability. The program stimulated attention, inhibition, switching, and the ability to engage either in verbal dual tasks or in producing inferences after the content of a short passage had been encoded in episodic memory. Key elements in our program included (1 core training of target cognitive mechanisms; (2 guided practice emphasizing concrete strategies to engage in exercises; and (3 a variable amount of adult support. The study explored whether such a complex program produced near transfer effects on an untrained dual task assessing verbal working memory and whether effects on this and other target cognitive mechanisms (i.e., attention, inhibition and switching were long-lasting and produced far transfer effects on cognitive flexibility. The effects of the intervention program were investigated with a research design consisting of four subsequent phases lasting eight or ten weeks, each preceded and followed by testing. There was a control condition (phase 1 in which the boy received, at home, a stimulation focused on the visuospatial domain. Subsequently, there were three experimental training phases, in which stimulation in the verbal domain was first focused on attention and inhibition (phase 2a, then on switching and simple working memory tasks (phase 2b, then on complex working memory tasks (phase 3. A battery of neuropsychological tests was administered before and after each training phase and seven months after the conclusion of the intervention. The main finding was that Davide changed from being incapable of addressing the dual task request of the listening span test in the initial assessment to performing close to the normal limits of a thirteen-year-old boy in the follow-up assessment with this test, when he was fifteen years old.

  6. Negative emotion boosts quality of visual working memory representation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Weizhen; Zhang, Weiwei

    2016-08-01

    Negative emotion impacts a variety of cognitive processes, including working memory (WM). The present study investigated whether negative emotion modulated WM capacity (quantity) or resolution (quality), 2 independent limits on WM storage. In Experiment 1, observers tried to remember several colors over 1-s delay and then recalled the color of a randomly picked memory item by clicking a best-matching color on a continuous color wheel. On each trial, before the visual WM task, 1 of 3 emotion conditions (negative, neutral, or positive) was induced by having observers to rate the valence of an International Affective Picture System image. Visual WM under negative emotion showed enhanced resolution compared with neutral and positive conditions, whereas the number of retained representations was comparable across the 3 emotion conditions. These effects were generalized to closed-contour shapes in Experiment 2. To isolate the locus of these effects, Experiment 3 adopted an iconic memory version of the color recall task by eliminating the 1-s retention interval. No significant change in the quantity or quality of iconic memory was observed, suggesting that the resolution effects in the first 2 experiments were critically dependent on the need to retain memory representations over a short period of time. Taken together, these results suggest that negative emotion selectively boosts visual WM quality, supporting the dissociable nature quantitative and qualitative aspects of visual WM representation. (PsycINFO Database Record

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandierendonck, André

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Working memory differences in long-distance dependency resolution

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Working memory differences in long-distance dependency resolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno eNicenboim

    2015-03-01

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

  10. A Long-Term Memory Competitive Process Model of a Common Procedural Error. Part II: Working Memory Load and Capacity

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-01

    A Long-Term Memory Competitive Process Model of a Common Procedural Error, Part II: Working Memory Load and Capacity Franklin P. Tamborello, II...00-00-2013 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE A Long-Term Memory Competitive Process Model of a Common Procedural Error, Part II: Working Memory Load and...07370024.2011.601692 Tamborello, F. P., & Trafton, J. G. (2013). A long-term competitive process model of a common procedural error. In Proceedings of the 35th

  11. The complex interaction between anxiety and cognition: Insight from spatial and verbal working memory

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    Katherine Elizabeth Vytal

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Anxiety can be distracting, disruptive, and incapacitating. Despite problems with empirical replication of this phenomenon, one fruitful avenue of study has emerged from working memory (WM experiments where a translational method of anxiety induction (risk of shock has been shown to disrupt spatial and verbal WM performance. Performance declines when resources (e.g., spatial attention, executive function devoted to goal-directed behaviors are consumed by anxiety. Importantly, it has been shown that anxiety-related impairments in verbal WM depend on task difficulty, suggesting that cognitive load may be an important consideration in the interaction between anxiety and cognition. Here we use both spatial and verbal WM paradigms to probe the effect of cognitive load on anxiety-induced WM impairment across task modality. Subjects performed a series of spatial and verbal n-back tasks of increasing difficulty (1, 2, and 3-back while they were safe or at risk for shock. Startle reflex was used to probe anxiety. Results demonstrate that induced-anxiety differentially impacts verbal and spatial WM, such that low and medium-load verbal WM is more susceptible to anxiety-related disruption relative to high-load, and spatial WM is disrupted regardless of task difficulty. Anxiety impacts both verbal and spatial processes, as described by correlations between anxiety and performance impairment, albeit the effect on spatial WM is consistent across load. Demanding WM tasks may exert top-down control over higher-order cortical resources engaged by anxious apprehension, however high-load spatial WM may continue to experience additional competition from anxiety-related changes in spatial attention, resulting in impaired performance. By describing this disruption across task modalities, these findings inform current theories of emotion-cognition interactions and may facilitate development of clinical interventions that seek to target cognitive impairments associated

  12. Implicit motor sequence learning and working memory performance changes across the adult life span

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    Sarah Nadine Meissner

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Although implicit motor sequence learning is rather well understood in young adults, effects of aging on this kind of learning are controversial. There is first evidence that working memory (WM might play a role in implicit motor sequence learning in young adults as well as in adults above the age of 65. However the knowledge about the development of these processes across the adult life span is rather limited. As the average age of our population continues to rise, a better understanding of age-related changes in motor sequence learning and potentially mediating cognitive processes takes on increasing significance. Therefore, we investigated aging effects on implicit motor sequence learning and WM. Sixty adults (18-71 years completed verbal and visuospatial n-back tasks and were trained on a serial reaction time task. Randomly varying trials served as control condition. To further assess consolidation indicated by off-line improvement and reduced susceptibility to interference, reaction times (RTs were determined 1 h after initial learning. Young and older but not middle-aged adults showed motor sequence learning. Nine out of 20 older adults (compared to one young/one middle-aged exhibited some evidence of sequence awareness. After 1 h, young and middle-aged adults showed off-line improvement. However, RT facilitation was not specific to sequence trials. Importantly, susceptibility to interference was reduced in young and older adults indicating the occurrence of consolidation. Although WM performance declined in older participants when load was high, it was not significantly related to sequence learning. The data reveal a decline in motor sequence learning in middle-aged but not in older adults. The use of explicit learning strategies in older adults might account for the latter result.

  13. The effect of emotional content on brain activation and the late positive potential in a word n-back task.

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    Juliane Kopf

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: There is mounting evidence for the influence of emotional content on working memory performance. This is particularly important in light of the emotion processing that needs to take place when emotional content interferes with executive functions. In this study, we used emotional words of different valence but with similar arousal levels in an n-back task. METHODS: We examined the effects on activation in the prefrontal cortex by means of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS and on the late positive potential (LPP. FNIRS and LPP data were examined in 30 healthy subjects. RESULTS: BEHAVIORAL RESULTS SHOW AN INFLUENCE OF VALENCE ON THE ERROR RATE DEPENDING ON THE DIFFICULTY OF THE TASK: more errors were made when the valence was negative and the task difficult. Brain activation was dependent both on the difficulty of the task and on the valence: negative valence of a word diminished the increase in activation, whereas positive valence did not influence the increase in activation, while difficulty levels increased. The LPP also differentiated between the different valences, and in addition was influenced by the task difficulty, the more difficult the task, the less differentiation could be observed. CONCLUSIONS: Summarized, this study shows the influence of valence on a verbal working memory task. When a word contained a negative valence, the emotional content seemed to take precedence in contrast to words containing a positive valence. Working memory and emotion processing sites seemed to overlap and compete for resources even when words are carriers of the emotional content.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  15. Individual Differences in Working Memory Capacity Predicts Responsiveness to Memory Rehabilitation After Traumatic Brain Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandry, Joshua; Chiou, Kathy S; DeLuca, John; Chiaravalloti, Nancy D

    2016-06-01

    To explore how individual differences affect rehabilitation outcomes by specifically investigating whether working memory capacity (WMC) can be used as a cognitive marker to identify who will and will not improve from memory rehabilitation. Post hoc analysis of a randomized controlled clinical trial designed to treat learning and memory impairment after traumatic brain injury (TBI): 2 × 2 between-subjects quasiexperimental design (2 [group: treatment vs control] × 2 [WMC: high vs low]). Nonprofit medical rehabilitation research center. Participants (N=65) with moderate to severe TBI with pre- and posttreatment data. The treatment group completed 10 cognitive rehabilitation sessions in which subjects were taught a memory strategy focusing on learning to use context and imagery to remember information. The placebo control group engaged in active therapy sessions that did not involve learning the memory strategy. Long-term memory percent retention change scores for an unorganized list of words from the California Verbal Learning Test-II. Group and WMC interacted (P=.008, ηp(2)=.12). High WMC participants showed a benefit from treatment compared with low WMC participants. Individual differences in WMC accounted for 45% of the variance in whether participants with TBI in the treatment group benefited from applying the compensatory treatment strategy to learn unorganized information. Individuals with higher WMC showed a significantly greater rehabilitation benefit when applying the compensatory strategy to learn unorganized information. WMC is a useful cognitive marker for identifying participants with TBI who respond to memory rehabilitation with the modified Story Memory Technique. Copyright © 2016 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Robust sequential working memory recall in heterogeneous cognitive networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabinovich, Mikhail I.; Sokolov, Yury; Kozma, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Psychiatric disorders are often caused by partial heterogeneous disinhibition in cognitive networks, controlling sequential and spatial working memory (SWM). Such dynamic connectivity changes suggest that the normal relationship between the neuronal components within the network deteriorates. As a result, competitive network dynamics is qualitatively altered. This dynamics defines the robust recall of the sequential information from memory and, thus, the SWM capacity. To understand pathological and non-pathological bifurcations of the sequential memory dynamics, here we investigate the model of recurrent inhibitory-excitatory networks with heterogeneous inhibition. We consider the ensemble of units with all-to-all inhibitory connections, in which the connection strengths are monotonically distributed at some interval. Based on computer experiments and studying the Lyapunov exponents, we observed and analyzed the new phenomenon—clustered sequential dynamics. The results are interpreted in the context of the winnerless competition principle. Accordingly, clustered sequential dynamics is represented in the phase space of the model by two weakly interacting quasi-attractors. One of them is similar to the sequential heteroclinic chain—the regular image of SWM, while the other is a quasi-chaotic attractor. Coexistence of these quasi-attractors means that the recall of the normal information sequence is intermittently interrupted by episodes with chaotic dynamics. We indicate potential dynamic ways for augmenting damaged working memory and other cognitive functions. PMID:25452717

  17. Working memory capacity predicts the beneficial effect of selective memory retrieval.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlichting, Andreas; Aslan, Alp; Holterman, Christoph; Bäuml, Karl-Heinz T

    2015-01-01

    Selective retrieval of some studied items can both impair and improve recall of the other items. This study examined the role of working memory capacity (WMC) for the two effects of memory retrieval. Participants studied an item list consisting of predefined target and nontarget items. After study of the list, half of the participants performed an imagination task supposed to induce a change in mental context, whereas the other half performed a counting task which does not induce such context change. Following presentation of a second list, memory for the original list's target items was tested, either with or without preceding retrieval of the list's nontarget items. Consistent with previous work, preceding nontarget retrieval impaired target recall in the absence of the context change, but improved target recall in its presence. In particular, there was a positive relationship between WMC and the beneficial, but not the detrimental effect of memory retrieval. On the basis of the view that the beneficial effect of memory retrieval reflects context-reactivation processes, the results indicate that individuals with higher WMC are better able to capitalise on retrieval-induced context reactivation than individuals with lower WMC.

  18. Phonological Short-Term Memory, Working Memory and Foreign Language Performance in Intensive Language Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kormos, Judit; Safar, Anna

    2008-01-01

    In our research we addressed the question what the relationship is between phonological short-term and working memory capacity and performance in an end-of-year reading, writing, listening, speaking and use of English test. The participants of our study were 121 secondary school students aged 15-16 in the first intensive language training year of…

  19. Single Parameter Model for Free Recall And the Nature of Partially Filled Working Memory

    OpenAIRE

    Tarnow, Dr Eugen

    2009-01-01

    I present a single parameter model of free recall and fit the one parameter, the probability per time unit of an item in working memory entering the next memory store (similar to Atkinson and Shiffrin, 1968), to the original Murdock (1962) data. Working memory is modeled as having space for a maximum of 4 items (Cowan, 2001). The first four probability values convey precise information about how items in the partially filled working memory enter the next memory store. In particular, one ...

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

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    Jing eFeng

    2012-04-01

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

  1. Long-term working memory in text production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellogg, R T

    2001-01-01

    In reading and other high-level cognitive tasks, Ericsson and Kintsch (1995) proposed that the limited capacity of short-term working memory (STWM) is supplemented by long- term working memory (LTWM) for individuals with a high degree of domain-specific knowledge. In Experiment 1, college students (N = 80) wrote persuasive and narrative texts concerning baseball; domain-specific knowledge about baseball and verbal ability was assessed. The results showed that verbal ability and domain-specific knowledge independently affected writing skill, supporting the view that literacy depends on both knowledge sources and refuting one argument raised in support of the LTWM hypothesis. Experiment 2 (N = 42) replicated this outcome and tested the prediction that a high degree of domain-specific knowledge would lessen interference on a secondary task. The data supported the interference prediction, offering evidence that LTWM plays a role in the production of text.

  2. Attentional networks and visuospatial working memory capacity in social anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moriya, Jun

    2016-12-02

    Social anxiety is associated with attentional bias and working memory for emotional stimuli; however, the ways in which social anxiety affects cognitive functions involving non-emotional stimuli remains unclear. The present study focused on the role of attentional networks (i.e. alerting, orienting, and executive control networks) and visuospatial working memory capacity (WMC) for non-emotional stimuli in the context of social anxiety. One hundred and seventeen undergraduates completed questionnaires on social anxiety. They then performed an attentional network test and a change detection task to measure visuospatial WMC. Orienting network and visuospatial WMC were positively correlated with social anxiety. A multiple regression analysis showed significant positive associations of alerting, orienting, and visuospatial WMC with social anxiety. Alerting, orienting networks, and high visuospatial WMC for non-emotional stimuli may predict degree of social anxiety.

  3. Emotional Working Memory in Alzheimer’s Disease Patients

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    Corina Satler

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: Few studies have assessed whether emotional content affects processes supporting working memory in Alzheimer disease (AD patients. Methods: We assessed 22 AD patients and 40 elderly controls (EC with a delayed matching and non-matching to sample task (DMST/DNMST, and a spatial-delayed recognition span task (SRST; unique/varied using emotional stimuli. Results: AD patients showed decreased performance on both tasks compared with EC. With regard to the valence of the stimuli, we did not observe significant performance differences between groups in the DMST/DNMST. However, both groups remembered a larger number of negative than positive or neutral pictures on unique SRST. Conclusion: The results suggest that AD patients show a relative preservation of working memory for emotional information, particularly for negative stimuli.

  4. Parental Perceptions of the Efficacy of Cogmed Working Memory Training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Alan R; Benninger, William B

    2016-01-01

    Many articles have been written about the effectiveness of Cogmed Working Memory Training (CWMT). As Cogmed licensees, we have provided CWMT to more than 350 trainees and have collected pre- and post-training assessment data and parental feedback from about 280 child and adolescent trainees and their parents. On all nine measures of working memory and other selected executive functions, we have found statistically significant improvement. We also offer many of the comments and feedback that we have received from families about the changes they have experienced. There are limitations to the one group pre-test post-test design used in this study that need to be considered as the results are reviewed.

  5. Modifications of EEG Power Spectra in Mesial Temporal Lobe during n-back tasks of increasing difficulty. A sLORETA study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudio eImperatori

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The n-back task is widely used to investigate the neural basis of Working Memory (WM processes. The principal aim of this study was to explore and compare the EEG power spectra during two n-back tests with different levels of difficulty (1-back vs 3-back.Fourteen healthy subjects were enrolled (7 men and 7 women, mean age 31.21±7.05 years, range: 23-48. EEG was recorded while performing the N-back test, by means of 19 surface electrodes referred to joint mastoids. EEG analysis were conducted by means of the standardized LOw Resolution brain Electric Tomography (sLORETA software. The statistical comparison between EEG power spectra in the two conditions was performed using paired t-statistics on the coherence values after Fisher’s z transformation available in the LORETA program package. The frequency bands considered were: delta (0.5-4 Hz; theta (4.5–7.5 Hz; alpha (8–12.5 Hz; beta (13–30 Hz; gamma (30.5–100 Hz. Significant changes occurred in the delta band: in the 3-back condition an increased delta power was localized in a brain region corresponding to the Brodmann Area (BA 28 in the left posterior entorhinal cortex (T = 3.112; p<0.05 and in the BA 35 in the left peririnhal cortex in the parahippocampal gyrus (T = 2.876; p<0.05. No significant differences were observed in the right hemisphere and in the alpha, theta, beta and gamma frequency bands. Our results indicate that the most prominent modification induced by the increased complexity of the task occur in the mesial left temporal lobe structures.

  6. Modifications of EEG power spectra in mesial temporal lobe during n-back tasks of increasing difficulty. A sLORETA study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imperatori, Claudio; Farina, Benedetto; Brunetti, Riccardo; Gnoni, Valentina; Testani, Elisa; Quintiliani, Maria I; Del Gatto, Claudia; Indraccolo, Allegra; Contardi, Anna; Speranza, Anna M; Della Marca, Giacomo

    2013-01-01

    The n-back task is widely used to investigate the neural basis of Working Memory (WM) processes. The principal aim of this study was to explore and compare the EEG power spectra during two n-back tests with different levels of difficulty (1-back vs. 3-back). Fourteen healthy subjects were enrolled (seven men and seven women, mean age 31.21 ± 7.05 years, range: 23-48). EEG was recorded while performing the N-back test, by means of 19 surface electrodes referred to joint mastoids. EEG analysis were conducted by means of the standardized Low Resolution brain Electric Tomography (sLORETA) software. The statistical comparison between EEG power spectra in the two conditions was performed using paired t-statistics on the coherence values after Fisher's z transformation available in the LORETA program package. The frequency bands considered were: delta (0.5-4 Hz); theta (4.5-7.5 Hz); alpha (8-12.5 Hz); beta (13-30 Hz); gamma (30.5-100 Hz). Significant changes occurred in the delta band: in the 3-back condition an increased delta power was localized in a brain region corresponding to the Brodmann Area (BA) 28 in the left posterior entorhinal cortex (T = 3.112; p < 0.05) and in the BA 35 in the left perirhinal cortex in the parahippocampal gyrus (T = 2.876; p < 0.05). No significant differences were observed in the right hemisphere and in the alpha, theta, beta, and gamma frequency bands. Our results indicate that the most prominent modification induced by the increased complexity of the task occur in the mesial left temporal lobe structures.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacigalupo, Felix; Luck, Steven J

    2015-06-01

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

  8. Effects of Childhood Gymnastics Program on Spatial Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, Shu-Shih; Lin, Chih-Chien; Chang, Yu-Kai; Huang, Chun-Ju; Hung, Tsung-Min

    2017-08-07

    A growing body of evidence has demonstrated the positive effects of physical exercise on cognition in children, and recent studies have specifically investigated the cognitive benefits of exercises involving cognitive-motor interactions, such as gymnastics. This study examined the effect of 8 weeks of gymnastics training on behavioral and neurophysiological measures of spatial working memory in children. Forty-four children aged 7 to 10 yrs were recruited. The experimental group (n = 24; age: 8.7 ± 1.1 yrs) were recruited from Yilan County in Taiwan, while the control group (n = 20; age: 8.6 ± 1.1 yrs) resided in Taipei City. The experimental group undertook 8 weeks of after-school gymnastics training (2 sessions/week, 90 minutes/session), while the control group received no intervention, and were instructed to maintain their routine daily activities. Working memory was assessed by performance on a modified delayed match-to-sample test, and by event-related potential including the P3 component. Data was collected pre and post treatment for the experimental group, and at the same time interval for the control group. Response accuracy improved following the experimental intervention regardless of working memory demands. Likewise, the P3 amplitude was larger at the parietal site after gymnastics training regardless of the task difficulty. Our results suggest that a short period of gymnastics training had a general facilitative effect on spatial working memory at both a behavioral and neurophysiological level in children. These finding highlight the potential importance of exercise programs involving cognitive-motor interactions in stimulating development of spatial cognition during childhood.

  9. Educating the seamstress: studying and writing the memory of work

    OpenAIRE

    Tamboukou, Maria

    2013-01-01

    In this paper I excavate the memory of work by looking into institutional histories, discourses and ideologies revolving around women workers’ educational experiences, cultural lives and political activities in the first half of the twentieth century in the US. In doing this I sketch Rose Pesotta’s pen-portrait, drawing on her autobiographical narratives. As a migrant garment worker, an anarchist trade union leader and one of the few women vice-presidents in the history of the International L...

  10. Game elements improve performance in a working memory training task

    OpenAIRE

    Manuel Ninaus; Gonçalo Pereira; René Stefitz; Rui Prada; Ana Paiva; Christa Neuper; Guilherme Wood

    2015-01-01

    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. Participan...

  11. Working Memory Influences Processing Speed and Reading Fluency in ADHD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, Lisa A.; Ryan, Matthew; Martin, Rebecca B.; Ewen, Joshua; Mostofsky, Stewart H.; Denckla, Martha B.; Mahone, E. Mark

    2012-01-01

    Processing speed deficits affect reading efficiency, even among individuals who recognize and decode words accurately. Children with ADHD who decode words accurately can still have inefficient reading fluency, leading to a bottleneck in other cognitive processes. This “slowing” in ADHD is associated with deficits in fundamental components of executive function underlying processing speed, including response selection. The purpose of the present study was to deconstruct processing speed in order to determine which components of executive control best explain the “processing” speed deficits related to reading fluency in ADHD. Participants (41 ADHD, 21 controls), ages 9-14, screened for language disorders, word reading deficits, and psychiatric disorders, were administered measures of copying speed, processing speed, reading fluency, working memory, reaction time, inhibition, and auditory attention span. Compared to controls, children with ADHD showed reduced oral and silent reading fluency, and reduced processing speed—driven primarily by deficits on WISC-IV Coding. In contrast, groups did not differ on copying speed. After controlling for copying speed, sex, severity of ADHD-related symptomatology, and GAI, slowed “processing” speed (i.e., Coding) was significantly associated with verbal span and measures of working memory, but not with measures of response control/inhibition, lexical retrieval speed, reaction time, or intra-subject variability. Further, “processing” speed (i.e., Coding, residualized for copying speed) and working memory were significant predictors of oral reading fluency. Abnormalities in working memory and response selection (which are frontally-mediated and enter into the output side of processing speed) may play an important role in deficits in reading fluency in ADHD, potentially more than posteriorally-mediated problems with orienting of attention or perceiving the stimulus. PMID:21287422

  12. Effect of restriction of working memory on reported paranormal belief.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudley, R T

    1999-02-01

    56 college students completed Tobacyk's 1988 Revised Paranormal Belief Scale and Watson, Clark, and Tellegen's 1988 Positive and Negative Affect Scale. Experimental group participants, but not control group participants, rehearsed a five-digit number while completing the Paranormal Belief Scale. Analysis showed higher reported paranormal belief for experimental group participants but no differences on the Positive and Negative Affect Scale. Results are discussed in terms of the effect of restriction in working memory on the critical evaluation of paranormal phenomena.

  13. Distinct contributions by frontal and parietal cortices support working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackey, Wayne E; Curtis, Clayton E

    2017-07-21

    Although subregions of frontal and parietal cortex both contribute and coordinate to support working memory (WM) functions, their distinct contributions remain elusive. Here, we demonstrate that perturbations to topographically organized human frontal and parietal cortex during WM maintenance cause distinct but systematic distortions in WM. The nature of these distortions supports theories positing that parietal cortex mainly codes for retrospective sensory information, while frontal cortex codes for prospective action.

  14. The influence of various distracting stimuli on spatial working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Starc

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Protecting information from distraction is essential for optimal performance of working memory. We examined how the presence of distracting stimuli influences spatial working memory and compared the effect of both task-similar and negatively emotionally salient distractors. We checked the effect of distractors on the accuracy of high-resolution representations, as well as the maintenance of spatial categories, and more precisely defined not only the existence but also the direction of the distracting influences (towards or away from the position of the distractor. Participants (n = 25, 8 men, 19–31 years old were asked to remember the exact position of a target scrambled image and recall it with a joystick after a delay. In some trials an additional distracting image (scrambled, neutral or negative was shown during the delay. We measured the spread of responses (standard deviation of angular error and shifts of the average response towards the prototype angles (45° or towards the position of distractors. Distracting stimuli did not affect the spread of responses and decreased the tendency of participants to move the responses towards the prototype angle. Different types of distractors did not differ in this effect. Contrary to expectations, the participants moved their responses away from the position of distractors; this effect was more pronounced for negative distractors. In addition to memorizing the exact position and maintaining attention on the position of the stimulus, participants are likely to strategically use information about spatial category membership (quadrants and information about the position of the distractor. The repulsive effect of the distractor likely results from inhibition of its position and indicates the need to supplement computational models of spatial working memory and to take into account different strategies of working memory use.

  15. Depressive Symptoms Affect Working Memory in Healthy Older Adult Hispanics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salazar-Villanea, Monica; Liebmann, Edward; Garnier-Villarreal, Mauricio; Montenegro-Montenegro, Esteban; Johnson, David K

    2015-10-01

    Low and middle income nations will experience an unprecedented growth of the elderly population and subsequent increase in age-related neurological disorders. Worldwide prevalence and incidence of all-types of neurological disorders with serious mental health complications will increase with life expectancy across the globe. One-in- ten individuals over 75 has at least moderate cognitive impairment. Prevalence of cognitive impairment doubles every 5 years thereafter. Latin America's population of older adult's 65 years and older is growing rapidly, yet little is known about cognitive aging among healthy older Latinos. Clinically significant depressive symptomatology is common among community-dwelling older adults and is associated with deficits across multiple cognitive domains, however much of the literature has not modeled the unique effects of depression distinct from negative and low positive affect. Our objective was to understand how mental health affects cognitive health in healthy aging Latinos. The present study used confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equation modeling (SEM) to examine the relative effects of Negative Affect, Positive Affect and Geriatric Depression on Verbal Memory, Verbal Reasoning, Processing Speed, and Working Memory in healthy aging Latinos. Data was collected from a sample of healthy community dwelling older adults living in San Jose, Costa Rica. Modeling of latent variables attenuated error and improved measurement reliability of cognition, affect, and depression variables. Costa Ricans enjoy a notoriety for being much happier than US citizens and are renowned as one of the happiest nations in the world in global surveys. This was born out in these data. Costa Rican affective profiles differed substantively from US profiles. Levels of negative affect and depression were similar to US samples, but their levels of positive affect were much higher. Cognitive performance of these Costa Rican older adults was similar to US

  16. Differential effects of ecstasy on short-term and working memory: a meta-analysis.

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    Nulsen, Claire E; Fox, Allison M; Hammond, Geoffrey R

    2010-03-01

    Quantitative analysis of studies examining the effect of ecstasy on short-term and working memory in the verbal and visuo-spatial domain was undertaken. Thirty verbal short-term memory, 22 verbal working memory, 12 visuospatial short-term memory and 9 visuospatial working memory studies met inclusion criteria. Ecstasy users performed significantly worse in all memory domains, both in studies using drug-naïve controls and studies using polydrug controls. These results are consistent with previous meta-analytic findings that ecstasy use is associated with impaired short-term memory function. Lifetime ecstasy consumption predicted effect size in working memory but not in short-term memory. The current meta-analysis adds to the literature by showing that ecstasy use in humans is also associated with impaired working memory, and that this impairment is related to total lifetime ecstasy consumption. These findings highlight the long-term, cumulative behavioral consequences associated with ecstasy use in humans.

  17. Delayed working memory consolidation during the attentional blink.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, Edward K; Luck, Steven J

    2002-12-01

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

  18. Working memory capacity predicts effects of methylphenidate on reversal learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Schaaf, Marieke E; Fallon, Sean J; Ter Huurne, Niels; Buitelaar, Jan; Cools, Roshan

    2013-09-01

    Increased use of stimulant medication, such as methylphenidate, by healthy college students has raised questions about its cognitive-enhancing effects. Methylphenidate acts by increasing extracellular catecholamine levels and is generally accepted to remediate cognitive and reward deficits in patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, the cognitive-enhancing effects of such 'smart drugs' in the healthy population are still unclear. Here, we investigated effects of methylphenidate (Ritalin, 20  mg) on reward and punishment learning in healthy students (N=19) in a within-subject, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over design. Results revealed that methylphenidate effects varied both as a function of task demands and as a function of baseline working memory capacity. Specifically, methylphenidate improved reward vs punishment learning in high-working memory subjects, whereas it impaired reward vs punishment learning in low-working memory subjects. These results contribute to our understanding of individual differences in the cognitive-enhancing effects of methylphenidate in the healthy population. Moreover, they highlight the importance of taking into account both inter- and intra-individual differences in dopaminergic drug research.

  19. Brain injury impairs working memory and prefrontal circuit function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colin James Smith

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available More than 2.5 million Americans suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI each year. Even mild to moderate traumatic brain injury causes long-lasting neurological effects. Despite its prevalence, no therapy currently exists to treat the underlying cause of cognitive impairment suffered by TBI patients. Following lateral fluid percussion injury (LFPI, the most widely used experimental model of TBI, we investigated alterations in working memory and excitatory/inhibitory synaptic balance in the prefrontal cortex. LFPI impaired working memory as assessed with a T-maze behavioral task. Field excitatory postsynaptic potentials recorded in the prefrontal cortex were reduced in slices derived from brain-injured mice. Spontaneous and miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents onto layer 2/3 neurons were more frequent in slices derived from LFPI mice while inhibitory currents onto layer 2/3 neurons were smaller after LFPI. Additionally, an increase in action potential threshold and concomitant decrease in firing rate was observed in layer 2/3 neurons in slices from injured animals. Conversely, no differences in excitatory or inhibitory synaptic transmission onto layer 5 neurons were observed; however, layer 5 neurons demonstrated a decrease in input resistance and action potential duration after LFPI. These results demonstrate synaptic and intrinsic alterations in prefrontal circuitry that may underlie working memory impairment caused by TBI.

  20. Functional correlates of distractor suppression during spatial working memory encoding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toepper, M; Gebhardt, H; Beblo, T; Thomas, C; Driessen, M; Bischoff, M; Blecker, C R; Vaitl, D; Sammer, G

    2010-02-17

    Executive working memory operations are related to prefrontal regions in the healthy brain. Moreover, neuroimaging data provide evidence for a functional dissociation of ventrolateral and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Most authors either suggest a modality-specific or a function-specific prefrontal cortex organization. In the present study we particularly aimed at the identification of different prefrontal cerebral areas that are involved in executive inhibitory processes during spatial working memory encoding. In an fMRI study (functional magnetic resonance imaging) we examined the neural correlates of spatial working memory processing by varying the amount of executive demands of the task. Twenty healthy volunteers performed the Corsi Block-Tapping test (CBT) during fMRI. The CBT requires the storage and reproduction of spatial target sequences. In a second condition, we presented an adapted version of the Block-Suppression-Test (BST). The BST is based on the original CBT but additionally requires the active suppression of visual distraction within the target sequences. In comparison to the CBT performance, particularly the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (BA 9) showed more activity during the BST condition. Our results show that the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex plays a crucial role for executive controlled inhibition of spatial distraction. Furthermore, our findings are in line with the processing model of a functional dorsolateral-ventrolateral prefrontal cortex organization.

  1. Working memory and inferences: evidence from eye fixations during reading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvo, M G

    2001-01-01

    Eye fixations during reading were monitored to examine the relationship between individual differences in working memory capacity-as assessed by the reading span task-and inferences about predictable events. Context sentences predicting likely events, or non-predicting control sentences, were presented. They were followed by continuation sentences in which a target word represented an event to be inferred (inferential word) or an unlikely event (non-predictable word). A main effect of reading span showed that high working memory capacity was related to shorter gaze durations across sentence regions. More specific findings involved an interaction between context, target, and reading span on late processing measures and regions. Thus, for high- but not for low-span readers, the predicting condition, relative to the control condition, facilitated reanalysis of the continuation sentence that represented the inference concept. This effect was revealed by a reduction in regression-path reading time in the last region of the sentence, involving less time reading that region and fewer regressions from it. These results indicate that working memory facilitates elaborative inferences during reading, but that this occurs at late text-integration processes, rather than at early lexical-access processes.

  2. Working memory training and transfer in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richmond, Lauren L; Morrison, Alexandra B; Chein, Jason M; Olson, Ingrid R

    2011-12-01

    There has been a great deal of interest, both privately and commercially, in using working memory training exercises to improve general cognitive function. However, many of the laboratory findings for older adults, a group in which this training is of utmost interest, are discouraging due to the lack of transfer to other tasks and skills. Importantly, improvements in everyday functioning remain largely unexamined in relation to WM training. We trained working memory in older adults using a task that encourages transfer in young adults (Chein & Morrison, 2010). We tested transfer to measures of working memory (e.g., Reading Span), everyday cognitive functioning [the Test of Everyday Attention (TEA) and the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT)], and other tasks of interest. Relative to controls, trained participants showed transfer improvements in Reading Span and the number of repetitions on the CVLT. Training group participants were also significantly more likely to self-report improvements in everyday attention. Our findings support the use of ecological tasks as a measure of transfer in an older adult population.

  3. Executive attention and working memory in narcoleptic outpatients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirleny Moraes

    2012-05-01

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

  4. Working memory contributions to reinforcement learning impairments in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Anne G E; Brown, Jaime K; Gold, James M; Waltz, James A; Frank, Michael J

    2014-10-08

    Previous research has shown that patients with schizophrenia are impaired in reinforcement learning tasks. However, behavioral learning curves in such tasks originate from the interaction of multiple neural processes, including the basal ganglia- and dopamine-dependent reinforcement learning (RL) system, but also prefrontal cortex-dependent cognitive strategies involving working memory (WM). Thus, it is unclear which specific system induces impairments in schizophrenia. We recently developed a task and computational model allowing us to separately assess the roles of RL (slow, cumulative learning) mechanisms versus WM (fast but capacity-limited) mechanisms in healthy adult human subjects. Here, we used this task to assess patients' specific sources of impairments in learning. In 15 separate blocks, subjects learned to pick one of three actions for stimuli. The number of stimuli to learn in each block varied from two to six, allowing us to separate influences of capacity-limited WM from the incremental RL system. As expected, both patients (n = 49) and healthy controls (n = 36) showed effects of set size and delay between stimulus repetitions, confirming the presence of working memory effects. Patients performed significantly worse than controls overall, but computational model fits and behavioral analyses indicate that these deficits could be entirely accounted for by changes in WM parameters (capacity and reliability), whereas RL processes were spared. These results suggest that the working memory system contributes strongly to learning impairments in schizophrenia.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Won, Bo-Yeong; Jiang, Yuhong V.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Won, Bo-Yeong; Jiang, Yuhong V.

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Effects of arginine vasopressin on musical working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granot, Roni Y; Uzefovsky, Florina; Bogopolsky, Helena; Ebstein, Richard P

    2013-01-01

    Previous genetic studies showed an association between variations in the gene coding for the 1a receptor of the neuro-hormone arginine vasopressin (AVP) and musical working memory (WM). The current study set out to test the influence of intranasal administration (INA) of AVP on musical as compared to verbal WM using a double blind crossover (AVP-placebo) design. Two groups of 25 males were exposed to 20 IU of AVP in one session, and 20 IU of saline water (placebo) in a second session, 1 week apart. In each session subjects completed the tonal subtest from Gordon's "Musical Aptitude Profile," the interval subtest from the "Montreal Battery for Evaluation of Amusias (MBEA)," and the forward and backward digit span tests. Scores in the digit span tests were not influenced by AVP. In contrast, in the music tests there was an AVP effect. In the MBEA test, scores for the group receiving placebo in the first session (PV) were higher than for the group receiving vasopressin in the first session (VP) (p affect scale, (PANAS). Only in this group and only in the music test these scores were significantly correlated with memory scores. Together the results reflect a complex interaction between AVP, musical memory, arousal, and contextual effects such as session, and base levels of memory. The results are interpreted in light of music's universal use as a means to modulate arousal on the one hand, and AVP's influence on mood, arousal, and social interactions on the other.

  8. Just one look: Direct gaze briefly disrupts visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, J Jessica; Apperly, Ian A

    2017-04-01

    Direct gaze is a salient social cue that affords rapid detection. A body of research suggests that direct gaze enhances performance on memory tasks (e.g., Hood, Macrae, Cole-Davies, & Dias, Developmental Science, 1, 67-71, 2003). Nonetheless, other studies highlight the disruptive effect direct gaze has on concurrent cognitive processes (e.g., Conty, Gimmig, Belletier, George, & Huguet, Cognition, 115(1), 133-139, 2010). This discrepancy raises questions about the effects direct gaze may have on concurrent memory tasks. We addressed this topic by employing a change detection paradigm, where participants retained information about the color of small sets of agents. Experiment 1 revealed that, despite the irrelevance of the agents' eye gaze to the memory task at hand, participants were worse at detecting changes when the agents looked directly at them compared to when the agents looked away. Experiment 2 showed that the disruptive effect was relatively short-lived. Prolonged presentation of direct gaze led to recovery from the initial disruption, rather than a sustained disruption on change detection performance. The present study provides the first evidence that direct gaze impairs visual working memory with a rapidly-developing yet short-lived effect even when there is no need to attend to agents' gaze.

  9. Examining factors involved in stress-related working memory impairments: Independent or conditional effects?

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    Banks, Jonathan B; Tartar, Jaime L; Tamayo, Brittney A

    2015-12-01

    A large and growing body of research demonstrates the impact of psychological stress on working memory. However, the typical study approach tests the effects of a single biological or psychological factor on changes in working memory. The current study attempted to move beyond the standard single-factor assessment by examining the impact of 2 possible factors in stress-related working memory impairments. To this end, 60 participants completed a working memory task before and after either a psychological stressor writing task or a control writing task and completed measures of both cortisol and mind wandering. We also included a measure of state anxiety to examine the direct and indirect effect on working memory. We found that mind wandering mediated the relationship between state anxiety and working memory at the baseline measurement. This indirect relationship was moderated by cortisol, such that the impact of mind wandering on working memory increased as cortisol levels increased. No overall working memory impairment was observed following the stress manipulation, but increases in state anxiety and mind wandering were observed. State anxiety and mind wandering independently mediated the relationship between change in working memory and threat perception. The indirect paths resulted in opposing effects on working memory. Combined, the findings from this study suggest that cortisol enhances the impact of mind wandering on working memory, that state anxiety may not always result in stress-related working memory impairments, and that high working memory performance can protect against mind wandering.

  10. Neural substrates of successful working memory and long-term memory formation in a relational spatial memory task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergmann, Heiko C; Daselaar, Sander M; Fernández, Guillén; Kessels, Roy P C

    2016-11-01

    Working memory (WM) tasks may involve brain activation actually implicated in long-term memory (LTM). In order to disentangle these two memory systems, we employed a combined WM/LTM task, using a spatial relational (object-location) memory paradigm and analyzed which brain areas were associated with successful performance for either task using fMRI. Critically, we corrected for the performance on the respective memory task when analyzing subsequent memory effects. The WM task consisted of a delayed-match-to-sample task assessed in an MRI scanner. Each trial consisted of an indoor or outdoor scene in which the exact configuration of four objects had to be remembered. After a short delay (7-13 s), the scene was presented from a different angle and spatial recognition for two objects was tested. After scanning, participants received an unexpected subsequent recognition memory (LTM) task, where the two previously unprobed objects were tested. Brain activity during encoding, delay phase and probe phase was analyzed based on WM and LTM performance. Results showed that successful WM performance, when corrected for LTM performance, was associated with greater activation in the inferior frontal gyrus and left fusiform gyrus during the early stage of the maintenance phase. A correct decision during the WM probe was accompanied by greater activation in a wide network, including bilateral hippocampus, right superior parietal gyrus and bilateral insula. No voxels exhibited supra-threshold activity during the encoding phase, and we did not find any differential activity for correct versus incorrect trials in the WM task when comparing LTM correct versus LTM incorrect trials.

  11. Autobiographical Memory in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder: The role of Depressed Mood, Rumination, Working Memory and Theory of Mind

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crane, Laura; Goddard, Lorna; Pring, Linda

    2013-01-01

    Autobiographical memory difficulties have been widely reported in adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The aim of the current study was to explore the potential correlates of autobiographical memory performance (including depressed mood, rumination, working memory and theory of mind) in adults with ASD, relative to a group of typical adults…

  12. The Contributions of Primary and Secondary Memory to Working Memory Capacity: An Individual Differences Analysis of Immediate Free Recall

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

    The present study tested the dual-component model of working memory capacity (WMC) by examining estimates of primary memory and secondary memory from an immediate free recall task. Participants completed multiple measures of WMC and general intellectual ability as well as multiple trials of an immediate free recall task. It was demonstrated that…

  13. Autobiographical Memory in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder: The role of Depressed Mood, Rumination, Working Memory and Theory of Mind

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crane, Laura; Goddard, Lorna; Pring, Linda

    2013-01-01

    Autobiographical memory difficulties have been widely reported in adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The aim of the current study was to explore the potential correlates of autobiographical memory performance (including depressed mood, rumination, working memory and theory of mind) in adults with ASD, relative to a group of typical adults…

  14. The Roles of Phonological Short-Term Memory and Working Memory in L2 Grammar and Vocabulary Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Katherine I.; Ellis, Nick C.

    2012-01-01

    This study analyzed phonological short-term memory (PSTM) and working memory (WM) and their relationship with vocabulary and grammar learning in an artificial foreign language. Nonword repetition, nonword recognition, and listening span were used as memory measures. Participants learned the singular forms of vocabulary for an artificial foreign…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sligte, I.G.; Wokke, M.E.; Tesselaar, J.P.; Scholte, H.S.; Lamme, V.A.F.

    2011-01-01

    To guide our behavior in successful ways, we often need to rely on information that is no longer in view, but maintained in visual short-term memory (VSTM). While VSTM is usually broken down into iconic memory (brief and high-capacity store) and visual working memory (sustained, yet limited-capacity

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unsworth, Nash; Spillers, Gregory J.

    2010-01-01

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

  17. Video Game Training Enhances Visuospatial Working Memory and Episodic Memory in Older Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toril, Pilar; Reales, José M; Mayas, Julia; Ballesteros, Soledad

    2016-01-01

    In this longitudinal intervention study with experimental and control groups, we investigated the effects of video game training on the visuospatial working memory (WM) and episodic memory of healthy older adults. Participants were 19 volunteer older adults, who received 15 1-h video game training sessions with a series of video games selected from a commercial package (Lumosity), and a control group of 20 healthy older adults. The results showed that the performance of the trainees improved significantly in all the practiced video games. Most importantly, we found significant enhancements after training in the trained group and no change in the control group in two computerized tasks designed to assess visuospatial WM, namely the Corsi blocks task and the Jigsaw puzzle task. The episodic memory and short-term memory of the trainees also improved. Gains in some WM and episodic memory tasks were maintained during a 3-month follow-up period. These results suggest that the aging brain still retains some degree of plasticity, and that video game training might be an effective intervention tool to improve WM and other cognitive functions in older adults.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-22

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

  20. Inhibition of Connexin43 Hemichannels Impairs Spatial Short-Term Memory without Affecting Spatial Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walrave, Laura; Vinken, Mathieu; Albertini, Giulia; De Bundel, Dimitri; Leybaert, Luc; Smolders, Ilse J

    2016-01-01

    Astrocytes are active players in higher brain function as they can release gliotransmitters, which are essential for synaptic plasticity. Various mechanisms have been proposed for gliotransmission, including vesicular mechanisms as well as non-vesicular ones, for example by passive diffusion via connexin hemichannels (HCs). We here investigated whether interfering with connexin43 (Cx43) HCs influenced hippocampal spatial memory. We made use of the peptide Gap19 that blocks HCs but not gap junction channels and is specific for Cx43. To this end, we microinfused transactivator of transcription linked Gap19 (TAT-Gap19) into the brain ventricle of male NMRI mice and assessed spatial memory in a Y maze. We found that the in vivo blockade of Cx43 HCs did not affect the locomotor activity or spatial working memory in a spontaneous alternation Y maze task. Cx43 blockade did however significantly impair the spatial short-term memory in a delayed spontaneous alternation Y maze task. These results indicate that Cx43 HCs play a role in spatial short-term memory.

  1. Inhibition of Connexin43 Hemichannels Impairs Spatial Short-Term Memory without Affecting Spatial Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walrave, Laura; Vinken, Mathieu; Albertini, Giulia; De Bundel, Dimitri; Leybaert, Luc; Smolders, Ilse J.

    2016-01-01

    Astrocytes are active players in higher brain function as they can release gliotransmitters, which are essential for synaptic plasticity. Various mechanisms have been proposed for gliotransmission, including vesicular mechanisms as well as non-vesicular ones, for example by passive diffusion via connexin hemichannels (HCs). We here investigated whether interfering with connexin43 (Cx43) HCs influenced hippocampal spatial memory. We made use of the peptide Gap19 that blocks HCs but not gap junction channels and is specific for Cx43. To this end, we microinfused transactivator of transcription linked Gap19 (TAT-Gap19) into the brain ventricle of male NMRI mice and assessed spatial memory in a Y maze. We found that the in vivo blockade of Cx43 HCs did not affect the locomotor activity or spatial working memory in a spontaneous alternation Y maze task. Cx43 blockade did however significantly impair the spatial short-term memory in a delayed spontaneous alternation Y maze task. These results indicate that Cx43 HCs play a role in spatial short-term memory. PMID:28066184

  2. Working memory, short-term memory and reading proficiency in school-age children with cochlear implants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bharadwaj, Sneha V; Maricle, Denise; Green, Laura; Allman, Tamby

    2015-10-01

    The objective of the study was to examine short-term memory and working memory through both visual and auditory tasks in school-age children with cochlear implants. The relationship between the performance on these cognitive skills and reading as well as language outcomes were examined in these children. Ten children between the ages of 7 and 11 years with early-onset bilateral severe-profound hearing loss participated in the study. Auditory and visual short-term memory, auditory and visual working memory subtests and verbal knowledge measures were assessed using the Woodcock Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Abilities, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-IV Integrated and the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children II. Reading outcomes were assessed using the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test III. Performance on visual short-term memory and visual working memory measures in children with cochlear implants was within the average range when compared to the normative mean. However, auditory short-term memory and auditory working memory measures were below average when compared to the normative mean. Performance was also below average on all verbal knowledge measures. Regarding reading outcomes, children with cochlear implants scored below average for listening and passage comprehension tasks and these measures were positively correlated to visual short-term memory, visual working memory and auditory short-term memory. Performance on auditory working memory subtests was not related to reading or language outcomes. The children with cochlear implants in this study demonstrated better performance in visual (spatial) working memory and short-term memory skills than in auditory working memory and auditory short-term memory skills. Significant positive relationships were found between visual working memory and reading outcomes. The results of the study provide support for the idea that WM capacity is modality specific in children with hearing loss. Based on these

  3. Irrelevant sensory stimuli interfere with working memory storage: evidence from a computational model of prefrontal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bancroft, Tyler D; Hockley, William E; Servos, Philip

    2013-03-01

    The encoding of irrelevant stimuli into the memory store has previously been suggested as a mechanism of interference in working memory (e.g., Lange & Oberauer, Memory, 13, 333-339, 2005; Nairne, Memory & Cognition, 18, 251-269, 1990). Recently, Bancroft and Servos (Experimental Brain Research, 208, 529-532, 2011) used a tactile working memory task to provide experimental evidence that irrelevant stimuli were, in fact, encoded into working memory. In the present study, we replicated Bancroft and Servos's experimental findings using a biologically based computational model of prefrontal neurons, providing a neurocomputational model of overwriting in working memory. Furthermore, our modeling results show that inhibition acts to protect the contents of working memory, and they suggest a need for further experimental research into the capacity of vibrotactile working memory.

  4. Phonological working memory and reading in students with dyslexia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina Alves Ferreira De Carvalho

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: To investigate parameters related to fluency, reading comprehension and phonological processing (operational and short-term memory and identify potential correlation between the variables in Dyslexia and in the absence of reading difficulties. Method: One hundred and fifteen students from the third to eighth grade of elementary school were grouped into a Control Group (CG and Group with Dyslexia (GDys. Reading of words, pseudowords and text (decoding; listening and reading comprehension; phonological short-term and working memory (repetition of pseudowords and Digit Span were evaluated. Results: The comparison of the groups showed significant differences in decoding, phonological short-term memory (repetition of pseudowords and answers to text-connecting questions (TC on reading comprehension, with the worst performances identified for GDys. In this group there were negative correlations between pseudowords repetition and TC answers and total score, both on listening comprehension. No correlations were found between operational and short-term memory (Digit Span and parameters of fluency and reading comprehension in dyslexia. For the sample without complaint, there were positive correlations between some parameters of reading fluency and repetition of pseudowords and also between answering literal questions in listening comprehension and repetition of digits on the direct and reverse order. There was no correlation with the parameters of reading comprehension. Conclusion: GDys and CG showed similar performance in listening comprehension and in understanding of explicit information and gap-filling inference on reading comprehension. Students of GDys showed worst performance in reading decoding, phonological short-term memory (pseudowords and on inferences that depends on textual cohesion understanding in reading. There were negative correlations between pseudowords repetition and TC answers and total score, both in listening comprehension.

  5. Working memory and mathematics in primary school children: A meta-analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    I. Friso-Van den Bos; S.H.G. van der Ven; E.H. Kroesbergen; J.E.H. van Luit

    2013-01-01

    Working memory, including central executive functions (inhibition, shifting and updating) are factors thought to play a central role in mathematical skill development. However, results reported with regard to the associations between mathematics and working memory components are inconsistent. The ai

  6. EEG-Rhythm Dynamics during a 2-back Working Memory Task and Performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tsoneva, T.; Baldo, D.; Lema, V.; Garcia Molina, G.

    2012-01-01

    Working memory is an essential component of human cognition and determines to a large extent an individual's intellectual ability. Thehuman brain oscillatory response system associated with working memory performance is evaluated in an experimental and analysis settinginvolving 10 volunteers perfo

  7. Spatial working memory in rats: effects of monoaminergic antagonists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beatty, W W; Rush, J R

    1983-01-01

    To assess the possible involvement of the monoaminergic neurotransmitters norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin in the maintenance of spatial working memory rats were treated with antagonists 0 or 2 hr after completing the first 4 choices in an 8 arm maze. Haloperidol (0.25-1 mg/kg), when administered 2 hr after Choice 4, produced a small but consistent impairment in performance on retention tests given 5 hr after the first 4 choices. This deficit closely resembled natural forgetting in terms of the type of errors committed. By contrast, haloperidol in the same doses given 0 hr after Choice 4 or 3 hr before the first 4 choices did not affect retention. Likewise treatment with propranolol (10-20 mg/kg), phentolamine (5-20 mg/kg) or methysergide (5-15 mg/kg) did not impair spatial memory, regardless of when these drugs were injected within the session. Evidently dopaminergic neuronal systems are important in the maintenance of normal spatial working memory.

  8. The role of working memory in the metaphor interference effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierce, Russell S; Maclaren, Rick; Chiappe, Dan L

    2010-06-01

    Participants took longer to judge that metaphors (e.g., an insult is a razor, memory is a warehouse) were literally false than to judge that scrambled sentences (e.g., an insult is a warehouse) were false. This result is the metaphor interference effect (MIE). It demonstrates that metaphor processing is automatic. In this experiment, we found that the magnitude of the MIE is predicted by working memory (WM) capacity, with higher WM yielding a smaller MIE. This suggests that although metaphor comprehension is automatic, the early processing of metaphors is controllable by executive mechanisms. We relate our results to Kintsch's (2000, 2001) predication model. Specifically, we suggest that mechanisms of WM influence metaphor processing by affecting the effectiveness of the construction-integration process that identifies common properties between topics and vehicles. WM also influences the speed with which meanings are identified as literal or figurative.

  9. The right parietal lobe is critical for visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berryhill, Marian E; Olson, Ingrid R

    2008-01-01

    Visual working memory (VWM) permits the maintenance of object identities and their locations across brief delays such as those accompanying eye movements. Recent neuroimaging studies have emphasized the role of the posterior parietal lobe in this process although the specific nature of this involvement in VWM remains controversial. Neuroimaging findings suggest that the parietal lobe may have a general role in remembering various types of visual information whereas neuropsychological findings suggest that parietal involvement is primarily related to motor spatial attention and spatial memory. In the present study, patients with unilateral right parietal lobe damage, lacking symptoms of neglect, were tested in several VWM old/new recognition tasks. Parietal damage lead to impaired performance on all VWM tasks, including spatial, object, and object/spatial conjunction tasks. Deficits were found across several stimulus categories. These results provide neuropsychological support for neuroimaging results, and more generally indicate that the parietal lobe serves a general role in diverse forms of VWM.

  10. Distributing Working Memory Resources and the Use of External Representations on Problem Solving

    OpenAIRE

    大塚, 一徳; 宮谷, 真人

    2007-01-01

    This study examines how problem solvers use distributing working memory resources over internal and external epresentations. Participants played three-dimensional versions of number guessing games. The playing of number guessing games is directly related to consumption of working memory resources. They could use arbitrarily the game record windows which are the external representations of these games and, thus, they could distribute working memory demands over internal working memory resource...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christophel, Thomas B; Haynes, John-Dylan

    2014-05-01

    There has been a long history of research on visual working memory. Whereas early studies have focused on the role of lateral prefrontal cortex in the storage of sensory information, this has been challenged by research in humans that has directly assessed the encoding of perceptual contents, pointing towards a role of visual and parietal regions during storage. In a previous study we used pattern classification to investigate the storage of complex visual color patterns across delay periods. This revealed coding of such contents in early visual and parietal brain regions. Here we aim to investigate whether the involvement of visual and parietal cortex is also observable for other types of complex, visuo-spatial pattern stimuli. Specifically, we used a combination of fMRI and multivariate classification to investigate the retention of complex flow-field stimuli defined by the spatial patterning of motion trajectories of random dots. Subjects were trained to memorize the precise spatial layout of these stimuli and to retain this information during an extended delay. We used a multivariate decoding approach to identify brain regions where spatial patterns of activity encoded the memorized stimuli. Content-specific memory signals were observable in motion sensitive visual area MT+ and in posterior parietal cortex that might encode spatial information in a modality independent manner. Interestingly, we also found information about the memorized visual stimulus in somatosensory cortex, suggesting a potential crossmodal contribution to memory. Our findings thus indicate that working memory storage of visual percepts might be distributed across unimodal, multimodal and even crossmodal brain regions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Longitudinal tDCS: Consistency across Working Memory Training Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marian E. Berryhill

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available There is great interest in enhancing and maintaining cognitive function. In recent years, advances in noninvasive brain stimulation devices, such as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS, have targeted working memory in particular. Despite controversy surrounding outcomes of single-session studies, a growing field of working memory training studies incorporate multiple sessions of tDCS. It is useful to take stock of these findings because there is a diversity of paradigms employed and the outcomes observed between research groups. This will be important in assessing cognitive training programs paired with stimulation techniques and identifying the more useful and less effective approaches. Here, we treat the tDCS+ working memory training field as a case example, but also survey training benefits in other neuromodulatory techniques (e.g., tRNS, tACS. There are challenges associated with the broad parameter space including: individual differences, stimulation intensity, duration, montage, session number, session spacing, training task selection, timing of follow up testing, near and far transfer tasks. In summary, although the field of assisted cognitive training is young, some design choices are more favorable than others. By way of heuristic, the current evidence supports including more training/tDCS sessions (5+, applying anodal tDCS targeting prefrontal regions, including follow up testing on trained and transfer tasks after a period of no contact. What remains unclear, but important for future translational value is continuing work to pinpoint optimal values for the tDCS parameters on a per cognitive task basis. Importantly the emerging literature shows notable consistency in the application of tDCS for WM across various participant populations compared to single session experimental designs.

  13. Motor learning and working memory in children born preterm: a systematic review.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jongbloed-Pereboom, M.; Janssen, A.J.W.M.; Steenbergen, B.; Nijhuis-Van der Sanden, M.W.G.

    2012-01-01

    Children born preterm have a higher risk for developing motor, cognitive, and behavioral problems. Motor problems can occur in combination with working memory problems, and working memory is important for explicit learning of motor skills. The relation between motor learning and working memory has

  14. Motor learning and working memory in children born preterm: A systematic review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jongbloed-Pereboom, M.; Janssen, A.J.W.M.; Steenbergen, Bert; Nijhuis-Van der Sanden, M.W.G.

    2012-01-01

    Children born preterm have a higher risk for developing motor, cognitive, and behavioral problems. Motor problems can occur in combination with working memory problems, and working memory is important for explicit learning of motor skills. The relation between motor learning and working memory has

  15. Near- and far-transfer effects of working memory updating training in elderly adults

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Xin, Z.; Lai, Z.R.; Fu, L.; Maes, J.H.R.

    2014-01-01

    Age-related declines in working memory, especially with regard to updating ability, affect many high-level aspects of cognition in elderly adults. Recent studies have demonstrated that training might improve working memory. We investigated the effects of 20days of adaptive training of working memory

  16. Working Memory Differences between Children Living in Rural and Urban Poverty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tine, Michele

    2014-01-01

    This study was designed to investigate if the working memory profiles of children living in rural poverty are distinct from the working memory profiles of children living in urban poverty. Verbal and visuospatial working memory tasks were administered to sixth-grade students living in low-income rural, low-income urban, high-income rural, and…

  17. The Development of Working Memory from Kindergarten to First Grade in Children with Different Decoding Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nevo, Einat; Breznitz, Zvia

    2013-01-01

    This study investigated the development of working memory ability (measured by tasks assessing all four working memory components) from the end of kindergarten to the end of first grade--the first year reading is taught in school--and the relationship between working memory abilities in kindergarten and first grade and reading skills in first…

  18. Working Memory and Strategy Use Contribute to Gender Differences in Spatial Ability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lu; Carr, Martha

    2014-01-01

    In this review, a new model that is grounded in information-processing theory is proposed to account for gender differences in spatial ability. The proposed model assumes that the relative strength of working memory, as expressed by the ratio of visuospatial working memory to verbal working memory, influences the type of strategies used on spatial…

  19. Working Memory Performance of Italian Students with Foreign Language Learning Difficulties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palladino, Paola; Cornoldi, Cesare

    2004-01-01

    It has been suggested that the ability to learn a foreign language is related to working memory. However, there is no clear evidence about which component of working memory may be involved. Two experiments investigated working memory problems in groups of seventh and eighth grade Italian children with difficulties in learning English as a second…

  20. Working Memory Functioning in Children with Learning Disorders and Specific Language Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuchardt, Kirsten; Bockmann, Ann-Katrin; Bornemann, Galina; Maehler, Claudia

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: On the basis of Baddeley's working memory model (1986), we examined working memory functioning in children with learning disorders with and without specific language impairment (SLI). We pursued the question whether children with learning disorders exhibit similar working memory deficits as children with additional SLI. Method: In…

  1. Motor learning and working memory in children born preterm: A systematic review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jongbloed-Pereboom, M.; Janssen, A.J.W.M.; Steenbergen, Bert; Nijhuis-Van der Sanden, M.W.G.

    2012-01-01

    Children born preterm have a higher risk for developing motor, cognitive, and behavioral problems. Motor problems can occur in combination with working memory problems, and working memory is important for explicit learning of motor skills. The relation between motor learning and working memory has n

  2. Motor learning and working memory in children born preterm: a systematic review.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jongbloed-Pereboom, M.; Janssen, A.J.W.M.; Steenbergen, B.; Nijhuis-Van der Sanden, M.W.G.

    2012-01-01

    Children born preterm have a higher risk for developing motor, cognitive, and behavioral problems. Motor problems can occur in combination with working memory problems, and working memory is important for explicit learning of motor skills. The relation between motor learning and working memory has n

  3. Working Memory and Strategy Use Contribute to Gender Differences in Spatial Ability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lu; Carr, Martha

    2014-01-01

    In this review, a new model that is grounded in information-processing theory is proposed to account for gender differences in spatial ability. The proposed model assumes that the relative strength of working memory, as expressed by the ratio of visuospatial working memory to verbal working memory, influences the type of strategies used on spatial…

  4. Working Memory Differences between Children Living in Rural and Urban Poverty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tine, Michele

    2014-01-01

    This study was designed to investigate if the working memory profiles of children living in rural poverty are distinct from the working memory profiles of children living in urban poverty. Verbal and visuospatial working memory tasks were administered to sixth-grade students living in low-income rural, low-income urban, high-income rural, and…

  5. Impact of Working Memory Training Targeting the Central Executive on Kindergarteners' Numerical Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honoré, Nastasya; Noël, Marie-Pascale

    2017-01-01

    Working memory capacities are associated with mathematical development. Many studies have tried to improve working memory abilities through training. Furthermore, the central executive has been shown to be the component of working memory, which is the most strongly related to numerical and arithmetical skills. Therefore, we developed a training…

  6. The Development of Working Memory from Kindergarten to First Grade in Children with Different Decoding Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nevo, Einat; Breznitz, Zvia

    2013-01-01

    This study investigated the development of working memory ability (measured by tasks assessing all four working memory components) from the end of kindergarten to the end of first grade--the first year reading is taught in school--and the relationship between working memory abilities in kindergarten and first grade and reading skills in first…

  7. Working Memory Capacity and Reading Skill Moderate the Effectiveness of Strategy Training in Learning from Hypertext

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naumann, Johannes; Richter, Tobias; Christmann, Ursula; Groeben, Norbert

    2008-01-01

    Cognitive and metacognitive strategies are particularly important for learning with hypertext. The effectiveness of strategy training, however, depends on available working memory resources. Thus, especially learners high on working memory capacity can profit from strategy training, while learners low on working memory capacity might easily be…

  8. Neural Correlates of Visual Short-term Memory Dissociate between Fragile and Working Memory Representations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandenbroucke, Annelinde R E; Sligte, Ilja G; de Vries, Jade G; Cohen, Michael X; Lamme, Victor A F

    2015-12-01

    Evidence is accumulating that the classic two-stage model of visual STM (VSTM), comprising iconic memory (IM) and visual working memory (WM), is incomplete. A third memory stage, termed fragile VSTM (FM), seems to exist in between IM and WM [Vandenbroucke, A. R. E., Sligte, I. G., & Lamme, V. A. F. Manipulations of attention dissociate fragile visual STM from visual working memory. Neuropsychologia, 49, 1559-1568, 2011; Sligte, I. G., Scholte, H. S., & Lamme, V. A. F. Are there multiple visual STM stores? PLoS One, 3, e1699, 2008]. Although FM can be distinguished from IM using behavioral and fMRI methods, the question remains whether FM is a weak expression of WM or a separate form of memory with its own neural signature. Here, we tested whether FM and WM in humans are supported by dissociable time-frequency features of EEG recordings. Participants performed a partial-report change detection task, from which individual differences in FM and WM capacity were estimated. These individual FM and WM capacities were correlated with time-frequency characteristics of the EEG signal before and during encoding and maintenance of the memory display. FM capacity showed negative alpha correlations over peri-occipital electrodes, whereas WM capacity was positively related, suggesting increased visual processing (lower alpha) to be related to FM capacity. Furthermore, FM capacity correlated with an increase in theta power over central electrodes during preparation and processing of the memory display, whereas WM did not. In addition to a difference in visual processing characteristics, a positive relation between gamma power and FM capacity was observed during both preparation and maintenance periods of the task. On the other hand, we observed that theta-gamma coupling was negatively correlated with FM capacity, whereas it was slightly positively correlated with WM. These data show clear differences in the neural substrates of FM versus WM and suggest that FM depends more on

  9. Individual differences in working memory capacity affect false memories for missing aspects of events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerrie, Matthew P; Garry, Maryanne

    2007-07-01

    Recently, Gerrie, Belcher, and Garry (2006) found that, when participants watch an event with parts missing, they falsely claim to have seen the missing parts--but they were more likely to claim they had seen less crucial parts than more crucial parts. Their results fit with a source-monitoring framework (SMF; Johnson, Hashtroudi, & Lindsay, 1993) explanation of false memories. In this paper we used individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC) to examine the SMF explanation of false memories for missing aspects of events. An accumulating body of research suggests that WMC is strongly related to controlling attention, including the ability to distinguish between sources of information. The primary purpose of the present study was to examine whether people with larger WMC are better able to ward off false memories for missing information than those with a smaller WMC. We showed that higher WMC reduced false recognition of crucial information, but did not change false recognition of noncrucial information. Additionally, we found that WMC had little effect on participants' subjective experience of true and false recognition of events, regardless whether the information was crucial or not. These results provide further evidence that people's WMC is related to their source-monitoring ability.

  10. Visual search elicits the electrophysiological marker of visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emrich, Stephen M; Al-Aidroos, Naseem; Pratt, Jay; Ferber, Susanne

    2009-11-26

    Although limited in capacity, visual working memory (VWM) plays an important role in many aspects of visually-guided behavior. Recent experiments have demonstrated an electrophysiological marker of VWM encoding and maintenance, the contralateral delay activity (CDA), which has been shown in multiple tasks that have both explicit and implicit memory demands. Here, we investigate whether the CDA is evident during visual search, a thoroughly-researched task that is a hallmark of visual attention but has no explicit memory requirements. The results demonstrate that the CDA is present during a lateralized search task, and that it is similar in amplitude to the CDA observed in a change-detection task, but peaks slightly later. The changes in CDA amplitude during search were strongly correlated with VWM capacity, as well as with search efficiency. These results were paralleled by behavioral findings showing a strong correlation between VWM capacity and search efficiency. We conclude that the activity observed during visual search was generated by the same neural resources that subserve VWM, and that this activity reflects the maintenance of previously searched distractors.

  11. Interference Impacts Working Memory in Mild Cognitive Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aurtenetxe, Sara; García-Pacios, Javier; del Río, David; López, María E.; Pineda-Pardo, José A.; Marcos, Alberto; Delgado Losada, Maria L.; López-Frutos, José M.; Maestú, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is considered a transitional stage between healthy aging and dementia, specifically Alzheimer's disease (AD). The most common cognitive impairment of MCI includes episodic memory loss and difficulties in working memory (WM). Interference can deplete WM, and an optimal WM performance requires an effective control of attentional resources between the memoranda and the incoming stimuli. Difficulties in handling interference lead to forgetting. However, the interplay between interference and WM in MCI is not well-understood and needs further investigation. The current study investigated the effect of interference during a WM task in 20 MCIs and 20 healthy elder volunteers. Participants performed a delayed match-to-sample paradigm which consisted in two interference conditions, distraction and interruption, and one control condition without any interference. Results evidenced a disproportionate impact of interference on the WM performance of MCIs, mainly in the presence of interruption. These findings demonstrate that interference, and more precisely interruption, is an important proxy for memory-related deficits in MCI. Thus, the current findings reveal novel evidence regarding the causes of WM forgetting in MCI patients, associated with difficulties in the mechanisms of attentional control. PMID:27790082

  12. Interference impacts working memory in mild cognitive impairment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Aurtenetxe

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Mild cognitive impairment (MCI is considered a transitional stage between healthy aging and dementia, specifically Alzheimer’s disease (AD. The most common cognitive impairment of MCI includes episodic memory loss and difficulties in working memory (WM. Interference can deplete WM, and an optimal WM performance requires an effective control of attentional resources between the memoranda and the incoming stimuli. Difficulties in handling interference lead to forgetting. However, the interplay between interference and WM in MCI is not well understood and needs further investigation. The current study investigated the effect of interference during a WM task in 20 MCIs and 20 healthy elder volunteers. Participants performed a delayed match-to-sample paradigm which consisted in two interference conditions, distraction and interruption, and one control condition without any interference. Results evidenced a disproportionate impact of interference on the WM performance of MCIs, mainly in the presence of interruption. These findings demonstrate that interference, and more precisely interruption, is an important proxy for memory-related deficits in MCI. Thus the current findings reveal novel evidence regarding the causes of WM forgetting in MCI patients, associated with difficulties in the mechanisms of attentional control.

  13. Retro-dimension-cue benefit in visual working memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Chaoxiong; Hu, Zhonghua; Ristaniemi, Tapani; Gendron, Maria; Liu, Qiang

    2016-01-01

    In visual working memory (VWM) tasks, participants’ performance can be improved by a retro-object-cue. However, previous studies have not investigated whether participants’ performance can also be improved by a retro-dimension-cue. Three experiments investigated this issue. We used a recall task with a retro-dimension-cue in all experiments. In Experiment 1, we found benefits from retro-dimension-cues compared to neutral cues. This retro-dimension-cue benefit is reflected in an increased probability of reporting the target, but not in the probability of reporting the non-target, as well as increased precision with which this item is remembered. Experiment 2 replicated the retro-dimension-cue benefit and showed that the length of the blank interval after the cue disappeared did not influence recall performance. Experiment 3 replicated the results of Experiment 2 with a lower memory load. Our studies provide evidence that there is a robust retro-dimension-cue benefit in VWM. Participants can use internal attention to flexibly allocate cognitive resources to a particular dimension of memory representations. The results also support the feature-based storing hypothesis. PMID:27774983

  14. Metacognitive monitoring and strategic behaviour in working memory performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Touron, Dayna R; Oransky, Natalie; Meier, Matthew E; Hines, Jarrod C

    2010-08-01

    Research indicates that cognitive age differences can be influenced by metacognitive factors. This research has generally focused on simple memory tasks. Age differences in working memory (WM) performance are pronounced, but are typically attributed to basic cognitive deficits rather than metacognitive factors. However, WM performance can be influenced by strategic behaviour that might be driven by metacognitive monitoring. In the current project, we attempted to connect these lines of research by examining age differences in metacognitive WM monitoring and strategies. In Experiment 1, younger and older adult participants completed a computerized operation span task in conditions that either required or did not require monitoring reports. Participants in the monitoring condition predicted and postdicted global performance for each block and rated their responses following each trial within a block. In Experiment 2, participants also reported their trial-level strategic approach. In contrast to the age equivalence typically found for simple memory monitoring, results demonstrated age differences in WM monitoring accuracy. Overall age differences in strategy use were not found, but using effective strategies benefited older adults' performance more than younger adults'. Furthermore, age-related differences in the WM task appear to be mediated by the accuracy of performance monitoring.

  15. Rhythmic Working Memory Activation in the Human Hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcin Leszczyński

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Working memory (WM maintenance is assumed to rely on a single sustained process throughout the entire maintenance period. This assumption, although fundamental, has never been tested. We used intracranial electroencephalography (EEG recordings from the human hippocampus in two independent experiments to investigate the neural dynamics underlying WM maintenance. We observed periodic fluctuations between two different oscillatory regimes: Periods of “memory activation” were reflected by load-dependent alpha power reductions and lower levels of cross-frequency coupling (CFC. They occurred interleaved with periods characterized by load-independent high levels of alpha power and CFC. During memory activation periods, a relevant CFC parameter (load-dependent changes of the peak modulated frequency correlated with individual WM capacity. Fluctuations between these two periods predicted successful performance and were locked to the phase of endogenous delta oscillations. These results show that hippocampal maintenance is a dynamic rather than constant process and depends critically on a hierarchy of oscillations.

  16. Reproducing American Sign Language Sentences: Cognitive Scaffolding in Working Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ted eSupalla

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The American Sign Language Sentence Reproduction Test (ASL-SRT requires the precise reproduction of a series of ASL sentences increasing in complexity and length. Error analyses of such tasks provides insight into working memory and scaffolding processes. Data was collected from three groups expected to differ in fluency: deaf children, deaf adults and hearing adults, all users of ASL. Quantitative (correct/incorrect recall and qualitative error analyses were performed. Percent correct on the reproduction task supports its sensitivity to fluency as test performance clearly differed across the three groups studied. A linguistic analysis of errors further documented differing strategies and bias across groups. Subjects’ recall projected the affordance and constraints of deep linguistic representations to differing degrees, with subjects resorting to alternate processing strategies in the absence of linguistic knowledge. A qualitative error analysis allows us to capture generalizations about the relationship between error pattern and the cognitive scaffolding, which governs the sentence reproduction process. Highly fluent signers and less-fluent signers share common chokepoints on particular words in sentences. However, they diverge in heuristic strategy. Fluent signers, when they make an error, tend to preserve semantic details while altering morpho-syntactic domains. They produce syntactically correct sentences with equivalent meaning to the to-be-reproduced one, but these are not verbatim reproductions of the original sentence. In contrast, less-fluent signers tend to use a more linear strategy, preserving lexical status and word ordering while omitting local inflections, and occasionally resorting to visuo-motoric imitation. Thus, whereas fluent signers readily use top-down scaffolding in their working memory, less fluent signers fail to do so. Implications for current models of working memory across spoken and signed modalities are

  17. Working Memory in the Classroom: An Inside Look at the Central Executive.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barker, Lauren A

    2016-01-01

    This article provides a review of working memory and its application to educational settings. A discussion of the varying definitions of working memory is presented. Special attention is given to the various multidisciplinary professionals who work with students with working memory deficits, and their unique understanding of the construct. Definitions and theories of working memory are briefly summarized and provide the foundation for understanding practical applications of working memory to assessment and intervention. Although definitions and models of working memory abound, there is limited consensus regarding universally accepted definitions and models. Current research indicates that developing new models of working memory may be an appropriate paradigm shift at this time. The integration of individual practitioner's knowledge regarding academic achievement, working memory and processing speed could provide a foundation for the future development of new working memory models. Future directions for research should aim to explain how tasks and behaviors are supported by the substrates of the cortico-striatal and the cerebro-cerebellar systems. Translation of neurobiological information into educational contexts will be helpful to inform all practitioners' knowledge of working memory constructs. It will also allow for universally accepted definitions and models of working memory to arise and facilitate more effective collaboration between disciplines working in educational setting.

  18. Transactive memory system links work team characteristics and performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhi-Xue; Hempel, Paul S; Han, Yu-Lan; Tjosvold, Dean

    2007-11-01

    Teamwork and coordination of expertise among team members with different backgrounds are increasingly recognized as important for team effectiveness. Recently, researchers have examined how team members rely on transactive memory system (TMS; D. M. Wegner, 1987) to share their distributed knowledge and expertise. To establish the ecological validity and generality of TMS research findings, this study sampled 104 work teams from a variety of organizational settings in China and examined the relationships between team characteristics, TMS, and team performance. The results suggest that task interdependence, cooperative goal interdependence, and support for innovation are positively related to work teams' TMS and that TMS is related to team performance; moreover, structural equation analysis indicates that TMS mediates the team characteristics-performance links. Findings have implications both for team leaders to manage their work teams effectively and for team members to improve their team performance.

  19. Race, Gender, and Reseacher Positionality Analysed Through Memory Work

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andreassen, Rikke; Myong, Lene

    2017-01-01

    racialization, and how research within gender, migration, and critical race studies is often met by rejection and threats of physical violence. The article illustrates how race is silenced within academia, and furthermore how questions of race, when pointed out, are often interpreted as a call for censorship......Drawing upon feminist standpoint theory and memory work, the authors analyse racial privilege by investigating their own racialized and gendered subjectifications as academic researchers. By looking at their own experiences within academia, they show how authority and agency are contingent upon...

  20. Working memory and L2 reading: theoretical and methodological issues

    OpenAIRE

    Erçetin, Gülcan

    2015-01-01

    This article reviews research on working memory (WM) and its role in second language (L2) reading. After a brief theoretical account of WM, the article focuses on methods of measuring WM and issues surrounding its measurement. Next, the paper provides a review of studies on the relationship between L1 and L2 WM, their relationships with L2 reading, and the interaction between WM capacity and domain knowledge in terms of their effects on L2 reading comprehension. Conclusions regarding the role...