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Sample records for visuo-spatial working memory

  1. Co-speech iconic gestures and visuo-spatial working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Ying Choon; Coulson, Seana

    2014-11-01

    Three experiments tested the role of verbal versus visuo-spatial working memory in the comprehension of co-speech iconic gestures. In Experiment 1, participants viewed congruent discourse primes in which the speaker's gestures matched the information conveyed by his speech, and incongruent ones in which the semantic content of the speaker's gestures diverged from that in his speech. Discourse primes were followed by picture probes that participants judged as being either related or unrelated to the preceding clip. Performance on this picture probe classification task was faster and more accurate after congruent than incongruent discourse primes. The effect of discourse congruency on response times was linearly related to measures of visuo-spatial, but not verbal, working memory capacity, as participants with greater visuo-spatial WM capacity benefited more from congruent gestures. In Experiments 2 and 3, participants performed the same picture probe classification task under conditions of high and low loads on concurrent visuo-spatial (Experiment 2) and verbal (Experiment 3) memory tasks. Effects of discourse congruency and verbal WM load were additive, while effects of discourse congruency and visuo-spatial WM load were interactive. Results suggest that congruent co-speech gestures facilitate multi-modal language comprehension, and indicate an important role for visuo-spatial WM in these speech-gesture integration processes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Multisensory Integration Affects Visuo-Spatial Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botta, Fabiano; Santangelo, Valerio; Raffone, Antonino; Sanabria, Daniel; Lupianez, Juan; Belardinelli, Marta Olivetti

    2011-01-01

    In the present study, we investigate how spatial attention, driven by unisensory and multisensory cues, can bias the access of information into visuo-spatial working memory (VSWM). In a series of four experiments, we compared the effectiveness of spatially-nonpredictive visual, auditory, or audiovisual cues in capturing participants' spatial…

  3. Does visuo-spatial working memory generally contribute to immediate serial letter recall?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fürstenberg, A; Rummer, R; Schweppe, J

    2013-01-01

    This work contributes to the understanding of the visual similarity effect in verbal working memory, a finding that suggests that the visuo-spatial sketch pad-the system in Baddeley's working memory model specialised in retaining nonverbal visual information-might be involved in the retention of visually presented verbal materials. Crucially this effect is implicitly interpreted by the most influential theory of multimedia learning as evidence for an obligatory involvement of the visuo-spatial sketch pad. We claim that it is only involved when the functioning of the working memory component normally used for processing verbal material is impaired. In this article we review the studies that give rise to the idea of obligatory involvement of the visuo-spatial sketch pad and suggest that some findings can be understood with reference to orthographic rather than visual similarity. We then test an alternative explanation of the finding that is most apt to serve as evidence for obligatory involvement of the visuo-spatial sketch pad. We conclude that, in healthy adults and under normal learning conditions, the visual similarity effect can be explained within the framework of verbal working memory proposed by Baddeley (e.g., 1986, 2000) without additional premises regarding the visuo-spatial sketch.

  4. Visuo-spatial processing in a dynamic and a static working memory paradigm in schizophrenia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cocchi, Luca; Schenk, Françoise; Volken, Henri

    2007-01-01

    patients with schizophrenia and matched controls in a new working memory paradigm involving dynamic (the Ball Flight Task - BFT) or static (the Static Pattern Task - SPT) visual stimuli. In the BFT, the responses of the patients were apparently based on the retention of the last set of segments...... that visuo-spatial working memory can simply be dissociated into visual and spatial sub-components....

  5. Covert is better than overt when rehearsing Visuo-Spatial information in working memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Godijn, R.J.; Theeuwes, J.

    2012-01-01

    In the present study, we examined whether eye movements facilitate retention of visuo-spatial information in working memory. In two experiments, participants memorised the sequence of the spatial locations of six digits across a retention interval. In some conditions, participants were free to move

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

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

    2012-10-01

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

  7. Persistence of Gender Related-Effects on Visuo-Spatial and Verbal Working Memory in Right Brain-Damaged Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piccardi, Laura; Matano, Alessandro; D'Antuono, Giovanni; Marin, Dario; Ciurli, Paola; Incoccia, Chiara; Verde, Paola; Guariglia, Paola

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to verify if gender differences in verbal and visuo-spatial working memory would persist following right cerebral lesions. To pursue our aim we investigated a large sample (n. 346) of right brain-damaged patients and healthy participants (n. 272) for the presence of gender effects in performing Corsi and Digit Test. We also assessed a subgroup of patients (n. 109) for the nature (active vs. passive) of working memory tasks. We tested working memory (WM) administering the Corsi Test (CBT) and the Digit Span (DS) using two different versions: forward (fCBT and fDS), subjects were required to repeat stimuli in the same order that they were presented; and backward (bCBT and bDS), subjects were required to repeat stimuli in the opposite order of presentation. In this way, passive storage and active processing of working memory were assessed. Our results showed the persistence of gender-related effects in spite of the presence of right brain lesions. We found that men outperformed women both in CBT and DS, regardless of active and passive processing of verbal and visuo-spatial stimuli. The presence of visuo-spatial disorders (i.e., hemineglect) can affect the performance on Corsi Test. In our sample, men and women were equally affected by hemineglect, therefore it did not mask the gender effect. Generally speaking, the persistence of the men's superiority in visuo-spatial tasks may be interpreted as a protective factor, at least for men, within other life factors such as level of education or kind of profession before retirement.

  8. Persistence of Gender Related-Effects on Visuo-Spatial and Verbal Working Memory in Right Brain-Damaged Patients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piccardi, Laura; Matano, Alessandro; D’Antuono, Giovanni; Marin, Dario; Ciurli, Paola; Incoccia, Chiara; Verde, Paola; Guariglia, Paola

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to verify if gender differences in verbal and visuo-spatial working memory would persist following right cerebral lesions. To pursue our aim we investigated a large sample (n. 346) of right brain-damaged patients and healthy participants (n. 272) for the presence of gender effects in performing Corsi and Digit Test. We also assessed a subgroup of patients (n. 109) for the nature (active vs. passive) of working memory tasks. We tested working memory (WM) administering the Corsi Test (CBT) and the Digit Span (DS) using two different versions: forward (fCBT and fDS), subjects were required to repeat stimuli in the same order that they were presented; and backward (bCBT and bDS), subjects were required to repeat stimuli in the opposite order of presentation. In this way, passive storage and active processing of working memory were assessed. Our results showed the persistence of gender-related effects in spite of the presence of right brain lesions. We found that men outperformed women both in CBT and DS, regardless of active and passive processing of verbal and visuo-spatial stimuli. The presence of visuo-spatial disorders (i.e., hemineglect) can affect the performance on Corsi Test. In our sample, men and women were equally affected by hemineglect, therefore it did not mask the gender effect. Generally speaking, the persistence of the men’s superiority in visuo-spatial tasks may be interpreted as a protective factor, at least for men, within other life factors such as level of education or kind of profession before retirement. PMID:27445734

  9. Developmental dyscalculia is related to visuo-spatial memory and inhibition impairment☆

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szucs, Denes; Devine, Amy; Soltesz, Fruzsina; Nobes, Alison; Gabriel, Florence

    2013-01-01

    Developmental dyscalculia is thought to be a specific impairment of mathematics ability. Currently dominant cognitive neuroscience theories of developmental dyscalculia suggest that it originates from the impairment of the magnitude representation of the human brain, residing in the intraparietal sulcus, or from impaired connections between number symbols and the magnitude representation. However, behavioral research offers several alternative theories for developmental dyscalculia and neuro-imaging also suggests that impairments in developmental dyscalculia may be linked to disruptions of other functions of the intraparietal sulcus than the magnitude representation. Strikingly, the magnitude representation theory has never been explicitly contrasted with a range of alternatives in a systematic fashion. Here we have filled this gap by directly contrasting five alternative theories (magnitude representation, working memory, inhibition, attention and spatial processing) of developmental dyscalculia in 9–10-year-old primary school children. Participants were selected from a pool of 1004 children and took part in 16 tests and nine experiments. The dominant features of developmental dyscalculia are visuo-spatial working memory, visuo-spatial short-term memory and inhibitory function (interference suppression) impairment. We hypothesize that inhibition impairment is related to the disruption of central executive memory function. Potential problems of visuo-spatial processing and attentional function in developmental dyscalculia probably depend on short-term memory/working memory and inhibition impairments. The magnitude representation theory of developmental dyscalculia was not supported. PMID:23890692

  10. Developmental dyscalculia is related to visuo-spatial memory and inhibition impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szucs, Denes; Devine, Amy; Soltesz, Fruzsina; Nobes, Alison; Gabriel, Florence

    2013-01-01

    Developmental dyscalculia is thought to be a specific impairment of mathematics ability. Currently dominant cognitive neuroscience theories of developmental dyscalculia suggest that it originates from the impairment of the magnitude representation of the human brain, residing in the intraparietal sulcus, or from impaired connections between number symbols and the magnitude representation. However, behavioral research offers several alternative theories for developmental dyscalculia and neuro-imaging also suggests that impairments in developmental dyscalculia may be linked to disruptions of other functions of the intraparietal sulcus than the magnitude representation. Strikingly, the magnitude representation theory has never been explicitly contrasted with a range of alternatives in a systematic fashion. Here we have filled this gap by directly contrasting five alternative theories (magnitude representation, working memory, inhibition, attention and spatial processing) of developmental dyscalculia in 9-10-year-old primary school children. Participants were selected from a pool of 1004 children and took part in 16 tests and nine experiments. The dominant features of developmental dyscalculia are visuo-spatial working memory, visuo-spatial short-term memory and inhibitory function (interference suppression) impairment. We hypothesize that inhibition impairment is related to the disruption of central executive memory function. Potential problems of visuo-spatial processing and attentional function in developmental dyscalculia probably depend on short-term memory/working memory and inhibition impairments. The magnitude representation theory of developmental dyscalculia was not supported. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  11. Visuo-spatial processing in a dynamic and a static working memory paradigm in schizophrenia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cocchi, Luca; Schenk, Françoise; Volken, Henri

    2007-01-01

    patients with schizophrenia and matched controls in a new working memory paradigm involving dynamic (the Ball Flight Task - BFT) or static (the Static Pattern Task - SPT) visual stimuli. In the BFT, the responses of the patients were apparently based on the retention of the last set of segments...... that visuo-spatial working memory can simply be dissociated into visual and spatial sub-components....... of the perceived trajectory, whereas control subjects relied on a more global strategy. We assume that the patients' performances are the result of a reduced capacity in chunking visual information since they relied mainly on the retention of the last set of segments. This assumption is confirmed by the poor...

  12. Fractionation of visuo-spatial memory processes in bipolar depression: a cognitive scaffolding account

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gallagher, P.; Gray, J.M.; Kessels, R.P.C.

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Previous studies of neurocognitive performance in bipolar disorder (BD) have demonstrated impairments in visuo-spatial memory. The aim of the present study was to use an object-location memory (OLM) paradigm to assess specific, dissociable processes in visuo-spatial memory and examine

  13. Fractionation of visuo-spatial memory processes in bipolar depression: a cognitive scaffolding account

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gallagher, P.; Gray, J.M.; Kessels, R.P.C.

    2015-01-01

    Background Previous studies of neurocognitive performance in bipolar disorder (BD) have demonstrated impairments in visuo-spatial memory. The aim of the present study was to use an object-location memory (OLM) paradigm to assess specific, dissociable processes in visuo-spatial memory and examine

  14. How to enhance route learning and visuo-spatial working memory in aging: a training for residential care home residents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitolo, Micaela; Borella, Erika; Meneghetti, Chiara; Carbone, Elena; Pazzaglia, Francesca

    2017-05-01

    This study aimed to assess the efficacy of a route-learning training in a group of older adults living in a residential care home. We verified the presence of training-specific effects in tasks similar to those trained - route-learning tasks - as well as transfer effects on related cognitive processes - visuo-spatial short-term memory (VSSTM; Corsi Blocks Test (CBT), forward version), visuo-spatial working memory (VSWM; CBT, backward version; Pathway Span Tasks; Jigsaw Puzzle Test) - and in self-report measures. The maintenance of training benefits was examined after 3 months. Thirty 70-90-year-old residential care home residents were randomly assigned to the route-learning training group or to an active control group (involved in non-visuo-spatial activities). The trained group performed better than the control group in the route-learning tasks, retaining this benefit 3 months later. Immediate transfer effects were also seen in visuo-spatial span tasks (i.e., CBT forward and backward version and Pathway Span Task); these benefits had been substantially maintained at the 3-month follow-up. These findings suggest that a training on route learning is a promising approach to sustain older adults' environmental learning and some related abilities (e.g., VSSTM and VSWM), even in residential care home residents.

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

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    Botta, Fabiano; Lupiáñez, Juan; Sanabria, Daniel

    2013-09-01

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

  16. Translating working memory into action: behavioral and neural evidence for using motor representations in encoding visuo-spatial sequences.

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    Langner, Robert; Sternkopf, Melanie A; Kellermann, Tanja S; Grefkes, Christian; Kurth, Florian; Schneider, Frank; Zilles, Karl; Eickhoff, Simon B

    2014-07-01

    The neurobiological organization of action-oriented working memory is not well understood. To elucidate the neural correlates of translating visuo-spatial stimulus sequences into delayed (memory-guided) sequential actions, we measured brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging while participants encoded sequences of four to seven dots appearing on fingers of a left or right schematic hand. After variable delays, sequences were to be reproduced with the corresponding fingers. Recall became less accurate with longer sequences and was initiated faster after long delays. Across both hands, encoding and recall activated bilateral prefrontal, premotor, superior and inferior parietal regions as well as the basal ganglia, whereas hand-specific activity was found (albeit to a lesser degree during encoding) in contralateral premotor, sensorimotor, and superior parietal cortex. Activation differences after long versus short delays were restricted to motor-related regions, indicating that rehearsal during long delays might have facilitated the conversion of the memorandum into concrete motor programs at recall. Furthermore, basal ganglia activity during encoding selectively predicted correct recall. Taken together, the results suggest that to-be-reproduced visuo-spatial sequences are encoded as prospective action representations (motor intentions), possibly in addition to retrospective sensory codes. Overall, our study supports and extends multi-component models of working memory, highlighting the notion that sensory input can be coded in multiple ways depending on what the memorandum is to be used for. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Developmental changes in visuo-spatial working memory in normally developing children: event-related potentials study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myatchin, Ivan; Lagae, Lieven

    2013-10-01

    Working memory (WM) is very important for normal development. The fronto-parietal neuronal network supporting WM has already been well-studied. Less is known about the cortical activity changes during development of WM. We evaluated the maturation of visual WM network at the electrophysiological level in a group of normally developing children. Multichannel (n=31) event-related potentials (ERP) were measured during a visuo-spatial backmatching task in 69 childrens (6-16 years old). One-backmatching (BM1) and two-backmatching (BM2) tasks were performed. Age-related changes in behavioral parameters (commission and omission errors and reaction times) and ERP parameters (peak amplitudes and latencies) were analyzed between different ages. Clear improvement in performance from young childhood toward adolescence was seen at the behavioral level: decrease of errors and fastening of reaction times. At the electrophysiological level age-related changes were seen in peak latencies and especially in amplitudes. Different peaks have different dynamics in amplitudes and latencies: early peak amplitude decreased and latency shortened with age, which was not always seen in late peaks. This reflects developmental changes in intensity and speed of WM processing. Later peaks were more clearly seen over the right hemisphere in older children, illustrating hemispheric lateralization in visuo-spatial working memory. Our results indicate that not only at the behavioral but also at the electrophysiological level clear age-related dynamics in WM processing can be seen. Furthermore, with ERP we showed that different WM components follow different developmental trajectories. Our work demonstrates that age-related dynamics in intensity and speed of information processing during WM task is reflected in developmental changes in different ERP components. It also states that fronto-parietal visual WM network can be functional even before all its nodes are fully mature. Copyright © 2012 The

  18. Sports training enhances visuo-spatial cognition regardless of open-closed typology

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    Ting-Yu Chueh

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of open and closed sport participation on visuo-spatial attention and memory performance among young adults. Forty-eight young adults—16 open-skill athletes, 16 closed-skill athletes, and 16 non-athletes controls—were recruited for the study. Both behavioral performance and event-related potential (ERP measurement were assessed when participants performed non-delayed and delayed match-to-sample task that tested visuo-spatial attention and memory processing. Results demonstrated that regardless of training typology, the athlete groups exhibited shorter reaction times in both the visuo-spatial attention and memory conditions than the control group with no existence of speed-accuracy trade-off. Similarly, a larger P3 amplitudes were observed in both athlete groups than in the control group for the visuo-spatial memory condition. These findings suggest that sports training, regardless of typology, are associated with superior visuo-spatial attention and memory performance, and more efficient neural resource allocation in memory processing.

  19. Stress-induced deficits in working memory and visuo-constructive abilities in Special Operations soldiers.

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    Morgan, Charles A; Doran, Anthony; Steffian, George; Hazlett, Gary; Southwick, Steven M

    2006-10-01

    Pre-clinical and clinical studies have shown acute stress may impair working memory and visuo-spatial ability. This study was designed to clarify the nature of stress-induced cognitive deficits in soldiers and how such deficits may contribute to operational or battlefield errors. One hundred eighty-four Special Operations warfighters enrolled in Survival School completed pre-stress measures of dissociation and trauma exposure. Subjects were randomized to one of three assessment groups (Pre-stress, Stress, Post-stress) and were administered the Rey Ostereith Complex Figure (ROCF). All subjects completed post-stress measures of dissociation. ROCF copy and recall were normal in the Pre- and Post-stress groups. ROCF copy and recall were significantly impaired in the Stress Group. Stress group ROCF copy performance was piecemeal, and ROCF recall was impaired. Symptoms of dissociation were negatively associated with ROCF recall in the Stress group. Baseline dissociation and history of traumatic stress predicted cognitive impairment during stress. Stress exposure impaired visuo-spatial capacity and working memory. In rats, monkeys, and humans, high dopamine and NE turnover in the PFC induce deficits in cognition and spatial working memory. Improved understanding of stress-induced cognitive deficits may assist in identification of soldiers at risk and lead to the development of better countermeasures.

  20. Visuo-spatial abilities are key for young children's verbal number skills.

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    Cornu, Véronique; Schiltz, Christine; Martin, Romain; Hornung, Caroline

    2018-02-01

    Children's development of verbal number skills (i.e., counting abilities and knowledge of the number names) presents a milestone in mathematical development. Different factors such as visuo-spatial and verbal abilities have been discussed as contributing to the development of these foundational skills. To understand the cognitive nature of verbal number skills in young children, the current study assessed the relation of preschoolers' verbal and visuo-spatial abilities to their verbal number skills. In total, 141 children aged 5 or 6 years participated in the current study. Verbal number skills were regressed on vocabulary, phonological awareness and visuo-spatial abilities, and verbal and visuo-spatial working memory in a structural equation model. Only visuo-spatial abilities emerged as a significant predictor of verbal number skills in the estimated model. Our results suggest that visuo-spatial abilities contribute to a larger extent to children's verbal number skills than verbal abilities. From a theoretical point of view, these results suggest a visuo-spatial, rather than a verbal, grounding of verbal number skills. These results are potentially informative for the conception of early mathematics assessments and interventions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Cross-modal activation of auditory regions during visuo-spatial working memory in early deafness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Hao; Qin, Wen; Liang, Meng; Ming, Dong; Wan, Baikun; Li, Qiang; Yu, Chunshui

    2015-09-01

    Early deafness can reshape deprived auditory regions to enable the processing of signals from the remaining intact sensory modalities. Cross-modal activation has been observed in auditory regions during non-auditory tasks in early deaf subjects. In hearing subjects, visual working memory can evoke activation of the visual cortex, which further contributes to behavioural performance. In early deaf subjects, however, whether and how auditory regions participate in visual working memory remains unclear. We hypothesized that auditory regions may be involved in visual working memory processing and activation of auditory regions may contribute to the superior behavioural performance of early deaf subjects. In this study, 41 early deaf subjects (22 females and 19 males, age range: 20-26 years, age of onset of deafness memory task than did the hearing controls. Compared with hearing controls, deaf subjects exhibited increased activation in the superior temporal gyrus bilaterally during the recognition stage. This increased activation amplitude predicted faster and more accurate working memory performance in deaf subjects. Deaf subjects also had increased activation in the superior temporal gyrus bilaterally during the maintenance stage and in the right superior temporal gyrus during the encoding stage. These increased activation amplitude also predicted faster reaction times on the spatial working memory task in deaf subjects. These findings suggest that cross-modal plasticity occurs in auditory association areas in early deaf subjects. These areas are involved in visuo-spatial working memory. Furthermore, amplitudes of cross-modal activation during the maintenance stage were positively correlated with the age of onset of hearing aid use and were negatively correlated with the percentage of lifetime hearing aid use in deaf subjects. These findings suggest that earlier and longer hearing aid use may inhibit cross-modal reorganization in early deaf subjects. Granger

  2. Visuo-Spatial Imagery Impairment in Posterior Cortical Atrophy: A Cognitive and SPECT Study

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    Simona Gardini

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated the cognitive profile and the cerebral perfusion pattern in a highly educated 70 year old gentleman with posterior cortical atrophy (PCA. Visuo-perceptual abilities, spatial memory, spatial representation and navigation, visuo-spatial mental imagery, semantic and episodic-autobiographical memory were assessed. Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF was imaged with SPECT. Cognitive testing showed visual-perceptual impairment, apperceptive visual and landmark agnosia, topographical disorientation with way-finding deficits, impaired map learning and poor mental image generation. Semantic memory was normal, while episodic-autobiographical memory was impaired. Reduced rCBF was found mainly in the right hemisphere, in the precentral gyrus, posterior cingulate and middle temporal gyri, cuneus and precuneus, in the left superior temporal and lingual gyri and in the parahippocampus bilaterally. Hypoperfusion in occipito-parietal regions was associated with visuo-spatial deficits, whereas deficits in visuo-spatial mental imagery might reflect dysfunction related to hypoperfusion in the parahippocampus and precuneus, structures which are responsible for spatial and imagery processing. Dissociating performance between preserved semantic memory and poor episodic-autobiographical recall is consistent with a pattern of normal perfusion in frontal and anterior temporal regions but abnormal rCBF in the parahippocampi. The present findings indicate that PCA involves visuo-spatial imagery deficits and provide further validation to current neuro-cognitive models of spatial representation and topographical disorientation.

  3. Oculomotor preparation as a rehearsal mechanism in spatial working memory.

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    Pearson, David G; Ball, Keira; Smith, Daniel T

    2014-09-01

    There is little consensus regarding the specific processes responsible for encoding, maintenance, and retrieval of information in visuo-spatial working memory (VSWM). One influential theory is that VSWM may involve activation of the eye-movement (oculomotor) system. In this study we experimentally prevented healthy participants from planning or executing saccadic eye-movements during the encoding, maintenance, and retrieval stages of visual and spatial working memory tasks. Participants experienced a significant reduction in spatial memory span only when oculomotor preparation was prevented during encoding or maintenance. In contrast there was no reduction when oculomotor preparation was prevented only during retrieval. These results show that (a) involvement of the oculomotor system is necessary for optimal maintenance of directly-indicated locations in spatial working memory and (b) oculomotor preparation is not necessary during retrieval from spatial working memory. We propose that this study is the first to unambiguously demonstrate that the oculomotor system contributes to the maintenance of spatial locations in working memory independently from the involvement of covert attention. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Age-related differences in cortical activity during a visuo-spatial working memory task with facial stimuli.

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    Flávia Schechtman Belham

    Full Text Available Emotion, importantly displayed by facial expressions, is one of the most significant memory modulators. The interaction between memory and the different emotional valences change across lifespan, while young adults (YA are expected to better recall negative events (Negativity Bias Hypothesis, older adults (OA tend to focus on positive stimuli (Positivity Effect Hypothesis. This research work aims at verifying whether cortical electrical activity of these two age groups would also be differently influenced by emotional valences in a visuo-spatial working memory task. 27 YA (13 males and 25 OA (14 males, all healthy volunteers, underwent electroencephalographic recordings (21 scalp electrodes montage, while performing the Spatial Delayed Recognition Span Task using a touch screen with different stimuli categories: neutral, positive and negative faces and geometric pictures. YA obtained higher scores than OA, and showed higher activation of theta and alpha bands in the frontal and midline regions, besides a more evident right-hemispheric asymmetry on alpha band when compared to OA. For both age groups, performance in the task was worse for positive faces than to negative and to neutral faces. Facial stimuli induced a better performance and higher alpha activation on the pre-frontal region for YA, and on the midline, occipital and left temporal regions for OA when compared to geometric figures. The superior performance of YA was expected due to the natural cognitive deficits connected to ageing, as was a better performance with facial stimuli due to the evolutionary importance of faces. These results were related to cortical activity on areas of importance for action-planning, decision making and sustained attention. Taken together, they are in accordance with the Negativity Bias but do not support the Positivity Effect. The methodology used was able to identify age-related differences in cortical activity during emotional mnemonic processing and

  5. High-intensity stress elicits robust cortisol increases, and impairs working memory and visuo-spatial declarative memory in Special Forces candidates: A field experiment.

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    Taverniers, John; Van Ruysseveldt, Joris; Smeets, Tom; von Grumbkow, Jasper

    2010-07-01

    While running a selection procedure, 27 male Belgian Special Forces candidates, with a mean age of 27.4 years (SD = 5.1), were randomly assigned to a no-stress control (n = 14) or a high-intensity stress group (n = 13). Participants in the latter group were exposed to an extremely strenuous mock prisoner of war (POW) exercise. Immediately after stress or control treatment, working memory and visuo-spatial declarative memory performances were measured by the digit span (DS) test and the Rey-Osterrieth complex figure (ROCF), respectively. Concurrently, stress levels were assessed by obtaining salivary cortisol measurements and subjectively by the NASA Task Load Index (TLX). As expected, exposure to high-intensity stress led to both robust cortisol increases and significant differences in TLX scores. Stress induction also significantly impaired DS and ROCF performances. Moreover, delta cortisol increases and ROCF performance in the POW stress group showed a significant negative correlation, while DS performances followed the same tendency. Summarizing, the current findings complement and extend previous work on hormonal stress effects, and the subsequent performance deterioration on two memory tests in a unique high-intensity stress environment.

  6. Spatial and verbal working memory: A functional magnetic resonance imaging study

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    Blaž Koritnik

    2004-08-01

    Full Text Available According to numerous studies, working memory is not a unitary system. Baddeley's model of working memory includes besides central executive also two separate systems for verbal and visuo-spatial information processing. A modality- and process-specific specialization presumably exists in working memory system of the frontal lobes. In our preliminary study, we have used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study the pattern of cortical activation during spatial and verbal n-back task in six healthy subjects. A bilateral fronto-parietal cortical network was activated in both tasks. There was larger activation of right parietal and bilateral occipital areas in spatial than in vebal task. Activation of left sensorimotor area was larger in verbal compared to spatial task. No task-specific differences were found in the prefrontal cortex. Our results support the assumption that modality-specific processes exist within the working-memory system.

  7. Mapping of the Underlying Neural Mechanisms of Maintenance and Manipulation in Visuo-Spatial Working Memory Using An n-back Mental Rotation Task: A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamp, Gemma; Alexander, Bonnie; Laycock, Robin; Crewther, David P; Crewther, Sheila G

    2016-01-01

    Mapping of the underlying neural mechanisms of visuo-spatial working memory (WM) has been shown to consistently elicit activity in right hemisphere dominant fronto-parietal networks. However to date, the bulk of neuroimaging literature has focused largely on the maintenance aspect of visuo-spatial WM, with a scarcity of research into the aspects of WM involving manipulation of information. Thus, this study aimed to compare maintenance-only with maintenance and manipulation of visuo-spatial stimuli (3D cube shapes) utilizing a 1-back task while functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans were acquired. Sixteen healthy participants (9 women, M = 23.94 years, SD = 2.49) were required to perform the 1-back task with or without mentally rotating the shapes 90° on a vertical axis. When no rotation was required (maintenance-only condition), a right hemispheric lateralization was revealed across fronto-parietal areas. However, when the task involved maintaining and manipulating the same stimuli through 90° rotation, activation was primarily seen in the bilateral parietal lobe and left fusiform gyrus. The findings confirm that the well-established right lateralized fronto-parietal networks are likely to underlie simple maintenance of visuo-spatial stimuli. The results also suggest that the added demand of manipulation of information maintained online appears to require further neural recruitment of functionally related areas. In particular mental rotation of visuospatial stimuli required bilateral parietal areas, and the left fusiform gyrus potentially to maintain a categorical or object representation. It can be concluded that WM is a complex neural process involving the interaction of an increasingly large network.

  8. Effect of Insulin on Visuo-Spatial Memory and Histology of Cerebral ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    olayemitoyin

    the neuronal networks, based on long-term potentiation (LTP) ... insulin syringe daily between the hours of 8:00 – 9:00 am. The mice ... findings. Assessment of long-term visuo-spatial learning and ... (Handycam, SONY, Japan) recorded movement of the mice for later .... laboratory methods, and which this work did not seek.

  9. Perceptual load affects exogenous spatial orienting while working memory load does not.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santangelo, Valerio; Finoia, Paola; Raffone, Antonino; Belardinelli, Marta Olivetti; Spence, Charles

    2008-01-01

    We examined whether or not increasing visual perceptual load or visual working memory (WM) load would affect the exogenous orienting of visuo-spatial attention, in order to assess whether or not exogenous orienting is genuinely automatic. In Experiment 1, we manipulated visual perceptual load by means of a central morphing shape that in some trials morphed into a particular target shape (a rectangle) that participants had to detect. In Experiment 2, the possibility that the presentation of any changing stimulus at fixation would eliminate exogenous orienting was ruled out, by presenting two alternating letters at fixation. In Experiment 3, we manipulated visual WM load by means of arrays consisting of three (low-load) or five (high-load) randomly located coloured squares. The participants had to remember these items in order to judge whether a cued square had been presented in the same or different colour at the end of each trial. In all the experiments, exogenous visuo-spatial attentional orienting was measured by means of an orthogonal spatial cuing task, in which the participants had to discriminate the elevation (up vs. down) of a visual target previously cued by a spatially nonpredictive visual cue. The results showed that increasing the perceptual load of the task eliminated the exogenous orienting of visuo-spatial attention. By contrast, increasing the WM load had no effect on spatial orienting. These results are discussed in terms of the light that they shed on claims regarding the automaticity of visuo-spatial exogenous orienting.

  10. The neural correlates of visuo-spatial working memory in children with autism spectrum disorder: effects of cognitive load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogan, Vanessa M; Morgan, Benjamin R; Lee, Wayne; Powell, Tamara L; Smith, Mary Lou; Taylor, Margot J

    2014-01-01

    Research on the neural bases of cognitive deficits in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has shown that working memory (WM) difficulties are associated with abnormalities in the prefrontal cortex. However, cognitive load impacts these findings, and no studies have examined the relation between WM load and neural underpinnings in children with ASD. Thus, the current study determined the effects of cognitive load on WM, using a visuo-spatial WM capacity task in children with and without ASD with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We used fMRI and a 1-back colour matching task (CMT) task with four levels of difficulty to compare the cortical activation patterns associated with WM in children (7-13 years old) with high functioning autism (N = 19) and matched controls (N = 17) across cognitive load. Performance on CMT was comparable between groups, with the exception of one difficulty level. Using linear trend analyses, the control group showed increasing activation as a function of difficulty level in frontal and parietal lobes, particularly between the highest difficulty levels, and decreasing activation as a function of difficulty level in the posterior cingulate and medial frontal gyri. In contrast, children with ASD showed increasing activation only in posterior brain regions and decreasing activation in the posterior cingulate and medial frontal gyri, as a function of difficulty level. Significant differences were found in the precuneus, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and medial premotor cortex, where control children showed greater positive linear relations between cortical activity and task difficulty level, particularly at the highest difficulty levels, but children with ASD did not show these trends. Children with ASD showed differences in activation in the frontal and parietal lobes-both critical substrates for visuo-spatial WM. Our data suggest that children with ASD rely mainly on posterior brain regions associated with visual and lower level

  11. Optimization of Apparatus Design and Behavioral Measures for the Assessment of Visuo-Spatial Learning and Memory of Mice on the Barnes Maze

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Leary, Timothy P.; Brown, Richard E.

    2013-01-01

    We have previously shown that apparatus design can affect visual-spatial cue use and memory performance of mice on the Barnes maze. The present experiment extends these findings by determining the optimal behavioral measures and test procedure for analyzing visuo-spatial learning and memory in three different Barnes maze designs. Male and female…

  12. The role of short-term memory and visuo-spatial skills in numerical magnitude processing: Evidence from Turner syndrome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucie Attout

    Full Text Available Most studies on magnitude representation have focused on the visual modality with no possibility of disentangling the influence of visuo-spatial skills and short-term memory (STM abilities on quantification processes. This study examines this issue in patients with Turner syndrome (TS, a genetic condition characterized by a specific cognitive profile frequently associating poor mathematical achievement, low spatial skills and reduced STM abilities. In order to identify the influence of visuo-spatial and STM processing on numerical magnitude abilities, twenty female participants with TS and twenty control female participants matched for verbal IQ and education level were administered a series of magnitude comparison tasks. The tasks differed on the nature of the magnitude to be processed (continuous, discrete and symbolic magnitude, on visuo-spatial processing requirement (no/high and on STM demands (low in simultaneous presentation vs. high in sequential presentation. Our results showed a lower acuity when participants with TS compared the numerical magnitudes of stimuli presented sequentially (low visuo-spatial processing and high STM load: Dot sequence and Sound sequence while no difference was observed in the numerical comparison of sets presented simultaneously. In addition, the group difference in sequential tasks disappeared when controlling for STM abilities. Finally, both groups demonstrated similar performance when comparing continuous or symbolic magnitude stimuli and they exhibited comparable subitizing abilities. These results highlight the importance of STM abilities in extracting numerosity through a sequential presentation and underline the importance of considering the impact of format presentation on magnitude judgments.

  13. 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

  14. Association between early attention-deficit/hyperactivity symptoms and current verbal and visuo-spatial short-term memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gau, Susan Shur-Fen; Chiang, Huey-Ling

    2013-01-01

    Deficits in short-term memory are common in adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but their current ADHD symptoms cannot well predict their short-term performance. Taking a developmental perspective, we wanted to clarify the association between ADHD symptoms at early childhood and short-term memory in late childhood and adolescence. The participants included 401 patients with a clinical diagnosis of DSM-IV ADHD, 213 siblings, and 176 unaffected controls aged 8-17 years (mean age, 12.02 ± 2.24). All participants and their mothers were interviewed using the Chinese Kiddie Epidemiologic version of the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia to obtain information about ADHD symptoms and other psychiatric disorders retrospectively, at an earlier age first, then currently. The participants were assessed with the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children--3rd edition, including Digit Span, and the Spatial working memory task of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery. Multi-level regression models were used for data analysis. Although crude analyses revealed that inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity symptoms significantly predicted deficits in short-term memory, only inattention symptoms had significant effects (all pshort-term memory at the current assessment. Therefore, our findings suggest that earlier inattention symptoms are associated with impaired verbal and visuo-spatial short-term memory at a later development stage. Impaired short-term memory in adolescence can be detected earlier by screening for the severity of inattention in childhood. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Visuo-spatial working memory is an important source of domain-general vulnerability in the development of arithmetic cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashkenazi, Sarit; Rosenberg-Lee, Miriam; Metcalfe, Arron W S; Swigart, Anna G; Menon, Vinod

    2013-09-01

    The study of developmental disorders can provide a unique window into the role of domain-general cognitive abilities and neural systems in typical and atypical development. Mathematical disabilities (MD) are characterized by marked difficulty in mathematical cognition in the presence of preserved intelligence and verbal ability. Although studies of MD have most often focused on the role of core deficits in numerical processing, domain-general cognitive abilities, in particular working memory (WM), have also been implicated. Here we identify specific WM components that are impaired in children with MD and then examine their role in arithmetic problem solving. Compared to typically developing (TD) children, the MD group demonstrated lower arithmetic performance and lower visuo-spatial working memory (VSWM) scores with preserved abilities on the phonological and central executive components of WM. Whole brain analysis revealed that, during arithmetic problem solving, left posterior parietal cortex, bilateral dorsolateral and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, cingulate gyrus and precuneus, and fusiform gyrus responses were positively correlated with VSWM ability in TD children, but not in the MD group. Additional analyses using a priori posterior parietal cortex regions previously implicated in WM tasks, demonstrated a convergent pattern of results during arithmetic problem solving. These results suggest that MD is characterized by a common locus of arithmetic and VSWM deficits at both the cognitive and functional neuroanatomical levels. Unlike TD children, children with MD do not use VSWM resources appropriately during arithmetic problem solving. This work advances our understanding of VSWM as an important domain-general cognitive process in both typical and atypical mathematical skill development. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Melatonin administration impairs visuo-spatial performance and inhibits neocortical long-term potentiation in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto-Moyano, Rubén; Burgos, Héctor; Flores, Francisco; Valladares, Luis; Sierralta, Walter; Fernández, Victor; Pérez, Hernán; Hernández, Paula; Hernández, Alejandro

    2006-10-01

    Melatonin has been shown to inhibit long-term potentiation (LTP) in hippocampal slices of rats. Since LTP may be one of the main mechanisms by which memory traces are encoded and stored in the central nervous system, it is possible that melatonin could modulate cognitive performance by interfering with the cellular and/or molecular mechanisms involved in LTP. We investigated in rats the effects of intraperitoneally-administered melatonin (0.1, 1 and 10 mg/kg), its saline-ethanol solvent, or saline alone, on the acquisition of visuo-spatial memory as well as on the ability of the cerebral cortex to develop LTP in vivo. Visuo-spatial performance was assessed daily in rats, for 10 days, in an 8-arm radial maze, 30 min after they received a single daily dose of melatonin. Visual cortex LTP was determined in sodium pentobarbital anesthetized rats (65 mg/kg i.p.), by potentiating transcallosal evoked responses with a tetanizing train (312 Hz, 500 ms duration) 30 min after administration of a single dose of melatonin. Results showed that melatonin impaired visuo-spatial performance in rats, as revealed by the greater number of errors committed and time spent to solve the task in the radial maze. Melatonin also prevented the induction of neocortical LTP. It is concluded that melatonin, at the doses utilized in this study, could alter some forms of neocortical plasticity involved in short- and long-term visuo-spatial memories in rats.

  17. Domain general sequence operations contribute to pre-SMA involvement in visuo-spatial processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Charles eLeek

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available This study used 3T MRI to elucidate the functional role of supplementary motor area (SMA in relation to visuo-spatial processing. A localizer task contrasting sequential number subtraction and repetitive button pressing was used to functionally delineate non-motor sequence processing in pre-SMA, and activity in SMA-proper associated with motor sequencing. Patterns of BOLD responses in these regions were then contrasted to those from two tasks of visuo-spatial processing. In one task participants performed mental rotation in which recognition memory judgments were made to previously memorized 2D novel patterns across image-plane rotations. The other task involved abstract grid navigation in which observers computed a series of imagined location shifts in response to directional (arrow cues around a mental grid. The results showed overlapping activation in pre-SMA for sequential subtraction and both visuo-spatial tasks. These results suggest that visuo-spatial processing is supported by non-motor sequence operations that involve pre-SMA. More broadly, these data further highlight the functional heterogeneity of pre-SMA, and show that its role extends to processes beyond the planning and online control of movement.

  18. A Familiar Pattern? Semantic Memory Contributes to the Enhancement of Visuo-Spatial Memories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riby, Leigh M.; Orme, Elizabeth

    2013-01-01

    In this study we quantify for the first time electrophysiological components associated with incorporating long-term semantic knowledge with visuo-spatial information using two variants of a traditional matrix patterns task. Results indicated that the matrix task with greater semantic content was associated with enhanced accuracy and RTs in a…

  19. The impact of path crossing on visuo-spatial serial memory: encoding or rehearsal effect?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parmentier, Fabrice B R; Andrés, Pilar

    2006-11-01

    The determinants of visuo-spatial serial memory have been the object of little research, despite early evidence that not all sequences are equally remembered. Recently, empirical evidence was reported indicating that the complexity of the path formed by the to-be-remembered locations impacted on recall performance, defined for example by the presence of crossings in the path formed by successive locations (Parmentier, Elford, & Maybery, 2005). In this study, we examined whether this effect reflects rehearsal or encoding processes. We examined the effect of a retention interval and spatial interference on the ordered recall of spatial sequences with and without path crossings. Path crossings decreased recall performance, as did a retention interval. In line with the encoding hypothesis, but in contrast with the rehearsal hypothesis, the effect of crossing was not affected by the retention interval nor by tapping. The possible nature of the impact of path crossing on encoding mechanisms is discussed.

  20. Developmental change of visuo-spatial working memory in children: quantitative evaluation through an Advanced Trail Making Test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kokubo, Naomi; Inagaki, Masumi; Gunji, Atsuko; Kobayashi, Tomoka; Ohta, Hidenobu; Kajimoto, Osami; Kaga, Makiko

    2012-11-01

    The present study aimed to investigate the developmental change in Visuo-Spatial Working Memory (VSWM) in typically developed children using a specially designed Advanced Trail Making Test for children (ATMT-C). We developed a new method for evaluating VSWM efficiency in children using a modified version ATMT to suit their shorter sustained attention. The ATMT-C consists of two parts; a number-based ATMT and a hiragana (Japanese phonogram)-based ATMT, both employing symbols familiar to young children. A total of 94 healthy participants (6-28 years of age) were enrolled in this study. A non-linear developmental change of VSWM efficiency was observed in the results from the ATMT-C. In the number-based ATMT, children under 8 years of age showed a relatively rapid increase in VSWM efficiency while older children (9-12 years) had a more gradual increase in VSWM efficiency. Results from the hiragana-based ATMT-C showed a slightly delayed increase pattern in VSWM efficiency compared to the pattern from the number-based ATMT. There were no significant differences in VSWM efficiency for gender, handedness and test order. VSWM in children gradually matures in a non steady-state manner and there is an important stage for VSWM maturation before reaching 12 years of age. VSWM efficiency may also vary depending on developmental condition of its cognitive subsystems. Copyright © 2012 The Japanese Society of Child Neurology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Symmetry and binding in visuo-spatial working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi-Arnaud, C; Pieroni, L; Baddeley, A

    2006-04-28

    Three experiments study the impact of symmetry on a sequential block tapping immediate memory task in human subjects. Experiment 1 shows an advantage from vertical symmetry over non-symmetrical sequences, while finding no effect of horizontal or diagonal symmetry. Experiment 2 tests the possible role of verbal labeling by means of a secondary task that prevents this by articulatory suppression. No evidence of verbalization was observed. A third study examines the effects of a concurrent executive load, finding an overall impairment, that did not differ between symmetrical and asymmetric patterns, suggesting that the effect of symmetry reflects automatic rather than executive processes. Implications for the episodic buffer component of working memory are discussed.

  2. Working Memory in Written Composition: An Evaluation of the 1996 Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald T. Kellogg, , , &

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available A model of how working memory, as conceived by Baddeley (1986, supports the planning of ideas, translating ideas into written sentences, and reviewing the ideas and text already produced was proposed by Kellogg (1996. A progress report based on research from the past 17 years shows strong support for the core assumption that planning, translating, and reviewing are all dependent on the central executive. Similarly, the translation of ideas into a sentence does in fact require also verbal working memory, but the claim that editing makes no demands on the phonological loop is tenuous. As predicted by the model, planning also engages the visuo-spatial sketchpad. However, it turns out to do so only in planning with concrete concepts that elicit mental imagery. Abstract concepts do not require visuo-spatial resources, a point not anticipated by the original model. Moreover, it is unclear the extent to which planning involves spatial as opposed to visual working memory. Contrary to Baddeley’s original model, these are now known to be independent stores of working memory; the specific role of the spatial store in writing is uncertain based on the existing literature. The implications of this body of research for the instruction of writing are considered in the final section of the paper.

  3. Effect of BDNF Val66Met polymorphism on digital working memory and spatial localization in a healthy Chinese Han population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Pingyuan; Zheng, Anyun; Chen, Dongmei; Ge, Wanhua; Lv, Changchao; Zhang, Kejin; Gao, Xiaocai; Zhang, Fuchang

    2009-07-01

    Cognitive abilities are complex human traits influenced by genetic factors. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a unique polypeptide growth factor, has an influence on the differentiation and survival of neurons in the nervous system. A single-nucleotide polymorphism (rs6265) in the human gene, resulting in a valine to methionine substitution in the pro-BDNF protein, was thought to associate with psychiatric disorders and might play roles in the individual difference of cognitive abilities. However, the specific roles of the gene in cognition remain unclear. To investigate the relationships between the substitution and cognitive abilities, a healthy population-based study and the PCR-SSCP method were performed. The results showed the substitution was associated with digital working memory (p = 0.02) and spatial localization (p = 0.03), but not with inhibition, shifting, updating, visuo-spatial working memory, long-term memory, and others (p > 0.05) among the compared genotype groups analyzed by general linear model. On the other hand, the participants with BDNF (GG) had higher average performance in digital working memory and spatial localization than the ones with BDNF (AA). The findings of the present work implied that the variation in BDNF might play positive roles in human digital working memory and spatial localization.

  4. A psychometric measure of working memory capacity for configured body movement.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ying Choon Wu

    Full Text Available Working memory (WM models have traditionally assumed at least two domain-specific storage systems for verbal and visuo-spatial information. We review data that suggest the existence of an additional slave system devoted to the temporary storage of body movements, and present a novel instrument for its assessment: the movement span task. The movement span task assesses individuals' ability to remember and reproduce meaningless configurations of the body. During the encoding phase of a trial, participants watch short videos of meaningless movements presented in sets varying in size from one to five items. Immediately after encoding, they are prompted to reenact as many items as possible. The movement span task was administered to 90 participants along with standard tests of verbal WM, visuo-spatial WM, and a gesture classification test in which participants judged whether a speaker's gestures were congruent or incongruent with his accompanying speech. Performance on the gesture classification task was not related to standard measures of verbal or visuo-spatial working memory capacity, but was predicted by scores on the movement span task. Results suggest the movement span task can serve as an assessment of individual differences in WM capacity for body-centric information.

  5. A cross-modal perspective on the relationships between imagery and working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lora T Likova

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Mapping the distinctions and interrelationships between imagery and working memory remains challenging. Although each of these major cognitive constructs is defined and treated in various ways across studies, most accept that both imagery and working memory involve a form of internal representation available to our awareness. In working memory, there is a further emphasis on active maintenance and use of this conscious representation to guide voluntary action. Multicomponent working memory models incorporate representational buffers, such as the visuo-spatial sketchpad, plus central executive functions. If there is a visuo-spatial ‘sketchpad’ for working memory, does imagery involve the same representational buffer? Alternatively, does working memory employ an imagery-specific representational mechanism to occupy our awareness? Or do both constructs utilize a more generic ‘projection screen’ of an amodal nature? In a cross-modal fMRI study a novel memory paradigm is introduced based on drawing, which may be conceptualized as a complex behaviour adaptable to learning in the tactile modality. Blindfolded participants were trained to draw complex objects guided purely by the memory of felt tactile images. If this working memory task had been mediated by transfer of the felt spatial configuration to the visual imagery mechanism, the response profile in visual cortex would be predicted to have the ‘top-down’ signature of propagation of the imagery signal downwards through the visual hierarchy. Remarkably, the pattern of cross-modal occipital activation generated by the non-visual memory drawing was essentially the inverse of this typical ‘imagery signature’, with the sole visual hierarchy activation occurring in V1, accompanied by deactivation of the entire extrastriate part of the hierarchy. The implications of these findings for the debate on the interrelationships between the core cognitive constructs of working memory and imagery

  6. Recollecting positive and negative autobiographical memories disrupts working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Richard J; Schaefer, Alexandre; Falcon, Thomas

    2014-09-01

    The present article reports two experiments examining the impact of recollecting emotionally valenced autobiographical memories on subsequent working memory (WM) task performance. Experiment 1 found that negatively valenced recollection significantly disrupted performance on a supra-span spatial WM task. Experiment 2 replicated and extended these findings to a verbal WM task (digit recall), and found that both negative and positive autobiographical recollections had a detrimental effect on verbal WM. In addition, we observed that these disruptive effects were more apparent on early trials, immediately following autobiographical recollection. Overall, these findings show that both positive and negative affect can disrupt WM when the mood-eliciting context is based on autobiographical memories. Furthermore, these results indicate that the emotional disruption of WM can take place across different modalities of WM (verbal and visuo-spatial). Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Visuo-Spatial Attention in ADHD Children: Investigating the Asymmetry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Faranak Aliabadi

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: The purpose of the present study was comparing visuo-spatial attention between children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder-Inattentive (ADHD-I type and normal children. Methods: In this cross-sectional study fifteen (7-10 years of age children were classified with ADHD-I type and 15 normal children were matched for age, sex, and IQ. They were selected trough simple random sampling. Measurement tools were Wechsler Intelligence Scale for children 4th edition (WISC-IV, the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory and the Star Cancellation Test. Results: The results suggest that there is no significant difference between ADHD-I and normal children from the visuo-spatial standpoint (P>0.05. But three ADHD-I children exhibited signs of unilateral neglect. Discussion: Although, in this study the visuo-spatial attention was not different between ADHD-I group and normal group, considering this form of attention as an item in assessment and therapeutic interventions should not be neglected.

  8. 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

    at declarative memory for visual information, and at declarative memory in the verbal domain after controlling for working memory and language. Visuo-spatial short-term memory was intact, whereas verbal working memory was impaired, even when language deficits were held constant. Correlation analyses showed......According to the Procedural Deficit Hypothesis (PDH), abnormalities of brain structures underlying procedural memory largely explain the language deficits in children with specific language impairment (SLI). These abnormalities are posited to result in core deficits of procedural memory, which...... in turn explain the grammar problems in the disorder. The abnormalities are also likely to lead to problems with other, non-procedural functions, such as working memory, that rely at least partly on the affected brain structures. In contrast, declarative memory is expected to remain largely intact...

  9. Storage and Processing Working Memory Functions in Alzheimer-Type Dementia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Vecchi

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available A selective deterioration of working memory functions has been suggested as an explanation of the cognitive decay occurring in normal ageing as well as in Alzheimer-type dementia. Recent studies have highlighted that elderly people’s limitations in working memory functions may be better interpreted when analysing the specific characteristics of the cognitive process (i.e., passive storage or active manipulation of information. In the present study, we have adapted a procedure used to investigate age-related memory modifications, involving both verbal and visuo-spatial material in tasks tapping passive and active processes, to investigate the deterioration associated with Alzheimer's disease. A group of Alzheimer patients in the early stages of the disease were matched to a control group of healthy elderly. Results show that Alzheimer patients performed less accurately than the control group in all tasks. However, the deficit was maximised in the case of active processes, regardless of the type of material used (verbal or visuo-spatial. These data highlight the importance of considering the amount of active processing as the key variable when interpreting the decay in cognitive functions in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

  10. Role of Working Memory in Explaining the Performance of Individuals with Specific Reading Comprehension Difficulties: A Meta-Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

    It is well established that working memory is related to reading comprehension ability. However, its role in explaining specific reading comprehension difficulties is still under debate: the issue mainly concerns whether the contribution of working memory is dependent on task modality (verbal tasks being more predictive than visuo-spatial tasks)…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  12. New insights in the role of working memory in carry and borrow operations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ineke Imbo

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available The present paper provides a state-of-the-art overview concerning the role of working memory in carry and borrow operations in mental arithmetic. The role of the executive working-memory component is discussed, alongside the contribution of the phonological and visuo-spatial working-memory components. Moreover, a broad view on various carry characteristics (such as the number of carry/borrow operations and the value of the carry and various operations (addition, subtraction, and multiplication is provided. Finally, some ideas for further research are offered.

  13. Working memory: its role in dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffries, Sharman; Everatt, John

    2004-08-01

    This paper reports a study contrasting dyslexic children against a control group of children without special educational needs (SEN) and a group with varied SENs. Children's abilities were compared on tasks assessing phonological processing, visuo-spatial/motor coordination and executive/inhibitory functioning; being targeted for assessment based on theoretical proposals related to the working memory model. Primary and secondary school level children were tested: 21 assessed as dyslexic with no comorbid difficulties, 26 children assessed with difficulties including dyspraxia, emotional/behavioural problems and attention deficits, 40 children with no known education-related deficits were controls. Results indicated both SEN groups performed worse than controls on working memory phonological loop measures. However, SEN groups could only be differentiated on phonological awareness measures: the dyslexics showing lower scores. Dyslexics performed as well as controls on working memory visuo-spatial scratch pad measures and one of two additional visual-motor coordination tasks, whereas the performance of the other SEN children was lowest on the majority of these measures. Central executive and interference measures engendered mixed performances, both SEN groups showing evidence of deficits in one or more of these areas of functioning, although, of the two SEN groups, the dyslexics seem to have performed the worse when digit name processing was required.

  14. Happiness increases verbal and spatial working memory capacity where sadness does not: Emotion, working memory and executive control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storbeck, Justin; Maswood, Raeya

    2016-08-01

    The effects of emotion on working memory and executive control are often studied in isolation. Positive mood enhances verbal and impairs spatial working memory, whereas negative mood enhances spatial and impairs verbal working memory. Moreover, positive mood enhances executive control, whereas negative mood has little influence. We examined how emotion influences verbal and spatial working memory capacity, which requires executive control to coordinate between holding information in working memory and completing a secondary task. We predicted that positive mood would improve both verbal and spatial working memory capacity because of its influence on executive control. Positive, negative and neutral moods were induced followed by completing a verbal (Experiment 1) or spatial (Experiment 2) working memory operation span task to assess working memory capacity. Positive mood enhanced working memory capacity irrespective of the working memory domain, whereas negative mood had no influence on performance. Thus, positive mood was more successful holding information in working memory while processing task-irrelevant information, suggesting that the influence mood has on executive control supersedes the independent effects mood has on domain-specific working memory.

  15. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Won, Bo-Yeong; Jiang, Yuhong V.

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Visuo-spatialWorking Memory as a Limited Resource of Cognitive Processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmer, Hubert D.; Münzer, Stefan; Umla-Runge, Katja

    Working memory is considered a cognitive component that mainly serves two functions. It temporarily maintains information that was either perceived but is no longer present in the environment, or that was internally generated, and it supplies a work space for transforming and manipulating elements of perception and thinking. Both functions are relevant for a successful interaction with the environment and it is therefore not surprising that WM is a central topic of research in the field of general psychology. This interest is further increased by the fact that WM is seen as a limited resource that constrains cognitive performances.

  18. Mild prenatal protein malnutrition increases alpha2C-adrenoceptor density in the cerebral cortex during postnatal life and impairs neocortical long-term potentiation and visuo-spatial performance in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto-Moyano, Rubén; Valladares, Luis; Sierralta, Walter; Pérez, Hernán; Mondaca, Mauricio; Fernández, Victor; Burgos, Héctor; Hernández, Alejandro

    2005-06-01

    Mild reduction in the protein content of the mother's diet from 25 to 8% casein, calorically compensated by carbohydrates, does not alter body and brain weights of rat pups at birth, but leads to significant enhancements in the concentration and release of cortical noradrenaline during early postnatal life. Since central noradrenaline and some of its receptors are critically involved in long-term potentiation (LTP) and memory formation, this study evaluated the effect of mild prenatal protein malnutrition on the alpha2C-adrenoceptor density in the frontal and occipital cortices, induction of LTP in the same cortical regions and the visuo-spatial memory. Pups born from rats fed a 25% casein diet throughout pregnancy served as controls. At day 8 of postnatal age, prenatally malnourished rats showed a threefold increase in neocortical alpha2C-adrenoceptor density. At 60 days-of-age, alpha2C-adrenoceptor density was still elevated in the neocortex, and the animals were unable to maintain neocortical LTP and presented lower visuo-spatial memory performance. Results suggest that overexpression of neocortical alpha2C-adrenoceptors during postnatal life, subsequent to mild prenatal protein malnutrition, could functionally affect the synaptic networks subserving neocortical LTP and visuo-spatial memory formation.

  19. Computerized visuo-spatial memory test as a supplementary screening test for dementia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maki, Yohko; Yoshida, Hiroshi; Yamaguchi, Haruyasu

    2010-06-01

    To prepare for a super-aging society, effective dementia screening tests are required. The most salient deficit appearing from the early stages of dementia/Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a deterioration in memory. The Hasegawa Dementia Scale-revised (HDS-R) and the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) are widely used in Japan to screen for dementia. Both place an emphasis on memory function, but neither examines visuo-spatial memory (VSM) function, even though VSM deficits are a sensitive marker for the detection of conversion to dementia. Furthermore, brief tests of VSM that are appropriate for screening have not been standardized. Thus, in the present study, we devised a brief, computer-aided short-term VSM test. Sixty-six aged people were evaluated. Using the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR), it was found that 29 could be considered normal controls (NC; CDR 0), 10 had mild cognitive impairment (MCI; CDR 0.5), 15 had mild dementia (CDR 1), and 12 had moderate to severe dementia (CDR 2-3). The VSM test estimated how many locations each subject could memorize. Several numbered circles were shown on a monitor and subjects were required to memorize the location of these circles sequentially. After the numbers on the circles on the screen had disappeared, the subjects were required to indicate the circles in ascending order. A touch panel screen was used for this test to make it easier. The HDS-R was applied to subjects with MCI and dementia. The mean (+/-SD) VSM score in subjects with MCI (5.70 +/- 0.96) was significantly lower than that in NC subjects (6.69 +/- 0.82), but significantly higher than that in subjects classified as CDR 1 (4.67 +/- 0.87). There was no significant difference in VSM scores between subjects classified as CDR 1 and CDR 2-3 (3.80 +/- 0.80). There was a moderate significant correlation between VSM and HDS-R scores. In the present study, the VSM test detected differences in VSM function among NC subjects and subjects with MCI and mild dementia. The

  20. The effectiveness of working memory training with individuals with intellectual disabilities – a meta-analytic review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henrik eDanielsson

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Working memory training has been increasingly popular in the last year. Previous studies has shown that children with intellectual disabilities have low working memory capacity and therefore have a great potential for improvement by this type of intervention. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of working memory and cognitive training for children with intellectual disabilities. The effects reported in previous studies have varied and therefore meta-analysis of articles in the major databases was conducted. Inclusion criteria included to have a pretest-posttest design with a training group and a control group and to have measures of working memory or short-term memory. Ten studies with 28 comparisons were included. The results reveal a significant overall pretest-posttest small effect size for of working memory training for children with intellectual disabilities compared to controls. A mixed working memory approach, considering both verbal and visuo-spatial components and working mainly on strategies, was the only significantly effective training type with a medium effect size. The most commonly reported training type with 60 percent of the included comparisons, visuo-spatial working memory training, had a non-significant effect size that was close to zero. We conclude that even if there is an overall effect of working memory training, a mixed working memory approach appears to cause this effect. Given the few studies included and the different characteristics of the included studies, interpretations should be done with caution. However, different types of interventions appear to have different effects. Even if the results were promising, more studies are needed to better understand how to design an effective working memory intervention for this group and to understand if, and how, these short-term effects remains over time and transfer to everyday activities.

  1. Differential Age Effects on Spatial and Visual Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oosterman, Joukje M.; Morel, Sascha; Meijer, Lisette; Buvens, Cleo; Kessels, Roy P. C.; Postma, Albert

    2011-01-01

    The present study was intended to compare age effects on visual and spatial working memory by using two versions of the same task that differed only in presentation mode. The working memory task contained both a simultaneous and a sequential presentation mode condition, reflecting, respectively, visual and spatial working memory processes. Young…

  2. Visuo-spatial interference affects the identification of emotional facial expressions in unmedicated Parkinson's patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Rodríguez, Beatriz; Guillén, Carmen Casares; Barba, Rosa Jurado; io Valladolid, Gabriel Rub; Arjona, José Antonio Molina; Ellgring, Heiner

    2012-02-15

    There is evidence that visuo-spatial capacity can become overloaded when processing a secondary visual task (Dual Task, DT), as occurs in daily life. Hence, we investigated the influence of the visuo-spatial interference in the identification of emotional facial expressions (EFEs) in early stages of Parkinson's disease (PD). We compared the identification of 24 emotional faces that illustrate six basic emotions in, unmedicated recently diagnosed PD patients (16) and healthy adults (20), under two different conditions: a) simple EFE identification, and b) identification with a concurrent visuo-spatial task (Corsi Blocks). EFE identification by PD patients was significantly worse than that of healthy adults when combined with another visual stimulus. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  3. Spatial working memory load affects counting but not subitizing in enumeration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimomura, Tomonari; Kumada, Takatsune

    2011-08-01

    The present study investigated whether subitizing reflects capacity limitations associated with two types of working memory tasks. Under a dual-task situation, participants performed an enumeration task in conjunction with either a spatial (Experiment 1) or a nonspatial visual (Experiment 2) working memory task. Experiment 1 showed that spatial working memory load affected the slope of a counting function but did not affect subitizing performance or subitizing range. Experiment 2 showed that nonspatial visual working memory load affected neither enumeration efficiency nor subitizing range. Furthermore, in both spatial and nonspatial memory tasks, neither subitizing efficiency nor subitizing range was affected by amount of imposed memory load. In all the experiments, working memory load failed to influence slope, subitizing range, or overall reaction time. These findings suggest that subitizing is performed without either spatial or nonspatial working memory. A possible mechanism of subitizing with independent capacity of working memory is discussed.

  4. The Relationship Between Digital Technology Experience, Daily Media Exposure and Working Memory Capacity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhterem DİNDAR

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Today’s youngsters interact with digital technologies to a great extent which leads scholars to question the influence of this exposure on human cognitive structure. Through resorting to digital nativity assumptions, it is presumed that cognitive architecture of the youth may change in accordance with digital technology use. In this regard, the current study investigated the relationship between digital technology experience, daily media exposure and working memory capacity of so-called digital native participants. A total of 572 undergraduate students responded to self-report measures, which addressed years of experience for 7 different digital devices and the daily time spent for 14 different digital activities. Participants’ working memory capacity was measured through the Computation Span and the Dot Matrix Test. While the former was used to measure the phonological loop capacity, the latter was used to address the visuo-spatial sketchpad capacity. Correlational analyses revealed that neither the phonological loop capacity nor the visuo-spatial sketchpad capacity was related to digital technology experience and daily media exposure. Thus, the transformative contribution of digital technology experience to human cognitive architecture could not be observed through the current measures

  5. Spatial Asynchronous Visuo-Tactile Stimuli influence Ownership of Virtual Wings

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andreasen, Anastassia; Nilsson, Niels Chr.; Serafin, Stefania

    2018-01-01

    This poster describes a within-subject study of the virtual body ownership (VBO) illusion using anatomically similar but morphologically different body of a virtual bat. Participants experienced visuo-tactile stimulation of their arms while seeing an object touching the wing of the bat. The mapping...... between the real and the virtual touch points varied across three conditions: no spatial deviation between visual and tactile input, 50% deviation, and 70% deviation. The results suggest that the degree of experienced VBO varies across the conditions. The illusion was broken in the absence of visuo...

  6. Working Memory Deficits in ADHD: The Contribution of Age, Learning/Language Difficulties, and Task Parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sowerby, Paula; Seal, Simon; Tripp, Gail

    2011-01-01

    Objective: To further define the nature of working memory (WM) impairments in children with combined-type ADHD. Method: A total of 40 Children with ADHD and an age and gender-matched control group (n = 40) completed two measures of visuo-spatial WM and two measures of verbal WM. The effects of age and learning/language difficulties on performance…

  7. Sex differences in visual-spatial working memory: A meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voyer, Daniel; Voyer, Susan D; Saint-Aubin, Jean

    2017-04-01

    Visual-spatial working memory measures are widely used in clinical and experimental settings. Furthermore, it has been argued that the male advantage in spatial abilities can be explained by a sex difference in visual-spatial working memory. Therefore, sex differences in visual-spatial working memory have important implication for research, theory, and practice, but they have yet to be quantified. The present meta-analysis quantified the magnitude of sex differences in visual-spatial working memory and examined variables that might moderate them. The analysis used a set of 180 effect sizes from healthy males and females drawn from 98 samples ranging in mean age from 3 to 86 years. Multilevel meta-analysis was used on the overall data set to account for non-independent effect sizes. The data also were analyzed in separate task subgroups by means of multilevel and mixed-effects models. Results showed a small but significant male advantage (mean d = 0.155, 95 % confidence interval = 0.087-0.223). All the tasks produced a male advantage, except for memory for location, where a female advantage emerged. Age of the participants was a significant moderator, indicating that sex differences in visual-spatial working memory appeared first in the 13-17 years age group. Removing memory for location tasks from the sample affected the pattern of significant moderators. The present results indicate a male advantage in visual-spatial working memory, although age and specific task modulate the magnitude and direction of the effects. Implications for clinical applications, cognitive model building, and experimental research are discussed.

  8. Differences in Spatial Memory Recognition Due to Cognitive Style

    OpenAIRE

    Tasc?n, Laura; Boccia, Maddalena; Piccardi, Laura; Cimadevilla, Jos? M.

    2017-01-01

    Field independence refers to the ability to perceive details from the surrounding context as a whole and to represent the environment by relying on an internal reference frame. Conversely, field dependence individuals tend to focus their attention on single environmental features analysing them individually. This cognitive style affects several visuo-spatial abilities including spatial memory. This study assesses both the effect of field independence and field dependence on performance displa...

  9. Visuo-Spatial Performance in Autism: A Meta-Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muth, Anne; Hönekopp, Johannes; Falter, Christine M.

    2014-01-01

    Visuo-spatial skills are believed to be enhanced in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). This meta-analysis tests the current state of evidence for Figure Disembedding, Block Design, Mental Rotation and Navon tasks in ASD and neurotypicals. Block Design (d = 0.32) and Figure Disembedding (d = 0.26) showed superior performance for ASD with large…

  10. Environment learning using descriptions or navigation: The involvement of working memory in young and older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meneghetti, Chiara; Borella, Erika; Carbone, Elena; Martinelli, Massimiliano; De Beni, Rossana

    2016-05-01

    This study examined age-related differences between young and older adults in the involvement of verbal and visuo-spatial components of working memory (WM) when paths are learned from verbal and visuo-spatial inputs. A sample of 60 young adults (20-30 years old) and 58 older adults (60-75 years old) learned two paths from the person's point of view, one displayed in the form of a video showing the path, the other presenting the path in a verbal description. During the learning phase, participants concurrently performed a verbal task (articulatory suppression, AS group), or a visuo-spatial task (spatial tapping, ST group), or no secondary task (control, C group). After learning each path, participants completed tasks that involved the following: (1) recalling the sequential order and the location of landmarks; and (2) judging spatial sentences as true or false (verification test). The results showed that young adults outperformed older adults in all recall tasks. In both age groups performance in all types of task was worse in the AS and ST groups than in the C group, irrespective of the type of input. Overall, these findings suggest that verbal and visuo-spatial components of WM underpin the processing of environmental information in both young and older adults. The results are discussed in terms of age-related differences and according to the spatial cognition framework. © 2015 The British Psychological Society.

  11. Inhibition of connexin43 hemichannels impairs spatial short-term memory without affecting spatial working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Walrave

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  12. Disparities in visuo-spatial constructive abilities in Williams syndrome patients with typical deletion on chromosome 7q11.23.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muramatsu, Yukako; Tokita, Yoshihito; Mizuno, Seiji; Nakamura, Miho

    2017-02-01

    Williams syndrome (WS) is known for its uneven cognitive abilities, especially the difficulty in visuo-spatial cognition, though there are some inter-individual phenotypic differences. It has been proposed that the difficulty in visuo-spatial cognition of WS patients can be attributed to a haploinsufficiency of some genes located on the deleted region in 7q11.23, based on an examination of atypical deletions identified in WS patients with atypical cognitive deficits. According to this hypothesis, the inter-individual differences in visuo-spatial cognitive ability arise from variations in deletion. We investigated whether there were inter-individual differences in the visuo-spatial constructive abilities of five unrelated WS patients with the typical deletion on chromosome 7q11.23 that includes the candidate genes contributing visuo-spatial difficulty in WS patients. We used tests with three-dimensional factors such as Benton's three-dimensional block construction test, which are considered to be more sensitive than those with only two-dimensional factors. There were diverse inter-individual differences in the visuo-spatial constructive abilities among the present participants who shared the same typical genomic deletion of WS. One of the participants showed almost equivalent performances to typically developing adults in those tests. In the present study, we found a wide range of cognitive abilities in visuo-spatial construction even among the patients with a common deletion pattern of WS. The findings suggest that attributing differences in the phenotypes entirely to genetic factors such as an atypical deletion may not be always correct. Copyright © 2016 The Japanese Society of Child Neurology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. The role of gestures in spatial working memory and speech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morsella, Ezequiel; Krauss, Robert M

    2004-01-01

    Co-speech gestures traditionally have been considered communicative, but they may also serve other functions. For example, hand-arm movements seem to facilitate both spatial working memory and speech production. It has been proposed that gestures facilitate speech indirectly by sustaining spatial representations in working memory. Alternatively, gestures may affect speech production directly by activating embodied semantic representations involved in lexical search. Consistent with the first hypothesis, we found participants gestured more when describing visual objects from memory and when describing objects that were difficult to remember and encode verbally. However, they also gestured when describing a visually accessible object, and gesture restriction produced dysfluent speech even when spatial memory was untaxed, suggesting that gestures can directly affect both spatial memory and lexical retrieval.

  14. [GLIATILIN CORRECTION OF WORKING AND REFERENCE SPATIAL MEMORY IMPAIRMENT IN AGED RATS].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyurenkov, I N; Volotova, E V; Kurkin, D V

    2015-01-01

    This work was aimed at evaluating the influence of gliatilin administration on the spatial memory in aged rats. Cognitive function and spatial memory in animals was evaluated using radial (8-beam) maze test. Errors of working spatial memory and reference memory were used as indicators of impaired cognitive function. It was found that aged (24-month) rats compared with younger (6-months) age group exhibited cognitive impairment, as manifested by deterioration of short- and long-term memory processes. Course administration of gliatilin in rats of the older age group at a dose of 100 mg/kg resulted in significant improvement of the working and reference spatial memory in aged rats.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  16. Visuo-spatial cueing in children with differential reading and spelling profiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banfi, Chiara; Kemény, Ferenc; Gangl, Melanie; Schulte-Körne, Gerd; Moll, Kristina; Landerl, Karin

    2017-01-01

    Dyslexia has been claimed to be causally related to deficits in visuo-spatial attention. In particular, inefficient shifting of visual attention during spatial cueing paradigms is assumed to be associated with problems in graphemic parsing during sublexical reading. The current study investigated visuo-spatial attention performance in an exogenous cueing paradigm in a large sample (N = 191) of third and fourth graders with different reading and spelling profiles (controls, isolated reading deficit, isolated spelling deficit, combined deficit in reading and spelling). Once individual variability in reaction times was taken into account by means of z-transformation, a cueing deficit (i.e. no significant difference between valid and invalid trials) was found for children with combined deficits in reading and spelling. However, poor readers without spelling problems showed a cueing effect comparable to controls, but exhibited a particularly strong right-over-left advantage (position effect). Isolated poor spellers showed a significant cueing effect, but no position effect. While we replicated earlier findings of a reduced cueing effect among poor nonword readers (indicating deficits in sublexical processing), we also found a reduced cueing effect among children with particularly poor orthographic spelling (indicating deficits in lexical processing). Thus, earlier claims of a specific association with nonword reading could not be confirmed. Controlling for ADHD-symptoms reported in a parental questionnaire did not impact on the statistical analysis, indicating that cueing deficits are not caused by more general attentional limitations. Between 31 and 48% of participants in the three reading and/or spelling deficit groups as well as 32% of the control group showed reduced spatial cueing. These findings indicate a significant, but moderate association between certain aspects of visuo-spatial attention and subcomponents of written language processing, the causal status of

  17. Visuo-spatial cueing in children with differential reading and spelling profiles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiara Banfi

    Full Text Available Dyslexia has been claimed to be causally related to deficits in visuo-spatial attention. In particular, inefficient shifting of visual attention during spatial cueing paradigms is assumed to be associated with problems in graphemic parsing during sublexical reading. The current study investigated visuo-spatial attention performance in an exogenous cueing paradigm in a large sample (N = 191 of third and fourth graders with different reading and spelling profiles (controls, isolated reading deficit, isolated spelling deficit, combined deficit in reading and spelling. Once individual variability in reaction times was taken into account by means of z-transformation, a cueing deficit (i.e. no significant difference between valid and invalid trials was found for children with combined deficits in reading and spelling. However, poor readers without spelling problems showed a cueing effect comparable to controls, but exhibited a particularly strong right-over-left advantage (position effect. Isolated poor spellers showed a significant cueing effect, but no position effect. While we replicated earlier findings of a reduced cueing effect among poor nonword readers (indicating deficits in sublexical processing, we also found a reduced cueing effect among children with particularly poor orthographic spelling (indicating deficits in lexical processing. Thus, earlier claims of a specific association with nonword reading could not be confirmed. Controlling for ADHD-symptoms reported in a parental questionnaire did not impact on the statistical analysis, indicating that cueing deficits are not caused by more general attentional limitations. Between 31 and 48% of participants in the three reading and/or spelling deficit groups as well as 32% of the control group showed reduced spatial cueing. These findings indicate a significant, but moderate association between certain aspects of visuo-spatial attention and subcomponents of written language processing, the

  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. Visuo-Spatial Performance in Autism: A Meta-analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Muth, Anne; Honekopp, Johannes; Falter, Christine

    2014-01-01

    Visuo-spatial skills are believed to be enhanced in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). This meta-analysis tests the current state of evidence for Figure Disembedding, Block Design, Mental Rotation and Navon tasks in ASD and neurotypicals. Block Design (d = 0.32) and Figure Disembedding (d = 0.26) showed superior performance for ASD with large heterogeneity that is unaccounted for. No clear differences were found for Mental Rotation. ASD samples showed a stronger local processing preference for...

  20. Dissociation of Cross-Sectional Trajectories for Verbal and Visuo-Spatial Working Memory Development in Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waite, Jane; Beck, Sarah R.; Heald, Mary; Powis, Laurie; Oliver, Chris

    2016-01-01

    Working memory (WM) impairments might amplify behavioural difference in genetic syndromes. Murine models of Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome (RTS) evidence memory impairments but there is limited research on memory in RTS. Individuals with RTS and typically developing children completed WM tasks, with participants with RTS completing an IQ assessment and…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Yi; Luo, Qianying; Cheng, Min

    2016-08-01

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

  2. The Effect of Spatial Working Memory Deterioration on Strategic Visuomotor Learning across Aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uresti-Cabrera, Luis A; Diaz, Rosalinda; Vaca-Palomares, Israel; Fernandez-Ruiz, Juan

    2015-01-01

    To evaluate the effect of age-related cognitive changes in a visuomotor learning task that depends on strategic control and contrast it with the effect in a task principally depending on visuomotor recalibration. Participants performed a ball throwing task while donning either a reversing dove prism or a displacement wedge prism, which mainly depend on strategic control or visuomotor recalibration, respectively. Visuomotor performance was then analysed in relation to rule acquisition and reversal, recognition memory, visual memory, spatial planning, and spatial working memory with tasks from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB). The results confirmed previous works showing a detrimental effect of age on visuomotor learning. The analyses of the cognitive changes observed across age showed that both strategic control and visuomotor recalibration had significant negative correlations only with the number of errors in the spatial working memory task. However, when the effect of aging was controlled, the only significant correlation remaining was between the reversal adaptation magnitude and spatial working memory. These results suggest that spatial working memory decline across aging could contribute to age-dependent deterioration in both visuomotor learning processes. However, spatial working memory integrity seems to affect strategic learning decline even after controlling for aging.

  3. The Effect of Spatial Working Memory Deterioration on Strategic Visuomotor Learning across Aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis A. Uresti-Cabrera

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. To evaluate the effect of age-related cognitive changes in a visuomotor learning task that depends on strategic control and contrast it with the effect in a task principally depending on visuomotor recalibration. Methods. Participants performed a ball throwing task while donning either a reversing dove prism or a displacement wedge prism, which mainly depend on strategic control or visuomotor recalibration, respectively. Visuomotor performance was then analysed in relation to rule acquisition and reversal, recognition memory, visual memory, spatial planning, and spatial working memory with tasks from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB. Results. The results confirmed previous works showing a detrimental effect of age on visuomotor learning. The analyses of the cognitive changes observed across age showed that both strategic control and visuomotor recalibration had significant negative correlations only with the number of errors in the spatial working memory task. However, when the effect of aging was controlled, the only significant correlation remaining was between the reversal adaptation magnitude and spatial working memory. Discussion. These results suggest that spatial working memory decline across aging could contribute to age-dependent deterioration in both visuomotor learning processes. However, spatial working memory integrity seems to affect strategic learning decline even after controlling for aging.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Age-Related Differences in Cortical Activity during a Visuo-Spatial Working Memory Task with Facial Stimuli

    OpenAIRE

    Belham, Fl?via Schechtman; Satler, Corina; Garcia, Ana; Tomaz, Carlos; Gasbarri, Antonella; Rego, Artur; Tavares, Maria Clotilde H.

    2013-01-01

    Emotion, importantly displayed by facial expressions, is one of the most significant memory modulators. The interaction between memory and the different emotional valences change across lifespan, while young adults (YA) are expected to better recall negative events (Negativity Bias Hypothesis), older adults (OA) tend to focus on positive stimuli (Positivity Effect Hypothesis). This research work aims at verifying whether cortical electrical activity of these two age groups would also be diffe...

  7. Ensemble coding remains accurate under object and spatial visual working memory load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epstein, Michael L; Emmanouil, Tatiana A

    2017-10-01

    A number of studies have provided evidence that the visual system statistically summarizes large amounts of information that would exceed the limitations of attention and working memory (ensemble coding). However the necessity of working memory resources for ensemble coding has not yet been tested directly. In the current study, we used a dual task design to test the effect of object and spatial visual working memory load on size averaging accuracy. In Experiment 1, we tested participants' accuracy in comparing the mean size of two sets under various levels of object visual working memory load. Although the accuracy of average size judgments depended on the difference in mean size between the two sets, we found no effect of working memory load. In Experiment 2, we tested the same average size judgment while participants were under spatial visual working memory load, again finding no effect of load on averaging accuracy. Overall our results reveal that ensemble coding can proceed unimpeded and highly accurately under both object and spatial visual working memory load, providing further evidence that ensemble coding reflects a basic perceptual process distinct from that of individual object processing.

  8. The default mode network and the working memory network are not anti-correlated during all phases of a working memory task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piccoli, Tommaso; Valente, Giancarlo; Linden, David E J; Re, Marta; Esposito, Fabrizio; Sack, Alexander T; Di Salle, Francesco

    2015-01-01

    The default mode network and the working memory network are known to be anti-correlated during sustained cognitive processing, in a load-dependent manner. We hypothesized that functional connectivity among nodes of the two networks could be dynamically modulated by task phases across time. To address the dynamic links between default mode network and the working memory network, we used a delayed visuo-spatial working memory paradigm, which allowed us to separate three different phases of working memory (encoding, maintenance, and retrieval), and analyzed the functional connectivity during each phase within and between the default mode network and the working memory network networks. We found that the two networks are anti-correlated only during the maintenance phase of working memory, i.e. when attention is focused on a memorized stimulus in the absence of external input. Conversely, during the encoding and retrieval phases, when the external stimulation is present, the default mode network is positively coupled with the working memory network, suggesting the existence of a dynamically switching of functional connectivity between "task-positive" and "task-negative" brain networks. Our results demonstrate that the well-established dichotomy of the human brain (anti-correlated networks during rest and balanced activation-deactivation during cognition) has a more nuanced organization than previously thought and engages in different patterns of correlation and anti-correlation during specific sub-phases of a cognitive task. This nuanced organization reinforces the hypothesis of a direct involvement of the default mode network in cognitive functions, as represented by a dynamic rather than static interaction with specific task-positive networks, such as the working memory network.

  9. Evidence for modality-independent order coding in working memory.

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    Depoorter, Ann; Vandierendonck, André

    2009-03-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the representation of serial order in working memory, more specifically whether serial order is coded by means of a modality-dependent or a modality-independent order code. This was investigated by means of a series of four experiments based on a dual-task methodology in which one short-term memory task was embedded between the presentation and recall of another short-term memory task. Two aspects were varied in these memory tasks--namely, the modality of the stimulus materials (verbal or visuo-spatial) and the presence of an order component in the task (an order or an item memory task). The results of this study showed impaired primary-task recognition performance when both the primary and the embedded task included an order component, irrespective of the modality of the stimulus materials. If one or both of the tasks did not contain an order component, less interference was found. The results of this study support the existence of a modality-independent order code.

  10. THE EFFECTS OF GAMING ON WORKING MEMORY, INATTENTION, READING AND MATH – A LONGITUDINAL STUDY

    OpenAIRE

    Sjöwall, Douglas

    2010-01-01

    Previous research has shown both positive and negative effects of gaming on academic and cognitive performance. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of gaming on development of working memory (WM), inattention, reading and math ability using a longitudinal design. A randomly chosen sample of 335 (168 girls) 6–25 year olds performed tests of visuo-spatial and verbal WM, reading and math ability twice, with a two year interval. Gaming and inattention were assed with questionnaires...

  11. 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.

  12. Insensitivity of visual short-term memory to irrelevant visual information

    OpenAIRE

    Andrade, Jackie; Kemps, Eva; Werniers, Yves; May, Jon; Szmalec, Arnaud

    2002-01-01

    Several authors have hypothesised that visuo-spatial working memory is functionally analogous to verbal working memory. Irrelevant background speech impairs verbal short-term memory. We investigated whether irrelevant visual information has an analogous effect on visual short-term memory, using a dynamic visual noise (DVN) technique known to disrupt visual imagery (Quinn & McConnell, 1996a). Experiment 1 replicated the effect of DVN on pegword imagery. Experiments 2 and 3 showed no effect of ...

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

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    Storbeck, Justin; Watson, Philip

    2014-12-01

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

  14. Spatial-Sequential and Spatial-Simultaneous Working Memory in Individuals with Williams Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanfranchi, Silvia; De Mori, Letizia; Mammarella, Irene C.; Carretti, Barbara; Vianello, Renzo

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to compare visuospatial working memory performance in 18 individuals with Williams syndrome (WS) and 18 typically developing (TD) children matched for nonverbal mental age. Two aspects were considered: task presentation format (i.e., spatial-sequential or spatial-simultaneous), and level of attentional control…

  15. What we remember affects how we see: spatial working memory steers saccade programming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Jason H; Peterson, Matthew S

    2013-02-01

    Relationships between visual attention, saccade programming, and visual working memory have been hypothesized for over a decade. Awh, Jonides, and Reuter-Lorenz (Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 24(3):780-90, 1998) and Awh et al. (Psychological Science 10(5):433-437, 1999) proposed that rehearsing a location in memory also leads to enhanced attentional processing at that location. In regard to eye movements, Belopolsky and Theeuwes (Attention, Perception & Psychophysics 71(3):620-631, 2009) found that holding a location in working memory affects saccade programming, albeit negatively. In three experiments, we attempted to replicate the findings of Belopolsky and Theeuwes (Attention, Perception & Psychophysics 71(3):620-631, 2009) and determine whether the spatial memory effect can occur in other saccade-cuing paradigms, including endogenous central arrow cues and exogenous irrelevant singletons. In the first experiment, our results were the opposite of those in Belopolsky and Theeuwes (Attention, Perception & Psychophysics 71(3):620-631, 2009), in that we found facilitation (shorter saccade latencies) instead of inhibition when the saccade target matched the region in spatial working memory. In Experiment 2, we sought to determine whether the spatial working memory effect would generalize to other endogenous cuing tasks, such as a central arrow that pointed to one of six possible peripheral locations. As in Experiment 1, we found that saccade programming was facilitated when the cued location coincided with the saccade target. In Experiment 3, we explored how spatial memory interacts with other types of cues, such as a peripheral color singleton target or irrelevant onset. In both cases, the eyes were more likely to go to either singleton when it coincided with the location held in spatial working memory. On the basis of these results, we conclude that spatial working memory and saccade programming are likely to share common

  16. Effects of verbal and nonverbal interference on spatial and object visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Postle, Bradley R; Desposito, Mark; Corkin, Suzanne

    2005-03-01

    We tested the hypothesis that a verbal coding mechanism is necessarily engaged by object, but not spatial, visual working memory tasks. We employed a dual-task procedure that paired n-back working memory tasks with domain-specific distractor trials inserted into each interstimulus interval of the n-back tasks. In two experiments, object n-back performance demonstrated greater sensitivity to verbal distraction, whereas spatial n-back performance demonstrated greater sensitivity to motion distraction. Visual object and spatial working memory may differ fundamentally in that the mnemonic representation of featural characteristics of objects incorporates a verbal (perhaps semantic) code, whereas the mnemonic representation of the location of objects does not. Thus, the processes supporting working memory for these two types of information may differ in more ways than those dictated by the "what/where" organization of the visual system, a fact more easily reconciled with a component process than a memory systems account of working memory function.

  17. Developmental Differences in the Influence of Distractors on Maintenance in Spatial Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schutte, Anne R.; Keiser, Brian A.; Beattie, Heidi L.

    2017-01-01

    This study examined whether attention to a location plays a role in the maintenance of locations in spatial working memory in young children as it does in adults. This study was the first to investigate whether distractors presented during the delay of a spatial working-memory task influenced young children's memory responses. Across 2…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Modality and domain specific components in auditory and visual working memory tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehnert, Günther; Zimmer, Hubert D

    2008-03-01

    In the tripartite model of working memory (WM) it is postulated that a unique part system-the visuo-spatial sketchpad (VSSP)-processes non-verbal content. Due to behavioral and neurophysiological findings, the VSSP was later subdivided into visual object and visual spatial processing, the former representing objects' appearance and the latter spatial information. This distinction is well supported. However, a challenge to this model is the question how spatial information from non-visual sensory modalities, for example the auditory one, is processed. Only a few studies so far have directly compared visual and auditory spatial WM. They suggest that the distinction of two processing domains--one for object and one for spatial information--also holds true for auditory WM, but that only a part of the processes is modality specific. We propose that processing in the object domain (the item's appearance) is modality specific, while spatial WM as well as object-location binding relies on modality general processes.

  20. Fine-grained versus categorical: Pupil size differentiates between strategies for spatial working memory performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starc, Martina; Anticevic, Alan; Repovš, Grega

    2017-05-01

    Pupillometry provides an accessible option to track working memory processes with high temporal resolution. Several studies showed that pupil size increases with the number of items held in working memory; however, no study has explored whether pupil size also reflects the quality of working memory representations. To address this question, we used a spatial working memory task to investigate the relationship of pupil size with spatial precision of responses and indicators of reliance on generalized spatial categories. We asked 30 participants (15 female, aged 19-31) to remember the position of targets presented at various locations along a hidden radial grid. After a delay, participants indicated the remembered location with a high-precision joystick providing a parametric measure of trial-to-trial accuracy. We recorded participants' pupil dilations continuously during task performance. Results showed a significant relation between pupil dilation during preparation/early encoding and the precision of responses, possibly reflecting the attentional resources devoted to memory encoding. In contrast, pupil dilation at late maintenance and response predicted larger shifts of responses toward prototypical locations, possibly reflecting larger reliance on categorical representation. On an intraindividual level, smaller pupil dilations during encoding predicted larger dilations during late maintenance and response. On an interindividual level, participants relying more on categorical representation also produced larger precision errors. The results confirm the link between pupil size and the quality of spatial working memory representation. They suggest compensatory strategies of spatial working memory performance-loss of precise spatial representation likely increases reliance on generalized spatial categories. © 2017 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  1. Memória visuo-espacial a curto prazo: os efeitos da supressão articulatória e de uma tarefa aritmética Short-term visuo-spatial memory: the effect of the articulatory suppression and an arithmetic task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cesar Galera

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Foram realizados dois experimentos para avaliar a natureza da informação armazenada pelo sistema de memória visuo-espacial a curto prazo. No primeiro experimento, uma tarefa de localização espacial foi realizada simultaneamente com tarefas intervenientes de supressão articulatória e de subtração aritmética. A tarefa de supressão articulatória afeta de forma negativa a recordação das letras, mas não a dos padrões visuais. Apesar disso, a recordação das letras se mantém superior à recordação dos padrões visuais. Este resultado sugere que o armazenamento dos padrões visuais não utiliza o laço fonológico, e que a tarefa de supressão articulatória, embora iniba o uso do laço fonológico, pode não inibir o acesso à informação semântica. No segundo experimento estabelecemos o efeito da similaridade visual sobre a capacidade de recordação da posição espacial. Os resultados confirmam o uso de códigos visuais e sugerem que a capacidade de armazenamento de estímulos visuais é limitada, mas não se restringe ao efeito de recência.We investigated the nature of the information stored in visuo-spatial short-term memory in two experiments. In the first experiment, a spatial localization task was performed simultaneously with articulatory suppression and arithmetical subtraction tasks. The articulatory suppression has a negative effect on the performance with letters, but not with visual patterns. Despite that, the recall of the letters is better than the recall of the visual patterns. This result suggests that the storage of the visual patterns does not use the phonological loop, and that the articulatory suppression, even if it inhibits the use of the phonological loop, cannot inhibit the access to the semantic information. In the second experiment we established the effect of the visual similarity on the capacity of memory for the spatial position. The results confirm the use of visual codes and suggest that the

  2. 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…

  3. Motor transfer from map ocular exploration to locomotion during spatial navigation from memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demichelis, Alixia; Olivier, Gérard; Berthoz, Alain

    2013-02-01

    Spatial navigation from memory can rely on two different strategies: a mental simulation of a kinesthetic spatial navigation (egocentric route strategy) or visual-spatial memory using a mental map (allocentric survey strategy). We hypothesized that a previously performed "oculomotor navigation" on a map could be used by the brain to perform a locomotor memory task. Participants were instructed to (1) learn a path on a map through a sequence of vertical and horizontal eyes movements and (2) walk on the slabs of a "magic carpet" to recall this path. The main results showed that the anisotropy of ocular movements (horizontal ones being more efficient than vertical ones) influenced performances of participants when they change direction on the central slab of the magic carpet. These data suggest that, to find their way through locomotor space, subjects mentally repeated their past ocular exploration of the map, and this visuo-motor memory was used as a template for the locomotor performance.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Relationships among Verbal Memory, Spatial Working Memory and Intelligence in Children of 10-11 years

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Burdukova Yu,A.

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The issue investigates the relationship Selective Reminding Test (SRT, a test of spatial working memory (SWM with Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (KABC II. It has been found that the efficiency of memorizing verbal material is associated with the estimates on the K-ABC Sequential processing scale and K-ABC Simultaneous processing scale, but not to the Learning scale of education, is measured indirectly verbal memorization. Spatial working memory is not related to IQ.The issue is part of a research project on cognitive function in children with neuro-oncological disorders

  8. Prefrontal cortical GABA modulation of spatial reference and working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Auger, Meagan L; Floresco, Stan B

    2014-10-31

    Dysfunction in prefrontal cortex (PFC) GABA transmission has been proposed to contribute to cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia, yet how this system regulates different cognitive and mnemonic functions remains unclear. We assessed the effects of pharmacological reduction of GABAA signaling in the medial PFC of rats on spatial reference/working memory using different versions of the radial-arm maze task. We used a massed-trials procedure to probe how PFC GABA regulates susceptibility to proactive interference. Male rats were well-trained to retrieve food from the same 4 arms of an 8-arm maze, receiving 5 trials/day (1-2 min intervals). Infusions of the GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline (12.5-50 ng) markedly increased working and reference memory errors and response latencies. Similar treatments also impaired short-term memory on an 8-baited arm task. These effects did not appear to be due to increased susceptibility to proactive interference. In contrast, PFC inactivation via infusion of GABA agonists baclofen/muscimol did not affect reference/working memory. In comparison to the pronounced effects on the 8-arm maze tasks, PFC GABAA antagonism only causes a slight and transient decrease in accuracy on a 2-arm spatial discrimination. These findings demonstrate that prefrontal GABA hypofunction severely disrupts spatial reference and short-term memory and that disinhibition of the PFC can, in some instances, perturb memory processes not normally dependent on the frontal lobes. Moreover, these impairments closely resemble those observed in schizophrenic patients, suggesting that perturbation in PFC GABA signaling may contribute to these types of cognitive deficits associated with the disorder. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Belopolsky, A.V.; Theeuwes, J.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belopolsky, Artem V; Theeuwes, Jan

    2009-10-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Human Parahippocampal Cortex Supports Spatial Binding in Visual Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dundon, Neil Michael; Katshu, Mohammad Zia Ul Haq; Harry, Bronson; Roberts, Daniel; Leek, E Charles; Downing, Paul; Sapir, Ayelet; Roberts, Craig; d'Avossa, Giovanni

    2017-09-15

    Studies investigating the functional organization of the medial temporal lobe (MTL) suggest that parahippocampal cortex (PHC) generates representations of spatial and contextual information used by the hippocampus in the formation of episodic memories. However, evidence from animal studies also implicates PHC in spatial binding of visual information held in short term, working memory. Here we examined a 46-year-old man (P.J.), after he had recovered from bilateral medial occipitotemporal cortex strokes resulting in ischemic lesions of PHC and hippocampal atrophy, and a group of age-matched healthy controls. When recalling the color of 1 of 2 objects, P.J. misidentified the target when cued by its location, but not shape. When recalling the position of 1 of 3 objects, he frequently misidentified the target, which was cued by its color. Increasing the duration of the memory delay had no impact on the proportion of binding errors, but did significantly worsen recall precision in both P.J. and controls. We conclude that PHC may play a crucial role in spatial binding during encoding of visual information in working memory. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Spatial-sequential working memory in younger and older adults: age predicts backward recall performance within both age groups

    OpenAIRE

    Louise A. Brown

    2016-01-01

    Working memory is vulnerable to age-related decline, but there is debate regarding the age-sensitivity of different forms of spatial-sequential working memory task, depending on their passive or active nature. The functional architecture of spatial working memory was therefore explored in younger (18–40 years) and older (64–85 years) adults, using passive and active recall tasks. Spatial working memory was assessed using a modified version of the Spatial Span subtest of the Wechsler Memory Sc...

  14. Differences in Spatial Memory Recognition Due to Cognitive Style.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tascón, Laura; Boccia, Maddalena; Piccardi, Laura; Cimadevilla, José M

    2017-01-01

    Field independence refers to the ability to perceive details from the surrounding context as a whole and to represent the environment by relying on an internal reference frame. Conversely, field dependence individuals tend to focus their attention on single environmental features analysing them individually. This cognitive style affects several visuo-spatial abilities including spatial memory. This study assesses both the effect of field independence and field dependence on performance displayed on virtual environments of different complexity. Forty young healthy individuals took part in this study. Participants performed the Embedded Figures Test for field independence or dependence assessment and a new spatial memory recognition test. The spatial memory recognition test demanded to memorize a green box location in a virtual room picture. Thereafter, during ten trials participants had to decide if a green box was located in the same position as in the sample picture. Five of the pictures were correct. The information available in the virtual room was manipulated. Hence, two different experimental conditions were tested: a virtual room containing all landmarks and a virtual room with only two cues. Accuracy and reaction time were registered. Analyses demonstrated that higher field independent individuals were related to better spatial memory performance in two landmarks condition and were faster in all landmark condition. In addition, men and women did not differ in their performance. These results suggested that cognitive style affects spatial memory performance and this phenomenon is modulated by environment complexity. This does not affect accuracy but time spent. Moreover, field dependent individuals are unable to organize the navigational field by relying on internal reference frames when few landmarks are available, and this causes them to commit more errors.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Developmental Links Between Children's Working Memory and their Social Relations with Teachers and Peers in the Early School Years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Wilde, Amber; Koot, Hans M; van Lier, Pol A C

    2016-01-01

    This study assessed the developmental links between children's working memory development and their relations with teachers and peers across 2 years of kindergarten and early elementary school. Kindergarten and first grade children, N = 1109, 50% boys, were followed across 2 school-years. Children were assessed across 3 waves, in the fall and spring of the first school-year (within school-year), and finally in the spring of the second school-year. Working memory was assessed using a visuo-spatial working memory task. The developmental links between working memory and child-reported teacher-child relationship quality (warmth and conflict) and peer-nominated likeability and friendedness were assessed using autoregressive cross-lagged models. Lower working memory scores were related to increases in teacher-child conflict and decreases in teacher-child warmth one school-year later, in addition to decreases in likeability by peers within the same school-year. Conversely, teacher-child conflict was negatively associated with the development of working memory across the studied period. Path estimates between working memory and social relational factors were similar for boys and girls. Findings show developmental links between working memory and social-relational factors and vice versa. These results suggest that children's working memory development can be fostered through pro-social relations with teachers in early elementary school children.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Visuo–spatial working memory is an important source of domain-general vulnerability in the development of arithmetic cognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashkenazi, Sarit; Rosenberg-Lee, Miriam; Metcalfe, Arron W.S.; Swigart, Anna G.; Menon, Vinod

    2014-01-01

    The study of developmental disorders can provide a unique window into the role of domain-general cognitive abilities and neural systems in typical and atypical development. Mathematical disabilities (MD) are characterized by marked difficulty in mathematical cognition in the presence of preserved intelligence and verbal ability. Although studies of MD have most often focused on the role of core deficits in numerical processing, domain-general cognitive abilities, in particular working memory (WM), have also been implicated. Here we identify specific WM components that are impaired in children with MD and then examine their role in arithmetic problem solving. Compared to typically developing (TD) children, the MD group demonstrated lower arithmetic performance and lower visuo-spatial working memory (VSWM) scores with preserved abilities on the phonological and central executive components of WM. Whole brain analysis revealed that, during arithmetic problem solving, left posterior parietal cortex, bilateral dorsolateral and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, cingulate gyrus and precuneus, and fusiform gyrus responses were positively correlated with VSWM ability in TD children, but not in the MD group. Additional analyses using a priori posterior parietal cortex regions previously implicated in WM tasks, demonstrated a convergent pattern of results during arithmetic problem solving. These results suggest that MD is characterized by a common locus of arithmetic and VSWM deficits at both the cognitive and functional neuroanatomical levels. Unlike TD children, children with MD do not use VSWM resources appropriately during arithmetic problem solving. This work advances our understanding of VSWM as an important domain-general cognitive process in both typical and atypical mathematical skill development. PMID:23896444

  19. Specific memory impairment following neonatal encephalopathy in term-born children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Handel, Mariëlle; de Sonneville, Leo; de Vries, Linda S; Jongmans, Marian J; Swaab, Hanna

    2012-01-01

    This study examines short-term memory, verbal working memory, episodic long-term memory, and intelligence in 32 children with mild neonatal encephalopathy (NE), 39 children with moderate NE, 10 children with NE who developed cerebral palsy (CP), and 53 comparison children, at the age of 9 to 10 years. in addition to a global effect on intelligence, NE had a specific effect on verbal working memory, verbal and visuo-spatial long-term memory, and learning, which was associated with degree of NE. Although these memory problems occurred in children without CP, they were more pronounced when children had also developed CP.

  20. Hemispheric Lateralization of Verbal and Spatial Working Memory during Adolescence

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Adult functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) literature suggests that a left-right hemispheric dissociation may exist between verbal and spatial working memory (WM), respectively. However, investigation of this type has been obscured by incomparable verbal and spatial WM tasks and/or visual inspection at arbitrary thresholds as means to…

  1. 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

  2. The Role of the Oculomotor System in Updating Visual-Spatial Working Memory across Saccades

    OpenAIRE

    Boon, Paul J.; Belopolsky, Artem V.; Theeuwes, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Visual-spatial working memory (VSWM) helps us to maintain and manipulate visual information in the absence of sensory input. It has been proposed that VSWM is an emergent property of the oculomotor system. In the present study we investigated the role of the oculomotor system in updating of spatial working memory representations across saccades. Participants had to maintain a location in memory while making a saccade to a different location. During the saccade the target was displaced, which ...

  3. Preserved memory-based orienting of attention with impaired explicit memory in healthy ageing.

    OpenAIRE

    Salvato, G; Patai, EZ; Nobre, AC

    2015-01-01

    It is increasingly recognised that spatial contextual long-term memory (LTM) prepares neural activity for guiding visuo-spatial attention in a proactive manner. In the current study, we investigated whether the decline in explicit memory observed in healthy ageing would compromise this mechanism. We compared the behavioural performance of younger and older participants on learning new contextual memories, on orienting visual attention based on these learnt contextual associations, and on expl...

  4. Differences in Spatial Memory Recognition Due to Cognitive Style

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Tascón

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Field independence refers to the ability to perceive details from the surrounding context as a whole and to represent the environment by relying on an internal reference frame. Conversely, field dependence individuals tend to focus their attention on single environmental features analysing them individually. This cognitive style affects several visuo-spatial abilities including spatial memory. This study assesses both the effect of field independence and field dependence on performance displayed on virtual environments of different complexity. Forty young healthy individuals took part in this study. Participants performed the Embedded Figures Test for field independence or dependence assessment and a new spatial memory recognition test. The spatial memory recognition test demanded to memorize a green box location in a virtual room picture. Thereafter, during ten trials participants had to decide if a green box was located in the same position as in the sample picture. Five of the pictures were correct. The information available in the virtual room was manipulated. Hence, two different experimental conditions were tested: a virtual room containing all landmarks and a virtual room with only two cues. Accuracy and reaction time were registered. Analyses demonstrated that higher field independent individuals were related to better spatial memory performance in two landmarks condition and were faster in all landmark condition. In addition, men and women did not differ in their performance. These results suggested that cognitive style affects spatial memory performance and this phenomenon is modulated by environment complexity. This does not affect accuracy but time spent. Moreover, field dependent individuals are unable to organize the navigational field by relying on internal reference frames when few landmarks are available, and this causes them to commit more errors.

  5. Spatial specificity of working memory representations in the early visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pratte, Michael S; Tong, Frank

    2014-03-19

    Recent fMRI decoding studies have demonstrated that early retinotopic visual areas exhibit similar patterns of activity during the perception of a stimulus and during the maintenance of that stimulus in working memory. These findings provide support for the sensory recruitment hypothesis that the mechanisms underlying perception serve as a foundation for visual working memory. However, a recent study by Ester, Serences, and Awh (2009) found that the orientation of a peripheral grating maintained in working memory could be classified from both the contralateral and ipsilateral regions of the primary visual cortex (V1), implying that, unlike perception, feature-specific information was maintained in a nonretinotopic manner. Here, we evaluated the hypothesis that early visual areas can maintain information in a spatially specific manner and will do so if the task encourages the binding of feature information to a specific location. To encourage reliance on spatially specific memory, our experiment required observers to retain the orientations of two laterally presented gratings. Multivariate pattern analysis revealed that the orientation of each remembered grating was classified more accurately based on activity patterns in the contralateral than in the ipsilateral regions of V1 and V2. In contrast, higher extrastriate areas exhibited similar levels of performance across the two hemispheres. A time-resolved analysis further indicated that the retinotopic specificity of the working memory representation in V1 and V2 was maintained throughout the retention interval. Our results suggest that early visual areas provide a cortical basis for actively maintaining information about the features and locations of stimuli in visual working memory.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. High-calorie food-cues impair working memory performance in high and low food cravers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meule, Adrian; Skirde, Ann Kathrin; Freund, Rebecca; Vögele, Claus; Kübler, Andrea

    2012-10-01

    The experience of food craving can lead to cognitive impairments. Experimentally induced chocolate craving exhausts cognitive resources and, therefore, impacts working memory, particularly in trait chocolate cravers. In the current study, we investigated the effects of exposure to food-cues on working memory task performance in a group with frequent and intense (high cravers, n=28) and less pronounced food cravings (low cravers, n=28). Participants performed an n-back task that contained either pictures of high-calorie sweets, high-calorie savory foods, or neutral objects. Current subjective food craving was assessed before and after the task. All participants showed slower reaction times and made more omission errors in response to food-cues, particularly savory foods. There were no differences in task performance between groups. State cravings did not differ between groups before the task, but increased more in high cravers compared to low cravers during the task. Results support findings about food cravings impairing visuo-spatial working memory performance independent of trait cravings. They further show that this influence is not restricted to chocolate, but also applies to high-calorie savory foods. Limiting working memory capacity may be especially crucial in persons who are more prone to high-calorie food-cues and experience such cravings habitually. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Integrated cross-domain object storage in working memory: evidence from a verbal-spatial memory task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morey, Candice C

    2009-11-01

    Working-memory theories often include domain-specific verbal and visual stores (e.g., the phonological and visuospatial buffers of Baddeley, 1986), and some also posit more general stores thought to be capable of holding verbal or visuospatial materials (Baddeley, 2000; Cowan, 2005). However, it is currently unclear which type of store is primarily responsible for maintaining objects that include components from multiple domains. In these studies, a spatial array of letters was followed by a single probe identical to an item in the array or differing systematically in spatial location, letter identity, or their combination. Concurrent verbal rehearsal suppression impaired memory in each of these trial types in a task that required participants to remember verbal-spatial binding, but did not impair memory for spatial locations if the task did not require verbal-spatial binding for a correct response. Thus, spatial information might be stored differently when it must be bound to verbal information. This suggests that a cross-domain store such as the episodic buffer of Baddeley (2000) or the focus of attention of Cowan (2001) might be used for integrated object storage, rather than the maintenance of associations between features stored in separate domain-specific buffers.

  10. Detection of auditory signals in quiet and noisy backgrounds while performing a visuo-spatial task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vishakha W Rawool

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Context: The ability to detect important auditory signals while performing visual tasks may be further compounded by background chatter. Thus, it is important to know how task performance may interact with background chatter to hinder signal detection. Aim: To examine any interactive effects of speech spectrum noise and task performance on the ability to detect signals. Settings and Design: The setting was a sound-treated booth. A repeated measures design was used. Materials and Methods: Auditory thresholds of 20 normal adults were determined at 0.5, 1, 2 and 4 kHz in the following conditions presented in a random order: (1 quiet with attention; (2 quiet with a visuo-spatial task or puzzle (distraction; (3 noise with attention and (4 noise with task. Statistical Analysis: Multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA with three repeated factors (quiet versus noise, visuo-spatial task versus no task, signal frequency. Results: MANOVA revealed significant main effects for noise and signal frequency and significant noise–frequency and task–frequency interactions. Distraction caused by performing the task worsened the thresholds for tones presented at the beginning of the experiment and had no effect on tones presented in the middle. At the end of the experiment, thresholds (4 kHz were better while performing the task than those obtained without performing the task. These effects were similar across the quiet and noise conditions. Conclusion: Detection of auditory signals is difficult at the beginning of a distracting visuo-spatial task but over time, task learning and auditory training effects can nullify the effect of distraction and may improve detection of high frequency sounds.

  11. Long-term memory for verbal and visual information in Down syndrome and Williams syndrome: performance on the Doors and People test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarrold, Christopher; Baddeley, Alan D; Phillips, Caroline

    2007-02-01

    Previous studies have suggested that Williams syndrome and Down syndrome may be associated with specific short-term memory deficits. Individuals with Williams syndrome perform relatively poorly on tests of visuo-spatial short-term memory and individuals with Down syndrome show a relative deficit on verbal short-term memory tasks. However, these patterns of impairments may reflect the impact of generally impaired visuo-spatial processing skills in Williams syndrome, and verbal abilities in Down syndrome. The current study explored this possibility by assessing long-term memory among 15 individuals with Williams syndrome and 20 individuals with Down syndrome using the Doors and People test, a battery which assesses recall and recognition of verbal and visual information. Individuals' performance was standardised for age and level of intellectual ability with reference to that shown by a sample of 110 typically developing children. The results showed that individuals with Down syndrome have no differential deficits in long-term memory for verbal information, implying that verbal short-term memory deficits in this population are relatively selective. Instead both individuals with Down syndrome and with Williams syndrome showed some evidence of relatively poor performance on tests of long-term memory for visual information. It is therefore possible that visuo-spatial short-term memory deficits that have previously been demonstrated in Williams syndrome may be secondary to more general problems in visuo-spatial processing in this population.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Delayed-matching-to-place Task in a Dry Maze to Measure Spatial Working Memory in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Xi; Krukowski, Karen; Jopson, Timothy; Rosi, Susanna

    2017-07-05

    The delayed-matching-to-place (DMP) dry maze test is a variant of DMP water maze (Steele and Morris, 1999; Faizi et al. , 2012) which measures spatial working/episodic-like learning and memory that depends on both hippocampal and cortical functions (Wang and Morris, 2010; Euston et al. , 2012). Using this test we can detect normal aging related spatial working memory decline, as well as trauma induced working memory deficits. Furthermore, we recently reported that fractionated whole brain irradiation does not affect working memory in mice (Feng et al. , 2016). Here we describe the experimental setup and procedures of this behavioral test.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Spatial-Sequential Working Memory in Younger and Older Adults: Age Predicts Backward Recall Performance within Both Age Groups

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Louise A.

    2016-01-01

    Working memory is vulnerable to age-related decline, but there is debate regarding the age-sensitivity of different forms of spatial-sequential working memory task, depending on their passive or active nature. The functional architecture of spatial working memory was therefore explored in younger (18–40 years) and older (64–85 years) adults, using passive and active recall tasks. Spatial working memory was assessed using a modified version of the Spatial Span subtest of the Wechsler Memory Scale – Third Edition (WMS-III; Wechsler, 1998). Across both age groups, the effects of interference (control, visual, or spatial), and recall type (forward and backward), were investigated. There was a clear effect of age group, with younger adults demonstrating a larger spatial working memory capacity than the older adults overall. There was also a specific effect of interference, with the spatial interference task (spatial tapping) reliably reducing performance relative to both the control and visual interference (dynamic visual noise) conditions in both age groups and both recall types. This suggests that younger and older adults have similar dependence upon active spatial rehearsal, and that both forward and backward recall require this processing capacity. Linear regression analyses were then carried out within each age group, to assess the predictors of performance in each recall format (forward and backward). Specifically the backward recall task was significantly predicted by age, within both the younger and older adult groups. This finding supports previous literature showing lifespan linear declines in spatial-sequential working memory, and in working memory tasks from other domains, but contrasts with previous evidence that backward spatial span is no more sensitive to aging than forward span. The study suggests that backward spatial span is indeed more processing-intensive than forward span, even when both tasks include a retention period, and that age predicts

  16. Spatial-sequential working memory in younger and older adults: age predicts backward recall performance within both age groups

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louise A. Brown

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Working memory is vulnerable to age-related decline, but there is debate regarding the age-sensitivity of different forms of spatial-sequential working memory task, depending on their passive or active nature. The functional architecture of spatial working memory was therefore explored in younger (18-40 years and older (64-85 years adults, using passive and active recall tasks. Spatial working memory was assessed using a modified version of the Spatial Span subtest of the Wechsler Memory Scale – Third Edition (WMS-III; Wechsler, 1998. Across both age groups, the effects of interference (control, visual, or spatial, and recall type (forward and backward, were investigated. There was a clear effect of age group, with younger adults demonstrating a larger spatial working memory capacity than the older adults overall. There was also a specific effect of interference, with the spatial interference task (spatial tapping reliably reducing performance relative to both the control and visual interference (dynamic visual noise conditions in both age groups and both recall types. This suggests that younger and older adults have similar dependence upon active spatial rehearsal, and that both forward and backward recall require this processing capacity. Linear regression analyses were then carried out within each age group, to assess the predictors of performance in each recall format (forward and backward. Specifically the backward recall task was significantly predicted by age, within both the younger and older adult groups. This finding supports previous literature showing lifespan linear declines in spatial-sequential working memory, and in working memory tasks from other domains, but contrasts with previous evidence that backward spatial span is no more sensitive to aging than forward span. The study suggests that backward spatial span is indeed more processing-intensive than forward span, even when both tasks include a retention period, and that age

  17. Spatial-Sequential Working Memory in Younger and Older Adults: Age Predicts Backward Recall Performance within Both Age Groups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Louise A

    2016-01-01

    Working memory is vulnerable to age-related decline, but there is debate regarding the age-sensitivity of different forms of spatial-sequential working memory task, depending on their passive or active nature. The functional architecture of spatial working memory was therefore explored in younger (18-40 years) and older (64-85 years) adults, using passive and active recall tasks. Spatial working memory was assessed using a modified version of the Spatial Span subtest of the Wechsler Memory Scale - Third Edition (WMS-III; Wechsler, 1998). Across both age groups, the effects of interference (control, visual, or spatial), and recall type (forward and backward), were investigated. There was a clear effect of age group, with younger adults demonstrating a larger spatial working memory capacity than the older adults overall. There was also a specific effect of interference, with the spatial interference task (spatial tapping) reliably reducing performance relative to both the control and visual interference (dynamic visual noise) conditions in both age groups and both recall types. This suggests that younger and older adults have similar dependence upon active spatial rehearsal, and that both forward and backward recall require this processing capacity. Linear regression analyses were then carried out within each age group, to assess the predictors of performance in each recall format (forward and backward). Specifically the backward recall task was significantly predicted by age, within both the younger and older adult groups. This finding supports previous literature showing lifespan linear declines in spatial-sequential working memory, and in working memory tasks from other domains, but contrasts with previous evidence that backward spatial span is no more sensitive to aging than forward span. The study suggests that backward spatial span is indeed more processing-intensive than forward span, even when both tasks include a retention period, and that age predicts

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berggren, Nick; Eimer, Martin

    2016-12-01

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

  19. Working Memory Systems in the Rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bratch, Alexander; Kann, Spencer; Cain, Joshua A; Wu, Jie-En; Rivera-Reyes, Nilda; Dalecki, Stefan; Arman, Diana; Dunn, Austin; Cooper, Shiloh; Corbin, Hannah E; Doyle, Amanda R; Pizzo, Matthew J; Smith, Alexandra E; Crystal, Jonathon D

    2016-02-08

    A fundamental feature of memory in humans is the ability to simultaneously work with multiple types of information using independent memory systems. Working memory is conceptualized as two independent memory systems under executive control [1, 2]. Although there is a long history of using the term "working memory" to describe short-term memory in animals, it is not known whether multiple, independent memory systems exist in nonhumans. Here, we used two established short-term memory approaches to test the hypothesis that spatial and olfactory memory operate as independent working memory resources in the rat. In the olfactory memory task, rats chose a novel odor from a gradually incrementing set of old odors [3]. In the spatial memory task, rats searched for a depleting food source at multiple locations [4]. We presented rats with information to hold in memory in one domain (e.g., olfactory) while adding a memory load in the other domain (e.g., spatial). Control conditions equated the retention interval delay without adding a second memory load. In a further experiment, we used proactive interference [5-7] in the spatial domain to compromise spatial memory and evaluated the impact of adding an olfactory memory load. Olfactory and spatial memory are resistant to interference from the addition of a memory load in the other domain. Our data suggest that olfactory and spatial memory draw on independent working memory systems in the rat. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Support for distinct subcomponents of spatial working memory: a double dissociation between spatial-simultaneous and spatial-sequential performance in unilateral neglect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wansard, Murielle; Bartolomeo, Paolo; Bastin, Christine; Segovia, Fermín; Gillet, Sophie; Duret, Christophe; Meulemans, Thierry

    2015-01-01

    Over the last decade, many studies have demonstrated that visuospatial working memory (VSWM) can be divided into separate subsystems dedicated to the retention of visual patterns and their serial order. Impaired VSWM has been suggested to exacerbate left visual neglect in right-brain-damaged individuals. The aim of this study was to investigate the segregation between spatial-sequential and spatial-simultaneous working memory in individuals with neglect. We demonstrated that patterns of results on these VSWM tasks can be dissociated. Spatial-simultaneous and sequential aspects of VSWM can be selectively impaired in unilateral neglect. Our results support the hypothesis of multiple VSWM subsystems, which should be taken into account to better understand neglect-related deficits.

  1. Motor Habits in Visuo-manual Tracking: Manifestation of an Unconscious Short-Term Motor Memory?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Hufschmidt

    1990-01-01

    Full Text Available Normal subjects were tested in short, repetitive trials of a tracking task, with an identical shape of target movement being used throughout one session. Analysis of the net error curves (pursuit minus target movement revealed that subjects regularly exhibit a remoteness effect: neighbouring trials were more similar than distant ones. The effect is demonstrated to be stronger in the absence of visual cues, and was found to be absent in a patient with complete loss of proprioception when he was performing without visual feedback as well. The results are discussed in terms of a short term memory store contributing to unconscious movement habits in tracking. This may represent part of the motor learning process working together with conscious visuo-motor control mechanisms. Its function is probably related to the acquisition of automatic movements.

  2. Interactive effects of morphine and dopaminergic compounds on spatial working memory in rhesus monkeys

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jian-Hong Wang; Joshua Dominie Rizak; Yan-Mei Chen; Liang Li; Xin-Tian Hu; Yuan-Ye Ma

    2013-01-01

    Opiates and dopamine (DA) play key roles in learning and memory in humans and animals.Although interactions between these neurotransmitters have been found,their functional roles remain to be fully elucidated,and their dysfunction may contribute to human diseases and addiction.Here we investigated the interactions of morphine and dopaminergic neurotransmitter systems with respect to learning and memory in rhesus monkeys by using the Wisconsin General Test Apparatus (WGTA) delayed-response task.Morphine and DA agonists (SKF-38393,apomorphine and bromocriptine) or DA antagonists (SKF-83566,haloperidol and sulpiride) were co-administered to the monkeys 30 min prior to the task.We found that dose-patterned co-administration of morphine with D1 or D2 antagonists or agonists reversed the impaired spatial working memory induced by morphine or the compounds alone.For example,morphine at 0.01 mg/kg impaired spatial working memory,while morphine (0.01 mg/kg) and apomorphine (0.01 or 0.06 mg/kg) co-treatment ameliorated this effect.Our findings suggest that the interactions between morphine and dopaminergic compounds influence spatial working memory in rhesus monkeys.A better understanding of these interactive relationships may provide insights into human addiction.

  3. Spatial-Simultaneous and Spatial-Sequential Working Memory in Individuals with Down Syndrome: The Effect of Configuration

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    Carretti, Barbara; Lanfranchi, Silvia; Mammarella, Irene C.

    2013-01-01

    Earlier research showed that visuospatial working memory (VSWM) is better preserved in Down syndrome (DS) than verbal WM. Some differences emerged, however, when VSWM performance was broken down into its various components, and more recent studies revealed that the spatial-simultaneous component of VSWM is more impaired than the spatial-sequential…

  4. The Effect of Dual N-Back Task Training on Phonological Memory Expansion in Adult EFL Learners at the Beginner Level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farvardin, Mohammad Taghi; Afghari, Akbar; Koosha, Mansour

    2014-01-01

    One of the most influential models of working memory (WM) is the one developed by Baddeley (1986, 2000, 2003) which views WM comprising several components--a central executive, an episodic buffer, the visuo-spatial sketchpad, and the phonological loop. The phonological loop or phonological memory (PM) deals with the temporary storage of verbal and…

  5. Amplitude spectrum EEG signal evidence for the dissociation of motor and perceptual spatial working memory in the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smyrnis, Nikolaos; Protopapa, Foteini; Tsoukas, Evangelos; Balogh, Allison; Siettos, Constantinos I; Evdokimidis, Ioannis

    2014-02-01

    This study investigated the question whether spatial working memory related to movement plans (motor working memory) and spatial working memory related to spatial attention and perceptual processes (perceptual spatial working memory) share the same neurophysiological substrate or there is evidence for separate motor and perceptual working memory streams of processing. Towards this aim, ten healthy human subjects performed delayed responses to visual targets presented at different spatial locations. Two tasks were attained, one in which the spatial location of the target was the goal for a pointing movement and one in which the spatial location of the target was used for a perceptual (yes or no) change detection. Each task involved two conditions: a memory condition in which the target remained visible only for the first 250 ms of the delay period and a delay condition in which the target location remained visible throughout the delay period. The amplitude spectrum analysis of the EEG revealed that the alpha (8-12 Hz) band signal was smaller, while the beta (13-30 Hz) and gamma (30-45 Hz) band signals were larger in the memory compared to the non-memory condition. The alpha band signal difference was confined to the frontal midline area; the beta band signal difference extended over the right hemisphere and midline central area, and the gamma band signal difference was confined to the right occipitoparietal area. Importantly, both in beta and gamma bands, we observed a significant increase in the movement-related compared to the perceptual-related memory-specific amplitude spectrum signal in the central midline area. This result provides clear evidence for the dissociation of motor and perceptual spatial working memory.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  7. Pantomimes are special gestures which rely on working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartolo, A; Cubelli, R; Della Sala, S; Drei, S

    2003-12-01

    The case of a patient is reported who presented consistently with overt deficits in producing pantomimes in the absence of any other deficits in producing meaningful gestures. This pattern of spared and impaired abilities is difficult to reconcile with the current layout of cognitive models for praxis. This patient also showed clear impairment in a dual-task paradigm, a test taxing the co-ordination aspect of working memory, though performed normally in a series of other neuropsychological measures assessing language, visuo-spatial functions, reasoning function, and executive function. A specific working memory impairment associated with a deficit of pantomiming in the absence of any other disorders in the production of meaningful gestures suggested a way to modify the model to account for the data. Pantomimes are a particular category of gestures, meaningful, yet novel. We posit that by their very nature they call for the intervention of a mechanism to integrate and synthesise perceptual inputs together with information made available from the action semantics (knowledge about objects and functions) and the output lexicon (stored procedural programmes). This processing stage conceived as a temporary workspace where gesture information is actively manipulated, would generate new motor programmes to carry out pantomimes. The model of gesture production is refined to include this workspace.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Song

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Verbal short-term memory and vocabulary learning in polyglots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papagno, C; Vallar, G

    1995-02-01

    Polyglot and non-polyglot Italian subjects were given tests assessing verbal (phonological) and visuo-spatial short-term and long-term memory, general intelligence, and vocabulary knowledge in their native language. Polyglots had a superior level of performance in verbal short-term memory tasks (auditory digit span and nonword repetition) and in a paired-associate learning test, which assessed the subjects' ability to acquire new (Russian) words. By contrast, the two groups had comparable performance levels in tasks assessing general intelligence, visuo-spatial short-term memory and learning, and paired-associate learning of Italian words. These findings, which are in line with neuropsychological and developmental evidence, as well as with data from normal subjects, suggest a close relationship between the capacity of phonological memory and the acquisition of foreign languages.

  10. Spatial Working Memory Is Necessary for Actions to Guide Thought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Laura E.

    2013-01-01

    Directed actions can play a causal role in cognition, shaping thought processes. What drives this cross-talk between action and thought? I investigated the hypothesis that representations in spatial working memory mediate interactions between directed actions and problem solving. Participants attempted to solve an insight problem while…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  12. Fractionating the neural correlates of individual working memory components underlying arithmetic problem solving skills in children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metcalfe, Arron W. S.; Ashkenazi, Sarit; Rosenberg-Lee, Miriam; Menon, Vinod

    2013-01-01

    Baddeley and Hitch’s multi-component working memory (WM) model has played an enduring and influential role in our understanding of cognitive abilities. Very little is known, however, about the neural basis of this multi-component WM model and the differential role each component plays in mediating arithmetic problem solving abilities in children. Here, we investigate the neural basis of the central executive (CE), phonological (PL) and visuo-spatial (VS) components of WM during a demanding mental arithmetic task in 7–9 year old children (N=74). The VS component was the strongest predictor of math ability in children and was associated with increased arithmetic complexity-related responses in left dorsolateral and right ventrolateral prefrontal cortices as well as bilateral intra-parietal sulcus and supramarginal gyrus in posterior parietal cortex. Critically, VS, CE and PL abilities were associated with largely distinct patterns of brain response. Overlap between VS and CE components was observed in left supramarginal gyrus and no overlap was observed between VS and PL components. Our findings point to a central role of visuo-spatial WM during arithmetic problem-solving in young grade-school children and highlight the usefulness of the multi-component Baddeley and Hitch WM model in fractionating the neural correlates of arithmetic problem solving during development. PMID:24212504

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bae, Gi-Yeul; Luck, Steven J

    2018-01-10

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

  14. Insensitivity of visual short-term memory to irrelevant visual information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrade, Jackie; Kemps, Eva; Werniers, Yves; May, Jon; Szmalec, Arnaud

    2002-07-01

    Several authors have hypothesized that visuo-spatial working memory is functionally analogous to verbal working memory. Irrelevant background speech impairs verbal short-term memory. We investigated whether irrelevant visual information has an analogous effect on visual short-term memory, using a dynamic visual noise (DVN) technique known to disrupt visual imagery (Quinn & McConnell, 1996b). Experiment I replicated the effect of DVN on pegword imagery. Experiments 2 and 3 showed no effect of DVN on recall of static matrix patterns, despite a significant effect of a concurrent spatial tapping task. Experiment 4 showed no effect of DVN on encoding or maintenance of arrays of matrix patterns, despite testing memory by a recognition procedure to encourage visual rather than spatial processing. Serial position curves showed a one-item recency effect typical of visual short-term memory. Experiment 5 showed no effect of DVN on short-term recognition of Chinese characters, despite effects of visual similarity and a concurrent colour memory task that confirmed visual processing of the characters. We conclude that irrelevant visual noise does not impair visual short-term memory. Visual working memory may not be functionally analogous to verbal working memory, and different cognitive processes may underlie visual short-term memory and visual imagery.

  15. Spatial working memory for locations specified by vision and audition: testing the amodality hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loomis, Jack M; Klatzky, Roberta L; McHugh, Brendan; Giudice, Nicholas A

    2012-08-01

    Spatial working memory can maintain representations from vision, hearing, and touch, representations referred to here as spatial images. The present experiment addressed whether spatial images from vision and hearing that are simultaneously present within working memory retain modality-specific tags or are amodal. Observers were presented with short sequences of targets varying in angular direction, with the targets in a given sequence being all auditory, all visual, or a sequential mixture of the two. On two thirds of the trials, one of the locations was repeated, and observers had to respond as quickly as possible when detecting this repetition. Ancillary detection and localization tasks confirmed that the visual and auditory targets were perceptually comparable. Response latencies in the working memory task showed small but reliable costs in performance on trials involving a sequential mixture of auditory and visual targets, as compared with trials of pure vision or pure audition. These deficits were statistically reliable only for trials on which the modalities of the matching location switched from the penultimate to the final target in the sequence, indicating a switching cost. The switching cost for the pair in immediate succession means that the spatial images representing the target locations retain features of the visual or auditory representations from which they were derived. However, there was no reliable evidence of a performance cost for mixed modalities in the matching pair when the second of the two did not immediately follow the first, suggesting that more enduring spatial images in working memory may be amodal.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Towler, John; Kelly, Maria; Eimer, Martin

    2016-06-01

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

  17. The Role of the Oculomotor System in Updating Visual-Spatial Working Memory across Saccades.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boon, Paul J; Belopolsky, Artem V; Theeuwes, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Visual-spatial working memory (VSWM) helps us to maintain and manipulate visual information in the absence of sensory input. It has been proposed that VSWM is an emergent property of the oculomotor system. In the present study we investigated the role of the oculomotor system in updating of spatial working memory representations across saccades. Participants had to maintain a location in memory while making a saccade to a different location. During the saccade the target was displaced, which went unnoticed by the participants. After executing the saccade, participants had to indicate the memorized location. If memory updating fully relies on cancellation driven by extraretinal oculomotor signals, the displacement should have no effect on the perceived location of the memorized stimulus. However, if postsaccadic retinal information about the location of the saccade target is used, the perceived location will be shifted according to the target displacement. As it has been suggested that maintenance of accurate spatial representations across saccades is especially important for action control, we used different ways of reporting the location held in memory; a match-to-sample task, a mouse click or by making another saccade. The results showed a small systematic target displacement bias in all response modalities. Parametric manipulation of the distance between the to-be-memorized stimulus and saccade target revealed that target displacement bias increased over time and changed its spatial profile from being initially centered on locations around the saccade target to becoming spatially global. Taken together results suggest that we neither rely exclusively on extraretinal nor on retinal information in updating working memory representations across saccades. The relative contribution of retinal signals is not fixed but depends on both the time available to integrate these signals as well as the distance between the saccade target and the remembered location.

  18. Prefrontal spatial working memory network predicts animal's decision making in a free choice saccade task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mochizuki, Kei

    2015-01-01

    While neurons in the lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) encode spatial information during the performance of working memory tasks, they are also known to participate in subjective behavior such as spatial attention and action selection. In the present study, we analyzed the activity of primate PFC neurons during the performance of a free choice memory-guided saccade task in which the monkeys needed to choose a saccade direction by themselves. In trials when the receptive field location was subsequently chosen by the animal, PFC neurons with spatially selective visual response started to show greater activation before cue onset. This result suggests that the fluctuation of firing before cue presentation prematurely biased the representation of a certain spatial location and eventually encouraged the subsequent choice of that location. In addition, modulation of the activity by the animal's choice was observed only in neurons with high sustainability of activation and was also dependent on the spatial configuration of the visual cues. These findings were consistent with known characteristics of PFC neurons in information maintenance in spatial working memory function. These results suggest that precue fluctuation of spatial representation was shared and enhanced through the working memory network in the PFC and could finally influence the animal's free choice of saccade direction. The present study revealed that the PFC plays an important role in decision making in a free choice condition and that the dynamics of decision making are constrained by the network architecture embedded in this cortical area. PMID:26490287

  19. Encoding into working memory of spatial location, color, and shape: electrophysiological investigations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín-Loeches, M; Rubia, F J

    1997-10-01

    Event-related potentials (ERP) were recorded while subjects memorized either the location, the color or the shape of stimuli which could be located in 1 of 4 positions relative to a central fixation point (top, bottom, left or right), be of 1 of 4 positions relative to a central fixation point (top, bottom, left or right), be of 1 of 4 colors (white, green, red or blue), and present 1 of 4 shapes (triangle, cross, circle or square). These ERP were compared to ERP recorded while subjects looked at the same stimuli but performed other control, nonmemory tasks. Only ERP corresponding to the memorization of spatial location showed a differential pattern which could be specifically attributed to memory encoding processes. This reveals an important difference in ERP modulation between a working memory subsystem for spatial location and other subsystem (or subsystems) for color or shape, which would provide evidence supporting the existence of different working memory subsystems for visual information in the brain.

  20. Tactile spatial working memory activates the dorsal extrastriate cortical pathway in congenitally blind individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonino, D; Ricciardi, E; Sani, L; Gentili, C; Vanello, N; Guazzelli, M; Vecchi, T; Pietrini, P

    2008-09-01

    In sighted individuals, both the visual and tactile version of the same spatial working memory task elicited neural responses in the dorsal "where" cortical pathway (Ricciardi et al., 2006). Whether the neural response during the tactile working memory task is due to visually-based spatial imagery or rather reflects a more abstract, supramodal organization of the dorsal cortical pathway remains to be determined. To understand the role of visual experience on the functional organization of the dorsal cortical stream, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) here we examined brain response in four individuals with congenital or early blindness and no visual recollection, while they performed the same tactile spatial working memory task, a one-back recognition of 2D and 3D matrices. The blind subjects showed a significant activation in bilateral posterior parietal cortex, dorsolateral and inferior prefrontal areas, precuneus, lateral occipital cortex, and cerebellum. Thus, dorsal occipito-parietal areas are involved in mental imagery dealing with spatial components in subjects without prior visual experience and in response to a non-visual task. These data indicate that recruitment of the dorsal cortical pathway in response to the tactile spatial working memory task is not mediated by visually-based imagery and that visual experience is not a prerequisite for the development of a more abstract functional organization of the dorsal stream. These findings, along with previous data indicating a similar supramodal functional organization within the ventral cortical pathway and the motion processing brain regions, may contribute to explain how individuals who are born deprived of sight are able to interact effectively with the surrounding world.

  1. Select overexpression of homer1a in dorsal hippocampus impairs spatial working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tansu Celikel

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Long Homer proteins forge assemblies of signaling components involved in glutamate receptor signaling in postsynaptic excitatory neurons, including those underlying synaptic transmission and plasticity. The short immediate-early gene (IEG Homer1a can dynamically uncouple these physical associations by functional competition with long Homer isoforms. To examine the consequences of Homer1amediated uncoupling for synaptic plasticity and behavior, we generated forebrain-specific tetracycline (tet controlled expression of Venus-tagged Homer1a (H1aV in mice. We report that sustained overexpression of H1aV impaired spatial working but not reference memory. Most notably, a similar impairment was observed when H1aV expression was restricted to the dorsal hippocampus (HP, which identifies this structure as the principal cortical area for spatial working memory. Interestingly, H1aV overexpression also abolished maintenance of CA3-CA1 long-term potentiation (LTP. These impairments, generated by sustained high Homer1a levels, identify a requirement for long Homer forms in synaptic plasticity and temporal encoding of spatial memory.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  3. Cognitive predictors of copying and drawing from memory of the Rey-Osterrieth complex figure in 7- to 10-year-old children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senese, Vincenzo Paolo; De Lucia, Natascia; Conson, Massimiliano

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive models of drawing are mainly based on assessment of copying performance of adults, whereas only a few studies have verified these models in young children. Moreover, developmental investigations have only rarely performed a systematic examination of the contribution of perceptual and representational visuo-spatial processes to copying and drawing from memory. In this study we investigated the role of visual perception and mental representation in both copying and drawing from memory skills in a sample of 227 typically developing children (53% females) aged 7-10 years. Participants underwent a neuropsychological assessment and the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure (ROCF). The fit and invariance of the predictive model considering visuo-spatial abilities, working memory, and executive functions were tested by means of hierarchical regressions and path analysis. Results showed that, in a gender invariant way, visual perception abilities and spatial mental representation had a direct effect on copying performance, whereas copying performance was the only specific predictor for drawing from memory. These effects were independent from age and socioeconomic status, and showed that cognitive models of drawing built up for adults could be considered for predicting copying and drawing from memory in children.

  4. Prefrontal spatial working memory network predicts animal's decision making in a free choice saccade task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mochizuki, Kei; Funahashi, Shintaro

    2016-01-01

    While neurons in the lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) encode spatial information during the performance of working memory tasks, they are also known to participate in subjective behavior such as spatial attention and action selection. In the present study, we analyzed the activity of primate PFC neurons during the performance of a free choice memory-guided saccade task in which the monkeys needed to choose a saccade direction by themselves. In trials when the receptive field location was subsequently chosen by the animal, PFC neurons with spatially selective visual response started to show greater activation before cue onset. This result suggests that the fluctuation of firing before cue presentation prematurely biased the representation of a certain spatial location and eventually encouraged the subsequent choice of that location. In addition, modulation of the activity by the animal's choice was observed only in neurons with high sustainability of activation and was also dependent on the spatial configuration of the visual cues. These findings were consistent with known characteristics of PFC neurons in information maintenance in spatial working memory function. These results suggest that precue fluctuation of spatial representation was shared and enhanced through the working memory network in the PFC and could finally influence the animal's free choice of saccade direction. The present study revealed that the PFC plays an important role in decision making in a free choice condition and that the dynamics of decision making are constrained by the network architecture embedded in this cortical area. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  5. Effect of acute pesticide exposure on bee spatial working memory using an analogue of the radial-arm maze

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuelson, Elizabeth E. W.; Chen-Wishart, Zachary P.; Gill, Richard J.; Leadbeater, Ellouise

    2016-12-01

    Pesticides, including neonicotinoids, typically target pest insects by being neurotoxic. Inadvertent exposure to foraging insect pollinators is usually sub-lethal, but may affect cognition. One cognitive trait, spatial working memory, may be important in avoiding previously-visited flowers and other spatial tasks such as navigation. To test this, we investigated the effect of acute thiamethoxam exposure on spatial working memory in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris, using an adaptation of the radial-arm maze (RAM). We first demonstrated that bumblebees use spatial working memory to solve the RAM by showing that untreated bees performed significantly better than would be expected if choices were random or governed by stereotyped visitation rules. We then exposed bees to either a high sub-lethal positive control thiamethoxam dose (2.5 ng-1 bee), or one of two low doses (0.377 or 0.091 ng-1) based on estimated field-realistic exposure. The high dose caused bees to make more and earlier spatial memory errors and take longer to complete the task than unexposed bees. For the low doses, the negative effects were smaller but statistically significant, and dependent on bee size. The spatial working memory impairment shown here has the potential to harm bees exposed to thiamethoxam, through possible impacts on foraging efficiency or homing.

  6. Central executive involvement in children's spatial memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ang, Su Yin; Lee, Kerry

    2008-11-01

    Previous research with adults found that spatial short-term and working memory tasks impose similar demands on executive resources. We administered spatial short-term and working memory tasks to 8- and 11-year-olds in three separate experiments. In Experiments 1 and 2 an executive suppression task (random number generation) was found to impair performances on a short-term memory task (Corsi blocks), a working memory task (letter rotation), and a spatial visualisation task (paper folding). In Experiment 3 an articulatory suppression task only impaired performance on the working memory task. These results suggest that short-term and working memory performances are dependent on executive resources. The degree to which the short-term memory task was dependent on executive resources was expected to be related to the amount of experience children have had with such tasks. Yet we found no significant age-related suppression effects. This was attributed to differences in employment of cognitive strategies by the older children.

  7. Variability in the Precision of Children’s Spatial Working Memory

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    Elena M. Galeano Weber

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive modeling studies in adults have established that visual working memory (WM capacity depends on the representational precision, as well as its variability from moment to moment. By contrast, visuospatial WM performance in children has been typically indexed by response accuracy—a binary measure that provides less information about precision with which items are stored. Here, we aimed at identifying whether and how children’s WM performance depends on the spatial precision and its variability over time in real-world contexts. Using smartphones, 110 Grade 3 and Grade 4 students performed a spatial WM updating task three times a day in school and at home for four weeks. Measures of spatial precision (i.e., Euclidean distance between presented and reported location were used for hierarchical modeling to estimate variability of spatial precision across different time scales. Results demonstrated considerable within-person variability in spatial precision across items within trials, from trial to trial and from occasion to occasion within days and from day to day. In particular, item-to-item variability was systematically increased with memory load and lowered with higher grade. Further, children with higher precision variability across items scored lower in measures of fluid intelligence. These findings emphasize the important role of transient changes in spatial precision for the development of WM.

  8. Common Ground for Spatial Cognition? A Behavioral and fMRI Study of Sex Differences in Mental Rotation and Spatial Working Memory

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    Sarah L. Levin

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Sex differences in spatial cognition are well documented; males typically outperform females on tasks dealing with mental rotation and spatial navigation, while females tend to outperform males on tasks dealing with object location, relational object location memory, or spatial working memory. Here we investigated both behavioral and neural sex differences in sex-specific spatial abilities. In Experiment 1, sixty-six (30 males, 36 females participants completed computerized mental rotation (MR and spatial working memory (SWM tasks. In Experiment 2, twelve (6 males, 6 females participants were given slightly modified versions of the same tasks during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI. In both experiments, males outperformed females on the MR task, but no behavioral sex difference was observed on the SWM task. Males showed more activation in left parahippocampal gyrus, right medial frontal gyrus, inferior parietal lobe, inferior frontal gyrus in the MR task. Females showed activation in the left parahippocampal gyrus only. For the study condition of the spatial working memory task, females showed activation in left inferior frontal gyrus, while males activated left inferior parietal and medial frontal areas. In the test conditions, females showed activation in the right inferior frontal gyrus, left middle temporal gyrus, and left parahippocampal gyrus. Males activated right medial frontal gyrus and inferior parietal lobe. Interestingly, similar regions – parahippocampal gyrus, inferior parietal lobe, and middle temporal gyrus - were found to be active when males solved mental rotation tasks and females solved spatial working memory tasks. Further, performance was modulated by activation in the parahippocampal gyrus and middle temporal gyrus for males and the middle temporal gyrus and inferior frontal gyrus for females. These data extend previous claims for sex differences in sex specific spatial cognitive abilities by demonstrating

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

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    Anna Heuer

    2016-08-01

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

  10. Spatial Sequences, but Not Verbal Sequences, Are Vulnerable to General Interference during Retention in Working Memory

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    Morey, Candice C.; Miron, Monica D.

    2016-01-01

    Among models of working memory, there is not yet a consensus about how to describe functions specific to storing verbal or visual-spatial memories. We presented aural-verbal and visual-spatial lists simultaneously and sometimes cued one type of information after presentation, comparing accuracy in conditions with and without informative…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  12. Fractionating the neural correlates of individual working memory components underlying arithmetic problem solving skills in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metcalfe, Arron W S; Ashkenazi, Sarit; Rosenberg-Lee, Miriam; Menon, Vinod

    2013-10-01

    Baddeley and Hitch's multi-component working memory (WM) model has played an enduring and influential role in our understanding of cognitive abilities. Very little is known, however, about the neural basis of this multi-component WM model and the differential role each component plays in mediating arithmetic problem solving abilities in children. Here, we investigate the neural basis of the central executive (CE), phonological (PL) and visuo-spatial (VS) components of WM during a demanding mental arithmetic task in 7-9 year old children (N=74). The VS component was the strongest predictor of math ability in children and was associated with increased arithmetic complexity-related responses in left dorsolateral and right ventrolateral prefrontal cortices as well as bilateral intra-parietal sulcus and supramarginal gyrus in posterior parietal cortex. Critically, VS, CE and PL abilities were associated with largely distinct patterns of brain response. Overlap between VS and CE components was observed in left supramarginal gyrus and no overlap was observed between VS and PL components. Our findings point to a central role of visuo-spatial WM during arithmetic problem-solving in young grade-school children and highlight the usefulness of the multi-component Baddeley and Hitch WM model in fractionating the neural correlates of arithmetic problem solving during development. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Sensory ERPs predict differences in working memory span and fluid intelligence.

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    Brumback, Carrie R; Low, Kathy A; Gratton, Gabriele; Fabiani, Monica

    2004-02-09

    The way our brain reacts to sensory stimulation may provide important clues about higher-level cognitive function and its operation. Here we show that short-latency (memory span, as well as between subjects scoring high and low on a fluid intelligence test. Our findings also suggest that this link between sensory responses and complex cognitive tasks is modality specific (visual sensory measures correlate with visuo-spatial tasks whereas auditory sensory measures correlate with verbal tasks). We interpret these findings as indicating that people's effectiveness in controlling attention and gating sensory information is a critical determinant of individual differences in complex cognitive abilities.

  14. Apolipoprotein ɛ4 breaks the association between declarative long-term memory and memory-based orienting of spatial attention in middle-aged individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salvato, Gerardo; Patai, Eva Z; McCloud, Tayla; Nobre, Anna C

    2016-09-01

    Apolipoprotein (APOE) ɛ4 genotype has been identified as a risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer disease (AD). The memory system is mostly involved in AD, and memory deficits represent its key feature. A growing body of studies has focused on the earlier identification of cognitive dysfunctions in younger and older APOE ɛ4 carriers, but investigation on middle-aged individuals remains rare. Here we sought to investigate if the APOE ɛ4 genotype modulates declarative memory and its influences on perception in the middle of the life span. We tested 60 middle-aged individuals recruited according to their APOE allele variants (ɛ3/ɛ3, ɛ3/ɛ4, ɛ4/ɛ4) on a long-term memory-based orienting of attention task. Results showed that the APOE ɛ4 genotype impaired neither explicit memory nor memory-based orienting of spatial attention. Interestingly, however, we found that the possession of the ɛ4 allele broke the relationship between declarative long-term memory and memory-guided orienting of visuo-spatial attention, suggesting an earlier modulation exerted by pure genetic characteristics on cognition. These findings are discussed in light of possible accelerated brain ageing in middle-aged ɛ4-carriers, and earlier structural changes in the brain occurring at this stage of the lifespan. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  15. The Integration of Realistic Episodic Memories Relies on Different Working Memory Processes: Evidence from Virtual Navigation

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    Gaën Plancher

    2018-01-01

    central elements. By contrast, the prevention of visuo-spatial maintenance interfered both with the encoding of the temporal context and with the binding. These results suggest that the integration of realistic episodic memories relies on different working memory processes that depend on the nature of the traces.

  16. The Integration of Realistic Episodic Memories Relies on Different Working Memory Processes: Evidence from Virtual Navigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plancher, Gaën; Gyselinck, Valérie; Piolino, Pascale

    2018-01-01

    contrast, the prevention of visuo-spatial maintenance interfered both with the encoding of the temporal context and with the binding. These results suggest that the integration of realistic episodic memories relies on different working memory processes that depend on the nature of the traces.

  17. Thermodynamic Model of Spatial Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufman, Miron; Allen, P.

    1998-03-01

    We develop and test a thermodynamic model of spatial memory. Our model is an application of statistical thermodynamics to cognitive science. It is related to applications of the statistical mechanics framework in parallel distributed processes research. Our macroscopic model allows us to evaluate an entropy associated with spatial memory tasks. We find that older adults exhibit higher levels of entropy than younger adults. Thurstone's Law of Categorical Judgment, according to which the discriminal processes along the psychological continuum produced by presentations of a single stimulus are normally distributed, is explained by using a Hooke spring model of spatial memory. We have also analyzed a nonlinear modification of the ideal spring model of spatial memory. This work is supported by NIH/NIA grant AG09282-06.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Jeffrey S.; Spencer, John P.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Jeffrey S; Spencer, John P

    2016-05-01

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

  20. Spontaneous alternation: A potential gateway to spatial working memory in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Sara A; Negelspach, David C; Kaladchibachi, Sevag; Cowen, Stephen L; Fernandez, Fabian

    2017-07-01

    Despite their ubiquity in biomedical research, Drosophila have yet to be widely employed as model organisms in psychology. Many complex human-like behaviors are observed in Drosophila, which exhibit elaborate displays of inter-male aggression and female courtship, self-medication with alcohol in response to stress, and even cultural transmission of social information. Here, we asked whether Drosophila can demonstrate behavioral indices of spatial working memory in a Y-maze, a classic test of memory function and novelty-seeking in rodents. Our data show that Drosophila, like rodents, alternate their visits among the three arms of a Y-maze and spontaneously favor entry into arms they have explored less recently versus ones they have just seen. These findings suggest that Drosophila possess some of the information-seeking and working memory facilities mammals depend on to navigate through space and might be relevant models for understanding human psychological phenomena such as curiosity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Memória de trabalho viso-espacial em crianças de 7 a 12 anos Visuo-spatial working memory in 7-12 year old children

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    Ederaldo José Lopes

    2005-08-01

    Full Text Available O objetivo deste trabalho foi avaliar os mecanismos de processamento da informação viso-espacial em crianças. Setenta e oito crianças participaram do experimento em que foram manipulados os fatores idade, posição espacial, similaridade visual e cor dos estímulos memorizados. Os resultados mostraram que todos os fatores principais alcançaram significância estatística. As crianças mais velhas tiveram uma freqüência de acertos maior que as crianças mais novas. Os estímulos dos conjuntos com similaridade baixa foram mais bem recordados que os estímulos com similaridade alta. A taxa de recordação foi melhor nas provas em que as letras de um conjunto foram todas apresentadas com a mesma cor, assim como a porcentagem de respostas corretas variou de forma significativa em função da posição espacial dos estímulos. Os resultados foram interpretados de acordo com modelos que enfatizam aspectos do desenvolvimento de estratégias cognitivas ao longo do desenvolvimento humano, especialmente o modelo de memória de trabalho.This study aimed to evaluate the mechanisms of visual-spatial memory in children. Seventy eight children took part in an experiment with four factors: children's age, stimuli spatial position, stimuli visual similarity, stimuli set color. The results have shown that all main factors are statistically meaningful. The oldest children presented a better performance than the youngest ones. Stimuli set formed by low similarity letters were better recollected than the stimuli set formed by high similarity letters. The recall of the spatial position of letters was better in trials where the letters of a set were presented in the same color. The percentage of correct recall changed meaningfully as a function of the spatial position in which the target had been presented. The results were interpreted according to models that emphasize aspects of development of cognitive strategies along with the human development, especially

  2. Prefrontal Cortical GABA Modulation of Spatial Reference and Working Memory

    OpenAIRE

    Auger, Meagan L.; Floresco, Stan B.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Dysfunction in prefrontal cortex (PFC) GABA transmission has been proposed to contribute to cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia, yet how this system regulates different cognitive and mnemonic functions remains unclear. Methods: We assessed the effects of pharmacological reduction of GABAA signaling in the medial PFC of rats on spatial reference/working memory using different versions of the radial-arm maze task. We used a massed-trials procedure to probe how PFC GABA regulates ...

  3. Visual-spatial processing and working-memory load as a function of negative and positive psychotic-like experiences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abu-Akel, A; Reniers, R L E P; Wood, S J

    2016-09-01

    Patients with schizophrenia show impairments in working-memory and visual-spatial processing, but little is known about the dynamic interplay between the two. To provide insight into this important question, we examined the effect of positive and negative symptom expressions in healthy adults on perceptual processing while concurrently performing a working-memory task that requires the allocations of various degrees of cognitive resources. The effect of positive and negative symptom expressions in healthy adults (N = 91) on perceptual processing was examined in a dual-task paradigm of visual-spatial working memory (VSWM) under three conditions of cognitive load: a baseline condition (with no concurrent working-memory demand), a low VSWM load condition, and a high VSWM load condition. Participants overall performed more efficiently (i.e., faster) with increasing cognitive load. This facilitation in performance was unrelated to symptom expressions. However, participants with high-negative, low-positive symptom expressions were less accurate in the low VSWM condition compared to the baseline and the high VSWM load conditions. Attenuated, subclinical expressions of psychosis affect cognitive performance that is impaired in schizophrenia. The "resource limitations hypothesis" may explain the performance of the participants with high-negative symptom expressions. The dual-task of visual-spatial processing and working memory may be beneficial to assessing the cognitive phenotype of individuals with high risk for schizophrenia spectrum disorders.

  4. Role of the thalamic nucleus reuniens in mediating interactions between the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex during spatial working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy L Griffin

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Despite decades of research, the neural mechanisms of spatial working memory remain poorly understood. Although the dorsal hippocampus is known to be critical for memory-guided behavior, experimental evidence suggests that spatial working memory depends not only on the hippocampus itself, but also on the circuit comprised of the hippocampus and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC. Disruption of hippocampal-mPFC interactions may result in failed transfer of spatial and contextual information processed by the hippocampus to the circuitry in mPFC responsible for decision making and goal-directed behavior. Oscillatory synchrony between the hippocampus and mPFC has been shown to increase in tasks with high spatial working memory demand. However, the mechanisms and circuitry supporting hippocampal-mPFC interactions during these tasks is unknown. The midline thalamic nucleus reuniens (RE is reciprocally connected to both the hippocampus and the mPFC and has been shown to be critical for a variety of working memory tasks. Therefore, it is likely that hippocampal-mPFC oscillatory synchrony is modulated by RE activity. This article will review the anatomical connections between the hippocampus, mPFC and RE along with the behavioral studies that have investigated the effects of RE disruption on working memory task performance. The article will conclude with suggestions for future directions aimed at identifying the specific role of the RE in regulating functional interactions between the hippocampus and the PFC and investigating the degree to which these interactions contribute to spatial working memory.

  5. Deficits in visuo-spatial but not in topographical memory during pregnancy and the postpartum state in an expert military pilot: a case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piccardi, Laura; Verde, Paola; Bianchini, Filippo; Morgagni, Fabio; Guariglia, Cecilia; Strollo, Felice; Tomao, Enrico

    2014-08-13

    It is well known that cognitive and emotional changes occur during pregnancy, but little is known about their magnitude or their time of occurrence and recovery. During pregnancy memory is one of the most impaired cognitive functions. Although long-term aspects of memory have been investigated, other aspects of memory have not yet been explored (i.e., navigational memory and reaching memory). Here we describe the changes in reaching and walking memory that occurred during pregnancy and one year after delivery in an Italian female military pilot (Case 1) with high spatial ability. In memory tests she showed a classical dissociation between performance in reaching and walking distance, which indicated a failure of working memory, learning, and storage in reaching space. This suggests that her expertise served as a protective factor mitigating her low walking memory performance, and saving the topographical component.We compared her performance with that of two non-pregnant control groups (i.e., women pilots and non-pilots) and found that Case 1's reaching memory performance was significantly worse than that of the control groups. Even one year postpartum, Case 1's performance was not yet the same as that of the other pilots. These findings contribute to our knowledge of the specific, as yet unexplored, aspects of memory deficits in women pilots during pregnancy and postpartum and suggest the need for better neuropsychological assessment before these women return to work in operational environments.

  6. Alpha-Band Activity Reveals Spontaneous Representations of Spatial Position in Visual Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Joshua J; Bsales, Emma M; Jaffe, Russell J; Awh, Edward

    2017-10-23

    An emerging view suggests that spatial position is an integral component of working memory (WM), such that non-spatial features are bound to locations regardless of whether space is relevant [1, 2]. For instance, past work has shown that stimulus position is spontaneously remembered when non-spatial features are stored. Item recognition is enhanced when memoranda appear at the same location where they were encoded [3-5], and accessing non-spatial information elicits shifts of spatial attention to the original position of the stimulus [6, 7]. However, these findings do not establish that a persistent, active representation of stimulus position is maintained in WM because similar effects have also been documented following storage in long-term memory [8, 9]. Here we show that the spatial position of the memorandum is actively coded by persistent neural activity during a non-spatial WM task. We used a spatial encoding model in conjunction with electroencephalogram (EEG) measurements of oscillatory alpha-band (8-12 Hz) activity to track active representations of spatial position. The position of the stimulus varied trial to trial but was wholly irrelevant to the tasks. We nevertheless observed active neural representations of the original stimulus position that persisted throughout the retention interval. Further experiments established that these spatial representations are dependent on the volitional storage of non-spatial features rather than being a lingering effect of sensory energy or initial encoding demands. These findings provide strong evidence that online spatial representations are spontaneously maintained in WM-regardless of task relevance-during the storage of non-spatial features. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Dorso- and ventro-lateral prefrontal volume and spatial working memory in schizotypal personality disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldstein, Kim E; Hazlett, Erin A; Savage, Kimberley R; Berlin, Heather A; Hamilton, Holly K; Zelmanova, Yuliya; Look, Amy E; Koenigsberg, Harold W; Mitsis, Effie M; Tang, Cheuk Y; McNamara, Margaret; Siever, Larry J; Cohen, Barry H; New, Antonia S

    2011-04-15

    Schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) individuals and borderline personality disorder (BPD) individuals have been reported to show neuropsychological impairments and abnormalities in brain structure. However, relationships between neuropsychological function and brain structure in these groups are not well understood. This study compared visual-spatial working memory (SWM) and its associations with dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) gray matter volume in 18 unmedicated SPD patients with no BPD traits, 18 unmedicated BPD patients with no SPD traits, and 16 healthy controls (HC). Results showed impaired SWM in SPD but not BPD, compared with HC. Moreover, among the HC group, but not SPD patients, better SWM performance was associated with larger VLPFC (BA44/45) gray matter volume (Fisher's Z p-values <0.05). Findings suggest spatial working memory impairments may be a core neuropsychological deficit specific to SPD patients and highlight the role of VLPFC subcomponents in normal and dysfunctional memory performance. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  9. Frontal and parietal theta burst TMS impairs working memory for visual-spatial conjunctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Helen M; Jackson, Margaret C; van Koningsbruggen, Martijn G; Shapiro, Kimron L; Linden, David E J

    2013-03-01

    In tasks that selectively probe visual or spatial working memory (WM) frontal and posterior cortical areas show a segregation, with dorsal areas preferentially involved in spatial (e.g. location) WM and ventral areas in visual (e.g. object identity) WM. In a previous fMRI study [1], we showed that right parietal cortex (PC) was more active during WM for orientation, whereas left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) was more active during colour WM. During WM for colour-orientation conjunctions, activity in these areas was intermediate to the level of activity for the single task preferred and non-preferred information. To examine whether these specialised areas play a critical role in coordinating visual and spatial WM to perform a conjunction task, we used theta burst transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to induce a functional deficit. Compared to sham stimulation, TMS to right PC or left IFG selectively impaired WM for conjunctions but not single features. This is consistent with findings from visual search paradigms, in which frontal and parietal TMS selectively affects search for conjunctions compared to single features, and with combined TMS and functional imaging work suggesting that parietal and frontal regions are functionally coupled in tasks requiring integration of visual and spatial information. Our results thus elucidate mechanisms by which the brain coordinates spatially segregated processing streams and have implications beyond the field of working memory. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. 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 posttraining evaluation demonstrated a specific improvement of performances in the Corsi blocks task, considered a sequential-spatial working memory task. However, no benefits of training were observed in either a verbal working memory task or a simultaneous-spatial working memory task. The results have important theoretical implications, in the study of VSWM components, and educational implications, in catering for children with specific VSWM impairments.

  11. Foraging in a complex naturalistic environment: capacity of spatial working memory in flower bats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winter, York; Stich, Kai Petra

    2005-02-01

    Memory systems have evolved under selection pressures, such as the need to remember the locations of resources or past events within spatiotemporally dynamic natural environments. The full repertoire of complex behaviours exhibited by animals in dynamic surroundings are, however, difficult to elicit within simply structured laboratory environments. We have developed a computer-controlled naturalistic environment with 64 feeders for simulating dynamic patterns of water or food resource availability (depletion and replenishment) within the laboratory. The combination of feeder and cage remote control permits the automated transfer of animals between cage and test arena and, therefore, high experimental throughput and minimal disturbance to the animals (bats and mice). In the present study, we investigated spatial working memory in nectar-feeding bats (Glossophaga soricina, Phyllostomidae) collecting food from a 64-feeder array. Feeders gave only single rewards within trials so that efficient foraging required bats to avoid depleted locations. Initially, bats tended to revisit feeders (win-stay), but within three trials changed towards a win-shift strategy. The significant avoidance of revisits could not be explained by algorithmic search guiding movement through the array nor by scent cues left by the bats themselves and, thus, the data suggest that bats remembered spatial locations depleted of food. An examination of the recency effect on spatial working memory after bats shifted to a win-shift strategy indicated that bats held more than 40 behaviour actions (feeder visits) in working memory without indication of decay. This result surpasses previous findings for other taxa.

  12. Effectiveness of a computerised working memory training in adolescents with mild to borderline intellectual disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van der Molen, M J; Van Luit, J E H; Van der Molen, M W; Klugkist, I; Jongmans, M J

    2010-05-01

    The goal of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a computerised working memory (WM) training on memory, response inhibition, fluid intelligence, scholastic abilities and the recall of stories in adolescents with mild to borderline intellectual disabilities attending special education. A total of 95 adolescents with mild to borderline intellectual disabilities were randomly assigned to either a training adaptive to each child's progress in WM, a non-adaptive WM training, or to a control group. Verbal short-term memory (STM) improved significantly from pre- to post-testing in the group who received the adaptive training compared with the control group. The beneficial effect on verbal STM was maintained at follow-up and other effects became clear at that time as well. Both the adaptive and non-adaptive WM training led to higher scores at follow-up than at post-intervention on visual STM, arithmetic and story recall compared with the control condition. In addition, the non-adaptive training group showed a significant increase in visuo-spatial WM capacity. The current study provides the first demonstration that WM can be effectively trained in adolescents with mild to borderline intellectual disabilities.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-23

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

  14. Gaze movements and spatial working memory in collision avoidance: a traffic intersection task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregor eHardiess

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Street crossing under traffic is an everyday activity including collision detection as well as avoidance of objects in the path of motion. Such tasks demand extraction and representation of spatio-temporal information about relevant obstacles in an optimized format. Relevant task information is extracted visually by the use of gaze movements and represented in spatial working memory. In a virtual reality traffic intersection task, subjects are confronted with a two-lane intersection where cars are appearing with different frequencies, corresponding to high and low traffic densities. Under free observation and exploration of the scenery (using unrestricted eye and head movements the overall task for the subjects was to predict the potential-of-collision (POC of the cars or to adjust an adequate driving speed in order to cross the intersection without collision (i.e., to find the free space for crossing. In a series of experiments, gaze movement parameters, task performance, and the representation of car positions within working memory at distinct time points were assessed in normal subjects as well as in neurological patients suffering from homonymous hemianopia. In the following, we review the findings of these experiments together with other studies and provide a new perspective of the role of gaze behavior and spatial memory in collision detection and avoidance, focusing on the following questions: (i which sensory variables can be identified supporting adequate collision detection? (ii How do gaze movements and working memory contribute to collision avoidance when multiple moving objects are present and (iii how do they correlate with task performance? (iv How do patients with homonymous visual field defects use gaze movements and working memory to compensate for visual field loss? In conclusion, we extend the theory of collision detection and avoidance in the case of multiple moving objects and provide a new perspective on the combined

  15. Sexual orientation and spatial memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cánovas, Ma Rosa; Cimadevilla, José Manuel

    2011-11-01

    The present study aimed at determining the influence of sexual orientation in human spatial learning and memory. Participants performed the Boxes Room, a virtual reality version of the Holeboard. In Experiment I, a reference memory task, the position of the hidden rewards remained constant during the whole experiment. In Experiment II, a working memory task, the position of rewards changed between blocks. Each block consisted of two trials: One trial for acquisition and another for retrieval. The results of Experiment I showed that heterosexual men performed better than homosexual men and heterosexual women. They found the rewarded boxes faster. Moreover, homosexual participants committed more errors than heterosexuals. Experiment II showed that working memory abilities are the same in groups of different sexual orientation. These results suggest that sexual orientation is related to spatial navigation abilities, but mostly in men, and limited to reference memory, which depends more on the function of the hippocampal system.

  16. Hippocampal Cortactin Levels are Reduced Following Spatial Working Memory Formation, an Effect Blocked by Chronic Calpain Inhibition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Mikel L; Ingebretson, Anna E; Harmelink, Katherine M

    2015-06-19

    The mechanism by which the hippocampus facilitates declarative memory formation appears to involve, among other things, restructuring of the actin cytoskeleton within neuronal dendrites. One protein involved in this process is cortactin, which is an important link between extracellular signaling and cytoskeletal reorganization. In this paper, we demonstrate that total hippocampal cortactin, as well as Y421-phosphorylated cortactin are transiently reduced following spatial working memory formation in the radial arm maze (RAM). Because cortactin is a substrate of the cysteine protease calpain, we also assessed the effect of chronic calpain inhibition on RAM performance and cortactin expression. Calpain inhibition impaired spatial working memory and blocked the reduction in hippocampal cortactin levels following RAM training. These findings add to a growing body of research implicating cortactin and calpain in hippocampus-dependent memory formation.

  17. Improving visual spatial working memory in younger and older adults: effects of cross-modal cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis, Ashley F; Turner, Gary R; Park, Norman W; Murtha, Susan J E

    2017-11-06

    Spatially informative auditory and vibrotactile (cross-modal) cues can facilitate attention but little is known about how similar cues influence visual spatial working memory (WM) across the adult lifespan. We investigated the effects of cues (spatially informative or alerting pre-cues vs. no cues), cue modality (auditory vs. vibrotactile vs. visual), memory array size (four vs. six items), and maintenance delay (900 vs. 1800 ms) on visual spatial location WM recognition accuracy in younger adults (YA) and older adults (OA). We observed a significant interaction between spatially informative pre-cue type, array size, and delay. OA and YA benefitted equally from spatially informative pre-cues, suggesting that attentional orienting prior to WM encoding, regardless of cue modality, is preserved with age.  Contrary to predictions, alerting pre-cues generally impaired performance in both age groups, suggesting that maintaining a vigilant state of arousal by facilitating the alerting attention system does not help visual spatial location WM.

  18. Memory and Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A Meta-Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Anna; Bucks, Romola S.

    2013-01-01

    Study Objectives: To examine episodic memory performance in individuals with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Design Meta-analysis was used to synthesize results from individual studies examining the impact of OSA on episodic memory performance. The performance of individuals with OSA was compared to healthy controls or normative data. Participants Forty-two studies were included, comprising 2,294 adults with untreated OSA and 1,364 healthy controls. Studies that recorded information about participants at baseline prior to treatment interventions were included in the analysis. Measurements Participants were assessed with tasks that included a measure of episodic memory: immediate recall, delayed recall, learning, and/or recognition memory. Results: The results of the meta-analyses provide evidence that individuals with OSA are significantly impaired when compared to healthy controls on verbal episodic memory (immediate recall, delayed recall, learning, and recognition) and visuo-spatial episodic memory (immediate and delayed recall), but not visual immediate recall or visuo-spatial learning. When patients were compared to norms, negative effects of OSA were found only in verbal immediate and delayed recall. Conclusions: This meta-analysis contributes to understanding of the nature of episodic memory deficits in individuals with OSA. Impairments to episodic memory are likely to affect the daily functioning of individuals with OSA. Citation Wallace A; Bucks RS. Memory and obstructive sleep apnea: a meta-analysis. SLEEP 2013;36(2):203-220. PMID:23372268

  19. When Spatial and Temporal Contiguities Help the Integration in Working Memory: "A Multimedia Learning" Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mammarella, Nicola; Fairfield, Beth; Di Domenico, Alberto

    2013-01-01

    Two experiments examined the effects of spatial and temporal contiguities in a working memory binding task that required participants to remember coloured objects. In Experiment 1, a black and white drawing and a corresponding phrase that indicated its colour perceptually were either near or far (spatial study condition), while in Experiment 2,…

  20. Hippocampal Cortactin Levels are Reduced Following Spatial Working Memory Formation, an Effect Blocked by Chronic Calpain Inhibition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mikel L. Olson

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The mechanism by which the hippocampus facilitates declarative memory formation appears to involve, among other things, restructuring of the actin cytoskeleton within neuronal dendrites. One protein involved in this process is cortactin, which is an important link between extracellular signaling and cytoskeletal reorganization. In this paper, we demonstrate that total hippocampal cortactin, as well as Y421-phosphorylated cortactin are transiently reduced following spatial working memory formation in the radial arm maze (RAM. Because cortactin is a substrate of the cysteine protease calpain, we also assessed the effect of chronic calpain inhibition on RAM performance and cortactin expression. Calpain inhibition impaired spatial working memory and blocked the reduction in hippocampal cortactin levels following RAM training. These findings add to a growing body of research implicating cortactin and calpain in hippocampus-dependent memory formation.

  1. Components of working memory and visual selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katus, Tobias; Eimer, Martin

    2016-11-15

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

  3. Persistent spatial working memory deficits in rats with bilateral cortical microgyria

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    Rosen Glenn D

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Anomalies of cortical neuronal migration (e.g., microgyria (MG and/or ectopias are associated with a variety of language and cognitive deficits in human populations. In rodents, postnatal focal freezing lesions lead to the formation of cortical microgyria similar to those seen in human dyslexic brains, and also cause subsequent deficits in rapid auditory processing similar to those reported in human language impaired populations. Thus convergent findings support the ongoing study of disruptions in neuronal migration in rats as a putative model to provide insight on human language disability. Since deficits in working memory using both verbal and non-verbal tasks also characterize dyslexic populations, the present study examined the effects of neonatally induced bilateral cortical microgyria (MG on working memory in adult male rats. Methods A delayed match-to-sample radial water maze task, in which the goal arm was altered among eight locations on a daily basis, was used to assess working memory performance in MG (n = 8 and sham (n = 10 littermates. Results Over a period of 60 sessions of testing (each session comprising one pre-delay sample trial, and one post-delay test trial, all rats showed learning as evidenced by a significant decrease in overall test errors. However, MG rats made significantly more errors than shams during initial testing, and this memory deficit was still evident after 60 days (12 weeks of testing. Analyses performed on daily error patterns showed that over the course of testing, MG rats utilized a strategy similar to shams (but with less effectiveness, as indicated by more errors. Conclusion These results indicate persistent abnormalities in the spatial working memory system in rats with induced disruptions of neocortical neuronal migration.

  4. Visuo-perceptual capabilities predict sensitivity for coinciding auditory and visual transients in multi-element displays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyerhoff, Hauke S; Gehrer, Nina A

    2017-01-01

    In order to obtain a coherent representation of the outside world, auditory and visual information are integrated during human information processing. There is remarkable variance among observers in the capability to integrate auditory and visual information. Here, we propose that visuo-perceptual capabilities predict detection performance for audiovisually coinciding transients in multi-element displays due to severe capacity limitations in audiovisual integration. In the reported experiment, we employed an individual differences approach in order to investigate this hypothesis. Therefore, we measured performance in a useful-field-of-view task that captures detection performance for briefly presented stimuli across a large perceptual field. Furthermore, we measured sensitivity for visual direction changes that coincide with tones within the same participants. Our results show that individual differences in visuo-perceptual capabilities predicted sensitivity for the presence of audiovisually synchronous events among competing visual stimuli. To ensure that this correlation does not stem from superordinate factors, we also tested performance in an unrelated working memory task. Performance in this task was independent of sensitivity for the presence of audiovisually synchronous events. Our findings strengthen the proposed link between visuo-perceptual capabilities and audiovisual integration. The results also suggest that basic visuo-perceptual capabilities provide the basis for the subsequent integration of auditory and visual information.

  5. Development of Spatial and Verbal Working Memory Capacity in the Human Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomason, Moriah E.; Race, Elizabeth; Burrows, Brittany; Whitfield-Gabrieli, Susan; Glover, Gary H.; Gabrieli, John D. E.

    2009-01-01

    A core aspect of working memory (WM) is the capacity to maintain goal-relevant information in mind, but little is known about how this capacity develops in the human brain. We compared brain activation, via fMRI, between children (ages 7-12 years) and adults (ages 20-29 years) performing tests of verbal and spatial WM with varying amounts (loads)…

  6. The effects of incentives on visual-spatial working memory in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-08-01

    Working memory is one of several putative core neurocognitive processes in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The present work seeks to determine whether visual-spatial working memory is sensitive to motivational incentives, a laboratory analogue of behavioral treatment. Participants were 21 children (ages 7-10) with a diagnosis of ADHD-combined type. Participants completed a computerized spatial span task designed to assess storage of visual-spatial information (forward span) and manipulation of the stored information (backward span). The spatial span task was completed twice on the same day, once with a performance-based incentive (trial-wise feedback and points redeemable for prizes) and once without incentives. Participants performed significantly better on the backward span when rewarded for correct responses, compared to the no incentive condition. However, incentives had no effect on performance during the forward span. These findings may suggest the use of motivational incentives improved manipulation, but not storage, of visual-spatial information among children with ADHD. Possible explanations for the differential incentive effects are discussed, including the possibility that incentives prevented a vigilance decrement as task difficulty and time on task increased.

  7. The role of working memory in spatial S-R correspondence effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wühr, Peter; Biebl, Rupert

    2011-04-01

    This study investigates the impact of working memory (WM) load on response conflicts arising from spatial (non) correspondence between irrelevant stimulus location and response location (Simon effect). The dominant view attributes the Simon effect to automatic processes of location-based response priming. The automaticity view predicts insensitivity of the Simon effect to manipulations of processing load. Four experiments investigated the role of spatial and verbal WM in horizontal and vertical Simon tasks by using a dual-task approach. Participants maintained different amounts of spatial or verbal information in WM while performing a horizontal or vertical Simon task. Results showed that high load generally decreased, and sometimes eliminated, the Simon effect. It is interesting to note that spatial load had a larger impact than verbal load on the horizontal Simon effect, whereas verbal load had a larger impact than spatial load on the vertical Simon effect. The results highlight the role of WM as the perception-action interface in choice-response tasks. Moreover, the results suggest spatial coding of horizontal stimulus-response (S-R) tasks, and verbal coding of vertical S-R tasks.

  8. The Walking Corsi Test (WalCT): a normative study of topographical working memory in a sample of 4- to 11-year-olds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piccardi, L; Palermo, L; Leonzi, M; Risetti, M; Zompanti, L; D'Amico, S; Guariglia, C

    2014-01-01

    We report normative data on topographical working memory collected through the Walking Corsi Test (WalCT; Piccardi et al., 2008 ) for developing a standard administration procedure to be used in clinical and educational practice. A total of 268 typically developing Italian children aged 4-11 years performed both WalCT and Corsi Block-Tapping Test (CBT; Corsi, 1972 ) a well-known visuo-spatial memory test. WalCT has already been validated in adults, demonstrating sensitivity in detecting topographical memory deficits even in individuals who have no other memory impairments. Our results showed that age, but not sex, affected performances. Both girls and boys had a larger span on the CBT than the WalCT. The youngest group did not differ in performing WalCT and CBT, but from 5.6 years of age children performed better on CBT than WalCT, suggesting that memory in reaching space develops before topographical memory. Only after 5 years of age do children learn to process specifically topographical stimuli, suggesting that this happens when their environmental knowledge becomes operational and they increase environmental independence. We also discuss the importance to introduce WalCT in the clinical assessment.

  9. CHAPTER 1

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Dr Olaleye

    spatial and short-term working memory in mice ... insulin administration did not affect long-term visuo-spatial memory and short-term ..... involving rehearsal and meaningful association. A ... insulin plays a definite role in cognitive function.

  10. Altered cortico-striatal-thalamic connectivity in relation to spatial working memory capacity in children with ADHD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathryn L. Mills

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD captures a heterogeneous group of children, who are characterized by a range of cognitive and behavioral symptoms. Previous resting state functional connectivity (rs-fcMRI studies have sought to understand the neural correlates of ADHD by comparing connectivity measurements between those with and without the disorder, focusing primarily on cortical-striatal circuits mediated by the thalamus. To integrate the multiple phenotypic features associated with ADHD and help resolve its heterogeneity, it is helpful to determine how specific circuits relate to unique cognitive domains of the ADHD syndrome. Spatial working memory has been proposed as a key mechanism in the pathophysiology of ADHD.Methods: We correlated the rs-fcMRI of five thalamic regions of interest with spatial span working memory scores in a sample of 67 children aged 7-11 years (ADHD and typically developing children; TDC. In an independent dataset, we then examined group differences in thalamo-striatal functional connectivity between 70 ADHD and 89 TDC (7-11 years from the ADHD-200 dataset. Thalamic regions of interest were created based on previous methods that utilize known thalamo-cortical loops and rs-fcMRI to identify functional boundaries in the thalamus.Results/Conclusions: Using these thalamic regions, we found atypical rs-fcMRI between specific thalamic groupings with the basal ganglia. To identify the thalamic connections that relate to spatial working memory in ADHD, only connections identified in both the correlational and comparative analyses were considered. Multiple connections between the thalamus and basal ganglia, particularly between medial and anterior dorsal thalamus and the putamen, were related to spatial working memory and also altered in ADHD. These thalamo-striatal disruptions may be one of multiple atypical neural and cognitive mechanisms that relate to the ADHD clinical phenotype.

  11. Extensive Lesions of Cholinergic Basal Forebrain Neurons Do Not Impair Spatial Working Memory

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    Vuckovich, Joseph A.; Semel, Mara E.; Baxter, Mark G.

    2004-01-01

    A recent study suggests that lesions to all major areas of the cholinergic basal forebrain in the rat (medial septum, horizontal limb of the diagonal band of Broca, and nucleus basalis magnocellularis) impair a spatial working memory task. However, this experiment used a surgical technique that may have damaged cerebellar Purkinje cells. The…

  12. Effects of Asiatic Acid on Spatial Working Memory and Cell Proliferation in the Adult Rat Hippocampus

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    Apiwat Sirichoat

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Asiatic acid is a pentacyclic triterpene from Centella asiatica. Previous studies have reported that asiatic acid exhibits antioxidant and neuroprotective activities in cell culture. It also prevents memory deficits in animal models. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between spatial working memory and changes in cell proliferation within the hippocampus after administration of asiatic acid to male Spraque-Dawley rats. Control rats received vehicle (propylene glycol while treated rats received asiatic acid (30 mg/kg orally for 14 or 28 days. Spatial memory was determined using the novel object location (NOL test. In animals administered asiatic acid for both 14 and 28 days, the number of Ki-67 positive cells in the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus was significantly higher than in control animals. This was associated with a significant increase in their ability to discriminate between novel and familiar object locations in a novel object discrimination task, a hippocampus-dependent spatial memory test. Administration of asiatic acid also significantly increased doublecortin (DCX and Notch1 protein levels in the hippocampus. These findings demonstrate that asiatic acid treatment may be a potent cognitive enhancer which improves hippocampal-dependent spatial memory, likely by increasing hippocampal neurogenesis.

  13. Working Memory Structure in Children: Comparing Different Models During Childhood (Estructura de la Memoria Operativa: Comparando diferentes modelos en la infancia

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    Irene Injoque-Ricle

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Working Memory (WM is an active memory system responsible for the temporary storage and concurrent processing of information. Different authors have considered WM as a complex but unitary system, whereas others have suggested that the system is multidimensional. In this line, the model developed by Baddeley and Hitch (1974 is one of the most well known; it proposes two modality-specific components - the phonological loop and the visuo-spatial sketchpad - and a supervisory executive system - the central executive. This paper contributes to the debate on WM structure by investigating three groups of children of different ages and assessing different models using confirmatory factor analysis. The Working Memory Assessment Battery Test (Alloway, 2007; Injoque-Ricle, Calero, Alloway & Burin, 2011 was administered to 180 monolingual Spanish-speaking children. The three age groups consisted of 6-, 8-, and 11-year-old children (n = 60 participants per group. The results suggest that the WM structure is not uniform across the different age groups tested, showing progressive differentiation and specialization during childhood. This structure would appear to form between the ages of 6 and 8 years and become more complex as adolescence is approached.

  14. Distinct Neural Substrates for Maintaining Locations and Spatial Relations in Working Memory

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    Kara J Blacker

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Previous work has demonstrated a distinction between maintenance of two types of spatial information in working memory (WM: spatial locations and spatial relations. While a body of work has investigated the neural mechanisms of sensory-based information like spatial locations, little is known about how spatial relations are maintained in WM. In two experiments, we used fMRI to investigate the involvement of early visual cortex in the maintenance of spatial relations in WM. In both experiments, we found less quadrant-specific BOLD activity in visual cortex when a single spatial relation, compared to a single spatial location, was held in WM. Also across both experiments, we found a consistent set of brain regions that were differentially activated during maintenance of locations versus relations. Maintaining a location, compared to a relation, was associated with greater activity in typical spatial WM regions like posterior parietal cortex and prefrontal regions. Whereas maintaining a relation, compared to a location, was associated with greater activity in the parahippocampal gyrus and precuneus/retrosplenial cortex. Further, in Experiment 2 we manipulated WM load and included trials where participants had to maintain three spatial locations or relations. Under this high load condition, the regions sensitive to locations versus relations were somewhat different than under low load. We also identified regions that were sensitive to load specifically for location or relation maintenance, as well as overlapping regions sensitive to load more generally. These results suggest that the neural substrates underlying WM maintenance of spatial locations and relations are distinct from one another and that the neural representations of these distinct types of spatial information change with load.

  15. Dynamics of auditory working memory

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-31

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

  17. Comparison of drawing pattern, organizational ability, and visuospatial memory in children with and without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

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    H. Alizadeh

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This study compared drawing pattern, organizational ability, and visuo- spatial memory in children with and without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD. Eighty male students (40 with, and 40 without ADHD, were recruited from schools in Tehran. The participants were screened and diagnosed respectively utilizing a researcher-made checklist, and DSM-IV (2000. Rey- Osterreith Complex Figure Form-A was used to collect the data. The results of analysis revealed that drawing pattern, organizational ability, and visuo- spatial memory are lower in children with ADHD (p<0.05. Accordingly, it can be suggested that children with ADHD have significant deficits in aforementioned cognitive and executive functions. The clinical implications have been discussed.

  18. Habitual fat intake predicts memory function in younger women

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    Edward Leigh eGibson

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available High intakes of fat have been linked to greater cognitive decline in old age, but such associations may already occur in younger adults. We tested memory and learning in 38 women (25-45 years old, recruited for a larger observational study in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. These women varied in health status, though not significantly between cases (n=23 and controls (n=15. Performance on tests sensitive to medial temporal lobe function (CANTABeclipse, Cambridge Cognition Ltd., i.e. verbal memory, visuo-spatial learning and delayed pattern matching, were compared with intakes of macronutrients from 7-day diet diaries and physiological indices of metabolic syndrome. Partial correlations were adjusted for age, activity and verbal IQ (National Adult Reading Test. Greater intakes of saturated and trans fats, and higher saturated to unsaturated fat ratio (Sat:UFA, were associated with more errors on the visuo-spatial task and with poorer word recall and recognition. Unexpectedly, higher UFA intake predicted poorer performance on the word recall and recognition measures. Fasting insulin was positively correlated with poorer word recognition only, whereas higher blood total cholesterol was associated only with visuo-spatial learning errors. None of these variables predicted performance on a delayed pattern matching test. The significant nutrient-cognition relationships were tested for mediation by total energy intake: saturated and trans fat intakes, and Sat:UFA, remained significant predictors specifically of visuo-spatial learning errors, whereas total fat and UFA intakes now predicted only poorer word recall. Examination of associations separately for mono- (MUFA and polyunsaturated fats suggested that only MUFA intake was predictive of poorer word recall. Saturated and trans fats, and fasting insulin, may already be associated with cognitive deficits in younger women. The findings need extending but may have important implications for public

  19. Spatial Memory in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats (SHR)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sontag, Thomas-A.; Fuermaier, Anselm B. M.; Hauser, Joachim; Kaunzinger, Ivo; Tucha, Oliver; Lange, Klaus W.

    2013-01-01

    The spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) is an established animal model of ADHD. It has been suggested that ADHD symptoms arise from deficits in executive functions such as working memory, attentional control and decision making. Both ADHD patients and SHRs show deficits in spatial working memory.

  20. Executive and memory correlates of age-related differences in wayfinding performances using a virtual reality application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taillade, Mathieu; Sauzéon, Hélène; Dejos, Marie; Pala, Prashant Arvind; Larrue, Florian; Wallet, Grégory; Gross, Christian; N'Kaoua, Bernard

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate in large-scale spaces wayfinding and spatial learning difficulties for older adults in relation to the executive and memory decline associated with aging. We compared virtual reality (VR)-based wayfinding and spatial memory performances between young and older adults. Wayfinding and spatial memory performances were correlated with classical measures of executive and visuo-spatial memory functions, but also with self-reported estimates of wayfinding difficulties. We obtained a significant effect of age on wayfinding performances but not on spatial memory performances. The overall correlations showed significant correlations between the wayfinding performances and the classical measures of both executive and visuo-spatial memory, but only when the age factor was not partialled out. Also, older adults underestimated their wayfinding difficulties. A significant relationship between the wayfinding performances and self-reported wayfinding difficulty estimates is found, but only when the age effect was partialled out. These results show that, even when older adults have an equivalent spatial knowledge to young adults, they had greater difficulties with the wayfinding task, supporting an executive decline view in age-related wayfinding difficulties. However, the correlation results are in favor of both the memory and executive decline views as mediators of age-related differences in wayfinding performances. This is discussed in terms of the relationships between memory and executive functioning in wayfinding task orchestration. Our results also favor the use of objective assessments of everyday navigation difficulties in virtual applications, instead of self-reported questionnaires, since older adults showed difficulties in estimating their everyday wayfinding problems.

  1. Fine-grained, local maps and coarse, global representations support human spatial working memory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Zia Ul Haq Katshu

    Full Text Available While sensory processes are tuned to particular features, such as an object's specific location, color or orientation, visual working memory (vWM is assumed to store information using representations, which generalize over a feature dimension. Additionally, current vWM models presume that different features or objects are stored independently. On the other hand, configurational effects, when observed, are supposed to mainly reflect encoding strategies. We show that the location of the target, relative to the display center and boundaries, and overall memory load influenced recall precision, indicating that, like sensory processes, capacity limited vWM resources are spatially tuned. When recalling one of three memory items the target distance from the display center was overestimated, similar to the error when only one item was memorized, but its distance from the memory items' average position was underestimated, showing that not only individual memory items' position, but also the global configuration of the memory array may be stored. Finally, presenting the non-target items at recall, consequently providing landmarks and configurational information, improved precision and accuracy of target recall. Similarly, when the non-target items were translated at recall, relative to their position in the initial display, a parallel displacement of the recalled target was observed. These findings suggest that fine-grained spatial information in vWM is represented in local maps whose resolution varies with distance from landmarks, such as the display center, while coarse representations are used to store the memory array configuration. Both these representations are updated at the time of recall.

  2. Fine-Grained, Local Maps and Coarse, Global Representations Support Human Spatial Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katshu, Mohammad Zia Ul Haq; d'Avossa, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    While sensory processes are tuned to particular features, such as an object's specific location, color or orientation, visual working memory (vWM) is assumed to store information using representations, which generalize over a feature dimension. Additionally, current vWM models presume that different features or objects are stored independently. On the other hand, configurational effects, when observed, are supposed to mainly reflect encoding strategies. We show that the location of the target, relative to the display center and boundaries, and overall memory load influenced recall precision, indicating that, like sensory processes, capacity limited vWM resources are spatially tuned. When recalling one of three memory items the target distance from the display center was overestimated, similar to the error when only one item was memorized, but its distance from the memory items' average position was underestimated, showing that not only individual memory items' position, but also the global configuration of the memory array may be stored. Finally, presenting the non-target items at recall, consequently providing landmarks and configurational information, improved precision and accuracy of target recall. Similarly, when the non-target items were translated at recall, relative to their position in the initial display, a parallel displacement of the recalled target was observed. These findings suggest that fine-grained spatial information in vWM is represented in local maps whose resolution varies with distance from landmarks, such as the display center, while coarse representations are used to store the memory array configuration. Both these representations are updated at the time of recall. PMID:25259601

  3. Is the link from working memory to analogy causal? No analogy improvements following working memory training gains.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J Elizabeth Richey

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

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

  5. 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

  6. Accessing the mental space - Spatial working memory processes for language and vision overlap in precuneus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wallentin, Mikkel; Weed, Ethan; Østergaard, Leif

    2008-01-01

    , strikingly overlapping a network previously shown to be involved in recall of spatial aspects of images depicting similar scenarios. This supports a neurocognitive model of language function, where sentences establish meaning by interacting with the perceptual and working memory networks of the brain.......Abstract: The ‘‘overlapping systems'' theory of language function argues that linguistic meaning construction crucially relies on contextual information provided by ‘‘nonlinguistic'' cognitive systems, such as perception and memory. This study examines whether linguistic processing of spatial.......g., ‘‘Was he turned towards her?'') and equally concrete nonspatial content (e.g., ‘‘Was he older than her?''). We found that recall of the spatial content relative to the nonspatial content resulted in higher BOLD response in a dorsoposterior network of brain regions, most significantly in precuneus...

  7. Spatial working memory deficits represent a core challenge for rehabilitating neglect.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher eStriemer

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Left neglect following right hemisphere injury is a debilitating disorder that has proven extremely difficult to rehabilitate. Traditional models of neglect have focused on impaired spatial attention as the core deficit and as such, most rehabilitation methods have tried to improve attentional processes. However, many of these techniques (e.g., visual scanning training, caloric stimulation, neck muscle vibration produce only short-lived effects, or are too uncomfortable to use as a routine treatment. More recently, many investigators have begun examining the beneficial effects of prism adaptation for the treatment of neglect. Although prism adaptation has been shown to have some beneficial effects on both overt and covert spatial attention, it does not reliably alter many of the perceptual biases evident in neglect. One of the challenges of neglect rehabilitation may lie in the heterogeneous nature of the deficits. Most notably, a number of researchers have shown that neglect patients present with severe deficits in spatial working memory (SWM in addition to their attentional impairment. Given that SWM can be seen as a foundational cognitive mechanism, critical for a wide range of other functions, any deficit in SWM memory will undoubtedly have severe consequences. In the current review we examine the evidence for SWM deficits in neglect and propose that it constitutes a core component of the syndrome. We present preliminary data which suggest that at least one current rehabilitation method (prism adaptation has no effect on SWM deficits in neglect. Finally, we end by reviewing recent work that examines the effectiveness of SWM training and how SWM training may prove to be a useful avenue for future rehabilitative efforts in patients with neglect.

  8. Retrosplenial Cortex Is Required for the Retrieval of Remote Memory for Auditory Cues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd, Travis P.; Mehlman, Max L.; Keene, Christopher S.; DeAngeli, Nicole E.; Bucci, David J.

    2016-01-01

    The retrosplenial cortex (RSC) has a well-established role in contextual and spatial learning and memory, consistent with its known connectivity with visuo-spatial association areas. In contrast, RSC appears to have little involvement with delay fear conditioning to an auditory cue. However, all previous studies have examined the contribution of…

  9. Assessment of Intellectual and Visuo- Spatial Abilities in Children and Adults with Williams Syndrome / Evaluación de habilidades intelectuales y visuoespaciales de niños y adultos con Síndrome de Williams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Cristina Teixeira

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The Williams-Beuren syndrome (SWB, also known as Williams syndrome, is a contiguous gene deletion of the region 7q.11.23. The main clinical characteristics are typical faces, supravalvular aortic stenosis, failure to thrive, short stature, transient neonatal hypercalcemia, delayed language, friendly personality, hyperacusis and intellectual disability. The diagnosis of SWB is confirmed by the detection of micro deletion by different techniques of molecular cytogenetics, FISH, MLPA or polymorphic markers. This study assessed the verbal intelligence quotient (IQ and performance and visuospatial skills in children and adults with WBS. The composed group was of 31 WBS patients (19 M and 12 F, whose ages ranged from 9 to 26 years (M 14.45 y. All patients had the diagnosis confirmed molecularly. The tests used were the WISC-III, WAIS-III and Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test. The results indicated a total IQ ranged from 51 to 86 (M 63: 22 with mild intellectual disability, 4 with moderate intellectual disability, 4 borderlines and 1 below the normal media. All patients had marked visual-spatial deficits. The results suggest nonverbal reasoning, visuo-spatial perception, spatial representation, working memory, motor planning and executive functions are very affected in this group.

  10. Spatial vision is superior in musicians when memory plays a role.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, Atalia H; Biron, Tali; Lieder, Itay; Granot, Roni Y; Ahissar, Merav

    2014-08-21

    Musicians' perceptual advantage in the acoustic domain is well established. Recent studies show that musicians' verbal working memory is also superior. Additionally, some studies report that musicians' visuospatial skills are enhanced although others failed to find this enhancement. We now examined whether musicians' spatial vision is superior, and if so, whether this superiority reflects refined visual skills or a general superiority of working memory. We examined spatial frequency discrimination among musicians and nonmusician university students using two presentation conditions: simultaneous (spatial forced choice) and sequential (temporal forced choice). Musicians' performance was similar to that of nonmusicians in the simultaneous condition. However, their performance in the sequential condition was superior, suggesting an advantage only when stimuli need to be retained, i.e., working memory. Moreover, the two groups showed a different pattern of correlations: Musicians' visual thresholds were correlated, and neither was correlated with their verbal memory. By contrast, among nonmusicians, the visual thresholds were not correlated, but sequential thresholds were correlated with verbal memory scores, suggesting that a general working memory component limits their performance in this condition. We propose that musicians' superiority in spatial frequency discrimination reflects an advantage in a domain-general aspect of working memory rather than a general enhancement in spatial-visual skills. © 2014 ARVO.

  11. Is it differences in language skills and working memory that account for girls being better at writing than boys?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorna Bourke

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Girls are more likely to outperform boys in the development of writing skills. This study considered gender differences in language and working memory skills as a possible explanation for the differential rates of progress. Sixty-seven children (31 males and 36 females (M age 57.30 months participated. Qualitative differences in writing progress were examined using a writing assessment scale from the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP. Quantitative measures of writing: number of words, diversity of words, number of phrases/sentences and grammatical complexity of the phrases/sentences were also analysed. The children were also assessed on tasks measuring their language production and comprehension skills and the visuo-spatial, phonological, and central executive components of working memory. The results indicated that the boys were more likely to perform significantly less well than the girls on all measures of writing except the grammatical complexity of sentences. Initially, no significant differences were found on any of the measures of language ability. Further, no significant differences were found between the genders on the capacity and efficiency of their working memory functioning. However, hierarchical regressions revealed that the individual differences in gender and language ability, more specifically spoken language comprehension, predicted performance on the EYFSP writing scale. This finding accords well with the literature that suggests that language skills can mediate the variance in boys’ and girls’ writing ability.

  12. 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.

  13. Accessing the mental space-Spatial working memory processes for language and vision overlap in precuneus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallentin, Mikkel; Weed, Ethan; Østergaard, Leif; Mouridsen, Kim; Roepstorff, Andreas

    2008-05-01

    The "overlapping systems" theory of language function argues that linguistic meaning construction crucially relies on contextual information provided by "nonlinguistic" cognitive systems, such as perception and memory. This study examines whether linguistic processing of spatial relations established by reading sentences call on the same posterior parietal neural system involved in processing spatial relations set up through visual input. Subjects read simple sentences, which presented two agents in relation to each other, and were subsequently asked to evaluate spatial (e.g., "Was he turned towards her?") and equally concrete nonspatial content (e.g., "Was he older than her?"). We found that recall of the spatial content relative to the nonspatial content resulted in higher BOLD response in a dorsoposterior network of brain regions, most significantly in precuneus, strikingly overlapping a network previously shown to be involved in recall of spatial aspects of images depicting similar scenarios. This supports a neurocognitive model of language function, where sentences establish meaning by interacting with the perceptual and working memory networks of the brain. (Copyright) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  14. What does visual suffix interference tell us about spatial location in working memory?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Richard J; Castellà, Judit; Ueno, Taiji; Hitch, Graham J; Baddeley, Alan D

    2015-01-01

    A visual object can be conceived of as comprising a number of features bound together by their joint spatial location. We investigate the question of whether the spatial location is automatically bound to the features or whether the two are separable, using a previously developed paradigm whereby memory is disrupted by a visual suffix. Participants were shown a sample array of four colored shapes, followed by a postcue indicating the target for recall. On randomly intermixed trials, a to-be-ignored suffix array consisting of two different colored shapes was presented between the sample and the postcue. In a random half of suffix trials, one of the suffix items overlaid the location of the target. If location was automatically encoded, one might expect the colocation of target and suffix to differentially impair performance. We carried out three experiments, cuing for recall by spatial location (Experiment 1), color or shape (Experiment 2), or both randomly intermixed (Experiment 3). All three studies showed clear suffix effects, but the colocation of target and suffix was differentially disruptive only when a spatial cue was used. The results suggest that purely visual shape-color binding can be retained and accessed without requiring information about spatial location, even when task demands encourage the encoding of location, consistent with the idea of an abstract and flexible visual working memory system.

  15. Eye movement suppression interferes with construction of object-centered spatial reference frames in working memory

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wallentin, Mikkel; Kristensen, Line Burholt; Olsen, Jacob Hedeager

    2011-01-01

    The brain's frontal eye fields (FEF), responsible for eye movement control, are known to be involved in spatial working memory (WM). In a previous fMRI experiment (Wallentin, Roepstorff & Burgess, Neuropsychologia, 2008) it was found that FEF activation was primarily related to the formation...

  16. White Matter Microstructure in Superior Longitudinal Fasciculus Associated with Spatial Working Memory Performance in Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vestergaard, Martin; Madsen, Kathrine Skak; Baare, William F. C.; Skimminge, Arnold; Ejersbo, Lisser Rye; Ramsoy, Thomas Z.; Gerlach, Christian; Akeson, Per; Paulson, Olaf B.; Jernigan, Terry L.

    2011-01-01

    During childhood and adolescence, ongoing white matter maturation in the fronto-parietal cortices and connecting fiber tracts is measurable with diffusion-weighted imaging. Important questions remain, however, about the links between these changes and developing cognitive functions. Spatial working memory (SWM) performance improves significantly…

  17. Neural activity reveals perceptual grouping in working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabbitt, Laura R; Roberts, Daniel M; McDonald, Craig G; Peterson, Matthew S

    2017-03-01

    There is extensive evidence that the contralateral delay activity (CDA), a scalp recorded event-related brain potential, provides a reliable index of the number of objects held in visual working memory. Here we present evidence that the CDA not only indexes visual object working memory, but also the number of locations held in spatial working memory. In addition, we demonstrate that the CDA can be predictably modulated by the type of encoding strategy employed. When individual locations were held in working memory, the pattern of CDA modulation mimicked previous findings for visual object working memory. Specifically, CDA amplitude increased monotonically until working memory capacity was reached. However, when participants were instructed to group individual locations to form a constellation, the CDA was prolonged and reached an asymptote at two locations. This result provides neural evidence for the formation of a unitary representation of multiple spatial locations. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  18. Stage effects of negative emotion on spatial and verbal working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chan Raymond CK

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The effects of negative emotion on different processing periods in spatial and verbal working memory (WM and the possible brain mechanism of the interaction between negative emotion and WM were explored using a high-time resolution event-related potential (ERP technique and time-locked delayed matching-to-sample task (DMST. Results Early P3b and late P3b were reduced in the negative emotion condition for both the spatial and verbal tasks at encoding. At retention, the sustained negative slow wave (NSW showed a significant interaction between emotional state and task type. Spatial trials in the negative emotion condition elicited a more negative deflection than they did in the neutral emotion condition. However, no such effect was observed for the verbal tasks. At retrieval, early P3b and late P3b were markedly more attenuated in the negative emotion condition than in the neutral emotion condition for both the spatial and verbal tasks. Conclusions The results indicate that the differential effects of negative emotion on spatial and verbal WM mainly take place during information maintenance processing, which implies that there is a systematic association between specific affects (e.g., negative emotion and certain cognitive processes (e.g., spatial retention.

  19. Children with Chromosome 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome Exhibit Impaired Spatial Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Ling M.; Riggins, Tracy; Harvey, Danielle; Cabaral, Margarita; Simon, Tony J.

    2014-01-01

    Individuals with chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS) have been shown to have impairments in processing spatiotemporal information. The authors examined whether children with 22q11.2DS exhibit impairments in spatial working memory performance due to these weaknesses, even when controlling for maintenance of attention. Children with…

  20. The selective disruption of spatial working memory by eye movements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Postle, Bradley R; Idzikowski, Christopher; Sala, Sergio Della; Logie, Robert H; Baddeley, Alan D

    2006-01-01

    In the late 1970s/early 1980s, Baddeley and colleagues conducted a series of experiments investigating the role of eye movements in visual working memory. Although only described briefly in a book, these studies have influenced a remarkable number of empirical and theoretical developments in fields ranging from experimental psychology to human neuropsychology to nonhuman primate electrophysiology. This paper presents, in full detail, three critical studies from this series, together with a recently performed study that includes a level of eye movement measurement and control that was not available for the older studies. Together, the results demonstrate several facts about the sensitivity of visuospatial working memory to eye movements. First, it is eye movement control, not movement per se, that produces the disruptive effects. Second, these effects are limited to working memory for locations and do not generalize to visual working memory for shapes. Third, they can be isolated to the storage/maintenance components of working memory (e.g., to the delay period of the delayed-recognition task). These facts have important implications for models of visual working memory.

  1. Nigella sativa Oil Enhances the Spatial Working Memory Performance of Rats on a Radial Arm Maze.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahak, Mohamad Khairul Azali; Mohamed, Abdul Majid; Hashim, Noor Hashida; Hasan Adli, Durriyyah Sharifah

    2013-01-01

    Nigella sativa, an established historical and religion-based remedy for a wide range of health problems, is a herbal medicine known to have antioxidant and neuroprotective effects. This present study investigated the effect of Nigella sativa oil (NSO) administration on the spatial memory performance (SMP) of male adult rats using eight-arm radial arm maze (RAM). Twelve Sprague Dawley rats (7-9 weeks old) were force-fed daily with 6.0  μ L/100 g body weight of Nigella sativa oil (NSO group; n = 6) or 0.1 mL/100 g body weight of corn oil (control) (CO group; n = 6) for a period of 20 consecutive weeks. For each weekly evaluation of SMP, one day food-deprived rats were tested by allowing each of them 3 minutes to explore the RAM for food as their rewards. Similar to the control group, the SMP of the treated group was not hindered, as indicated by the establishment of the reference and working memory components of the spatial memory. The results demonstrated that lesser mean numbers of error were observed for the NSO-treated group in both parameters as compared to the CO-treated group. NSO could therefore enhance the learning and memory abilities of the rats; there was a significant decrease in the overall mean number of working memory error (WME) in the NSO-treated group.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-08-01

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

  3. Nobiletin improves emotional and novelty recognition memory but not spatial referential memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Jiyun; Shin, Jung-Won; Kim, Yoo-Rim; Swanberg, Kelley M; Kim, Yooseung; Bae, Jae Ryong; Kim, Young Ki; Lee, Jinwon; Kim, Soo-Yeon; Sohn, Nak-Won; Maeng, Sungho

    2017-01-01

    How to maintain and enhance cognitive functions for both aged and young populations is a highly interesting subject. But candidate memory-enhancing reagents are tested almost exclusively on lesioned or aged animals. Also, there is insufficient information on the type of memory these reagents can improve. Working memory, located in the prefrontal cortex, manages short-term sensory information, but, by gaining significant relevance, this information is converted to long-term memory by hippocampal formation and/or amygdala, followed by tagging with space-time or emotional cues, respectively. Nobiletin is a product of citrus peel known for cognitive-enhancing effects in various pharmacological and neurodegenerative disease models, yet, it is not well studied in non-lesioned animals and the type of memory that nobiletin can improve remains unclear. In this study, 8-week-old male mice were tested using behavioral measurements for working, spatial referential, emotional and visual recognition memory after daily administration of nobiletin. While nobiletin did not induce any change of spontaneous activity in the open field test, freezing by fear conditioning and novel object recognition increased. However, the effectiveness of spatial navigation in the Y-maze and Morris water maze was not improved. These results mean that nobiletin can specifically improve memories of emotionally salient information associated with fear and novelty, but not of spatial information without emotional saliency. Accordingly, the use of nobiletin on normal subjects as a memory enhancer would be more effective on emotional types but may have limited value for the improvement of episodic memories.

  4. On the neural mechanisms underlying the protective function of retroactive cuing against perceptual interference: Evidence by event-related potentials of the EEG.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Daniel; Barth, Anna; Getzmann, Stephan; Wascher, Edmund

    2017-03-01

    This EEG study investigated the protective effect of retroactive attentional focusing on working memory. To this effect, we used a visuo-spatial working memory task and presented block-wise distractor displays after working memory contents had been updated by means of a retroactive cue (retro-cue). Retroactive attention attenuated the interfering effect of distractors on memory precision. The reduction of working memory load by means of a selective retro-cue was reflected by a decline of a negative slow wave over parietal sites. Posterior N1 to the distractor was reduced following a selective retro-cue compared to a neutral retro-cue condition, most notably at left hemispheric sites. P3b referred to the distractor was suppressed completely only following a selective retro-cue. This suggests that focusing on only a subset of visuo-spatial information represented in working memory releases cognitive resources for preventing the in-depth processing of subsequently irrelevant visual events, thereby inhibiting their transfer into working memory. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. The role of visual and spatial working memory in forming mental models derived from survey and route descriptions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meneghetti, Chiara; Labate, Enia; Pazzaglia, Francesca; Hamilton, Colin; Gyselinck, Valérie

    2017-05-01

    This study examines the involvement of spatial and visual working memory (WM) in the construction of flexible spatial models derived from survey and route descriptions. Sixty young adults listened to environment descriptions, 30 from a survey perspective and the other 30 from a route perspective, while they performed spatial (spatial tapping [ST]) and visual (dynamic visual noise [DVN]) secondary tasks - believed to overload the spatial and visual working memory (WM) components, respectively - or no secondary task (control, C). Their mental representations of the environment were tested by free recall and a verification test with both route and survey statements. Results showed that, for both recall tasks, accuracy was worse in the ST than in the C or DVN conditions. In the verification test, the effect of both ST and DVN was a decreasing accuracy for sentences testing spatial relations from the opposite perspective to the one learnt than if the perspective was the same; only ST had a stronger interference effect than the C condition for sentences from the opposite perspective from the one learnt. Overall, these findings indicate that both visual and spatial WM, and especially the latter, are involved in the construction of perspective-flexible spatial models. © 2016 The British Psychological Society.

  6. Nigella sativa Oil Enhances the Spatial Working Memory Performance of Rats on a Radial Arm Maze

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamad Khairul Azali Sahak

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Nigella sativa, an established historical and religion-based remedy for a wide range of health problems, is a herbal medicine known to have antioxidant and neuroprotective effects. This present study investigated the effect of Nigella sativa oil (NSO administration on the spatial memory performance (SMP of male adult rats using eight-arm radial arm maze (RAM. Twelve Sprague Dawley rats (7–9 weeks old were force-fed daily with 6.0 μL/100 g body weight of Nigella sativa oil (NSO group; n=6 or 0.1 mL/100 g body weight of corn oil (control (CO group; n=6 for a period of 20 consecutive weeks. For each weekly evaluation of SMP, one day food-deprived rats were tested by allowing each of them 3 minutes to explore the RAM for food as their rewards. Similar to the control group, the SMP of the treated group was not hindered, as indicated by the establishment of the reference and working memory components of the spatial memory. The results demonstrated that lesser mean numbers of error were observed for the NSO-treated group in both parameters as compared to the CO-treated group. NSO could therefore enhance the learning and memory abilities of the rats; there was a significant decrease in the overall mean number of working memory error (WME in the NSO-treated group.

  7. [Verbal and visual-spatial memory in Chinese children with developmental dyslexia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Xiao-Yun; Jing, Jin; Fan, Miao; Yang, De-Sheng; Zhu, Yan-Na; Chen, Ling; Li, Xiu-Hong

    2018-04-01

    To explore the abilities of verbal and visual-spatial memory in Chinese children with developmental dyslexia. Thirty-two children with developmental dyslexia (aged 8-12 years) and thirty-nine age- and gender-matched normal children were involved in the study. Their verbal short-term and verbal working memories were measured using the digit ordering and the digit span tests, respectively. Their visual-spatial short-term and visual-spatial working memories were examined using the forward and backward block-tapping tests, respectively. The DD children scored lower in the digit ordering and the digit span tests than the control children (P<0.05). The scores for the forward and backward block-tapping tests did not vary between the two groups (P>0.05). The children with DD have the deficits in both verbal short-term memory and verbal working memory.

  8. Emotional state and local versus global spatial memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunyé, Tad T; Mahoney, Caroline R; Augustyn, Jason S; Taylor, Holly A

    2009-02-01

    The present work investigated the effects of participant emotional state on global versus local memory for map-based information. Participants were placed into one of four emotion induction groups, crossing high and low arousal with positive and negative valence, or a control group. They then studied a university campus map and completed two memory tests, free recall and spatial statement verification. Converging evidence from these two tasks demonstrated that arousal amplifies symbolic distance effects and leads to a globally-focused spatial mental representation, partially at the expense of local knowledge. These results were found for both positively- and negatively-valenced affective states. The present study is the first investigation of emotional effects on spatial memory, and has implications for theories of emotion and spatial cognition.

  9. Early handling effect on female rat spatial and non-spatial learning and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plescia, Fulvio; Marino, Rosa A M; Navarra, Michele; Gambino, Giuditta; Brancato, Anna; Sardo, Pierangelo; Cannizzaro, Carla

    2014-03-01

    This study aims at providing an insight into early handling procedures on learning and memory performance in adult female rats. Early handling procedures were started on post-natal day 2 until 21, and consisted in 15 min, daily separations of the dams from their litters. Assessment of declarative memory was carried out in the novel-object recognition task; spatial learning, reference- and working memory were evaluated in the Morris water maze (MWM). Our results indicate that early handling induced an enhancement in: (1) declarative memory, in the object recognition task, both at 1h and 24h intervals; (2) reference memory in the probe test and working memory and behavioral flexibility in the "single-trial and four-trial place learning paradigm" of the MWM. Short-term separation by increasing maternal care causes a dampening in HPA axis response in the pups. A modulated activation of the stress response may help to protect brain structures, involved in cognitive function. In conclusion, this study shows the long-term effects of a brief maternal separation in enhancing object recognition-, spatial reference- and working memory in female rats, remarking the impact of early environmental experiences and the consequent maternal care on the behavioral adaptive mechanisms in adulthood. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Role of Prefrontal Persistent Activity in Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riley, Mitchell R.; Constantinidis, Christos

    2016-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex is activated during working memory, as evidenced by fMRI results in human studies and neurophysiological recordings in animal models. Persistent activity during the delay period of working memory tasks, after the offset of stimuli that subjects are required to remember, has traditionally been thought of as the neural correlate of working memory. In the last few years several findings have cast doubt on the role of this activity. By some accounts, activity in other brain areas, such as the primary visual and posterior parietal cortex, is a better predictor of information maintained in visual working memory and working memory performance; dynamic patterns of activity may convey information without requiring persistent activity at all; and prefrontal neurons may be ill-suited to represent non-spatial information about the features and identity of remembered stimuli. Alternative interpretations about the role of the prefrontal cortex have thus been suggested, such as that it provides a top-down control of information represented in other brain areas, rather than maintaining a working memory trace itself. Here we review evidence for and against the role of prefrontal persistent activity, with a focus on visual neurophysiology. We show that persistent activity predicts behavioral parameters precisely in working memory tasks. We illustrate that prefrontal cortex represents features of stimuli other than their spatial location, and that this information is largely absent from early cortical areas during working memory. We examine memory models not dependent on persistent activity, and conclude that each of those models could mediate only a limited range of memory-dependent behaviors. We review activity decoded from brain areas other than the prefrontal cortex during working memory and demonstrate that these areas alone cannot mediate working memory maintenance, particularly in the presence of distractors. We finally discuss the discrepancy between

  11. Cognitive remediation therapy (CRT) benefits more to patients with schizophrenia with low initial memory performances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pillet, Benoit; Morvan, Yannick; Todd, Aurelia; Franck, Nicolas; Duboc, Chloé; Grosz, Aimé; Launay, Corinne; Demily, Caroline; Gaillard, Raphaël; Krebs, Marie-Odile; Amado, Isabelle

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive deficits in schizophrenia mainly affect memory, attention and executive functions. Cognitive remediation is a technique derived from neuropsychology, which aims to improve or compensate for these deficits. Working memory, verbal learning, and executive functions are crucial factors for functional outcome. Our purpose was to assess the impact of the cognitive remediation therapy (CRT) program on cognitive difficulties in patients with schizophrenia, especially on working memory, verbal memory, and cognitive flexibility. We collected data from clinical and neuropsychological assessments in 24 patients suffering from schizophrenia (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental Disorders-Fourth Edition, DSM-IV) who followed a 3-month (CRT) program. Verbal and visuo-spatial working memory, verbal memory, and cognitive flexibility were assessed before and after CRT. The Wilcoxon test showed significant improvements on the backward digit span, on the visual working memory span, on verbal memory and on flexibility. Cognitive improvement was substantial when baseline performance was low, independently from clinical benefit. CRT is effective on crucial cognitive domains and provides a huge benefit for patients having low baseline performance. Such cognitive amelioration appears highly promising for improving the outcome in cognitively impaired patients.

  12. 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.

  13. Gender differences in navigational memory: pilots vs. nonpilots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verde, Paola; Piccardi, Laura; Bianchini, Filippo; Guariglia, Cecilia; Carrozzo, Paolo; Morgagni, Fabio; Boccia, Maddalena; Di Fiore, Giacomo; Tomao, Enrico

    2015-02-01

    The coding of space as near and far is not only determined by arm-reaching distance, but is also dependent on how the brain represents the extension of the body space. Recent reports suggest that the dissociation between reaching and navigational space is not limited to perception and action but also involves memory systems. It has been reported that gender differences emerged only in adverse learning conditions that required strong spatial ability. In this study we investigated navigational versus reaching memory in air force pilots and a control group without flight experience. We took into account temporal duration (working memory and long-term memory) and focused on working memory, which is considered critical in the gender differences literature. We found no gender effects or flight hour effects in pilots but observed gender effects in working memory (but not in learning and delayed recall) in the nonpilot population (Women's mean = 5.33; SD= 0.90; Men's mean = 5.54; SD= 0.90). We also observed a difference between pilots and nonpilots in the maintenance of on-line reaching information: pilots (mean = 5.85; SD=0.76) were more efficient than nonpilots (mean = 5.21; SD=0.83) and managed this type of information similarly to that concerning navigational space. In the navigational learning phase they also showed better navigational memory (mean = 137.83; SD=5.81) than nonpilots (mean = 126.96; SD=15.81) and were significantly more proficient than the latter group. There is no gender difference in a population of pilots in terms of navigational abilities, while it emerges in a control group without flight experience. We found also that pilots performed better than nonpilots. This study suggests that once selected, male and female pilots do not differ from each other in visuo-spatial abilities and spatial navigation.

  14. Early blindness alters the spatial organization of verbal working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bottini, Roberto; Mattioni, Stefania; Collignon, Olivier

    2016-10-01

    Several studies suggest that serial order in working memory (WM) is grounded on space. For a list of ordered items held in WM, items at the beginning of the list are associated with the left side of space and items at the end of the list with the right side. This suggests that maintaining items in verbal WM is performed in strong analogy to writing these items down on a physical whiteboard for later consultation (The Mental Whiteboard Hypothesis). What drives this spatial mapping of ordered series in WM remains poorly understood. In the present study we tested whether visual experience is instrumental in establishing the link between serial order in WM and spatial processing. We tested early blind (EB), late blind (LB) and sighted individuals in an auditory WM task. Replicating previous studies, left-key responses were faster for early items in the list whereas later items facilitated right-key responses in the sighted group. The same effect was observed in LB individuals. In contrast, EB participants did not show any association between space and serial position in WM. These results suggest that early visual experience plays a critical role in linking ordered items in WM and spatial representations. The analogical spatial structure of WM may depend in part on the actual experience of using spatially organized devices (e.g., notes, whiteboards) to offload WM. These practices are largely precluded to EB individuals, who instead rely to mnemonic devices that are less spatially organized (e.g., recordings, vocal notes). The way we habitually organize information in the external world may bias the way we organize information in our WM. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. White matter microstructure mediates the relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness and spatial working memory in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberlin, Lauren E; Verstynen, Timothy D; Burzynska, Agnieszka Z; Voss, Michelle W; Prakash, Ruchika Shaurya; Chaddock-Heyman, Laura; Wong, Chelsea; Fanning, Jason; Awick, Elizabeth; Gothe, Neha; Phillips, Siobhan M; Mailey, Emily; Ehlers, Diane; Olson, Erin; Wojcicki, Thomas; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F; Erickson, Kirk I

    2016-05-01

    White matter structure declines with advancing age and has been associated with a decline in memory and executive processes in older adulthood. Yet, recent research suggests that higher physical activity and fitness levels may be associated with less white matter degeneration in late life, although the tract-specificity of this relationship is not well understood. In addition, these prior studies infrequently associate measures of white matter microstructure to cognitive outcomes, so the behavioral importance of higher levels of white matter microstructural organization with greater fitness levels remains a matter of speculation. Here we tested whether cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2max) levels were associated with white matter microstructure and whether this relationship constituted an indirect pathway between cardiorespiratory fitness and spatial working memory in two large, cognitively and neurologically healthy older adult samples. Diffusion tensor imaging was used to determine white matter microstructure in two separate groups: Experiment 1, N=113 (mean age=66.61) and Experiment 2, N=154 (mean age=65.66). Using a voxel-based regression approach, we found that higher VO2max was associated with higher fractional anisotropy (FA), a measure of white matter microstructure, in a diverse network of white matter tracts, including the anterior corona radiata, anterior internal capsule, fornix, cingulum, and corpus callosum (PFDR-correctedmicrostructure within these regions, among others, constituted a significant indirect path between VO2max and spatial working memory performance. These results suggest that greater aerobic fitness levels are associated with higher levels of white matter microstructural organization, which may, in turn, preserve spatial memory performance in older adulthood. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Spatial-simultaneous working memory and selective interference in Down syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanfranchi, Silvia; Mammarella, Irene C; Carretti, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    Several studies have suggested that individuals with Down syndrome (DS) have impairments in some aspects of the visuospatial domain. It has been reported that they are particularly impaired in the spatial-simultaneous working memory (WM) even in advantageous conditions such as when information is grouped to form a configuration. This study aimed to assess the performance of individuals with DS carrying out a spatial-simultaneous WM task in single and dual selective interference conditions in order to better explore the characteristics of their impairment in this area. Groups of individuals with DS and mentally age-matched typically developing (TD) children were asked to carry out a spatial-simultaneous WM task in a single- and in two dual-task conditions. In the single condition, the participants were required to recall an increasing number of positions of red squares presented simultaneously in a matrix. In the dual-task conditions, together with the spatial-simultaneous WM task, the participants were asked to carry out an articulatory suppression task or a tapping task. As has already been shown in other studies, individuals with DS were found to be impaired in carrying out a spatial-simultaneous WM task and showed a worse performance with respect to the TD group in both the conditions. These findings indicate that individuals with DS use the same coding modality as TD children of the same mental age. Just as the TD children, they performed lower in the dual- than in the single-task condition and there was no difference between the verbal and visuospatial conditions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  18. Nucleus incertus inactivation impairs spatial learning and memory in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nategh, Mohsen; Nikseresht, Sara; Khodagholi, Fariba; Motamedi, Fereshteh

    2015-02-01

    Nucleus incertus (NI) is a pontine nucleus which releases mainly GABA and relaxin-3 in rats. Its suggested functions include response to stress, arousal, and modulation of hippocampal theta rhythm. Since the role of NI in learning and memory has not been well characterized, therefore the involvement of this nucleus in spatial learning and memory and the aftermath hippocampal levels of c-fos and pCREB were evaluated. NI was targeted by implanting cannula in male rats. For reference memory, NI was inactivated by lidocaine (0.4 μl, 4%) at three stages of acquisition, consolidation and retrieval in Morris water maze paradigm. For working memory, NI was inactivated in acquisition and retrieval phases. Injection of lidocaine prior to the first training session of reference memory significantly increased the distance moved, suggesting that inactivation of NI delays acquisition in this spatial task. Inactivation also interfered with the retrieval phase of spatial reference memory, as the time in target quadrant for lidocaine group was less, and the escape latency was higher compared to the control group. However, no difference was observed in the consolidation phase. In the working memory task, with inter-trial intervals of 75 min, the escape latency was higher when NI was inactivated in the retrieval phase. In addition, c-fos and pCREB/CREB levels decreased in NI-inhibited rats. This study suggests that nucleus incertus might participate in acquisition of spatial reference, and retrieval of both spatial reference and working memory. Further studies should investigate possible roles of NI in the hippocampal plasticity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. How Do Different Aspects of Spatial Skills Relate to Early Arithmetic and Number Line Estimation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Véronique Cornu

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The present study investigated the predictive role of spatial skills for arithmetic and number line estimation in kindergarten children (N = 125. Spatial skills are known to be related to mathematical development, but due to the construct’s non-unitary nature, different aspects of spatial skills need to be differentiated. In the present study, a spatial orientation task, a spatial visualization task and visuo-motor integration task were administered to assess three different aspects of spatial skills. Furthermore, we assessed counting abilities, knowledge of Arabic numerals, quantitative knowledge, as well as verbal working memory and verbal intelligence in kindergarten. Four months later, the same children performed an arithmetic and a number line estimation task to evaluate how the abilities measured at Time 1 predicted early mathematics outcomes. Hierarchical regression analysis revealed that children’s performance in arithmetic was predicted by their performance on the spatial orientation and visuo-motor integration task, as well as their knowledge of the Arabic numerals. Performance in number line estimation was significantly predicted by the children’s spatial orientation performance. Our findings emphasize the role of spatial skills, notably spatial orientation, in mathematical development. The relation between spatial orientation and arithmetic was partially mediated by the number line estimation task. Our results further show that some aspects of spatial skills might be more predictive of mathematical development than others, underlining the importance to differentiate within the construct of spatial skills when it comes to understanding numerical development.

  20. Cue generation and memory construction in direct and generative autobiographical memory retrieval.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Celia B; O'Connor, Akira R; Sutton, John

    2015-05-01

    Theories of autobiographical memory emphasise effortful, generative search processes in memory retrieval. However recent research suggests that memories are often retrieved directly, without effortful search. We investigated whether direct and generative retrieval differed in the characteristics of memories recalled, or only in terms of retrieval latency. Participants recalled autobiographical memories in response to cue words. For each memory, they reported whether it was retrieved directly or generatively, rated its visuo-spatial perspective, and judged its accompanying recollective experience. Our results indicated that direct retrieval was commonly reported and was faster than generative retrieval, replicating recent findings. The characteristics of directly retrieved memories differed from generatively retrieved memories: directly retrieved memories had higher field perspective ratings and lower observer perspective ratings. However, retrieval mode did not influence recollective experience. We discuss our findings in terms of cue generation and content construction, and the implication for reconstructive models of autobiographical memory. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-21

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

  2. Impact of Spatial and Verbal Short-Term Memory Load on Auditory Spatial Attention Gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golob, Edward J; Winston, Jenna; Mock, Jeffrey R

    2017-01-01

    Short-term memory load can impair attentional control, but prior work shows that the extent of the effect ranges from being very general to very specific. One factor for the mixed results may be reliance on point estimates of memory load effects on attention. Here we used auditory attention gradients as an analog measure to map-out the impact of short-term memory load over space. Verbal or spatial information was maintained during an auditory spatial attention task and compared to no-load. Stimuli were presented from five virtual locations in the frontal azimuth plane, and subjects focused on the midline. Reaction times progressively increased for lateral stimuli, indicating an attention gradient. Spatial load further slowed responses at lateral locations, particularly in the left hemispace, but had little effect at midline. Verbal memory load had no (Experiment 1), or a minimal (Experiment 2) influence on reaction times. Spatial and verbal load increased switch costs between memory encoding and attention tasks relative to the no load condition. The findings show that short-term memory influences the distribution of auditory attention over space; and that the specific pattern depends on the type of information in short-term memory.

  3. Impact of Spatial and Verbal Short-Term Memory Load on Auditory Spatial Attention Gradients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward J. Golob

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Short-term memory load can impair attentional control, but prior work shows that the extent of the effect ranges from being very general to very specific. One factor for the mixed results may be reliance on point estimates of memory load effects on attention. Here we used auditory attention gradients as an analog measure to map-out the impact of short-term memory load over space. Verbal or spatial information was maintained during an auditory spatial attention task and compared to no-load. Stimuli were presented from five virtual locations in the frontal azimuth plane, and subjects focused on the midline. Reaction times progressively increased for lateral stimuli, indicating an attention gradient. Spatial load further slowed responses at lateral locations, particularly in the left hemispace, but had little effect at midline. Verbal memory load had no (Experiment 1, or a minimal (Experiment 2 influence on reaction times. Spatial and verbal load increased switch costs between memory encoding and attention tasks relative to the no load condition. The findings show that short-term memory influences the distribution of auditory attention over space; and that the specific pattern depends on the type of information in short-term memory.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Recent psychophysical experiments have shown that working memory for visual surface features interacts with saccadic motor planning, even in tasks where the saccade target is unambiguously specified by spatial cues. Specifically, a match between a memorized color and the color of either the designated target or a distractor stimulus influences saccade target selection, saccade amplitudes, and latencies in a systematic fashion. To elucidate these effects, we present a dynamic neural field model in combination with new experimental data. The model captures the neural processes underlying visual perception, working memory, and saccade planning relevant to the psychophysical experiment. It consists of a low-level visual sensory representation that interacts with two separate pathways: a spatial pathway implementing spatial attention and saccade generation, and a surface feature pathway implementing color working memory and feature attention. Due to bidirectional coupling between visual working memory and feature attention in the model, the working memory content can indirectly exert an effect on perceptual processing in the low-level sensory representation. This in turn biases saccadic movement planning in the spatial pathway, allowing the model to quantitatively reproduce the observed interaction effects. The continuous coupling between representations in the model also implies that modulation should be bidirectional, and model simulations provide specific predictions for complementary effects of saccade target selection on visual working memory. These predictions were empirically confirmed in a new experiment: Memory for a sample color was biased toward the color of a task-irrelevant saccade target object, demonstrating the bidirectional coupling between visual working memory and perceptual processing. PMID:25228628

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-16

    Recent psychophysical experiments have shown that working memory for visual surface features interacts with saccadic motor planning, even in tasks where the saccade target is unambiguously specified by spatial cues. Specifically, a match between a memorized color and the color of either the designated target or a distractor stimulus influences saccade target selection, saccade amplitudes, and latencies in a systematic fashion. To elucidate these effects, we present a dynamic neural field model in combination with new experimental data. The model captures the neural processes underlying visual perception, working memory, and saccade planning relevant to the psychophysical experiment. It consists of a low-level visual sensory representation that interacts with two separate pathways: a spatial pathway implementing spatial attention and saccade generation, and a surface feature pathway implementing color working memory and feature attention. Due to bidirectional coupling between visual working memory and feature attention in the model, the working memory content can indirectly exert an effect on perceptual processing in the low-level sensory representation. This in turn biases saccadic movement planning in the spatial pathway, allowing the model to quantitatively reproduce the observed interaction effects. The continuous coupling between representations in the model also implies that modulation should be bidirectional, and model simulations provide specific predictions for complementary effects of saccade target selection on visual working memory. These predictions were empirically confirmed in a new experiment: Memory for a sample color was biased toward the color of a task-irrelevant saccade target object, demonstrating the bidirectional coupling between visual working memory and perceptual processing. © 2014 ARVO.

  6. The relationship between visual-spatial and auditory-verbal working memory span in Senegalese and Ugandan children.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Boivin

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Using the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (K-ABC Conant et al. (1999 observed that visual and auditory working memory (WM span were independent in both younger and older children from DR Congo, but related in older American children and in Lao children. The present study evaluated whether visual and auditory WM span were independent in Ugandan and Senegalese children. METHOD: In a linear regression analysis we used visual (Spatial Memory, Hand Movements and auditory (Number Recall WM along with education and physical development (weight/height as predictors. The predicted variable in this analysis was Word Order, which is a verbal memory task that has both visual and auditory memory components. RESULTS: Both the younger (8.5 yrs Ugandan children had auditory memory span (Number Recall that was strongly predictive of Word Order performance. For both the younger and older groups of Senegalese children, only visual WM span (Spatial Memory was strongly predictive of Word Order. Number Recall was not significantly predictive of Word Order in either age group. CONCLUSIONS: It is possible that greater literacy from more schooling for the Ugandan age groups mediated their greater degree of interdependence between auditory and verbal WM. Our findings support those of Conant et al., who observed in their cross-cultural comparisons that stronger education seemed to enhance the dominance of the phonological-auditory processing loop for WM.

  7. The relationship between visual-spatial and auditory-verbal working memory span in Senegalese and Ugandan children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boivin, Michael J; Bangirana, Paul; Shaffer, Rebecca C; Smith, Rebecca C

    2010-01-27

    Using the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (K-ABC) Conant et al. (1999) observed that visual and auditory working memory (WM) span were independent in both younger and older children from DR Congo, but related in older American children and in Lao children. The present study evaluated whether visual and auditory WM span were independent in Ugandan and Senegalese children. In a linear regression analysis we used visual (Spatial Memory, Hand Movements) and auditory (Number Recall) WM along with education and physical development (weight/height) as predictors. The predicted variable in this analysis was Word Order, which is a verbal memory task that has both visual and auditory memory components. Both the younger (8.5 yrs) Ugandan children had auditory memory span (Number Recall) that was strongly predictive of Word Order performance. For both the younger and older groups of Senegalese children, only visual WM span (Spatial Memory) was strongly predictive of Word Order. Number Recall was not significantly predictive of Word Order in either age group. It is possible that greater literacy from more schooling for the Ugandan age groups mediated their greater degree of interdependence between auditory and verbal WM. Our findings support those of Conant et al., who observed in their cross-cultural comparisons that stronger education seemed to enhance the dominance of the phonological-auditory processing loop for WM.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-04-01

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

  10. Caffeine plus nicotine improves motor function, spatial and non-spatial working memory and functional indices in BALB/c male mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adeniyi, P A; Omatsuli, E P; Akinyemi, A J; Ishola, A O

    2016-12-01

    There is a greater prevalence of cigarette smoking among caffeine dependent individuals. This study therefore sought to assess the effect of nicotine and/or caffeine on some key biochemical indices and neurobehavioural parameters associated with brain function in male mice. Forty male BALB/c mice were divided into 4 groups of 10 animals each; Group A serve as the control and received normal saline (s.c), Group B received 2mg/kg body weight of nicotine (s.c), Group C received 2mg/kg body weight of caffeine (s.c) and Group D received 2mg/kg of nicotine and 2mg/kg of caffeine (s.c). The experiment lasted for 21 days, and then the animals were subjected to behavioral test. Thereafter the animals were sacrificed and their brain isolated for the determination of endothelial nitric oxide (NO) level, acetylcholinesterase (AChE), arginase (Arg) and adenosine deaminase (ADA) activities; as well as some antioxidant indices. Administration of nicotine or caffeine caused a significant (Pcaffeine cognitive properties through a significant increase in non-spatial working memory whereas; it was otherwise on the spatial working memory and motor coordination. Therefore, we can suggest from our present study that caffeine enhances the effect of nicotine either synergistically or additively on memory and motor function and some key biochemical indices associated with brain function in male mice. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  11. The Extent of Working Memory Deficits Associated with Williams Syndrome: Exploration of Verbal and Spatial Domains and Executively Controlled Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhodes, Sinead M.; Riby, Deborah M.; Fraser, Emma; Campbell, Lorna Elise

    2011-01-01

    The present study investigated verbal and spatial working memory (WM) functioning in individuals with the neuro-developmental disorder Williams syndrome (WS) using WM component tasks. While there is strong evidence of WM impairments in WS, previous research has focused on short-term memory and has neglected assessment of executive components of…

  12. Intrahemispheric theta rhythm desynchronization impairs working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alekseichuk, Ivan; Pabel, Stefanie Corinna; Antal, Andrea; Paulus, Walter

    2017-01-01

    There is a growing interest in large-scale connectivity as one of the crucial factors in working memory. Correlative evidence has revealed the anatomical and electrophysiological players in the working memory network, but understanding of the effective role of their connectivity remains elusive. In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study we aimed to identify the causal role of theta phase connectivity in visual-spatial working memory. The frontoparietal network was over- or de-synchronized in the anterior-posterior direction by multi-electrode, 6 Hz transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS). A decrease in memory performance and increase in reaction time was caused by frontoparietal intrahemispheric desynchronization. According to the diffusion drift model, this originated in a lower signal-to-noise ratio, known as the drift rate index, in the memory system. The EEG analysis revealed a corresponding decrease in phase connectivity between prefrontal and parietal areas after tACS-driven desynchronization. The over-synchronization did not result in any changes in either the behavioral or electrophysiological levels in healthy participants. Taken together, we demonstrate the feasibility of manipulating multi-site large-scale networks in humans, and the disruptive effect of frontoparietal desynchronization on theta phase connectivity and visual-spatial working memory.

  13. Real-world spatial regularities affect visual working memory for objects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kaiser, D.; Stein, T.; Peelen, M.V.

    2015-01-01

    Traditional memory research has focused on measuring and modeling the capacity of visual working memory for simple stimuli such as geometric shapes or colored disks. Although these studies have provided important insights, it is unclear how their findings apply to memory for more naturalistic

  14. Brain training game boosts executive functions, working memory and processing speed in the young adults: a randomized controlled trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rui Nouchi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Do brain training games work? The beneficial effects of brain training games are expected to transfer to other cognitive functions. Yet in all honesty, beneficial transfer effects of the commercial brain training games in young adults have little scientific basis. Here we investigated the impact of the brain training game (Brain Age on a wide range of cognitive functions in young adults. METHODS: We conducted a double-blind (de facto masking randomized controlled trial using a popular brain training game (Brain Age and a popular puzzle game (Tetris. Thirty-two volunteers were recruited through an advertisement in the local newspaper and randomly assigned to either of two game groups (Brain Age, Tetris. Participants in both the Brain Age and the Tetris groups played their game for about 15 minutes per day, at least 5 days per week, for 4 weeks. Measures of the cognitive functions were conducted before and after training. Measures of the cognitive functions fell into eight categories (fluid intelligence, executive function, working memory, short-term memory, attention, processing speed, visual ability, and reading ability. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Our results showed that commercial brain training game improves executive functions, working memory, and processing speed in young adults. Moreover, the popular puzzle game can engender improvement attention and visuo-spatial ability compared to playing the brain training game. The present study showed the scientific evidence which the brain training game had the beneficial effects on cognitive functions (executive functions, working memory and processing speed in the healthy young adults. CONCLUSIONS: Our results do not indicate that everyone should play brain training games. However, the commercial brain training game might be a simple and convenient means to improve some cognitive functions. We believe that our findings are highly relevant to applications in educational and clinical fields

  15. Brain training game boosts executive functions, working memory and processing speed in the young adults: a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nouchi, Rui; Taki, Yasuyuki; Takeuchi, Hikaru; Hashizume, Hiroshi; Nozawa, Takayuki; Kambara, Toshimune; Sekiguchi, Atsushi; Miyauchi, Carlos Makoto; Kotozaki, Yuka; Nouchi, Haruka; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2013-01-01

    Do brain training games work? The beneficial effects of brain training games are expected to transfer to other cognitive functions. Yet in all honesty, beneficial transfer effects of the commercial brain training games in young adults have little scientific basis. Here we investigated the impact of the brain training game (Brain Age) on a wide range of cognitive functions in young adults. We conducted a double-blind (de facto masking) randomized controlled trial using a popular brain training game (Brain Age) and a popular puzzle game (Tetris). Thirty-two volunteers were recruited through an advertisement in the local newspaper and randomly assigned to either of two game groups (Brain Age, Tetris). Participants in both the Brain Age and the Tetris groups played their game for about 15 minutes per day, at least 5 days per week, for 4 weeks. Measures of the cognitive functions were conducted before and after training. Measures of the cognitive functions fell into eight categories (fluid intelligence, executive function, working memory, short-term memory, attention, processing speed, visual ability, and reading ability). Our results showed that commercial brain training game improves executive functions, working memory, and processing speed in young adults. Moreover, the popular puzzle game can engender improvement attention and visuo-spatial ability compared to playing the brain training game. The present study showed the scientific evidence which the brain training game had the beneficial effects on cognitive functions (executive functions, working memory and processing speed) in the healthy young adults. Our results do not indicate that everyone should play brain training games. However, the commercial brain training game might be a simple and convenient means to improve some cognitive functions. We believe that our findings are highly relevant to applications in educational and clinical fields. UMIN Clinical Trial Registry 000005618.

  16. fMRI response during spatial working memory in adolescent marijuana users : what is the relationship to recency of marijuana use?

    OpenAIRE

    Schweinsburg, Alecia Denise

    2006-01-01

    Marijuana is commonly used in adolescence, yet the impact on the developing brain is unclear. Working memory impairments have been observed in adult marijuana users after recent use, but may remit after a month of abstinence. The differential effects related to recent use and abstinence have not been delineated in adolescents. To address this question, three studies examined functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain response during spatial working memory (SWM) among adolescents. Adol...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-07-01

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

  18. Preserved memory-based orienting of attention with impaired explicit memory in healthy ageing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salvato, Gerardo; Patai, Eva Z; Nobre, Anna C

    2016-01-01

    It is increasingly recognised that spatial contextual long-term memory (LTM) prepares neural activity for guiding visuo-spatial attention in a proactive manner. In the current study, we investigated whether the decline in explicit memory observed in healthy ageing would compromise this mechanism. We compared the behavioural performance of younger and older participants on learning new contextual memories, on orienting visual attention based on these learnt contextual associations, and on explicit recall of contextual memories. We found a striking dissociation between older versus younger participants in the relationship between the ability to retrieve contextual memories versus the ability to use these to guide attention to enhance performance on a target-detection task. Older participants showed significant deficits in the explicit retrieval task, but their behavioural benefits from memory-based orienting of attention were equivalent to those in young participants. Furthermore, memory-based orienting correlated significantly with explicit contextual LTM in younger adults but not in older adults. These results suggest that explicit memory deficits in ageing might not compromise initial perception and encoding of events. Importantly, the results also shed light on the mechanisms of memory-guided attention, suggesting that explicit contextual memories are not necessary. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  19. Methylphenidate Improves Visual-Spatial Memory in Children with Attention-Deficit- hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bedard, Anne-Claude; Martinussen, Rhonda; Ickowicz, Abel; Tannock, Rosemary

    2004-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the effect of methylphenidate (MPH) on visual-spatial memory, as measured by subtests of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Testing Automated Battery (CANTAB), in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Visual-spatial memory is a core component of working memory that has been shown to be impaired in…

  20. Age-related variations of visuo-motor adaptation beyond explicit knowledge

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Herbert eHeuer

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Visuo-motor adaptation suffers at older working age. The age-related decline of behavioural adjustments is accompanied by reduced explicit knowledge of the visuo-motor transformation. It disappears when explicit knowledge is kept constant across the age range, except for particularly high levels of explicit knowledge. According to these findings, at older adult age both the acquisition of explicit knowledge and its application for strategic corrections become poorer. Recently it has been posited that visuo-motor adaptation can involve model-free reinforcement mechanisms of learning in addition to model-based mechanisms. We tested whether age-related declines of reinforcement learning can also contribute to the age-related changes of visuo-motor adaptation. Therefore we enhanced the contribution of reinforcement learning to visuo-motor adaptation by way of introducing salient markers of success and failure during practice. With such modified practice conditions, there were residual age-related variations of behavioural adjustments at all levels of explicit knowledge, even when explicit knowledge was absent. The residual age-related variations were observed for practiced target directions only, but not for new target directions. These findings are consistent with an age-related decline of model-free reinforcement learning as a third factor in the age-related decline of visuo-motor adaptation. Under practice conditions, which spur model-free reward-based learning, this factor adds to the decrements of the acquisition of explicit knowledge and its use for strategic corrections.

  1. Diminished activation of motor working-memory networks in Parkinson's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Rottschy

    Full Text Available Parkinson's disease (PD is characterized by typical extrapyramidal motor features and increasingly recognized non-motor symptoms such as working memory (WM deficits. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI, we investigated differences in neuronal activation during a motor WM task in 23 non-demented PD patients and 23 age- and gender-matched healthy controls. Participants had to memorize and retype variably long visuo-spatial stimulus sequences after short or long delays (immediate or delayed serial recall. PD patients showed deficient WM performance compared to controls, which was accompanied by reduced encoding-related activation in WM-related regions. Mirroring slower motor initiation and execution, reduced activation in motor structures such as the basal ganglia and superior parietal cortex was detected for both immediate and delayed recall. Increased activation in limbic, parietal and cerebellar regions was found during delayed recall only. Increased load-related activation for delayed recall was found in the posterior midline and the cerebellum. Overall, our results demonstrate that impairment of WM in PD is primarily associated with a widespread reduction of task-relevant activation, whereas additional parietal, limbic and cerebellar regions become more activated relative to matched controls. While the reduced WM-related activity mirrors the deficient WM performance, the additional recruitment may point to either dysfunctional compensatory strategies or detrimental crosstalk from "default-mode" regions, contributing to the observed impairment.

  2. Working Memory in the Prefrontal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funahashi, Shintaro

    2017-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex participates in a variety of higher cognitive functions. The concept of working memory is now widely used to understand prefrontal functions. Neurophysiological studies have revealed that stimulus-selective delay-period activity is a neural correlate of the mechanism for temporarily maintaining information in working memory processes. The central executive, which is the master component of Baddeley’s working memory model and is thought to be a function of the prefrontal cortex, controls the performance of other components by allocating a limited capacity of memory resource to each component based on its demand. Recent neurophysiological studies have attempted to reveal how prefrontal neurons achieve the functions of the central executive. For example, the neural mechanisms of memory control have been examined using the interference effect in a dual-task paradigm. It has been shown that this interference effect is caused by the competitive and overloaded recruitment of overlapping neural populations in the prefrontal cortex by two concurrent tasks and that the information-processing capacity of a single neuron is limited to a fixed level, can be flexibly allocated or reallocated between two concurrent tasks based on their needs, and enhances behavioral performance when its allocation to one task is increased. Further, a metamemory task requiring spatial information has been used to understand the neural mechanism for monitoring its own operations, and it has been shown that monitoring the quality of spatial information represented by prefrontal activity is an important factor in the subject's choice and that the strength of spatially selective delay-period activity reflects confidence in decision-making. Although further studies are needed to elucidate how the prefrontal cortex controls memory resource and supervises other systems, some important mechanisms related to the central executive have been identified. PMID:28448453

  3. Human short-term spatial memory: precision predicts capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banta Lavenex, Pamela; Boujon, Valérie; Ndarugendamwo, Angélique; Lavenex, Pierre

    2015-03-01

    Here, we aimed to determine the capacity of human short-term memory for allocentric spatial information in a real-world setting. Young adults were tested on their ability to learn, on a trial-unique basis, and remember over a 1-min interval the location(s) of 1, 3, 5, or 7 illuminating pads, among 23 pads distributed in a 4m×4m arena surrounded by curtains on three sides. Participants had to walk to and touch the pads with their foot to illuminate the goal locations. In contrast to the predictions from classical slot models of working memory capacity limited to a fixed number of items, i.e., Miller's magical number 7 or Cowan's magical number 4, we found that the number of visited locations to find the goals was consistently about 1.6 times the number of goals, whereas the number of correct choices before erring and the number of errorless trials varied with memory load even when memory load was below the hypothetical memory capacity. In contrast to resource models of visual working memory, we found no evidence that memory resources were evenly distributed among unlimited numbers of items to be remembered. Instead, we found that memory for even one individual location was imprecise, and that memory performance for one location could be used to predict memory performance for multiple locations. Our findings are consistent with a theoretical model suggesting that the precision of the memory for individual locations might determine the capacity of human short-term memory for spatial information. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Prefrontal cortex and mediodorsal thalamus reduced connectivity is associated with spatial working memory impairment in rats with inflammatory pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso-Cruz, Helder; Sousa, Mafalda; Vieira, Joana B; Lima, Deolinda; Galhardo, Vasco

    2013-11-01

    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the mediodorsal thalamus (MD) form interconnected neural circuits that are important for spatial cognition and memory, but it is not known whether the functional connectivity between these areas is affected by the onset of an animal model of inflammatory pain. To address this issue, we implanted 2 multichannel arrays of electrodes in the mPFC and MD of adult rats and recorded local field potential activity during a food-reinforced spatial working memory task. Recordings were performed for 3weeks, before and after the establishment of the pain model. Our results show that inflammatory pain caused an impairment of spatial working memory performance that is associated with changes in the activity of the mPFC-MD circuit; an analysis of partial directed coherence between the areas revealed a global decrease in the connectivity of the circuit. This decrease was observed over a wide frequency range in both the frontothalamic and thalamofrontal directions of the circuit, but was more evident from MD to mPFC. In addition, spectral analysis revealed significant oscillations of power across frequency bands, namely with a strong theta component that oscillated after the onset of the painful condition. Finally, our data revealed that chronic pain induces an increase in theta/gamma phase coherence and a higher level of mPFC-MD coherence, which is partially conserved across frequency bands. The present results demonstrate that functional disturbances in mPFC-MD connectivity are a relevant cause of deficits in pain-related working memory. Copyright © 2013 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Eye and hand movements during reconstruction of spatial memory

    OpenAIRE

    Burke, MR; Allen, RJ; Gonzalez, C

    2012-01-01

    © 2012 a Pion publication Recent behavioural and biological evidence indicates common mechanisms serving working memory and attention (e.g., Awh et al, 2006 Neuroscience 139 201-208). This study explored the role of spatial attention and visual search in an adapted Corsi spatial memory task. Eye movements and touch responses were recorded from participants who recalled locations (signalled by colour or shape change) from an array presented either simultaneously or sequentially. The time de...

  6. Eye and Hand Movements during Reconstruction of Spatial Memory

    OpenAIRE

    Melanie Rose Burke; Richard Allen; Matilda Webster; Claudia Gonzalez

    2012-01-01

    Recent behavioural and biological evidence indicates common mechanisms serving working memory and attention (eg, Awh et al 2006, Trends in Cognitive Sciences 10, 124–130). This study explored the role of spatial attention and visual search in an adapted Corsi spatial memory task. Eye movements and touch responses were recorded from participants who recalled locations (signalled by colour or shape change) from an array presented either simultaneously or sequentially. The time delay between tar...

  7. Multimodal MRI reveals structural connectivity differences in 22q11 deletion syndrome related to impaired spatial working memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    O'Hanlon, Erik; Howley, Sarah; Prasad, Sarah; McGrath, Jane; Leemans, Alexander; McDonald, Colm; Garavan, Hugh; Murphy, Kieran C

    2016-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: Impaired spatial working memory is a core cognitive deficit observed in people with 22q11 Deletion syndrome (22q11DS) and has been suggested as a candidate endophenotype for schizophrenia. However, to date, the neuroanatomical mechanisms describing its structural and functional

  8. Analysis of a spatial orientation memory in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuser, Kirsa; Triphan, Tilman; Mronz, Markus; Poeck, Burkhard; Strauss, Roland

    2008-06-26

    Flexible goal-driven orientation requires that the position of a target be stored, especially in case the target moves out of sight. The capability to retain, recall and integrate such positional information into guiding behaviour has been summarized under the term spatial working memory. This kind of memory contains specific details of the presence that are not necessarily part of a long-term memory. Neurophysiological studies in primates indicate that sustained activity of neurons encodes the sensory information even though the object is no longer present. Furthermore they suggest that dopamine transmits the respective input to the prefrontal cortex, and simultaneous suppression by GABA spatially restricts this neuronal activity. Here we show that Drosophila melanogaster possesses a similar spatial memory during locomotion. Using a new detour setup, we show that flies can remember the position of an object for several seconds after it has been removed from their environment. In this setup, flies are temporarily lured away from the direction towards their hidden target, yet they are thereafter able to aim for their former target. Furthermore, we find that the GABAergic (stainable with antibodies against GABA) ring neurons of the ellipsoid body in the central brain are necessary and their plasticity is sufficient for a functional spatial orientation memory in flies. We also find that the protein kinase S6KII (ignorant) is required in a distinct subset of ring neurons to display this memory. Conditional expression of S6KII in these neurons only in adults can restore the loss of the orientation memory of the ignorant mutant. The S6KII signalling pathway therefore seems to be acutely required in the ring neurons for spatial orientation memory in flies.

  9. The (Spatial) Memory Game: Testing the Relationship Between Spatial Language, Object Knowledge, and Spatial Cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gudde, Harmen B; Griffiths, Debra; Coventry, Kenny R

    2018-02-19

    The memory game paradigm is a behavioral procedure to explore the relationship between language, spatial memory, and object knowledge. Using two different versions of the paradigm, spatial language use and memory for object location are tested under different, experimentally manipulated conditions. This allows us to tease apart proposed models explaining the influence of object knowledge on spatial language (e.g., spatial demonstratives), and spatial memory, as well as understanding the parameters that affect demonstrative choice and spatial memory more broadly. Key to the development of the method was the need to collect data on language use (e.g., spatial demonstratives: "this/that") and spatial memory data under strictly controlled conditions, while retaining a degree of ecological validity. The language version (section 3.1) of the memory game tests how conditions affect language use. Participants refer verbally to objects placed at different locations (e.g., using spatial demonstratives: "this/that red circle"). Different parameters can be experimentally manipulated: the distance from the participant, the position of a conspecific, and for example whether the participant owns, knows, or sees the object while referring to it. The same parameters can be manipulated in the memory version of the memory game (section 3.2). This version tests the effects of the different conditions on object-location memory. Following object placement, participants get 10 seconds to memorize the object's location. After the object and location cues are removed, participants verbally direct the experimenter to move a stick to indicate where the object was. The difference between the memorized and the actual location shows the direction and strength of the memory error, allowing comparisons between the influences of the respective parameters.

  10. Binding across space and time in visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karlsen, Paul Johan; Allen, Richard J; Baddeley, Alan D; Hitch, Graham J

    2010-04-01

    Recent studies of visual short-term memory have suggested that the binding of features such as color and shape into remembered objects is relatively automatic. A series of seven experiments broadened this investigation by comparing the immediate retention of colored shapes with performance when color and shape were separated either spatially or temporally, with participants required actively to form the bound object. Attentional load was manipulated with a demanding concurrent task, and retention in working memory was then tested using a single recognition probe. Both spatial and temporal separation of features tended to impair performance, as did the concurrent task. There was, however, no evidence for greater attentional disruption of performance as a result of either spatial or temporal separation of features. Implications for the process of binding in visual working memory are discussed, and an interpretation is offered in terms of the episodic buffer component of working memory, which is assumed to be a passive store capable of holding bound objects, but not of performing the binding.

  11. Hemispatial neglect and serial order in verbal working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antoine, Sophie; Ranzini, Mariagrazia; van Dijck, Jean-Philippe; Slama, Hichem; Bonato, Mario; Tousch, Ann; Dewulf, Myrtille; Bier, Jean-Christophe; Gevers, Wim

    2018-01-09

    Working memory refers to our ability to actively maintain and process a limited amount of information during a brief period of time. Often, not only the information itself but also its serial order is crucial for good task performance. It was recently proposed that serial order is grounded in spatial cognition. Here, we compared performance of a group of right hemisphere-damaged patients with hemispatial neglect to healthy controls in verbal working memory tasks. Participants memorized sequences of consonants at span level and had to judge whether a target consonant belonged to the memorized sequence (item task) or whether a pair of consonants were presented in the same order as in the memorized sequence (order task). In line with this idea that serial order is grounded in spatial cognition, we found that neglect patients made significantly more errors in the order task than in the item task compared to healthy controls. Furthermore, this deficit seemed functionally related to neglect severity and was more frequently observed following right posterior brain damage. Interestingly, this specific impairment for serial order in verbal working memory was not lateralized. We advance the hypotheses of a potential contribution to the deficit of serial order in neglect patients of either or both (1) reduced spatial working memory capacity that enables to keep track of the spatial codes that provide memorized items with a positional context, (2) a spatial compression of these codes in the intact representational space. © 2018 The British Psychological Society.

  12. Eye and Hand Movements during Reconstruction of Spatial Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie Rose Burke

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Recent behavioural and biological evidence indicates common mechanisms serving working memory and attention (eg, Awh et al 2006, Trends in Cognitive Sciences 10, 124–130. This study explored the role of spatial attention and visual search in an adapted Corsi spatial memory task. Eye movements and touch responses were recorded from participants who recalled locations (signalled by colour or shape change from an array presented either simultaneously or sequentially. The time delay between target presentation and recall (0, 5, or 10s and the number of locations to be remembered (2–5 were also manipulated. Analysis of the response phase revealed subjects were less accurate (touch data and fixated longer (eye data when responding to sequentially presented targets. Fixation duration was also influenced by whether spatial location was initially signalled by colour or shape change. We conclude that attention and temporal delays during retention of a target play a minor role in motor behaviour during a corsi spatial memory task. In contrast, the type of memory required (ie, location and/or memory and number of items plays a key role on subject performance and behaviour.

  13. Reward-dependent modulation of working memory in lateral prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennerley, Steven W; Wallis, Jonathan D

    2009-03-11

    Although research implicates lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) in executive control and goal-directed behavior, it remains unclear how goals influence executive processes. One possibility is that goal-relevant information, such as expected rewards, could modulate the representation of information relating to executive control, thereby ensuring the efficient allocation of cognitive resources. To investigate this, we examined how reward modulated spatial working memory. Past studies investigating spatial working memory have focused on dorsolateral PFC, but this area only weakly connects with areas processing reward. Ventrolateral PFC has better connections in this regard. Thus, we contrasted the functional properties of single neurons in ventrolateral and dorsolateral PFC as two subjects performed a task that required them to hold spatial information in working memory under different expectancies of reward for correct performance. We balanced the order of presentation of spatial and reward information so we could assess the neuronal encoding of the two pieces of information independently and conjointly. Neurons in ventrolateral PFC encoded both spatial and reward information earlier, stronger and in a more sustained manner than neurons in dorsolateral PFC. Within ventrolateral PFC, spatial selectivity was more prevalent on the inferior convexity than within the principal sulcus. Finally, when reward increased spatial selectivity, behavioral performance improved, whereas when reward decreased spatial selectivity, behavioral performance deteriorated. These results suggest that ventrolateral PFC may be a locus whereby information about expected rewards can modulate information in working memory. The pattern of results is consistent with a role for ventrolateral PFC in attentional control.

  14. Context Dependent Effects of Ventral Tegmental Area Inactivation on Spatial Working Memory

    OpenAIRE

    Martig, Adria K.; Jones, Graham L.; Smith, Kelsey E.; Mizumori, Sheri J.Y.

    2009-01-01

    Rats were tested on a hippocampus dependent win-shift working memory task in familiar or novel environments after receiving bilateral ventral tegmental area infusions of baclofen. Baclofen infusion disrupted working memory performance in both familiar and novel environments. In addition, baclofen infusion selectively disrupted short-term working memory in the novel environment. This experiment confirms selective ventral tegmental area support of accurate performance during a context dependent...

  15. Influence of non-spatial working memory demands on reach-grasp responses to loss of balance: Effects of age and fall risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westlake, Kelly P; Johnson, Brian P; Creath, Robert A; Neff, Rachel M; Rogers, Mark W

    2016-03-01

    Reactive balance recovery strategies following an unexpected loss of balance are crucial to the prevention of falls, head trauma and other major injuries in older adults. While a longstanding focus has been on understanding lower limb recovery responses, the upper limbs also play a critical role. However, when a fall occurs, little is known about the role of memory and attention shifting on the reach to grasp recovery strategy and what factors determine the speed and precision of this response beyond simple reaction time. The objective of this study was to compare response time and accuracy of a stabilizing grasp following a balance perturbation in older adult fallers compared to non-fallers and younger adults while loading the processing demands of non-spatial, verbal working memory. Working memory was engaged with a progressively challenging verb-generation task that was interrupted by an unexpected sideways platform perturbation and a pre-instructed reach to grasp response. Results revealed that the older adults, particularly those at high fall risk, demonstrated significantly increased movement time to handrail contact and grasping errors during conditions in which non-spatial memory was actively engaged. These findings provide preliminary evidence of the cognitive deficit in attention shifting away from an ongoing working memory task that underlies delayed and inaccurate protective reach to grasp responses in older adult fallers. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Action video games improve reading abilities and visual-to-auditory attentional shifting in English-speaking children with dyslexia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franceschini, Sandro; Trevisan, Piergiorgio; Ronconi, Luca; Bertoni, Sara; Colmar, Susan; Double, Kit; Facoetti, Andrea; Gori, Simone

    2017-07-19

    Dyslexia is characterized by difficulties in learning to read and there is some evidence that action video games (AVG), without any direct phonological or orthographic stimulation, improve reading efficiency in Italian children with dyslexia. However, the cognitive mechanism underlying this improvement and the extent to which the benefits of AVG training would generalize to deep English orthography, remain two critical questions. During reading acquisition, children have to integrate written letters with speech sounds, rapidly shifting their attention from visual to auditory modality. In our study, we tested reading skills and phonological working memory, visuo-spatial attention, auditory, visual and audio-visual stimuli localization, and cross-sensory attentional shifting in two matched groups of English-speaking children with dyslexia before and after they played AVG or non-action video games. The speed of words recognition and phonological decoding increased after playing AVG, but not non-action video games. Furthermore, focused visuo-spatial attention and visual-to-auditory attentional shifting also improved only after AVG training. This unconventional reading remediation program also increased phonological short-term memory and phoneme blending skills. Our report shows that an enhancement of visuo-spatial attention and phonological working memory, and an acceleration of visual-to-auditory attentional shifting can directly translate into better reading in English-speaking children with dyslexia.

  17. The Neural Correlates of Spatial and Object Working Memory in Elderly and Parkinson's Disease Subjects

    OpenAIRE

    Caminiti, Silvia P.; Siri, Chiara; Guidi, Lucia; Antonini, Angelo; Perani, Daniela

    2015-01-01

    This fMRI study deals with the neural correlates of spatial and objects working memory (SWM and OWM) in elderly subjects (ESs) and idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (IPD). Normal aging and IPD can be associated with a WM decline. In IPD population, some studies reported similar SWM and OWM deficits; others reported a greater SWM than OWM impairment. In the present fMRI research, we investigated whether compensated IPD patients and elderly subjects with comparable performance during the execution...

  18. The contribution of acetylcholine and dopamine to subprocesses of visual working memory--what patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment and Parkinson׳s disease can tell us.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blatt, Joana; Vellage, Anne; Baier, Bernhard; Müller, Notger G

    2014-08-01

    Attentional selection, i.e. filtering out of irrelevant sensory input and information storage are two crucial components of working memory (WM). It has been proposed that the two processes are mediated by different neurotransmitters, namely acetylcholine for attentional selection and dopamine for memory storage. However, this hypothesis has been challenged by others, who for example linked a lack in dopamine levels in the brain to filtering deficits. Here we tested the above mentioned hypothesis in two patient cohorts which either served as a proxy for a cholinergic or a dopaminergic deficit. The first group comprised 18 patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), the second 22 patients with Parkinson׳s disease (PD). The two groups did not differ regarding their overall cognitive abilities. Both patient groups as well as a control group without neurological deficits (n=25) performed a visuo-spatial working memory task in which both the necessity to filter out irrelevant information and memory load, i.e. the number of items to be held in memory, were manipulated. In accordance with the primary hypothesis, aMCI patients displayed problems with filtering, i.e., were especially impaired when the task required ignoring distracting stimuli. PD patients on the other hand showed difficulties when memory load was increased suggesting that they mainly suffered from a storage deficit. In sum, this study underlines how the investigation of neurologic patients with a presumed neurotransmitter deficit can aid to clarify these neurotransmitters׳ contribution to specific cognitive functions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Dentate network activity is necessary for spatial working memory by supporting CA3 sharp-wave ripple generation and prospective firing of CA3 neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasaki, Takuya; Piatti, Verónica C; Hwaun, Ernie; Ahmadi, Siavash; Lisman, John E; Leutgeb, Stefan; Leutgeb, Jill K

    2018-02-01

    Complex spatial working memory tasks have been shown to require both hippocampal sharp-wave ripple (SWR) activity and dentate gyrus (DG) neuronal activity. We therefore asked whether DG inputs to CA3 contribute to spatial working memory by promoting SWR generation. Recordings from DG and CA3 while rats performed a dentate-dependent working memory task on an eight-arm radial maze revealed that the activity of dentate neurons and the incidence rate of SWRs both increased during reward consumption. We then found reduced reward-related CA3 SWR generation without direct input from dentate granule neurons. Furthermore, CA3 cells with place fields in not-yet-visited arms preferentially fired during SWRs at reward locations, and these prospective CA3 firing patterns were more pronounced for correct trials and were dentate-dependent. These results indicate that coordination of CA3 neuronal activity patterns by DG is necessary for the generation of neuronal firing patterns that support goal-directed behavior and memory.

  20. Sleep benefits consolidation of visuo-motor adaptation learning in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mantua, Janna; Baran, Bengi; Spencer, Rebecca M C

    2016-02-01

    Sleep is beneficial for performance across a range of memory tasks in young adults, but whether memories are similarly consolidated in older adults is less clear. Performance benefits have been observed following sleep in older adults for declarative learning tasks, but this benefit may be reduced for non-declarative, motor skill learning tasks. To date, studies of sleep-dependent consolidation of motor learning in older adults are limited to motor sequence tasks. To examine whether reduced sleep-dependent consolidation in older adults is generalizable to other forms of motor skill learning, we examined performance changes over intervals of sleep and wake in young (n = 62) and older adults (n = 61) using a mirror-tracing task, which assesses visuo-motor adaptation learning. Participants learned the task either in the morning or in evening, and performance was assessed following a 12-h interval containing overnight sleep or daytime wake. Contrary to our prediction, both young adults and older adults exhibited sleep-dependent gains in visuo-motor adaptation. There was a correlation between performance improvement over sleep and percent of the night in non-REM stage 2 sleep. These results indicate that motor skill consolidation remains intact with increasing age although this relationship may be limited to specific forms of motor skill learning.

  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. Working memory load improves early stages of independent visual processing

    OpenAIRE

    Cocchi, Luca; Toepel, Ulrike; De Lucia, Marzia; Martuzzi, Roberto; Wood, Stephen J.; Carter, Olivia; Murray, Micah M.

    2010-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that working memory and perceptual processes are dynamically interrelated due to modulating activity in overlapping brain networks. However, the direct influence of working memory on the spatio-temporal brain dynamics of behaviorally relevant intervening information remains unclear. To investigate this issue, subjects performed a visual proximity grid perception task under three different visual-spatial working memory (VSWM) load conditions. VSWM load was manipula...

  3. A dedicated system for topographical working memory: evidence from domain-specific interference tests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piccardi, L; Nori, R; Boccia, M; Barbetti, S; Verde, P; Guariglia, C; Ferlazzo, F

    2015-08-01

    In the present study, we used single- and dual-task conditions to investigate the nature of topographical working memory to better understand what type of task can hamper performance during navigation. During dual-task conditions, we considered four different sources of interference: motor (M), spatial motor (SM), verbal (i.e. articulatory suppression AS) and spatial environmental (SE). In order to assess the nature of topographical working memory, we used the Walking Corsi Test, asking the participants to perform two tasks simultaneously (M, SM, AS and SE). Our results showed that only spatial-environmental interference hampers the execution of a topographical working memory task, suggesting a task-domain-specific effect. We also found general gender differences in the topographical working memory capabilities: men were more proficient than women, regardless of the type of interferences. However, like men, women performed worse when a spatial-environmental interference was present.

  4. The effects of centrally administered fluorocitrate via inhibiting glial cells on working memory in rats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    Although prefrontal and hippocampal neurons are critical for spatial working memory,the function of glial cells in spatial working memory remains uncertain.In this study we investigated the function of glial cells in rats’ working memory.The glial cells of rat brain were inhibited by intracerebroventricular(icv) injection of fluorocitrate(FC).The effects of FC on the glial cells were examined by using electroencephalogram(EEG) recordings and delayed spatial alternation tasks.After icv injection of 10 μL of 0.5 nmol/L or 5 nmol/L FC,the EEG power spectrum recorded from the hippocampus increased,but the power spectrum for the prefrontal cortex did not change,and working memory was unaffected.Following an icv injection of 10 μL of 20 nmol/L FC,the EEG power spectra in both the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus increased,and working memory improved.The icv injection of 10 μL of 50 nmol/L FC,the EEG power spectra in both the prefrontal cortex and in the hippocampus decreased,and working memory was impaired.These results suggest that spatial working memory is affected by centrally administered FC,but only if there are changes in the EEG power spectrum in the prefrontal cortex.Presumably,the prefrontal glial cells relate to the working memory.

  5. Different types of working memory binding in epilepsy patients with unilateral anterior temporal lobectomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Geldorp, Bonnie; Bouman, Zita; Hendriks, Marc P H; Kessels, Roy P C

    2014-03-01

    The medial temporal lobe is an important structure for long-term memory formation, but its role in working memory is less clear. Recent studies have shown hippocampal involvement during working memory tasks requiring binding of information. It is yet unclear whether this is limited to tasks containing spatial features. The present study contrasted three binding conditions and one single-item condition in patients with unilateral anterior temporal lobectomy. A group of 43 patients with temporal lobectomy (23 left; 20 right) and 20 matched controls were examined with a working memory task assessing spatial relational binding (object-location), non-spatial relational binding (object-object), conjunctive binding (object-colour) and working memory for single items. We varied the delay period (3 or 6s), as there is evidence showing that delay length may modulate working memory performance. The results indicate that performance was worse for patients than for controls in both relational binding conditions, whereas patients were unimpaired in conjunctive binding. Single-item memory was found to be marginally impaired, due to a deficit on long-delay trials only. In conclusion, working memory binding deficits are found in patients with unilateral anterior temporal lobectomy. The role of the medial temporal lobe in working memory is not limited to tasks containing spatial features. Rather, it seems to be involved in relational binding, but not in conjunctive binding. The medial temporal lobe gets involved when working memory capacity does not suffice, for example when relations have to be maintained or when the delay period is long. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Phenolic acid intake, delivered via moderate champagne wine consumption, improves spatial working memory via the modulation of hippocampal and cortical protein expression/activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corona, Giulia; Vauzour, David; Hercelin, Justine; Williams, Claire M; Spencer, Jeremy P E

    2013-11-10

    While much data exist for the effects of flavonoid-rich foods on spatial memory in rodents, there are no such data for foods/beverages predominantly containing hydroxycinnamates and phenolic acids. To address this, we investigated the effects of moderate Champagne wine intake, which is rich in these components, on spatial memory and related mechanisms relative to the alcohol- and energy-matched controls. In contrast to the isocaloric and alcohol-matched controls, supplementation with Champagne wine (1.78 ml/kg BW, alcohol 12.5% vol.) for 6 weeks led to an improvement in spatial working memory in aged rodents. Targeted protein arrays indicated that these behavioral effects were paralleled by the differential expression of a number of hippocampal and cortical proteins (relative to the isocaloric control group), including those involved in signal transduction, neuroplasticity, apoptosis, and cell cycle regulation. Western immunoblotting confirmed the differential modulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, cAMP response-element-binding protein (CREB), p38, dystrophin, 2',3'-cyclic-nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), and Bcl-xL in response to Champagne supplementation compared to the control drink, and the modulation of mTOR, Bcl-xL, and CREB in response to alcohol supplementation. Our data suggest that smaller phenolics such as gallic acid, protocatechuic acid, tyrosol, caftaric acid, and caffeic acid, in addition to flavonoids, are capable of exerting improvements in spatial memory via the modulation in hippocampal signaling and protein expression. Changes in spatial working memory induced by the Champagne supplementation are linked to the effects of absorbed phenolics on cytoskeletal proteins, neurotrophin expression, and the effects of alcohol on the regulation of apoptotic events in the hippocampus and cortex.

  7. Differentiating Spatial Memory from Spatial Transformations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Street, Whitney N.; Wang, Ranxiao Frances

    2014-01-01

    The perspective-taking task is one of the most common paradigms used to study the nature of spatial memory, and better performance for certain orientations is generally interpreted as evidence of spatial representations using these reference directions. However, performance advantages can also result from the relative ease in certain…

  8. Release from proactive interference in rat spatial working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, William A; MacDonald, Hayden; Brown, Lyn; Macpherson, Krista

    2017-09-01

    A three-phase procedure was used to produce proactive interference (PI) in one trial on an eight-arm radial maze. Rats were forced to enter four arms for reward on an initial interference phase, to then enter the four remaining arms on a target phase, and to then choose among all eight arms on a retention test, with only the arms not visited in the target phase containing reward. Control trials involved only the target phase and the retention test. Lower accuracy was found on PI trials than on control trials, but performance on PI trials significantly exceeded chance, showing some retention of target memories. Changes in temporal and reward variables between the interference, target, and retention test phases showed release from PI, but changes in context and pattern of arm entry did not. It is suggested that the release from PI paradigm can be used to understand spatial memory encoding in rats and other species.

  9. Individual differences in children's working memory and writing skill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swanson, H L; Berninger, V W

    1996-11-01

    The purpose of this research is to address (a) whether individual differences in working memory (WM) and writing are related to a general or process-specific system, (b) whether WM tasks operate independently of phonological short-term memory (STM) on measures of writing and reading, and (c) whether working memory predicts variance in writing beyond that predicted by reading alone. The present study correlated several WM and phonological STM measures with writing and reading measures. The study showed among the memory measures that a four-factor model reflecting phonological STM, verbal WM span, executive processing, and visual-spatial WM span best fit the multivariate data set. Working memory was correlated significantly with a number of writing measures, particularly those related to text generation. WM measures contributed unique variance to writing that was independent of reading skill, and STM measures best predicted transcription processes and reading recognition, whereas WM measures best predicted text generation and reading comprehension. Both verbal and visual-spatial working memory measures predicted reading comprehension, whereas only WM measures that reflect executive processing significantly predicted writing. In general, the results suggest that individual differences in children's writing reflect a specific capacity system, whereas reading comprehension draws upon a multiple capacity system.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Relationship between spatial working memory performance and diet specialization in two sympatric nectar bats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mickaël Henry

    Full Text Available Behavioural ecologists increasingly recognise spatial memory as one the most influential cognitive traits involved in evolutionary processes. In particular, spatial working memory (SWM, i.e. the ability of animals to store temporarily useful information for current foraging tasks, determines the foraging efficiency of individuals. As a consequence, SWM also has the potential to influence competitive abilities and to affect patterns of sympatric occurrence among closely related species. The present study aims at comparing the efficiency of SWM between generalist (Glossophaga soricina and specialist (Leptonycteris yerbabuenae nectarivorous bats at flowering patches. The two species differ in diet--the generalist diet including seasonally fruits and insects with nectar and pollen while the specialist diet is dominated by nectar and pollen yearlong--and in some morphological traits--the specialist being heavier and with proportionally longer rostrum than the generalist. These bats are found sympatrically within part of their range in the Neotropics. We habituated captive individuals to feed on artificial flower patches and we used infrared video recordings to monitor their ability to remember and avoid the spatial location of flowers they emptied in previous visits in the course of 15-min foraging sequences. Experiments revealed that both species rely on SWM as their foraging success attained significantly greater values than random expectations. However, the nectar specialist L. yerbabuenae was significantly more efficient at extracting nectar (+28% in foraging success, and sustained longer foraging bouts (+27% in length of efficient foraging sequences than the generalist G. soricina. These contrasting SWM performances are discussed in relation to diet specialization and other life history traits.

  14. A foundation for savantism? Visuo-spatial synaesthetes present with cognitive benefits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simner, Julia; Mayo, Neil; Spiller, Mary-Jane

    2009-01-01

    Individuals with 'time-space' synaesthesia have conscious awareness of mappings between time and space (e.g., they may see months arranged in an ellipse, or years as columns or spirals). These mappings exist in the 3D space around the body or in a virtual space within the mind's eye. Our study shows that these extra-ordinary mappings derive from, or give rise to, superior abilities in the two domains linked by this cross-modal phenomenon (i.e., abilities relating to time, and visualised space). We tested ten time-space synaesthetes with a battery of temporal and visual/spatial tests. Our temporal battery (the Edinburgh [Public and Autobiographical] Events Battery - EEB) assessed both autobiographical and non-autobiographical memory for events. Our visual/spatial tests assessed the ability to manipulate real or imagined objects in 3D space (the Three Dimensional Constructional Praxis test; Visual Object and Space Perception Battery, University of Southern California Mental Rotation Test) as well as assessing visual memory recall (Visual Patterns Test - VPT). Synaesthetes' performance was superior to the control population in every assessment, but was not superior in tasks that do not draw upon abilities related to their mental calendars. Our paper discusses the implications of this temporal-spatial advantage as it relates to normal processing, synaesthetic processing, and to the savant-like condition of hyperthymestic syndrome (Parker et al., 2006).

  15. Angiotensin IV and LVV-haemorphin 7 enhance spatial working memory in rats: effects on hippocampal glucose levels and blood flow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Bundel, Dimitri; Smolders, Ilse; Yang, Rui; Albiston, Anthony L; Michotte, Yvette; Chai, Siew Yeen

    2009-07-01

    The IRAP ligands Angiotensin IV (Ang IV) and LVV-haemorphin 7 (LVV-H7) enhance performance in a range of memory paradigms in normal rats and ameliorate memory deficits in rat models for amnesia. The mechanism by which these peptides facilitate memory remains to be elucidated. In recent in vitro experiments, we demonstrated that Ang IV and LVV-H7 potentiate activity-evoked glucose uptake into hippocampal neurons. This raises the possibility that IRAP ligands may facilitate memory in hippocampus-dependent tasks through enhancement of hippocampal glucose uptake. Acute intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) administration of 1nmol Ang IV or 0.1nmol LVV-H7 in 3 months-old Sprague-Dawley rats enhanced spatial working memory in the plus maze spontaneous alternation task. Extracellular hippocampal glucose levels were monitored before, during and after behavioral testing using in vivo microdialysis. Extracellular hippocampal glucose levels decreased significantly to about 70% of baseline when the animals explored the plus maze, but remained constant when the animals were placed into a novel control chamber. Ang IV and LVV-H7 did not significantly alter hippocampal glucose levels compared to control animals in the plus maze or control chamber. Both peptides had no effect on hippocampal blood flow as determined by laser Doppler flowmetry, excluding that either peptide increased the hippocampal supply of glucose. We demonstrated for the first time that Ang IV and LVV-H7 enhance spatial working memory in the plus maze spontaneous alternation task but no in vivo evidence was found for enhanced hippocampal glucose uptake or blood flow.

  16. Working memory and musical competence of musicians and non-musicians

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Mads; Wallentin, Mikkel; Vuust, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Musical ability has been found to be associated with an enhancement of verbal working memory. In this study, we investigated whether this effect would generalize to visual-spatial working memory as would be expected if the effect were driven by general intelligence. We administered the WAIS...

  17. A Core Knowledge Architecture of Visual Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Justin N.

    2011-01-01

    Visual working memory (VWM) is widely thought to contain specialized buffers for retaining spatial and object information: a "spatial-object architecture." However, studies of adults, infants, and nonhuman animals show that visual cognition builds on core knowledge systems that retain more specialized representations: (1) spatiotemporal…

  18. Verbal short-term memory in Down syndrome: a problem of memory, audition, or speech?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarrold, Christopher; Baddeley, Alan D; Phillips, Caroline E

    2002-06-01

    The current study explored three possible explanations of poor verbal short-term memory performance among individuals with Down syndrome in an attempt to determine whether the condition is associated with a fundamental verbal short-term memory deficit. The short-term memory performance of a group of 19 children and young adults with Down syndrome was contrasted with that of two control groups matched for level of receptive vocabulary. The specificity of a deficit was assessed by comparing memory for verbal and visuo-spatial information. The effect of auditory problems on performance was examined by contrasting memory for auditorily presented material with that for material presented both auditorily and visually. The influence of speech-motor difficulties was investigated by employing both a traditional recall procedure and a serial recognition procedure that reduced spoken response demands. Results confirmed that individuals with Down syndrome do show impaired verbal short-term memory performance for their level of receptive vocabulary. The findings also indicated that this deficit is specific to memory for verbal information and is not primarily caused by auditory or speech-production difficulties.

  19. Teaching Classical Mechanics Concepts Using Visuo-Haptic Simulators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neri, Luis; Noguez, Julieta; Robledo-Rella, Victor; Escobar-Castillejos, David; Gonzalez-Nucamendi, Andres

    2018-01-01

    In this work, the design and implementation of several physics scenarios using haptic devices are presented and discussed. Four visuo-haptic applications were developed for an undergraduate engineering physics course. Experiments with experimental and control groups were designed and implemented. Activities and exercises related to classical…

  20. Spatial Impairment and Memory in Genetic Disorders: Insights from Mouse Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sang Ah Lee

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Research across the cognitive and brain sciences has begun to elucidate some of the processes that guide navigation and spatial memory. Boundary geometry and featural landmarks are two distinct classes of environmental cues that have dissociable neural correlates in spatial representation and follow different patterns of learning. Consequently, spatial navigation depends both on the type of cue available and on the type of learning provided. We investigated this interaction between spatial representation and memory by administering two different tasks (working memory, reference memory using two different environmental cues (rectangular geometry, striped landmark in mouse models of human genetic disorders: Prader-Willi syndrome (PWScrm+/p− mice, n = 12 and Beta-catenin mutation (Thr653Lys-substituted mice, n = 12. This exploratory study provides suggestive evidence that these models exhibit different abilities and impairments in navigating by boundary geometry and featural landmarks, depending on the type of memory task administered. We discuss these data in light of the specific deficits in cognitive and brain function in these human syndromes and their animal model counterparts.

  1. The floor effect: impoverished spatial memory for elevator buttons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vendetti, Michael; Castel, Alan D; Holyoak, Keith J

    2013-05-01

    People typically remember objects to which they have frequently been exposed, suggesting that memory is a by-product of perception. However, prior research has shown that people have exceptionally poor memory for the features of some objects (e.g., coins) to which they have been exposed over the course of many years. Here, we examined how people remember the spatial layout of the buttons on a frequently used elevator panel, to determine whether physical interaction (rather than simple exposure) would ensure the incidental encoding of spatial information. Participants who worked in an eight-story office building displayed very poor recall for the elevator panel but above-chance performance on a recognition test. Performance was related to how often and how recently the person had used the elevator. In contrast to their poor memory for the spatial layout of the elevator buttons, most people readily recalled small distinctive graffiti on the elevator walls. In a more implicit test, the majority were able to locate their office floor and the eighth floor button when asked to point toward these buttons when in the actual elevator, with the button labels covered. However, identification was very poor for other floors (including the first floor), suggesting that even frequent interaction with information does not always lead to accurate spatial memory. These findings have implications for understanding the complex relationships among attention, expertise, and memory.

  2. Deficits in verbal long-term memory and learning in children with poor phonological short-term memory skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gathercole, Susan E; Briscoe, Josie; Thorn, Annabel; Tiffany, Claire

    2008-03-01

    Possible links between phonological short-term memory and both longer term memory and learning in 8-year-old children were investigated in this study. Performance on a range of tests of long-term memory and learning was compared for a group of 16 children with poor phonological short-term memory skills and a comparison group of children of the same age with matched nonverbal reasoning abilities but memory scores in the average range. The low-phonological-memory group were impaired on longer term memory and learning tasks that taxed memory for arbitrary verbal material such as names and nonwords. However, the two groups performed at comparable levels on tasks requiring the retention of visuo-spatial information and of meaningful material and at carrying out prospective memory tasks in which the children were asked to carry out actions at a future point in time. The results are consistent with the view that poor short-term memory function impairs the longer-term retention and ease of learning of novel verbal material.

  3. Lack of Awareness for Spatial and Verbal Constructive Apraxia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinaldi, Maria Cristina; Piras, Federica; Pizzamiglio, Luigi

    2010-01-01

    It is still a matter of debate whether constructive apraxia (CA) should be considered a form of apraxia or, rather, the motor expression of a more pervasive impairment in visuo-spatial processing. Constructive disorders were linked to visuo-spatial disorders and to deficits in appreciating spatial relations among component sub-parts or problems in…

  4. Effects of nicotine on visuo-spatial selective attention as indexed by event-related potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meinke, A; Thiel, C M; Fink, G R

    2006-08-11

    Nicotine has been shown to specifically reduce reaction times to invalidly cued targets in spatial cueing paradigms. In two experiments, we used event-related potentials to test whether the facilitative effect of nicotine upon the detection of invalidly cued targets is due to a modulation of perceptual processing, as indexed by early attention-related event-related potential components. Furthermore, we assessed whether the effect of nicotine on such unattended stimuli depends upon the use of exogenous or endogenous cues. In both experiments, the electroencephalogram was recorded while non-smokers completed discrimination tasks in Posner-type paradigms after chewing a nicotine polacrilex gum (Nicorette 2 mg) in one session and a placebo gum in another session. Nicotine reduced reaction times to invalidly cued targets when cueing was endogenous. In contrast, no differential effect of nicotine on reaction times was observed when exogenous cues were used. Electrophysiologically, we found a similar attentional modulation of the P1 and N1 components under placebo and nicotine but a differential modulation of later event-related potential components at a frontocentral site. The lack of a drug-dependent modulation of P1 and N1 in the presence of a behavioral effect suggests that the effect of nicotine in endogenous visuo-spatial cueing tasks is not due to an alteration of perceptual processes. Rather, the differential modulation of frontocentral event-related potentials suggests that nicotine acts at later stages of target processing.

  5. The influence of a working memory task on affective perception of facial expressions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seung-Lark Lim

    Full Text Available In a dual-task paradigm, participants performed a spatial location working memory task and a forced two-choice perceptual decision task (neutral vs. fearful with gradually morphed emotional faces (neutral ∼ fearful. Task-irrelevant word distractors (negative, neutral, and control were experimentally manipulated during spatial working memory encoding. We hypothesized that, if affective perception is influenced by concurrent cognitive load using a working memory task, task-irrelevant emotional distractors would bias subsequent perceptual decision-making on ambiguous facial expression. We found that when either neutral or negative emotional words were presented as task-irrelevant working-memory distractors, participants more frequently reported fearful face perception - but only at the higher emotional intensity levels of morphed faces. Also, the affective perception bias due to negative emotional distractors correlated with a decrease in working memory performance. Taken together, our findings suggest that concurrent working memory load by task-irrelevant distractors has an impact on affective perception of facial expressions.

  6. Short-term sleep deprivation impairs spatial working memory and modulates expression levels of ionotropic glutamate receptor subunits in hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Meilan; Yan, Jie; He, Chao; Yang, Li; Tan, Gang; Li, Chao; Hu, Zhian; Wang, Jiali

    2015-06-01

    Hippocampus-dependent learning memory is sensitive to sleep deprivation (SD). Although the ionotropic glutamate receptors play a vital role in synaptic plasticity and learning and memory, however, whether the expression of these receptor subunits is modulated by sleep loss remains unclear. In the present study, western blotting was performed by probing with specific antibodies against the ionotropic α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor subunits GluA1, GluA2, GluA3, and against the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptor subunits GluN1, GluN2A, GluN2B. In hippocampus, down regulation of surface GluA1 and GluN2A surface expression were observed in both SD groups. However, surface expression level of GluA2, GluA3, GluN1 and GluN2B was significantly up-regulated in 8h-SD rats when compared to the 4h-SD rats. In parallel with the complex changes in AMPA and NMDA receptor subunit expressions, we found the 8h-SD impaired rat spatial working memory in 30-s-delay T-maze task, whereas no impairment of spatial learning was observed in 4h-SD rats. These results indicate that sleep loss alters the relative expression levels of the AMPA and NMDA receptors, thus affects the synaptic strength and capacity for plasticity and partially contributes to spatial memory impairment. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  7. Spanish normative studies in young adults (NEURONORMA young adults project): norms for the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure (copy and memory) and Free and Cued Selective Reminding Test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palomo, R; Casals-Coll, M; Sánchez-Benavides, G; Quintana, M; Manero, R M; Rognoni, T; Calvo, L; Aranciva, F; Tamayo, F; Peña-Casanova, J

    2013-05-01

    The Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure (ROCF) and the Free and Cued Selective Reminding Test (FCSRT) are widely used in clinical practice. The ROCF assesses visual perception, constructional praxis, and visuo-spatial memory. The FCSRT assesses verbal learning and memory. In this study, as part of the Spanish normative studies project in young adults (NEURONORMA young adults), we present age- and education-adjusted normative data for both tests obtained by using linear regression techniques. The sample consisted of 179 healthy participants ranging in age from 18 to 49 years. We provide tables for converting raw scores to scaled scores in addition to tables with scores adjusted by socio-demographic factors. The results showed that education affects scores for some of the memory tests and the figure-copying task. Age was only found to have an effect on the performance of visuo-spatial memory tests, and the effect of sex was negligible. The normative data obtained will be extremely useful in the clinical neuropsychological evaluation of young Spanish adults. Copyright © 2011 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

  8. Common coding of auditory and visual spatial information in working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehnert, Günther; Zimmer, Hubert D

    2008-09-16

    We compared spatial short-term memory for visual and auditory stimuli in an event-related slow potentials study. Subjects encoded object locations of either four or six sequentially presented auditory or visual stimuli and maintained them during a retention period of 6 s. Slow potentials recorded during encoding were modulated by the modality of the stimuli. Stimulus related activity was stronger for auditory items at frontal and for visual items at posterior sites. At frontal electrodes, negative potentials incrementally increased with the sequential presentation of visual items, whereas a strong transient component occurred during encoding of each auditory item without the cumulative increment. During maintenance, frontal slow potentials were affected by modality and memory load according to task difficulty. In contrast, at posterior recording sites, slow potential activity was only modulated by memory load independent of modality. We interpret the frontal effects as correlates of different encoding strategies and the posterior effects as a correlate of common coding of visual and auditory object locations.

  9. Effects of testosterone dose on spatial memory among castrated adult male rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Benjamin A; Braddick, Valerie C; Batson, Christopher G; Cullen, Brendan H; Miller, L Erin; Spritzer, Mark D

    2018-03-01

    Previous research on the activational effects of testosterone on spatial memory has produced mixed results, possibly because such effects are dose-dependent. We tested a wide range of testosterone doses using two spatial memory tasks: a working-reference memory version of the radial-arm maze (RAM) and an object location memory task (OLMT). Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were castrated or sham-castrated and given daily injections of drug vehicle (Oil Sham and Oil GDX) or one of four doses of testosterone propionate (0.125, 0.250, 0.500, and 1.000 mg T) beginning seven days before the first day of behavioral tests and continuing throughout testing. For the RAM, four arms of the maze were consistently baited on each day of testing. Testosterone had a significant effect on working memory on the RAM, with the Oil Sham, 0.125 mg T, and 0.500 mg T groups performing better than the Oil GDX group. In contrast, there was no significant effect of testosterone on spatial reference memory on the RAM. For the OLMT, we tested long-term memory using a 2 h inter-trial interval between first exposure to two identical objects and re-exposure after one object had been moved. Only the 0.125 and 0.500 mg T groups showed a significant increase in exploration of the moved object during the testing trials, indicating better memory than all other groups. Testosterone replacement restored spatial memory among castrated male rats on both behavioral tasks, but there was a complex dose-response relationship; therefore, the therapeutic value of testosterone is likely sensitive to dose. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Selective Spatial Working Memory Impairment in a Group of Children with Mathematics Learning Disabilities and Poor Problem-Solving Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Passolunghi, Maria Chiara; Mammarella, Irene Cristina

    2012-01-01

    This study examines visual and spatial working memory skills in 35 third to fifth graders with both mathematics learning disabilities (MLD) and poor problem-solving skills and 35 of their peers with typical development (TD) on tasks involving both low and high attentional control. Results revealed that children with MLD, relative to TD children,…

  11. Spatial relational memory requires hippocampal adult neurogenesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Dupret

    Full Text Available The dentate gyrus of the hippocampus is one of the few regions of the mammalian brain where new neurons are generated throughout adulthood. This adult neurogenesis has been proposed as a novel mechanism that mediates spatial memory. However, data showing a causal relationship between neurogenesis and spatial memory are controversial. Here, we developed an inducible transgenic strategy allowing specific ablation of adult-born hippocampal neurons. This resulted in an impairment of spatial relational memory, which supports a capacity for flexible, inferential memory expression. In contrast, less complex forms of spatial knowledge were unaltered. These findings demonstrate that adult-born neurons are necessary for complex forms of hippocampus-mediated learning.

  12. Chimpanzees and bonobos exhibit divergent spatial memory development.

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    Rosati, Alexandra G; Hare, Brian

    2012-11-01

    Spatial cognition and memory are critical cognitive skills underlying foraging behaviors for all primates. While the emergence of these skills has been the focus of much research on human children, little is known about ontogenetic patterns shaping spatial cognition in other species. Comparative developmental studies of nonhuman apes can illuminate which aspects of human spatial development are shared with other primates, versus which aspects are unique to our lineage. Here we present three studies examining spatial memory development in our closest living relatives, chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and bonobos (P. paniscus). We first compared memory in a naturalistic foraging task where apes had to recall the location of resources hidden in a large outdoor enclosure with a variety of landmarks (Studies 1 and 2). We then compared older apes using a matched memory choice paradigm (Study 3). We found that chimpanzees exhibited more accurate spatial memory than bonobos across contexts, supporting predictions from these species' different feeding ecologies. Furthermore, chimpanzees - but not bonobos - showed developmental improvements in spatial memory, indicating that bonobos exhibit cognitive paedomorphism (delays in developmental timing) in their spatial abilities relative to chimpanzees. Together, these results indicate that the development of spatial memory may differ even between closely related species. Moreover, changes in the spatial domain can emerge during nonhuman ape ontogeny, much like some changes seen in human children. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  13. Dehydroepiandrosterone impacts working memory by shaping cortico-hippocampal structural covariance during development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Tuong-Vi; Wu, Mia; Lew, Jimin; Albaugh, Matthew D; Botteron, Kelly N; Hudziak, James J; Fonov, Vladimir S; Collins, D Louis; Campbell, Benjamin C; Booij, Linda; Herba, Catherine; Monnier, Patricia; Ducharme, Simon; McCracken, James T

    2017-12-01

    Existing studies suggest that dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) may be important for human brain development and cognition. For example, molecular studies have hinted at the critical role of DHEA in enhancing brain plasticity. Studies of human brain development also support the notion that DHEA is involved in preserving cortical plasticity. Further, some, though not all, studies show that DHEA administration may lead to improvements in working memory in adults. Yet these findings remain limited by an incomplete understanding of the specific neuroanatomical mechanisms through which DHEA may impact the CNS during development. Here we examined associations between DHEA, cortico-hippocampal structural covariance, and working memory (216 participants [female=123], age range 6-22 years old, mean age: 13.6 +/-3.6 years, each followed for a maximum of 3 visits over the course of 4 years). In addition to administering performance-based, spatial working memory tests to these children, we also collected ecological, parent ratings of working memory in everyday situations. We found that increasingly higher DHEA levels were associated with a shift toward positive insular-hippocampal and occipito-hippocampal structural covariance. In turn, DHEA-related insular-hippocampal covariance was associated with lower spatial working memory but higher overall working memory as measured by the ecological parent ratings. Taken together with previous research, these results support the hypothesis that DHEA may optimize cortical functions related to general attentional and working memory processes, but impair the development of bottom-up, hippocampal-to-cortical connections, resulting in impaired encoding of spatial cues. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. An exploratory study of the effects of spatial working-memory load on prefrontal activation in low- and high-performing elderly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vermeij, Anouk; van Beek, Arenda H E A; Reijs, Babette L R; Claassen, Jurgen A H R; Kessels, Roy P C

    2014-01-01

    Older adults show more bilateral prefrontal activation during cognitive performance than younger adults, who typically show unilateral activation. This over-recruitment has been interpreted as compensation for declining structure and function of the brain. Here we examined how the relationship between behavioral performance and prefrontal activation is modulated by different levels of working-memory load. Eighteen healthy older adults (70.8 ± 5.0 years; MMSE 29.3 ± 0.9) performed a spatial working-memory task (n-back). Oxygenated ([O2Hb]) and deoxygenated ([HHb]) hemoglobin concentration changes were registered by two functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) channels located over the left and right prefrontal cortex. Increased working-memory load resulted in worse performance compared to the control condition. [O2Hb] increased with rising working-memory load in both fNIRS channels. Based on the performance in the high working-memory load condition, the group was divided into low and high performers. A significant interaction effect of performance level and hemisphere on [O2Hb] increase was found, indicating that high performers were better able to keep the right prefrontal cortex engaged under high cognitive demand. Furthermore, in the low performers group, individuals with a larger decline in task performance from the control to the high working-memory load condition had a larger bilateral increase of [O2Hb]. The high performers did not show a correlation between performance decline and working-memory load related prefrontal activation changes. Thus, additional bilateral prefrontal activation in low performers did not necessarily result in better cognitive performance. Our study showed that bilateral prefrontal activation may not always be successfully compensatory. Individual behavioral performance should be taken into account to be able to distinguish successful and unsuccessful compensation or declined neural efficiency.

  15. Origins of spatial working memory deficits in schizophrenia: an event-related FMRI and near-infrared spectroscopy study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junghee Lee

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Abnormal prefrontal functioning plays a central role in the working memory (WM deficits of schizophrenic patients, but the nature of the relationship between WM and prefrontal activation remains undetermined. Using two functional neuroimaging methods, we investigated the neural correlates of remembering and forgetting in schizophrenic and healthy participants. We focused on the brain activation during WM maintenance phase with event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI. We also examined oxygenated hemoglobin changes in relation to memory performance with the near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS using the same spatial WM task. Distinct types of correct and error trials were segregated for analysis. fMRI data indicated that prefrontal activation was increased during WM maintenance on correct trials in both schizophrenic and healthy subjects. However, a significant difference was observed in the functional asymmetry of frontal activation pattern. Healthy subjects showed increased activation in the right frontal, temporal and cingulate regions. Schizophrenic patients showed greater activation compared with control subjects in left frontal, temporal and parietal regions as well as in right frontal regions. We also observed increased 'false memory' errors in schizophrenic patients, associated with increased prefrontal activation and resembling the activation pattern observed on the correct trials. NIRS data replicated the fMRI results. Thus, increased frontal activity was correlated with the accuracy of WM in both healthy control and schizophrenic participants. The major difference between the two groups concerned functional asymmetry; healthy subjects recruited right frontal regions during spatial WM maintenance whereas schizophrenic subjects recruited a wider network in both hemispheres to achieve the same level of memory performance. Increased "false memory" errors and accompanying bilateral prefrontal activation in schizophrenia suggest

  16. Modality specificity and integration in working memory: Insights from visuospatial bootstrapping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Richard J; Havelka, Jelena; Falcon, Thomas; Evans, Sally; Darling, Stephen

    2015-05-01

    The question of how meaningful associations between verbal and spatial information might be utilized to facilitate working memory performance is potentially highly instructive for models of memory function. The present study explored how separable processing capacities within specialized domains might each contribute to this, by examining the disruptive impacts of simple verbal and spatial concurrent tasks on young adults' recall of visually presented digit sequences encountered either in a single location or within a meaningful spatial "keypad" configuration. The previously observed advantage for recall in the latter condition (the "visuospatial bootstrapping effect") consistently emerged across 3 experiments, indicating use of familiar spatial information in boosting verbal memory. The magnitude of this effect interacted with concurrent activity; articulatory suppression during encoding disrupted recall to a greater extent when digits were presented in single locations (Experiment 1), while spatial tapping during encoding had a larger impact on the keypad condition and abolished the visuospatial bootstrapping advantage (Experiment 2). When spatial tapping was performed during recall (Experiment 3), no task by display interaction was observed. Outcomes are discussed within the context of the multicomponent model of working memory, with a particular emphasis on cross-domain storage in the episodic buffer (Baddeley, 2000). (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  17. An age-related deficit in spatial-feature reference memory in homing pigeons (Columba livia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coppola, Vincent J; Flaim, Mary E; Carney, Samantha N; Bingman, Verner P

    2015-03-01

    Age-related memory decline in mammals has been well documented. By contrast, very little is known about memory decline in birds as they age. In the current study we trained younger and older homing pigeons on a reference memory task in which a goal location could be encoded by spatial and feature cues. Consistent with a previous working memory study, the results revealed impaired acquisition of combined spatial-feature reference memory in older compared to younger pigeons. Following memory acquisition, we used cue-conflict probe trials to provide an initial assessment of possible age-related differences in cue preference. Both younger and older pigeons displayed a similarly modest preference for feature over spatial cues. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Visuospatial working memory in young adults and in children with learning difficulties

    OpenAIRE

    Ricardo Basso Garcia

    2013-01-01

    Visuospatial working memory (VSWM) comprises specialised subsystems devoted to storage of visual features and spatial locations. Recently, research has been focused on understanding feature binding in memory and how bound objects are temporarily held in working memory. In the current thesis we have addressed two broad questions: What is the nature of bound visual representations in working memory? Is there a specific deficit in binding in individuals with learning difficulties? In Study 1, yo...

  19. Registered Replication Report: Testing Disruptive Effects of Irrelevant Speech on Visual-Spatial Working Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana Kvetnaya

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available A Partial Replication of “Functional Equivalence of Verbal and Spatial Information in Serial Short-Term Memory (Jones, Farrand, Stuart, & Morris, 1995; Experiment 4” The irrelevant speech effect (ISE—the phenomenon that background speech impairs serial recall of visually presented material—has been widely used for examining the structure of short-term memory. In Experiment 4, Jones, Farrand, Stuart, and Morris (1995 employed the ISE to demonstrate that impairment of performance is determined by the changing-state characteristics of the material, rather than its modality of origin. The present study directly replicated the spatial condition of Experiment 4 with 'N' = 40 German participants. In contrast to the original findings, no main effect of sound type was observed, 'F'(2, 78 = 0.81, 'p' = .450, η2'p' = .02. The absence of an ISE in the spatial domain does not support the changing state hypothesis.

  20. No Evidence for a Fixed Object Limit in Working Memory: Spatial Ensemble Representations Inflate Estimates of Working Memory Capacity for Complex Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brady, Timothy F.; Alvarez, George A.

    2015-01-01

    A central question for models of visual working memory is whether the number of objects people can remember depends on object complexity. Some influential "slot" models of working memory capacity suggest that people always represent 3-4 objects and that only the fidelity with which these objects are represented is affected by object…

  1. Spatial memory tasks in rodents: what do they model?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morellini, Fabio

    2013-10-01

    The analysis of spatial learning and memory in rodents is commonly used to investigate the mechanisms underlying certain forms of human cognition and to model their dysfunction in neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. Proper interpretation of rodent behavior in terms of spatial memory and as a model of human cognitive functions is only possible if various navigation strategies and factors controlling the performance of the animal in a spatial task are taken into consideration. The aim of this review is to describe the experimental approaches that are being used for the study of spatial memory in rats and mice and the way that they can be interpreted in terms of general memory functions. After an introduction to the classification of memory into various categories and respective underlying neuroanatomical substrates, I explain the concept of spatial memory and its measurement in rats and mice by analysis of their navigation strategies. Subsequently, I describe the most common paradigms for spatial memory assessment with specific focus on methodological issues relevant for the correct interpretation of the results in terms of cognitive function. Finally, I present recent advances in the use of spatial memory tasks to investigate episodic-like memory in mice.

  2. Is working memory training in older adults sensitive to music?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borella, Erika; Carretti, Barbara; Meneghetti, Chiara; Carbone, Elena; Vincenzi, Margherita; Madonna, Jessica Cira; Grassi, Massimo; Fairfield, Beth; Mammarella, Nicola

    2017-12-19

    Evidence in the literature suggests that listening to music can improve cognitive performance. The aim of the present study was to examine whether the short- and long-term gains of a working memory (WM) training in older adults could be enhanced by music listening-the Mozart's Sonata K448 and the Albinoni's Adagio in G minor-which differ in tempo and mode. Seventy-two healthy older adults (age range: 65-75 years) participated in the study. They were divided into four groups. At each training session, before starting the WM training activities, one group listened to Mozart (Mozart group, N = 19), one to Albinoni (Albinoni group, N = 19), one to white noise (White noise group, N = 16), while one served as an active control group involved in other activities and was not exposed to any music (active control group, N = 18). Specific training gains on a task like the one used in the training, and transfer effects on visuo-spatial abilities, executive function and reasoning measures were assessed. Irrespective of listening condition (Mozart, Albinoni, White noise), trained groups generally outperformed the control group. The White noise group never differed from the two music groups. However, the Albinoni group showed larger specific training gains in the criterion task at short-term and transfer effects in the reasoning task at both short-and long term compared to the Mozart group. Overall the present findings suggest caution when interpreting the effects of music before a WM training, and are discussed according to aging and music effect literature.

  3. 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

  4. Efficacy of working memory training in children and adolescents with learning disabilities: A review study and meta-analysis.

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    Peijnenborgh, Janneke C A W; Hurks, Petra M; Aldenkamp, Albert P; Vles, Johan S H; Hendriksen, Jos G M

    2016-10-01

    The effectiveness of working memory (WM) training programmes is still a subject of debate. Previous reviews were heterogeneous with regard to participant characteristics of the studies included. To examine whether these programmes are of added value for children with learning disabilities (LDs), a systematic meta-analytic review was undertaken focusing specifically on LDs. Thirteen randomised controlled studies were included, with a total of 307 participants (age range = 5.5-17, Mean age across studies = 10.61, SD = 1.77). Potential moderator variables were examined, i.e., age, type of LD, training programme, training dose, design type, and type of control group. The meta-analysis indicated reliable short-term improvements in verbal WM, visuo-spatial WM, and word decoding in children with LDs after training (effect sizes ranged between 0.36 and 0.63), when compared to the untrained control group. These improvements sustained over time for up to eight months. Furthermore, children > 10 years seemed to benefit more in terms of verbal WM than younger children, both immediately after training as well as in the long-term. Other moderator variables did not have an effect on treatment efficacy.

  5. Restoration of fMRI Decodability Does Not Imply Latent Working Memory States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneegans, Sebastian; Bays, Paul M.

    2018-01-01

    Recent imaging studies have challenged the prevailing view that working memory is mediated by sustained neural activity. Using machine learning methods to reconstruct memory content, these studies found that previously diminished representations can be restored by retrospective cueing or other forms of stimulation. These findings have been interpreted as evidence for an activity-silent working memory state that can be reactivated dependent on task demands. Here, we test the validity of this conclusion by formulating a neural process model of working memory based on sustained activity and using this model to emulate a spatial recall task with retrocueing. The simulation reproduces both behavioral and fMRI results previously taken as evidence for latent states, in particular the restoration of spatial reconstruction quality following an informative cue. Our results demonstrate that recovery of the decodability of an imaging signal does not provide compelling evidence for an activity-silent working memory state. PMID:28820674

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  8. Lateralized Contribution of Prefrontal Cortex in Controlling Task-Irrelevant Information during Verbal and Spatial Working Memory Tasks: rTMS Evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandrini, Marco; Rossini, Paolo Maria; Miniussi, Carlo

    2008-01-01

    The functional organization of working memory (WM) in the human prefrontal cortex remains unclear. The present study used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to clarify the role of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) both in the types of information (verbal vs. spatial), and the types of processes (maintenance vs.…

  9. Working Memory and Language: An Overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baddeley, Alan

    2003-01-01

    This article introduces the concept of a multi-component working memory. Emphasis is placed on the phonological loop component, its fractionation into a storage and processing component, and implications for native and second language learning. An overview of the visual spatial sketchpad and its possible role in language is provided. (Contains…

  10. 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

    2017-01-01

    Working memory and conscious perception are thought to share similar brain mechanisms, yet recent reports of non-conscious working memory challenge this view. Combining visual masking with magnetoencephalography, we investigate the reality of non-conscious working memory and dissect its neural mechanisms. In a spatial delayed-response task, participants reported the location of a subjectively unseen target above chance-level after several seconds. Conscious perception and conscious working memory were characterized by similar signatures: a sustained desynchronization in the alpha/beta band over frontal cortex, and a decodable representation of target location in posterior sensors. During non-conscious working memory, such activity vanished. Our findings contradict models that identify working memory with sustained neural firing, but are compatible with recent proposals of ‘activity-silent’ working memory. We present a theoretical framework and simulations showing how slowly decaying synaptic changes allow cell assemblies to go dormant during the delay, yet be retrieved above chance-level after several seconds. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.23871.001 PMID:28718763

  11. Implicit and explicit memory for spatial information in Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kessels, R P C; Feijen, J; Postma, A

    2005-01-01

    There is abundant evidence that memory impairment in dementia in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) is related to explicit, conscious forms of memory, whereas implicit, unconscious forms of memory function remain relatively intact or are less severely affected. Only a few studies have been performed on spatial memory function in AD, showing that AD patients' explicit spatial memory is impaired, possibly related to hippocampal dysfunction. However, studies on implicit spatial memory in AD are lacking. The current study set out to investigate implicit and explicit spatial memory in AD patients (n=18) using an ecologically valid computer task, in which participants had to remember the locations of various objects in common rooms. The contribution of implicit and explicit memory functions was estimated by means of the process dissociation procedure. The results show that explicit spatial memory is impaired in AD patients compared with a control group (n=21). However, no group difference was found on implicit spatial function. This indicates that spared implicit memory in AD extends to the spatial domain, while the explicit spatial memory function deteriorates. Clinically, this finding might be relevant, in that an intact implicit memory function might be helpful in overcoming problems in explicit processing. Copyright (c) 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  12. Is attention based on spatial contextual memory preferentially guided by low spatial frequency signals?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patai, Eva Zita; Buckley, Alice; Nobre, Anna Christina

    2013-01-01

    A popular model of visual perception states that coarse information (carried by low spatial frequencies) along the dorsal stream is rapidly transmitted to prefrontal and medial temporal areas, activating contextual information from memory, which can in turn constrain detailed input carried by high spatial frequencies arriving at a slower rate along the ventral visual stream, thus facilitating the processing of ambiguous visual stimuli. We were interested in testing whether this model contributes to memory-guided orienting of attention. In particular, we asked whether global, low-spatial frequency (LSF) inputs play a dominant role in triggering contextual memories in order to facilitate the processing of the upcoming target stimulus. We explored this question over four experiments. The first experiment replicated the LSF advantage reported in perceptual discrimination tasks by showing that participants were faster and more accurate at matching a low spatial frequency version of a scene, compared to a high spatial frequency version, to its original counterpart in a forced-choice task. The subsequent three experiments tested the relative contributions of low versus high spatial frequencies during memory-guided covert spatial attention orienting tasks. Replicating the effects of memory-guided attention, pre-exposure to scenes associated with specific spatial memories for target locations (memory cues) led to higher perceptual discrimination and faster response times to identify targets embedded in the scenes. However, either high or low spatial frequency cues were equally effective; LSF signals did not selectively or preferentially contribute to the memory-driven attention benefits to performance. Our results challenge a generalized model that LSFs activate contextual memories, which in turn bias attention and facilitate perception.

  13. The Differential Relations between Verbal, Numerical and Spatial Working Memory Abilities and Children's Reading Comprehension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oakhill, Jane; Yuill, Nicola; Garnham, Alan

    2011-01-01

    Working memory predicts children's reading comprehension but it is not clear whether this relation is due to a modality-specific or general working memory. This study, which investigated the relations between children's reading skills and working memory (WM) abilities in 3 modalities, extends previous work by including measures of both reading…

  14. Synchronous retinotopic frontal-temporal activity during long-term memory for spatial location.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slotnick, Scott D

    2010-05-12

    Early visual areas in occipital cortex are known to be retinotopic. Recently, retinotopic maps have been reported in frontal and parietal cortex during spatial attention and working memory. The present event-related potential (ERP) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study determined whether spatial long-term memory was associated with retinotopic activity in frontal and parietal regions, and assessed whether retinotopic activity in these higher level control regions was synchronous with retinotopic activity in lower level visual sensory regions. During encoding, abstract shapes were presented to the left or right of fixation. During retrieval, old and new shapes were presented at fixation and participants classified each shape as old and previously on the "left", old and previously on the "right", or "new". Retinotopic effects were manifested by accurate memory for items previously presented on the left producing activity in the right hemisphere and accurate memory for items previously presented on the right producing activity in the left hemisphere. Retinotopic ERP activity was observed in frontal regions and visual sensory (occipital and temporal) regions. In frontal cortex, retinotopic fMRI activity was localized to the frontal eye fields. There were no significant ERP or fMRI retinotopic memory effects in parietal regions. The present long-term memory retinotopic effects complement previous spatial attention and working memory findings (and suggest retinotopic activity in parietal cortex may require an external peripheral stimulus). Furthermore, ERP cross-correlogram analysis revealed that retinotopic activations in frontal and temporal regions were synchronous, indicating that these regions interact during retrieval of spatial information. (c) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Cognitive Performance in College Women Throughout the Menstrual Cycle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fred Gustavo Manrique-Abril

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available To determine whether fluctuations of estrogen levels across the menstrual cycle influence cognitive performance, 13 university women between 20 and 23 years old were tested in four cognitive tasks; verbal memory, visuospatial ability, short term memory and visuo-motor coordination, three times across a menstrual cycle. Radioimmunoassay tests were performed in order to determine the hormonal state. Significant differences were not found in visuo-spatial ability and visuo-motor coordination performance, but results suggest a better verbal memory performance associated with high estrogen levels; short term memory performance didn’t show to be sensitive to fluctuations in estrogen levels.

  16. Collaborative activity between parietal and dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex in dynamic spatial working memory revealed by fMRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diwadkar, V A; Carpenter, P A; Just, M A

    2000-07-01

    Functional MRI was used to determine how the constituents of the cortical network subserving dynamic spatial working memory respond to two types of increases in task complexity. Participants mentally maintained the most recent location of either one or three objects as the three objects moved discretely in either a two- or three-dimensional array. Cortical activation in the dorsolateral prefrontal (DLPFC) and the parietal cortex increased as a function of the number of object locations to be maintained and the dimensionality of the display. An analysis of the response characteristics of the individual voxels showed that a large proportion were activated only when both the variables imposed the higher level of demand. A smaller proportion were activated specifically in response to increases in task demand associated with each of the independent variables. A second experiment revealed the same effect of dimensionality in the parietal cortex when the movement of objects was signaled auditorily rather than visually, indicating that the additional representational demands induced by 3-D space are independent of input modality. The comodulation of activation in the prefrontal and parietal areas by the amount of computational demand suggests that the collaboration between areas is a basic feature underlying much of the functionality of spatial working memory. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.

  17. Functional connectivity between prefrontal and parietal cortex drives visuo-spatial attention shifts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinen, Klaartje; Feredoes, Eva; Ruff, Christian C; Driver, Jon

    2017-05-01

    It is well established that the frontal eye-fields (FEF) in the dorsal attention network (DAN) guide top-down selective attention. In addition, converging evidence implies a causal role for the FEF in attention shifting, which is also known to recruit the ventral attention network (VAN) and fronto-striatal regions. To investigate the causal influence of the FEF as (part of) a central hub between these networks, we applied thetaburst transcranial magnetic stimulation (TBS) off-line, combined with functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) during a cued visuo-spatial attention shifting paradigm. We found that TBS over the right FEF impaired performance on a visual discrimination task in both hemifields following attention shifts, while only left hemifield performance was affected when participants were cued to maintain the focus of attention. These effects recovered ca. 20min post stimulation. Furthermore, particularly following attention shifts, TBS suppressed the neural signal in bilateral FEF, right inferior and superior parietal lobule (IPL/SPL) and bilateral supramarginal gyri (SMG). Immediately post stimulation, functional connectivity was impaired between right FEF and right SMG as well as right putamen. Importantly, the extent of decreased connectivity between right FEF and right SMG correlated with behavioural impairment following attention shifts. The main finding of this study demonstrates that influences from right FEF on SMG in the ventral attention network causally underly attention shifts, presumably by enabling disengagement from the current focus of attention. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  18. Reducing chronic visuo-spatial neglect following right hemisphere stroke through instrument playing

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    Rebeka eBodak

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Unilateral visuo-spatial neglect is a neuropsychological syndrome commonly resulting from right hemisphere strokes at the temporo-parietal junction of the infero-posterior parietal cortex. Neglect is characterised by reduced awareness of stimuli presented on patients’ contralesional side of space and has previously been shown to be improved by a number of motivational influences, including listening to preferred music and numerical sequence completion. Here we examined whether playing musical sequences on chime bars – an instrument with a horizontal alignment – would bring about clinically significant improvement in chronic neglect.Two left neglect patients completed an intervention comprising four weekly 30-minute music sessions involving playing scales and familiar melodies on chime bars from right to left. Two cancellation tests (Mesulam shape, BIT star, the line bisection test, and the neglect subtest from the computerised TAP (Test for Attentional Performance battery were administered three times during a preliminary baseline phase, before and after each music session during the rehabilitation phase to investigate short-term effects, as well as one week after the last intervention session to investigate whether any effects would persist.Both patients demonstrated significant short-term and longer-lasting improvements on the Mesulam shape cancellation test. One patient also showed longer-lasting effects on the BIT star cancellation test and scored in the normal range one week after the intervention. These findings provide preliminary evidence that active music-making may help neglect patients attend more to their affected side.

  19. The Yin and the Yang of visuo-spatial neglect: a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, J C; Halligan, P W

    1994-09-01

    We report a patient (R.B.) who has shown gross left visuo-spatial neglect over the 3 years since he sustained a right parietal infarct. Although his neglect is severe on such tasks as line bisection, cancellation, and drawing, there are some domains of preserved perceptual performance: he can perceive subjective contours, he can use lateral symmetry as a cue to figure-ground segregation, and he benefits from some forms of global cueing. In a series of five experiments, we show that R.B. has a selective inability to analyse and copy accurately the left contours of geometric nonsense-figures. These results hold even when there is a single vertical contour (to be copied) that divides a rectangle or a circle into two sub-figures; this physically-identical boundary is copied more accurately when it is cued as the right edge of the left sub-figure than when it is cued as the left edge of the right sub-figure. These effects are not influenced by a manipulation in which R.B. is required to trace the outline of the relevant sub-figure with his finger immediately prior to drawing his copy. The results are interpreted in terms of classical Gestalt theories of figure-ground assignment. Pre-attentive (global) figure-ground parsing is basically intact; but when focal attention is demanded, only the right side of an object is coded as figure.

  20. Spatial memory is intact in aged rats after propofol anesthesia.

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    Lee, In Ho; Culley, Deborah J; Baxter, Mark G; Xie, Zhongcong; Tanzi, Rudolph E; Crosby, Gregory

    2008-10-01

    We have previously demonstrated that aged rats have persistent impairment of spatial memory after sedation with nitrous oxide or general anesthesia with isoflurane-nitrous oxide. Propofol has different receptor mechanisms of action and a favorable short-term recovery profile, and it has been proposed that propofol is devoid of enduring effects on cognitive performance. No studies have investigated this question in aged subjects, however, so we designed an experiment to examine the long-term effects of propofol anesthesia on spatial working memory. Eighteen-mo-old rats were randomized to 2 h of 100% oxygen-propofol anesthesia (n=11) or to a control group that breathed 100% oxygen (n=10). Propofol was administered by continuous infusion via a tail vein catheter. Rats breathed spontaneously and rectal temperature was maintained. Mean arterial blood pressure was measured noninvasively and a venous blood gas was obtained just before discontinuation of propofol. After a 2-day recovery, spatial working memory was assessed for 14 days using a 12-arm radial maze. The number of total errors, number of correct choices to first error, and time to complete the maze was recorded and analyzed using a repeated measure analysis of variance (ANOVA), with Pmemory in aged rats. In aged rats, propofol anesthesia is devoid of the persistent memory effects observed with other general anesthetics in this model. Thus, while it appears that the state of general anesthesia is neither necessary nor sufficient for development of postanesthetic memory impairment, the choice of anesthetics may play a role in late cognitive outcome in the aged.

  1. Creativity as Predictor of Mathematical Abilities in Fourth Graders in Addition to Number Sense and Working Memory

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    Evelyn H. Kroesbergen

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available In this study, it was investigated how domain-specific (number sense and domain-general (working memory, creativity factors explain the variance in mathematical abilities in primary school children. A total of 166 children aged 8 to 10 years old participated. Several tests to measure math ability, mathematical creativity, number sense, verbal and visual spatial working memory and creativity were administered. Data were analyzed with a series of correlation and regression analyses. Number sense, working memory and creativity were all found to be important predictors of academic and creative mathematical ability. Furthermore, groups with math learning disabilities (MLD and mathematical giftedness (MG were compared to a typically developing (TD group. The results show that the MLD group scored lower on number line estimation and visual spatial working memory than the TD group, while the MG group differed from the TD group on visual spatial working memory and creativity. It is concluded that creativity plays a significant role in mathematics, above working memory and number sense.

  2. Working Memory Integration Processes in Benign Childhood Epilepsy with Centrotemporal Spikes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kárpáti, Judit; Donauer, Nándor; Somogyi, Eszter; Kónya, Anikó

    2015-12-01

    Benign epilepsy of childhood with centrotemporal spikes (BECTS) is the most frequent focal epilepsy in children; however, the pattern of affected memory processes remains controversial. Previous studies in BECTS imply deficits in complex working memory tasks, but not in simple modality-specific tasks. We studied working memory processes in children with BECTS by comparing performance in memory binding tasks of different complexities. We compared 17 children with BECTS (aged 6 to 13 years) to 17 healthy children matched for age, sex, and intelligence quotient. We measured spatial and verbal memory components separately and jointly on three single-binding tasks (binding of what and where; what and when; and where and when) and a combined-binding task (integration of what, where, and when). We also evaluated basic visuospatial memory functions with subtests of the Children's Memory Scale, and intellectual abilities with verbal tasks of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Fourth Edition and the Raven Progressive Matrices. We found no difference between the BECTS and control groups in single-binding tasks; however, the children with BECTS performed significantly worse on the combined task, which included integration of spatial, verbal, and temporal information. We found no deficits in their intellectual abilities or basic visuospatial memory functions. Children with BECTS may have intact simple maintenance processes of working memory, but difficulty with high-level functions requiring attentional and executive resources. Our findings imply no specific memory dysfunction in BECTS, but suggest difficulties in integrating information within working memory, and possible frontal lobe disturbances.

  3. Insulin modulates hippocampally-mediated spatial working memory via glucose transporter-4.

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    Pearson-Leary, J; Jahagirdar, V; Sage, J; McNay, E C

    2018-02-15

    The insulin-regulated glucose transporter, GluT4, is a key molecule in peripheral insulin signaling. Although GluT4 is abundantly expressed in neurons of specific brain regions such as the hippocampus, the functional role of neuronal GluT4 is unclear. Here, we used pharmacological inhibition of GluT4-mediated glucose uptake to determine whether GluT4 mediates insulin-mediated glucose uptake in the hippocampus. Consistent with previous reports, we found that glucose utilization increased in the dorsal hippocampus of male rats during spontaneous alternation (SA), a hippocampally-mediated spatial working memory task. We previously showed that insulin signaling within the hippocampus is required for processing this task, and that administration of exogenous insulin enhances performance. At baseline levels of hippocampal insulin, inhibition of GluT4-mediated glucose uptake did not affect SA performance. However, inhibition of an upstream regulator of GluT4, Akt, did impair SA performance. Conversely, when a memory-enhancing dose of insulin was delivered to the hippocampus prior to SA-testing, inhibition of GluT4-mediated glucose transport prevented cognitive enhancement. These data suggest that baseline hippocampal cognitive processing does not require functional hippocampal GluT4, but that cognitive enhancement by supra-baseline insulin does. Consistent with these findings, we found that in neuronal cell culture, insulin increases glucose utilization in a GluT4-dependent manner. Collectively, these data demonstrate a key role for GluT4 in transducing the procognitive effects of elevated hippocampal insulin. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Forgetting, reminding, and remembering: the retrieval of lost spatial memory.

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    Livia de Hoz

    2004-08-01

    Full Text Available Retrograde amnesia can occur after brain damage because this disrupts sites of storage, interrupts memory consolidation, or interferes with memory retrieval. While the retrieval failure account has been considered in several animal studies, recent work has focused mainly on memory consolidation, and the neural mechanisms responsible for reactivating memory from stored traces remain poorly understood. We now describe a new retrieval phenomenon in which rats' memory for a spatial location in a watermaze was first weakened by partial lesions of the hippocampus to a level at which it could not be detected. The animals were then reminded by the provision of incomplete and potentially misleading information-an escape platform in a novel location. Paradoxically, both incorrect and correct place information reactivated dormant memory traces equally, such that the previously trained spatial memory was now expressed. It was also established that the reminding procedure could not itself generate new learning in either the original environment, or in a new training situation. The key finding is the development of a protocol that definitively distinguishes reminding from new place learning and thereby reveals that a failure of memory during watermaze testing can arise, at least in part, from a disruption of memory retrieval.

  5. 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

  6. Is functional integration of resting state brain networks an unspecific biomarker for working memory performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alavash, Mohsen; Doebler, Philipp; Holling, Heinz; Thiel, Christiane M; Gießing, Carsten

    2015-03-01

    Is there one optimal topology of functional brain networks at rest from which our cognitive performance would profit? Previous studies suggest that functional integration of resting state brain networks is an important biomarker for cognitive performance. However, it is still unknown whether higher network integration is an unspecific predictor for good cognitive performance or, alternatively, whether specific network organization during rest predicts only specific cognitive abilities. Here, we investigated the relationship between network integration at rest and cognitive performance using two tasks that measured different aspects of working memory; one task assessed visual-spatial and the other numerical working memory. Network clustering, modularity and efficiency were computed to capture network integration on different levels of network organization, and to statistically compare their correlations with the performance in each working memory test. The results revealed that each working memory aspect profits from a different resting state topology, and the tests showed significantly different correlations with each of the measures of network integration. While higher global network integration and modularity predicted significantly better performance in visual-spatial working memory, both measures showed no significant correlation with numerical working memory performance. In contrast, numerical working memory was superior in subjects with highly clustered brain networks, predominantly in the intraparietal sulcus, a core brain region of the working memory network. Our findings suggest that a specific balance between local and global functional integration of resting state brain networks facilitates special aspects of cognitive performance. In the context of working memory, while visual-spatial performance is facilitated by globally integrated functional resting state brain networks, numerical working memory profits from increased capacities for local processing

  7. Prevention of vision loss protects against age-related impairment in learning and memory performance in DBA/2J mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Aimée A; Brown, Richard E

    2013-01-01

    The DBA/2J mouse is a model of pigmentary glaucoma in humans as it shows age-related increases in intraocular pressure (IOP), retinal ganglion cell death and visual impairment. Previously, we showed that visual ability declines from 9 to 12 months of age and visual impairment is correlated with poor learning and memory performance in visuo-spatial tasks but not in tasks that do not depend on visual cues. To test the "sensory impairment" hypothesis of aging, which postulates that sensory impaired individuals are disadvantaged in their performance on psychometric tests as a direct result of difficulties in sensory perception, we treated DBA/2J mice with a conventional glaucoma medication used in humans (Timoptic-XE, 0.00, 0.25, or 0.50%) daily from 9 weeks to 12 months of age to determine whether prevention of vision loss prevented the decline in visuo-spatial learning and memory performance. At all ages tested (3, 6, 9, and 12 months of age), mice treated with Timoptic-XE (0.25 and 0.50%) maintained a high level of performance, while 12 month old control mice (0.00%) exhibited impaired performance in visually-dependent, but not non-visual tasks. These results demonstrate that when sensory function is preserved, cognitive performance is normalized. Thus, as in many aging humans, DBA/2J mice show age-related decrements in performance on visually presented cognitive tests, not because of cognitive impairment but as a direct consequence of poor visual ability. Our results demonstrate that age-related impairment in performance in visuo-spatial tasks in DBA/2J mice can be prevented by the preservation of visual ability.

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

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

    2016-08-01

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

  9. Eye and hand movements during reconstruction of spatial memory.

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    Burke, Melanie R; Allen, Richard J; Gonzalez, Claudia

    2012-01-01

    Recent behavioural and biological evidence indicates common mechanisms serving working memory and attention (e.g., Awh et al, 2006 Neuroscience 139 201-208). This study explored the role of spatial attention and visual search in an adapted Corsi spatial memory task. Eye movements and touch responses were recorded from participants who recalled locations (signalled by colour or shape change) from an array presented either simultaneously or sequentially. The time delay between target presentation and recall (0, 5, or 10 s) and the number of locations to be remembered (2-5) were also manipulated. Analysis of the response phase revealed subjects were less accurate (touch data) and fixated longer (eye data) when responding to sequentially presented targets suggesting higher cognitive effort. Fixation duration on target at recall was also influenced by whether spatial location was initially signalled by colour or shape change. Finally, we found that the sequence tasks encouraged longer fixations on the signalled targets than simultaneous viewing during encoding, but no difference was observed during recall. We conclude that the attentional manipulations (colour/shape) mainly affected the eye movement parameters, whereas the memory manipulation (sequential versus simultaneous, number of items) mainly affected the performance of the hand during recall, and thus the latter is more important for ascertaining if an item is remembered or forgotten. In summary, the nature of the stimuli that is used and how it is presented play key roles in determining subject performance and behaviour during spatial memory tasks.

  10. Chronic Stress Impairs Prefrontal Cortex-Dependent Response Inhibition and Spatial Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mika, Agnieszka; Mazur, Gabriel J.; Hoffman, Ann N.; Talboom, Joshua S.; Bimonte-Nelson, Heather A.; Sanabria, Federico; Conrad, Cheryl D.

    2012-01-01

    Chronic stress leads to neurochemical and structural alterations in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) that correspond to deficits in PFC-mediated behaviors. The present study examined the effects of chronic restraint stress on response inhibition (using a response-withholding task, fixed-minimum interval schedule of reinforcement, or FMI), and working memory (using a radial arm water maze, RAWM). Adult male Sprague Dawley rats were first trained on the RAWM and subsequently trained on FMI. Following acquisition of FMI, rats were assigned to a restraint stress (6h/d/28d in wire mesh restrainers) or control condition. Immediately after chronic stress, rats were tested on FMI and subsequently on RAWM. FMI results suggest that chronic stress reduces response inhibition capacity and motivation to initiate the task on selective conditions when food reward was not obtained on the preceding trial. RAWM results suggest that chronic stress produces transient deficits in working memory without altering previously consolidated reference memory. Behavioral measures from FMI failed to correlate with metrics from RAWM except for one in which changes in FMI timing precision negatively correlated with changes in RAWM working memory errors for the controls, a finding that was not observed following chronic stress. Fisher’s r to z transformation revealed no significant differences between control and stress with correlation coefficients. These findings are the first to show that chronic stress impairs both response inhibition and working memory, two behaviors that have never been direct compared within the same animals following chronic stress, using FMI, an appetitive task, and RAWM, a non-appetitive task. PMID:22905921

  11. Working memory resources are shared across sensory modalities.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  12. Sex effects on spatial learning but not on spatial memory retrieval in healthy young adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piber, Dominique; Nowacki, Jan; Mueller, Sven C; Wingenfeld, Katja; Otte, Christian

    2018-01-15

    Sex differences have been found in spatial learning and spatial memory, with several studies indicating that males outperform females. We tested in the virtual Morris Water Maze (vMWM) task, whether sex differences in spatial cognitive processes are attributable to differences in spatial learning or spatial memory retrieval in a large student sample. We tested 90 healthy students (45 women and 45 men) with a mean age of 23.5 years (SD=3.5). Spatial learning and spatial memory retrieval were measured by using the vMWM task, during which participants had to search a virtual pool for a hidden platform, facilitated by visual cues surrounding the pool. Several learning trials assessed spatial learning, while a separate probe trial assessed spatial memory retrieval. We found a significant sex effect during spatial learning, with males showing shorter latency and shorter path length, as compared to females (all pretrieval (p=0.615). Furthermore, post-hoc analyses revealed significant sex differences in spatial search strategies (pretrieval. Our study raises the question, whether men and women use different learning strategies, which nevertheless result in equal performances of spatial memory retrieval. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Glucose improves object-location binding in visual-spatial working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stollery, Brian; Christian, Leonie

    2016-02-01

    There is evidence that glucose temporarily enhances cognition and that processes dependent on the hippocampus may be particularly sensitive. As the hippocampus plays a key role in binding processes, we examined the influence of glucose on memory for object-location bindings. This study aims to study how glucose modifies performance on an object-location memory task, a task that draws heavily on hippocampal function. Thirty-one participants received 30 g glucose or placebo in a single 1-h session. After seeing between 3 and 10 objects (words or shapes) at different locations in a 9 × 9 matrix, participants attempted to immediately reproduce the display on a blank 9 × 9 matrix. Blood glucose was measured before drink ingestion, mid-way through the session, and at the end of the session. Glucose significantly improves object-location binding (d = 1.08) and location memory (d = 0.83), but not object memory (d = 0.51). Increasing working memory load impairs object memory and object-location binding, and word-location binding is more successful than shape-location binding, but the glucose improvement is robust across all difficulty manipulations. Within the glucose group, higher levels of circulating glucose are correlated with better binding memory and remembering the locations of successfully recalled objects. The glucose improvements identified are consistent with a facilitative impact on hippocampal function. The findings are discussed in the context of the relationship between cognitive processes, hippocampal function, and the implications for glucose's mode of action.

  14. Crowding in Visual Working Memory Reveals Its Spatial Resolution and the Nature of Its Representations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamber-Rosenau, Benjamin J; Fintzi, Anat R; Marois, René

    2015-09-01

    Spatial resolution fundamentally limits any image representation. Although this limit has been extensively investigated for perceptual representations by assessing how neighboring flankers degrade the perception of a peripheral target with visual crowding, the corresponding limit for representations held in visual working memory (VWM) is unknown. In the present study, we evoked crowding in VWM and directly compared resolution in VWM and perception. Remarkably, the spatial resolution of VWM proved to be no worse than that of perception. However, mixture modeling of errors caused by crowding revealed the qualitatively distinct nature of these representations. Perceptual crowding errors arose from both increased imprecision in target representations and substitution of flankers for targets. By contrast, VWM crowding errors arose exclusively from substitutions, which suggests that VWM transforms analog perceptual representations into discrete items. Thus, although perception and VWM share a common resolution limit, exceeding this limit reveals distinct mechanisms for perceiving images and holding them in mind. © The Author(s) 2015.

  15. Processing efficiency theory in children: working memory as a mediator between trait anxiety and academic performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owens, Matthew; Stevenson, Jim; Norgate, Roger; Hadwin, Julie A

    2008-10-01

    Working memory skills are positively associated with academic performance. In contrast, high levels of trait anxiety are linked with educational underachievement. Based on Eysenck and Calvo's (1992) processing efficiency theory (PET), the present study investigated whether associations between anxiety and educational achievement were mediated via poor working memory performance. Fifty children aged 11-12 years completed verbal (backwards digit span; tapping the phonological store/central executive) and spatial (Corsi blocks; tapping the visuospatial sketchpad/central executive) working memory tasks. Trait anxiety was measured using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children. Academic performance was assessed using school administered tests of reasoning (Cognitive Abilities Test) and attainment (Standard Assessment Tests). The results showed that the association between trait anxiety and academic performance was significantly mediated by verbal working memory for three of the six academic performance measures (math, quantitative and non-verbal reasoning). Spatial working memory did not significantly mediate the relationship between trait anxiety and academic performance. On average verbal working memory accounted for 51% of the association between trait anxiety and academic performance, while spatial working memory only accounted for 9%. The findings indicate that PET is a useful framework to assess the impact of children's anxiety on educational achievement.

  16. Multiple spatial frequency channels in human visual perceptual memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nemes, V A; Whitaker, D; Heron, J; McKeefry, D J

    2011-12-08

    Current models of short-term visual perceptual memory invoke mechanisms that are closely allied to low-level perceptual discrimination mechanisms. The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which human visual perceptual memory for spatial frequency is based upon multiple, spatially tuned channels similar to those found in the earliest stages of visual processing. To this end we measured how performance on a delayed spatial frequency discrimination paradigm was affected by the introduction of interfering or 'memory masking' stimuli of variable spatial frequency during the delay period. Masking stimuli were shown to induce shifts in the points of subjective equality (PSE) when their spatial frequencies were within a bandwidth of 1.2 octaves of the reference spatial frequency. When mask spatial frequencies differed by more than this value, there was no change in the PSE from baseline levels. This selective pattern of masking was observed for different spatial frequencies and demonstrates the existence of multiple, spatially tuned mechanisms in visual perceptual memory. Memory masking effects were also found to occur for horizontal separations of up to 6 deg between the masking and test stimuli and lacked any orientation selectivity. These findings add further support to the view that low-level sensory processing mechanisms form the basis for the retention of spatial frequency information in perceptual memory. However, the broad range of transfer of memory masking effects across spatial location and other dimensions indicates more long range, long duration interactions between spatial frequency channels that are likely to rely contributions from neural processes located in higher visual areas. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Where to attend next: guiding refreshing of visual, spatial, and verbal representations in working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Alessandra S; Vergauwe, Evie; Oberauer, Klaus

    2018-04-23

    One of the functions that attention may serve in working memory (WM) is boosting information accessibility, a mechanism known as attentional refreshing. Refreshing is assumed to be a domain-general process operating on visual, spatial, and verbal representations alike. So far, few studies have directly manipulated refreshing of individual WM representations to measure the WM benefits of refreshing. Recently, a guided-refreshing method was developed, which consists of presenting cues during the retention interval of a WM task to instruct people to refresh (i.e., attend to) the cued items. Using a continuous-color reconstruction task, previous studies demonstrated that the error in reporting a color varies linearly with the frequency with which it was refreshed. Here, we extend this approach to assess the WM benefits of refreshing different representation types, from colors to spatial locations and words. Across six experiments, we show that refreshing frequency modulates performance in all stimulus domains in accordance with the tenet that refreshing is a domain-general process in WM. The benefits of refreshing were, however, larger for visual-spatial than verbal materials. © 2018 New York Academy of Sciences.

  18. Visual memory in unilateral spatial neglect: immediate recall versus delayed recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreh, Elior; Malkinson, Tal Seidel; Zohary, Ehud; Soroker, Nachum

    2014-09-01

    Patients with unilateral spatial neglect (USN) often show impaired performance in spatial working memory tasks, apart from the difficulty retrieving "left-sided" spatial data from long-term memory, shown in the "piazza effect" by Bisiach and colleagues. This study's aim was to compare the effect of the spatial position of a visual object on immediate and delayed memory performance in USN patients. Specifically, immediate verbal recall performance, tested using a simultaneous presentation of four visual objects in four quadrants, was compared with memory in a later-provided recognition task, in which objects were individually shown at the screen center. Unlike healthy controls, USN patients showed a left-side disadvantage and a vertical bias in the immediate free recall task (69% vs. 42% recall for right- and left-sided objects, respectively). In the recognition task, the patients correctly recognized half of "old" items, and their correct rejection rate was 95.5%. Importantly, when the analysis focused on previously recalled items (in the immediate task), no statistically significant difference was found in the delayed recognition of objects according to their original quadrant of presentation. Furthermore, USN patients were able to recollect the correct original location of the recognized objects in 60% of the cases, well beyond chance level. This suggests that the memory trace formed in these cases was not only semantic but also contained a visuospatial tag. Finally, successful recognition of objects missed in recall trials points to formation of memory traces for neglected contralesional objects, which may become accessible to retrieval processes in explicit memory.

  19. Lack of awareness for spatial and verbal constructive apraxia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinaldi, Maria Cristina; Piras, Federica; Pizzamiglio, Luigi

    2010-05-01

    It is still a matter of debate whether constructive apraxia (CA) should be considered a form of apraxia or, rather, the motor expression of a more pervasive impairment in visuo-spatial processing. Constructive disorders were linked to visuo-spatial disorders and to deficits in appreciating spatial relations among component sub-parts or problems in reproducing three-dimensionality. We screened a large population of brain-damaged patients for CA. Only patients with constructive disorders and no signs of neglect and/or aphasia were selected. Five apractic subjects were tested with both visuo-spatial and verbal tasks requiring constructive abilities. The former ones were tests such as design copying, while the latter were experimental tasks built to transpose into the linguistic domain the constructive process as phrasing by arranging paper scraps into a sentence. A first result showed a constructive impairment in both the visuo-spatial and the linguistic domain; this finding challenges the idea that CA is confined to the visuo-spatial domain. A second result showed a systematic association between CA and unawareness for constructive disorders. Third, lack of awareness was always associated with a lesion in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, a region deemed as involved in managing a conflict between intentions and sensory feed-back. Anosognosia for constructive disorders and the potential role of the right prefrontal cortex in generating the impairment, are discussed in the light of current models of action control. The core of CA could be the inability to detect any inconsistency between intended and executed action rather than a deficit in reproducing spatial relationship. 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Working memory still needs verbal rehearsal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucidi, Annalisa; Langerock, Naomi; Hoareau, Violette; Lemaire, Benoît; Camos, Valérie; Barrouillet, Pierre

    2016-02-01

    The causal role of verbal rehearsal in working memory has recently been called into question. For example, the SOB-CS (Serial Order in a Box-Complex Span) model assumes that there is no maintenance process for the strengthening of items in working memory, but instead a process of removal of distractors that are involuntarily encoded and create interference with memory items. In the present study, we tested the idea that verbal working memory performance can be accounted for without assuming a causal role of the verbal rehearsal process. We demonstrate in two experiments using a complex span task and a Brown-Peterson paradigm that increasing the number of repetitions of the same distractor (the syllable ba that was read aloud at each of its occurrences on screen) has a detrimental effect on the concurrent maintenance of consonants whereas the maintenance of spatial locations remains unaffected. A detailed analysis of the tasks demonstrates that accounting for this effect within the SOB-CS model requires a series of unwarranted assumptions leading to undesirable further predictions contradicted by available experimental evidence. We argue that the hypothesis of a maintenance mechanism based on verbal rehearsal that is impeded by concurrent articulation still provides the simplest and most compelling account of our results.

  1. Load-related brain activation predicts spatial working memory performance in youth aged 9–12 and is associated with executive function at earlier ages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Anna S.; Klein, Daniel N.; Leung, Hoi-Chung

    2015-01-01

    Spatial working memory is a central cognitive process that matures through adolescence in conjunction with major changes in brain function and anatomy. Here we focused on late childhood and early adolescence to more closely examine the neural correlates of performance variability during this important transition period. Using a modified spatial 1-back task with two memory load conditions in an fMRI study, we examined the relationship between load-dependent neural responses and task performance in a sample of 39 youth aged 9–12 years. Our data revealed that between-subject differences in task performance was predicted by load-dependent deactivation in default network regions, including the ventral anterior cingulate cortex (vACC) and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC). Although load-dependent increases in activation in prefrontal and posterior parietal regions were only weakly correlated with performance, increased prefrontal-parietal coupling was associated with better performance. Furthermore, behavioral measures of executive function from as early as age 3 predicted current load-dependent deactivation in vACC and PCC. These findings suggest that both task positive and task negative brain activation during spatial working memory contributed to successful task performance in late childhood/early adolescence. This may serve as a good model for studying executive control deficits in developmental disorders. PMID:26562059

  2. Association between Early Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Symptoms and Current Verbal and Visuo-Spatial Short-Term Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gau, Susan Shur-Fen; Chiang, Huey-Ling

    2013-01-01

    Deficits in short-term memory are common in adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but their current ADHD symptoms cannot well predict their short-term performance. Taking a developmental perspective, we wanted to clarify the association between ADHD symptoms at early childhood and short-term memory in late childhood and…

  3. Load-related brain activation predicts spatial working memory performance in youth aged 9-12 and is associated with executive function at earlier ages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Anna S; Klein, Daniel N; Leung, Hoi-Chung

    2016-02-01

    Spatial working memory is a central cognitive process that matures through adolescence in conjunction with major changes in brain function and anatomy. Here we focused on late childhood and early adolescence to more closely examine the neural correlates of performance variability during this important transition period. Using a modified spatial 1-back task with two memory load conditions in an fMRI study, we examined the relationship between load-dependent neural responses and task performance in a sample of 39 youth aged 9-12 years. Our data revealed that between-subject differences in task performance was predicted by load-dependent deactivation in default network regions, including the ventral anterior cingulate cortex (vACC) and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC). Although load-dependent increases in activation in prefrontal and posterior parietal regions were only weakly correlated with performance, increased prefrontal-parietal coupling was associated with better performance. Furthermore, behavioral measures of executive function from as early as age 3 predicted current load-dependent deactivation in vACC and PCC. These findings suggest that both task positive and task negative brain activation during spatial working memory contributed to successful task performance in late childhood/early adolescence. This may serve as a good model for studying executive control deficits in developmental disorders. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  4. Reconstructions of Information in Visual Spatial Working Memory Degrade with Memory Load

    OpenAIRE

    Sprague, Thomas C.; Ester, Edward F.; Serences, John T.

    2014-01-01

    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, motion direction) of mem...

  5. Low-frequency rTMS in the superior parietal cortex affects the working memory in horizontal axis during the spatial task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, Jéssica Alves; Marinho, Francisco Victor Costa; Rocha, Kaline; Magalhães, Francisco; Baptista, Abrahão Fontes; Velasques, Bruna; Ribeiro, Pedro; Cagy, Mauricio; Bastos, Victor Hugo; Gupta, Daya; Teixeira, Silmar

    2018-03-01

    Spatial working memory has been extensively investigated with different tasks, treatments, and analysis tools. Several studies suggest that low frequency of the repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) applied to the parietal cortex may influence spatial working memory (SWM). However, it is not yet known if after low-frequency rTMS applied to the superior parietal cortex, according to Pz electroencephalography (EEG) electrode, would change the orientation interpretation about the vertical and horizontal axes coordinates in an SWM task. The current study aims at filling this gap and obtains a better understanding of the low-frequency rTMS effect in SWM. In this crossover study, we select 20 healthy subjects in two conditions (control and 1-Hz rTMS). The subjects performed an SWM task with two random coordinates. Our results presented that low-frequency rTMS applied over the superior parietal cortex may influence the SWM to lead to a larger distance of axes interception point (p low-frequency rTMS over the superior parietal cortex (SPC) changes the SWM performance, and it has more predominance in horizontal axis.

  6. 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...

  7. Improving spatial-simultaneous working memory in Down syndrome: effect of a training program led by parents instead of an expert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesca ePulina

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have suggested that the visuospatial component of working memory (WM is selectively impaired in individuals with Down syndrome (DS, the deficit relating specifically to the spatial-simultaneous component, which is involved when stimuli are presented simultaneously. The present study aimed to analyze the effects of a computer-based program for training the spatial-simultaneous component of WM in terms of: specific effects (on spatial-simultaneous WM tasks; near and far transfer effects (on spatial-sequential and visuospatial abilities, and everyday memory tasks; and maintenance effects (one month after the training. A comparison was drawn between the results obtained when the training was led by parents at home as opposed to an expert in psychology.Thirty-nine children and adolescents with DS were allocated to one of two groups: the training was administered by an expert in one, and by appropriately-instructed parents in the other. The training was administered individually twice a week for a month, in 8 sessions lasting approximately 30 minutes each. Our participants’ performance improved after the training, and these results were maintained a month later in both groups. Overall, our findings suggest that spatial-simultaneous WM performance can be improved, obtaining specific and transfer gains; above all, it seems that, with adequate support, parents could effectively administer a WM training to their child.

  8. Spatial coding of ordinal information in short- and long-term memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veronique eGinsburg

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The processing of numerical information induces a spatial response bias: Faster responses to small numbers with the left hand and faster responses to large numbers with the right hand. Most theories agree that long-term representations underlie this so called SNARC effect (Spatial Numerical Association of Response Codes; Dehaene, Bossini, & Giraux, 1993. However, a spatial response bias was also observed with the activation of temporary position-space associations in working memory (ordinal position effect; van Dijck & Fias, 2011. Items belonging to the beginning of a memorized sequence are responded to faster with the left hand side while items at the end of the sequence are responded to faster with the right hand side. The theoretical possibility was put forward that the SNARC effect is an instance of the ordinal position effect, with the empirical consequence that the SNARC effect and the ordinal position effect cannot be observed simultaneously. In two experiments we falsify this claim by demonstrating that the SNARC effect and the ordinal position effect are not mutually exclusive. Consequently, this suggests that the SNARC effect and the ordinal position effect result from the activation of different representations. We conclude that spatial response biases can result from the activation of both pre-existing positions in long-term memory and from temporary space associations in working memory at the same time.

  9. Spatial coding of ordinal information in short- and long-term memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginsburg, Véronique; Gevers, Wim

    2015-01-01

    The processing of numerical information induces a spatial response bias: Faster responses to small numbers with the left hand and faster responses to large numbers with the right hand. Most theories agree that long-term representations underlie this so called SNARC effect (Spatial Numerical Association of Response Codes; Dehaene et al., 1993). However, a spatial response bias was also observed with the activation of temporary position-space associations in working memory (ordinal position effect; van Dijck and Fias, 2011). Items belonging to the beginning of a memorized sequence are responded to faster with the left hand side while items at the end of the sequence are responded to faster with the right hand side. The theoretical possibility was put forward that the SNARC effect is an instance of the ordinal position effect, with the empirical consequence that the SNARC effect and the ordinal position effect cannot be observed simultaneously. In two experiments we falsify this claim by demonstrating that the SNARC effect and the ordinal position effect are not mutually exclusive. Consequently, this suggests that the SNARC effect and the ordinal position effect result from the activation of different representations. We conclude that spatial response biases can result from the activation of both pre-existing positions in long-term memory and from temporary space associations in working memory at the same time.

  10. Spatial coding of ordinal information in short- and long-term memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginsburg, Véronique; Gevers, Wim

    2015-01-01

    The processing of numerical information induces a spatial response bias: Faster responses to small numbers with the left hand and faster responses to large numbers with the right hand. Most theories agree that long-term representations underlie this so called SNARC effect (Spatial Numerical Association of Response Codes; Dehaene et al., 1993). However, a spatial response bias was also observed with the activation of temporary position-space associations in working memory (ordinal position effect; van Dijck and Fias, 2011). Items belonging to the beginning of a memorized sequence are responded to faster with the left hand side while items at the end of the sequence are responded to faster with the right hand side. The theoretical possibility was put forward that the SNARC effect is an instance of the ordinal position effect, with the empirical consequence that the SNARC effect and the ordinal position effect cannot be observed simultaneously. In two experiments we falsify this claim by demonstrating that the SNARC effect and the ordinal position effect are not mutually exclusive. Consequently, this suggests that the SNARC effect and the ordinal position effect result from the activation of different representations. We conclude that spatial response biases can result from the activation of both pre-existing positions in long-term memory and from temporary space associations in working memory at the same time. PMID:25688199

  11. Characterization of Spatial Memory Reconsolidation

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Jaeger, Xavier; Courtey, Julie; Brus, Maïna; Artinian, Julien; Villain, Hélène; Bacquié, Elodie; Roullet, Pascal

    2014-01-01

    Reconsolidation is necessary for the restabilization of reactivated memory traces. However, experimental parameters have been suggested as boundary conditions for this process. Here we investigated the role of a spatial memory trace's age, strength, and update on the reconsolidation process in mice. We first found that protein synthesis is…

  12. Adolescent binge drinking linked to abnormal spatial working memory brain activation: differential gender effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squeglia, Lindsay M; Schweinsburg, Alecia Dager; Pulido, Carmen; Tapert, Susan F

    2011-10-01

    Binge drinking is prevalent during adolescence, and its effect on neurocognitive development is of concern. In adult and adolescent populations, heavy substance use has been associated with decrements in cognitive functioning, particularly on tasks of spatial working memory (SWM). Characterizing the gender-specific influences of heavy episodic drinking on SWM may help elucidate the early functional consequences of drinking on adolescent brain functioning. Forty binge drinkers (13 females, 27 males) and 55 controls (24 females, 31 males), aged 16 to 19 years, completed neuropsychological testing, substance use interviews, and an SWM task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. Significant binge drinking status × gender interactions were found (p working memory performances (p performance (p gender-specific differences in frontal, temporal, and cerebellar brain activation during an SWM task, which in turn relate to cognitive performance. Activation correlates with neuropsychological performance, strengthening the argument that blood oxygen level-dependent activation is affected by alcohol use and is an important indicator of behavioral functioning. Females may be more vulnerable to the neurotoxic effects of heavy alcohol use during adolescence, while males may be more resilient to the deleterious effects of binge drinking. Future longitudinal research will examine the significance of SWM brain activation as an early neurocognitive marker of alcohol impact to the brain on future behaviors, such as driving safety, academic performance, and neuropsychological performance. Copyright © 2011 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

  13. 3D hierarchical spatial representation and memory of multimodal sensory data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khosla, Deepak; Dow, Paul A.; Huber, David J.

    2009-04-01

    This paper describes an efficient method and system for representing, processing and understanding multi-modal sensory data. More specifically, it describes a computational method and system for how to process and remember multiple locations in multimodal sensory space (e.g., visual, auditory, somatosensory, etc.). The multimodal representation and memory is based on a biologically-inspired hierarchy of spatial representations implemented with novel analogues of real representations used in the human brain. The novelty of the work is in the computationally efficient and robust spatial representation of 3D locations in multimodal sensory space as well as an associated working memory for storage and recall of these representations at the desired level for goal-oriented action. We describe (1) A simple and efficient method for human-like hierarchical spatial representations of sensory data and how to associate, integrate and convert between these representations (head-centered coordinate system, body-centered coordinate, etc.); (2) a robust method for training and learning a mapping of points in multimodal sensory space (e.g., camera-visible object positions, location of auditory sources, etc.) to the above hierarchical spatial representations; and (3) a specification and implementation of a hierarchical spatial working memory based on the above for storage and recall at the desired level for goal-oriented action(s). This work is most useful for any machine or human-machine application that requires processing of multimodal sensory inputs, making sense of it from a spatial perspective (e.g., where is the sensory information coming from with respect to the machine and its parts) and then taking some goal-oriented action based on this spatial understanding. A multi-level spatial representation hierarchy means that heterogeneous sensory inputs (e.g., visual, auditory, somatosensory, etc.) can map onto the hierarchy at different levels. When controlling various machine

  14. A Matter of Balance: Motor Control is Related to Children’s Spatial and Proportional Reasoning Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frick, Andrea; Möhring, Wenke

    2016-01-01

    Recent research has shown close links between spatial and mathematical thinking and between spatial abilities and motor skills. However, longitudinal research examining the relations between motor, spatial, and mathematical skills is rare, and the nature of these relations remains unclear. The present study thus investigated the relation between children’s motor control and their spatial and proportional reasoning. We measured 6-year-olds’ spatial scaling (i.e., the ability to reason about different-sized spaces), their mental transformation skills, and their ability to balance on one leg as an index for motor control. One year later (N = 126), we tested the same children’s understanding of proportions. We also assessed several control variables (verbal IQ and socio-economic status) as well as inhibitory control, visuo-spatial and verbal working memory. Stepwise hierarchical regressions showed that, after accounting for effects of control variables, children’s balance skills significantly increased the explained variance in their spatial performance and proportional reasoning. Our results suggest specific relations between balance skills and spatial as well as proportional reasoning skills that cannot be explained by general differences in executive functioning or intelligence. PMID:26793157

  15. Hearing visuo-tactile synchrony - Sound-induced proprioceptive drift in the invisible hand illusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darnai, Gergely; Szolcsányi, Tibor; Hegedüs, Gábor; Kincses, Péter; Kállai, János; Kovács, Márton; Simon, Eszter; Nagy, Zsófia; Janszky, József

    2017-02-01

    The rubber hand illusion (RHI) and its variant the invisible hand illusion (IHI) are useful for investigating multisensory aspects of bodily self-consciousness. Here, we explored whether auditory conditioning during an RHI could enhance the trisensory visuo-tactile-proprioceptive interaction underlying the IHI. Our paradigm comprised of an IHI session that was followed by an RHI session and another IHI session. The IHI sessions had two parts presented in counterbalanced order. One part was conducted in silence, whereas the other part was conducted on the backdrop of metronome beats that occurred in synchrony with the brush movements used for the induction of the illusion. In a first experiment, the RHI session also involved metronome beats and was aimed at creating an associative memory between the brush stroking of a rubber hand and the sounds. An analysis of IHI sessions showed that the participants' perceived hand position drifted more towards the body-midline in the metronome relative to the silent condition without any sound-related session differences. Thus, the sounds, but not the auditory RHI conditioning, influenced the IHI. In a second experiment, the RHI session was conducted without metronome beats. This confirmed the conditioning-independent presence of sound-induced proprioceptive drift in the IHI. Together, these findings show that the influence of visuo-tactile integration on proprioceptive updating is modifiable by irrelevant auditory cues merely through the temporal correspondence between the visuo-tactile and auditory events. © 2016 The British Psychological Society.

  16. Spatial working memory in aging and mild cognitive impairment: effects of task load and contextual cueing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kessels, Roy P C; Meulenbroek, Olga; Fernández, Guillén; Olde Rikkert, Marcel G M

    2010-09-01

    Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is characterized by episodic memory deficits, while aspects of working memory may also be implicated, but studies into this latter domain are scarce and results are inconclusive. Using a computerized search paradigm, this study compares 25 young adults, 25 typically aging older adults and 15 amnestic MCI patients as to their working-memory capacities for object-location information and potential differential effects of memory load and additional context cues. An age-related deficit in visuospatial working-memory maintenance was found that became more pronounced with increasing task demands. The MCI group additionally showed reduced maintenance of bound information, i.e., object-location associations, again especially at elevated memory load. No effects of contextual cueing were found. The current findings indicate that working memory should be considered when screening patients for suspected MCI and monitoring its progression.

  17. Working Memory Components and Problem-Solving Accuracy: Are There Multiple Pathways?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swanson, H. Lee; Fung, Wenson

    2016-01-01

    This study determined the working memory (WM) components (executive, phonological short-term memory [STM], and visual-spatial sketchpad) that best predicted mathematical word problem-solving accuracy in elementary schoolchildren (N = 392). The battery of tests administered to assess mediators between WM and problem-solving included measures of…

  18. How does the sparse memory "engram" neurons encode the memory of a spatial-temporal event?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ji-Song Guan

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Episodic memory in human brain is not a fixed 2-D picture but a highly dynamic movie serial, integrating information at both the temporal and the spatial domains. Recent studies in neuroscience reveal that memory storage and recall are closely related to the activities in discrete memory engram (trace neurons within the dentate gyrus region of hippocampus and the layer 2/3 of neocortex. More strikingly, optogenetic reactivation of those memory trace neurons is able to trigger the recall of naturally encoded memory. It is still unknown how the discrete memory traces encode and reactivate the memory. Considering a particular memory normally represents a natural event, which consists of information at both the temporal and spatial domains, it is unknown how the discrete trace neurons could reconstitute such enriched information in the brain. Furthermore, as the optogenetic-stimuli induced recall of memory did not depend on firing pattern of the memory traces, it is most likely that the spatial activation pattern, but not the temporal activation pattern of the discrete memory trace neurons encodes the memory in the brain. How does the neural circuit convert the activities in the spatial domain into the temporal domain to reconstitute memory of a natural event? By reviewing the literature, here we present how the memory engram (trace neurons are selected and consolidated in the brain. Then, we will discuss the main challenges in the memory trace theory. In the end, we will provide a plausible model of memory trace cell network, underlying the conversion of neural activities between the spatial domain and the temporal domain. We will also discuss on how the activation of sparse memory trace neurons might trigger the replay of neural activities in specific temporal patterns.

  19. Evidence for a Double Dissociation between Spatial-Simultaneous and Spatial-Sequential Working Memory in Visuospatial (Nonverbal) Learning Disabled Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mammarella, Irene C.; Cornoldi, Cesare; Pazzaglia, Francesca; Toso, Cristina; Grimoldi, Mario; Vio, Claudio

    2006-01-01

    The paper describes the performance of three children with specific visuospatial working memory (VSWM) impairments (Study 1) and three children with visuospatial (nonverbal) learning disabilities (Study 2) assessed with a battery of working memory (WM) tests and with a number of school achievement tasks. Overall, performance on WM tests provides…

  20. Working memory training may increase working memory capacity but not fluid intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Tyler L; Shipstead, Zach; Hicks, Kenny L; Hambrick, David Z; Redick, Thomas S; Engle, Randall W

    2013-12-01

    Working memory is a critical element of complex cognition, particularly under conditions of distraction and interference. Measures of working memory capacity correlate positively with many measures of real-world cognition, including fluid intelligence. There have been numerous attempts to use training procedures to increase working memory capacity and thereby performance on the real-world tasks that rely on working memory capacity. In the study reported here, we demonstrated that training on complex working memory span tasks leads to improvement on similar tasks with different materials but that such training does not generalize to measures of fluid intelligence.

  1. Dissociating the neural correlates of intra-item and inter-item working-memory binding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carinne Piekema

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Integration of information streams into a unitary representation is an important task of our cognitive system. Within working memory, the medial temporal lobe (MTL has been conceptually linked to the maintenance of bound representations. In a previous fMRI study, we have shown that the MTL is indeed more active during working-memory maintenance of spatial associations as compared to non-spatial associations or single items. There are two explanations for this result, the mere presence of the spatial component activates the MTL, or the MTL is recruited to bind associations between neurally non-overlapping representations. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The current fMRI study investigates this issue further by directly comparing intrinsic intra-item binding (object/colour, extrinsic intra-item binding (object/location, and inter-item binding (object/object. The three binding conditions resulted in differential activation of brain regions. Specifically, we show that the MTL is important for establishing extrinsic intra-item associations and inter-item associations, in line with the notion that binding of information processed in different brain regions depends on the MTL. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings indicate that different forms of working-memory binding rely on specific neural structures. In addition, these results extend previous reports indicating that the MTL is implicated in working-memory maintenance, challenging the classic distinction between short-term and long-term memory systems.

  2. The impact of auditory working memory training on the fronto-parietal working memory network

    OpenAIRE

    Schneiders, Julia A.; Opitz, Bertram; Tang, Huijun; Deng, Yuan; Xie, Chaoxiang; Li, Hong; Mecklinger, Axel

    2012-01-01

    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 ...

  3. The measurement of enhancement in mathematical abilities as a result of joint cognitive trainings in numerical and visual- spatial skills: A preliminary study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Agus, M; Mascia, M L; Fastame, M C; Melis, V; Pilloni, M C; Penna, M P

    2015-01-01

    A body of literature shows the significant role of visual-spatial skills played in the improvement of mathematical skills in the primary school. The main goal of the current study was to investigate the impact of a combined visuo-spatial and mathematical training on the improvement of mathematical skills in 146 second graders of several schools located in Italy. Participants were presented single pencil-and-paper visuo-spatial or mathematical trainings, computerised version of the above mentioned treatments, as well as a combined version of computer-assisted and pencil-and-paper visuo-spatial and mathematical trainings, respectively. Experimental groups were presented with training for 3 months, once a week. All children were treated collectively both in computer-assisted or pencil-and-paper modalities. At pre and post-test all our participants were presented with a battery of objective tests assessing numerical and visuo-spatial abilities. Our results suggest the positive effect of different types of training for the empowerment of visuo-spatial and numerical abilities. Specifically, the combination of computerised and pencil-and-paper versions of visuo-spatial and mathematical trainings are more effective than the single execution of the software or of the pencil-and-paper treatment

  4. The measurement of enhancement in mathematical abilities as a result of joint cognitive trainings in numerical and visual- spatial skills: A preliminary study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agus, M.; Mascia, M. L.; Fastame, M. C.; Melis, V.; Pilloni, M. C.; Penna, M. P.

    2015-02-01

    A body of literature shows the significant role of visual-spatial skills played in the improvement of mathematical skills in the primary school. The main goal of the current study was to investigate the impact of a combined visuo-spatial and mathematical training on the improvement of mathematical skills in 146 second graders of several schools located in Italy. Participants were presented single pencil-and-paper visuo-spatial or mathematical trainings, computerised version of the above mentioned treatments, as well as a combined version of computer-assisted and pencil-and-paper visuo-spatial and mathematical trainings, respectively. Experimental groups were presented with training for 3 months, once a week. All children were treated collectively both in computer-assisted or pencil-and-paper modalities. At pre and post-test all our participants were presented with a battery of objective tests assessing numerical and visuo-spatial abilities. Our results suggest the positive effect of different types of training for the empowerment of visuo-spatial and numerical abilities. Specifically, the combination of computerised and pencil-and-paper versions of visuo-spatial and mathematical trainings are more effective than the single execution of the software or of the pencil-and-paper treatment.

  5. Enhanced Long-Term and Impaired Short-Term Spatial Memory in GluA1 AMPA Receptor Subunit Knockout Mice: Evidence for a Dual-Process Memory Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanderson, David J.; Good, Mark A.; Skelton, Kathryn; Sprengel, Rolf; Seeburg, Peter H.; Rawlins, J. Nicholas P.; Bannerman, David M.

    2009-01-01

    The GluA1 AMPA receptor subunit is a key mediator of hippocampal synaptic plasticity and is especially important for a rapidly-induced, short-lasting form of potentiation. GluA1 gene deletion impairs hippocampus-dependent, spatial working memory, but spares hippocampus-dependent spatial reference memory. These findings may reflect the necessity of…

  6. The Architecture, Dynamics, and Development of Mental Processing: Greek, Chinese, or Universal?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demetriou, A.; Kui, Z.X.; Spanoudis, G.; Christou, C.; Kyriakides, L.; Platsidou, M.

    2005-01-01

    This study compared Greeks with Chinese, from 8 to 14 years of age, on measures of processing efficiency, working memory, and reasoning. All processes were addressed through three domains of relations: verbal/propositional, quantitative, and visuo/spatial. Structural equations modelling and rating scale analysis showed that the architecture and…

  7. Spatial Memory for Patterns of Taps on the Fingers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markel, Paul D

    2015-01-01

    Ongoing development of haptic technology has the potential to provide significant improvement in safety and performance in demanding environments where vision and hearing are compromised. Research regarding the cognitive psychology of touch is lacking and could be beneficial in the development of expectations about human performance for the refinement and implementation of haptic technology. This study examines haptic-spatial memory using a novel assessment method based on finger anatomy. In addition, evidence is presented for a serial-position effect for haptic-spatial memory that is analogous to the classic serial-position effect demonstrated in the verbal recall of word lists. Finally, haptic-spatial memory is compared with short- and long-term memory for visual-spatial tasks.

  8. Hilar GABAergic interneuron activity controls spatial learning and memory retrieval.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yaisa Andrews-Zwilling

    Full Text Available Although extensive research has demonstrated the importance of excitatory granule neurons in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus in normal learning and memory and in the pathogenesis of amnesia in Alzheimer's disease (AD, the role of hilar GABAergic inhibitory interneurons, which control the granule neuron activity, remains unclear.We explored the function of hilar GABAergic interneurons in spatial learning and memory by inhibiting their activity through Cre-dependent viral expression of enhanced halorhodopsin (eNpHR3.0--a light-driven chloride pump. Hilar GABAergic interneuron-specific expression of eNpHR3.0 was achieved by bilaterally injecting adeno-associated virus containing a double-floxed inverted open-reading frame encoding eNpHR3.0 into the hilus of the dentate gyrus of mice expressing Cre recombinase under the control of an enhancer specific for GABAergic interneurons. In vitro and in vivo illumination with a yellow laser elicited inhibition of hilar GABAergic interneurons and consequent activation of dentate granule neurons, without affecting pyramidal neurons in the CA3 and CA1 regions of the hippocampus. We found that optogenetic inhibition of hilar GABAergic interneuron activity impaired spatial learning and memory retrieval, without affecting memory retention, as determined in the Morris water maze test. Importantly, optogenetic inhibition of hilar GABAergic interneuron activity did not alter short-term working memory, motor coordination, or exploratory activity.Our findings establish a critical role for hilar GABAergic interneuron activity in controlling spatial learning and memory retrieval and provide evidence for the potential contribution of GABAergic interneuron impairment to the pathogenesis of amnesia in AD.

  9. Selection in spatial working memory is independent of perceptual selective attention, but they interact in a shared spatial priority map.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedge, Craig; Oberauer, Klaus; Leonards, Ute

    2015-11-01

    We examined the relationship between the attentional selection of perceptual information and of information in working memory (WM) through four experiments, using a spatial WM-updating task. Participants remembered the locations of two objects in a matrix and worked through a sequence of updating operations, each mentally shifting one dot to a new location according to an arrow cue. Repeatedly updating the same object in two successive steps is typically faster than switching to the other object; this object switch cost reflects the shifting of attention in WM. In Experiment 1, the arrows were presented in random peripheral locations, drawing perceptual attention away from the selected object in WM. This manipulation did not eliminate the object switch cost, indicating that the mechanisms of perceptual selection do not underlie selection in WM. Experiments 2a and 2b corroborated the independence of selection observed in Experiment 1, but showed a benefit to reaction times when the placement of the arrow cue was aligned with the locations of relevant objects in WM. Experiment 2c showed that the same benefit also occurs when participants are not able to mark an updating location through eye fixations. Together, these data can be accounted for by a framework in which perceptual selection and selection in WM are separate mechanisms that interact through a shared spatial priority map.

  10. Spatial resolution in visual memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-Shalom, Asaf; Ganel, Tzvi

    2015-04-01

    Representations in visual short-term memory are considered to contain relatively elaborated information on object structure. Conversely, representations in earlier stages of the visual hierarchy are thought to be dominated by a sensory-based, feed-forward buildup of information. In four experiments, we compared the spatial resolution of different object properties between two points in time along the processing hierarchy in visual short-term memory. Subjects were asked either to estimate the distance between objects or to estimate the size of one of the objects' features under two experimental conditions, of either a short or a long delay period between the presentation of the target stimulus and the probe. When different objects were referred to, similar spatial resolution was found for the two delay periods, suggesting that initial processing stages are sensitive to object-based properties. Conversely, superior resolution was found for the short, as compared with the long, delay when features were referred to. These findings suggest that initial representations in visual memory are hybrid in that they allow fine-grained resolution for object features alongside normal visual sensitivity to the segregation between objects. The findings are also discussed in reference to the distinction made in earlier studies between visual short-term memory and iconic memory.

  11. A facilitative effect of negative affective valence on working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gotoh, Fumiko; Kikuchi, Tadashi; Olofsson, Ulrich

    2010-06-01

    Previous studies have shown that negatively valenced information impaired working memory performance due to an attention-capturing effect. The present study examined whether negative valence could also facilitate working memory. Affective words (negative, neutral, positive) were used as retro-cues in a working memory task that required participants to remember colors at different spatial locations on a computer screen. Following the cue, a target detection task was used to either shift attention to a different location or keep attention at the same location as the retro-cue. Finally, participants were required to discriminate the cued color from a set of distractors. It was found that negative cues yielded shorter response times (RTs) in the attention-shift condition and longer RTs in the attention-stay condition, compared with neutral and positive cues. The results suggest that negative affective valence may enhance working memory performance (RTs), provided that attention can be disengaged.

  12. Introduction to the Special Issue on Visual Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfe, Jeremy M

    2014-01-01

    Objects are not represented individually in visual working memory (VWM), but in relation to the contextual information provided by other memorized objects. We studied whether the contextual information provided by the spatial configuration of all memorized objects is viewpoint-dependent. We ran two experiments asking participants to detect changes in locations between memory and probe for one object highlighted in the probe image. We manipulated the changes in viewpoint between memory and probe (Exp. 1: 0°, 30°, 60°; Exp. 2: 0°, 60°), as well as the spatial configuration visible in the probe image (Exp. 1: full configuration, partial configuration; Exp. 2: full configuration, no configuration). Location change detection was higher with the full spatial configuration than with the partial configuration or with no spatial configuration at viewpoint changes of 0°, thus replicating previous findings on the nonindependent representations of individual objects in VWM. Most importantly, the effect of spatial configurations decreased with increasing viewpoint changes, suggesting a viewpoint-dependent representation of contextual information in VWM. We discuss these findings within the context of this special issue, in particular whether research performed within the slots-versus-resources debate and research on the effects of contextual information might focus on two different storage systems within VWM. PMID:25341647

  13. Multiple Systems of Spatial Memory: Evidence from Described Scenes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avraamides, Marios N.; Kelly, Jonathan W.

    2010-01-01

    Recent models in spatial cognition posit that distinct memory systems are responsible for maintaining transient and enduring spatial relations. The authors used perspective-taking performance to assess the presence of these enduring and transient spatial memories for locations encoded through verbal descriptions. Across 3 experiments, spatial…

  14. Working memory: what relevance does it have in learning process and in language processing ?

    OpenAIRE

    Lidiomar José Mascarello

    2012-01-01

    This work consists of a systematic review of the literature on working memory.  Researches, including the ones developed by George Miller (1956) and Paul Carrillo-Mora (2010) have shown that working memory is involved in remembering visual and spatial information, as well as in cognitive activities and in planning strategies.  In the present article, we first examine some important facts in the history of research about working memory. After that, we analyze works published from 2001 to 2011 ...

  15. Spared unconscious influences of spatial memory in diencephalic amnesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antonides, Rémy; Wester, Arie J.; Kessels, Roy P. C.

    2008-01-01

    Spatial memory is crucial to our daily lives and in part strongly depends on automatic, implicit memory processes. This study investigates the neurocognitive basis of conscious and unconscious influences of object–location memory in amnesic patients with Korsakoff’s syndrome (N = 23) and healthy controls (N = 18) using a process-dissociation procedure in a computerized spatial memory task. As expected, the patients performed substantially worse on the conscious memory measures but showed even slightly stronger effects of unconscious influences than the controls. Moreover, a delayed test administered after 1 week revealed a strong decline in conscious influences in the patients, while unconscious influences were not affected. The presented results suggest that conscious and unconscious influences of spatial memory can be clearly dissociated in Korsakoff’s syndrome. PMID:18560813

  16. Disturbance effect of music on processing of verbal and spatial memories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwanaga, Makoto; Ito, Takako

    2002-06-01

    The purpose of the present study was to examine the disturbance effect of music on performances of memory tasks. Subjects performed a verbal memory task and a spatial memory task in 4 sound conditions, including the presence of vocal music, instrumental music, a natural sound (murmurings of a stream), and no music. 47 undergraduate volunteers were randomly assigned to perform tasks under each condition. Perceived disturbance was highest under the vocal music condition regardless of the type of task. A disturbance in performance by music was observed only with the verbal memory task under the vocal and the instrumental music conditions. These findings were discussed from the perspectives of the working memory hypothesis and the changing state model.

  17. Melatonin improves spatial navigation memory in male diabetic rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farrin Babaei-Balderlou

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of melatonin as an antioxidant on spatial navigation memory in male diabetic rats. Thirty-two male white Wistar rats weighing 200 ± 20 g were divided into four groups, randomly: control, melatonin, diabetic and melatonin-treated diabetic. Experimental diabetes was induced by intraperitoneal injection of 50 mg kg-1 streptozotocin. Melatonin was injected (10 mg kg-1 day-1, ip for 2 weeks after 21 days of diabetes induction. At the end of administration period, the spatial navigation memory of rats was evaluated by cross-arm maze. In this study lipid peroxidation levels, glutathione-peroxidase and catalase activities were measured in hippocampus. Diabetes caused to significant decrease in alternation percent in the cross-arm maze, as a spatial memory index, compared to the control group (p < 0.05, whereas administration of melatonin prevented the spatial memory deficit in diabetic rats. Also melatonin injection significantly increased the spatial memory in intact animals compared to the control group (p < 0.05. Assessment of hippocampus homogenates indicated an increase in lipid peroxidation levels and a decrease in GSH-Px and CAT activities in the diabetic group compared to the control animals, while melatonin administration ameliorated these indices in diabetic rats. In conclusion, diabetes induction leads to debilitation of spatial navigation memory in rats, and the melatonin treatment improves the memory presumably through the reduction of oxidative stress in hippocampus of diabetic rats.

  18. The case against specialized visual-spatial short-term memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morey, Candice C

    2018-05-24

    The dominant paradigm for understanding working memory, or the combination of the perceptual, attentional, and mnemonic processes needed for thinking, subdivides short-term memory (STM) according to whether memoranda are encoded in aural-verbal or visual formats. This traditional dissociation has been supported by examples of neuropsychological patients who seem to selectively lack STM for either aural-verbal, visual, or spatial memoranda, and by experimental research using dual-task methods. Though this evidence is the foundation of assumptions of modular STM systems, the case it makes for a specialized visual STM system is surprisingly weak. I identify the key evidence supporting a distinct verbal STM system-patients with apparent selective damage to verbal STM and the resilience of verbal short-term memories to general dual-task interference-and apply these benchmarks to neuropsychological and experimental investigations of visual-spatial STM. Contrary to the evidence on verbal STM, patients with apparent visual or spatial STM deficits tend to experience a wide range of additional deficits, making it difficult to conclude that a distinct short-term store was damaged. Consistently with this, a meta-analysis of dual-task visual-spatial STM research shows that robust dual-task costs are consistently observed regardless of the domain or sensory code of the secondary task. Together, this evidence suggests that positing a specialized visual STM system is not necessary. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

  19. Dissociation of spatial memory systems in Williams syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bostelmann, Mathilde; Fragnière, Emilie; Costanzo, Floriana; Di Vara, Silvia; Menghini, Deny; Vicari, Stefano; Lavenex, Pierre; Lavenex, Pamela Banta

    2017-11-01

    Williams syndrome (WS), a genetic deletion syndrome, is characterized by severe visuospatial deficits affecting performance on both tabletop spatial tasks and on tasks which assess orientation and navigation. Nevertheless, previous studies of WS spatial capacities have ignored the fact that two different spatial memory systems are believed to contribute parallel spatial representations supporting navigation. The place learning system depends on the hippocampal formation and creates flexible relational representations of the environment, also known as cognitive maps. The spatial response learning system depends on the striatum and creates fixed stimulus-response representations, also known as habits. Indeed, no study assessing WS spatial competence has used tasks which selectively target these two spatial memory systems. Here, we report that individuals with WS exhibit a dissociation in their spatial abilities subserved by these two memory systems. As compared to typically developing (TD) children in the same mental age range, place learning performance was impaired in individuals with WS. In contrast, their spatial response learning performance was facilitated. Our findings in individuals with WS and TD children suggest that place learning and response learning interact competitively to control the behavioral strategies normally used to support human spatial navigation. Our findings further suggest that the neural pathways supporting place learning may be affected by the genetic deletion that characterizes WS, whereas those supporting response learning may be relatively preserved. The dissociation observed between these two spatial memory systems provides a coherent theoretical framework to characterize the spatial abilities of individuals with WS, and may lead to the development of new learning strategies based on their facilitated response learning abilities. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Errors on interrupter tasks presented during spatial and verbal working memory performance are linearly linked to large-scale functional network connectivity in high temporal resolution resting state fMRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magnuson, Matthew Evan; Thompson, Garth John; Schwarb, Hillary; Pan, Wen-Ju; McKinley, Andy; Schumacher, Eric H; Keilholz, Shella Dawn

    2015-12-01

    The brain is organized into networks composed of spatially separated anatomical regions exhibiting coherent functional activity over time. Two of these networks (the default mode network, DMN, and the task positive network, TPN) have been implicated in the performance of a number of cognitive tasks. To directly examine the stable relationship between network connectivity and behavioral performance, high temporal resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data were collected during the resting state, and behavioral data were collected from 15 subjects on different days, exploring verbal working memory, spatial working memory, and fluid intelligence. Sustained attention performance was also evaluated in a task interleaved between resting state scans. Functional connectivity within and between the DMN and TPN was related to performance on these tasks. Decreased TPN resting state connectivity was found to significantly correlate with fewer errors on an interrupter task presented during a spatial working memory paradigm and decreased DMN/TPN anti-correlation was significantly correlated with fewer errors on an interrupter task presented during a verbal working memory paradigm. A trend for increased DMN resting state connectivity to correlate to measures of fluid intelligence was also observed. These results provide additional evidence of the relationship between resting state networks and behavioral performance, and show that such results can be observed with high temporal resolution fMRI. Because cognitive scores and functional connectivity were collected on nonconsecutive days, these results highlight the stability of functional connectivity/cognitive performance coupling.

  1. Short term memory for single surface features and bindings in ageing: A replication study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isella, Valeria; Molteni, Federica; Mapelli, Cristina; Ferrarese, Carlo

    2015-06-01

    In the present study we replicated a previous experiment investigating visuo-spatial short term memory binding in young and older healthy individuals, in the attempt to verify the pattern of impairment that can be observed in normal elderly for short term memory for single items vs short term memory for bindings. Assessing a larger sample size (25 young and 25 older subjects), using a more appropriate measure of accuracy for a change detection task (A'), and adding the evaluation of speed of performance, we confirmed that old normals show a decline in short term memory for bindings of shape and colour that is of comparable extent, and not major, to the decline in memory for single shapes and single colours. The absence of a specific deficit of short term memory for conjunctions of surface features seems to distinguish cognitive ageing from Alzheimer's Disease. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Enhanced long-term and impaired short-term spatial memory in GluA1 AMPA receptor subunit knockout mice: evidence for a dual-process memory model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanderson, David J; Good, Mark A; Skelton, Kathryn; Sprengel, Rolf; Seeburg, Peter H; Rawlins, J Nicholas P; Bannerman, David M

    2009-06-01

    The GluA1 AMPA receptor subunit is a key mediator of hippocampal synaptic plasticity and is especially important for a rapidly-induced, short-lasting form of potentiation. GluA1 gene deletion impairs hippocampus-dependent, spatial working memory, but spares hippocampus-dependent spatial reference memory. These findings may reflect the necessity of GluA1-dependent synaptic plasticity for short-term memory of recently visited places, but not for the ability to form long-term associations between a particular spatial location and an outcome. This hypothesis is in concordance with the theory that short-term and long-term memory depend on dissociable psychological processes. In this study we tested GluA1-/- mice on both short-term and long-term spatial memory using a simple novelty preference task. Mice were given a series of repeated exposures to a particular spatial location (the arm of a Y-maze) before their preference for a novel spatial location (the unvisited arm of the maze) over the familiar spatial location was assessed. GluA1-/- mice were impaired if the interval between the trials was short (1 min), but showed enhanced spatial memory if the interval between the trials was long (24 h). This enhancement was caused by the interval between the exposure trials rather than the interval prior to the test, thus demonstrating enhanced learning and not simply enhanced performance or expression of memory. This seemingly paradoxical enhancement of hippocampus-dependent spatial learning may be caused by GluA1 gene deletion reducing the detrimental effects of short-term memory on subsequent long-term learning. Thus, these results support a dual-process model of memory in which short-term and long-term memory are separate and sometimes competitive processes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chun, Marvin M

    2011-05-01

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

  4. Histone deacetylase inhibition abolishes stress-induced spatial memory impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas-López, Viviana; Lamprea, Marisol R; Múnera, Alejandro

    2016-10-01

    Acute stress induced before spatial training impairs memory consolidation. Although non-epigenetic underpinning of such effect has been described, the epigenetic mechanisms involved have not yet been studied. Since spatial training and intense stress have opposite effects on histone acetylation balance, it is conceivable that disruption of such balance may underlie acute stress-induced spatial memory consolidation impairment and that inhibiting histone deacetylases prevents such effect. Trichostatin-A (TSA, a histone deacetylase inhibitor) was used to test its effectiveness in preventing stress' deleterious effect on memory. Male Wistar rats were trained in a spatial task in the Barnes maze; 1-h movement restraint was applied to half of them before training. Immediately after training, stressed and non-stressed animals were randomly assigned to receive either TSA (1mg/kg) or vehicle intraperitoneal injection. Twenty-four hours after training, long-term spatial memory was tested; plasma and brain tissue were collected immediately after the memory test to evaluate corticosterone levels and histone H3 acetylation in several brain areas. Stressed animals receiving vehicle displayed memory impairment, increased plasma corticosterone levels and markedly reduced histone H3 acetylation in prelimbic cortex and hippocampus. Such effects did not occur in stressed animals treated with TSA. The aforementioned results support the hypothesis that acute stress induced-memory impairment is related to histone deacetylation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Detailed sensory memory, sloppy working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilja G Sligte

    2010-10-01

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

  6. Detailed sensory memory, sloppy working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  7. The magnetic touch illusion: A perceptual correlate of visuo-tactile integration in peripersonal space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guterstam, Arvid; Zeberg, Hugo; Özçiftci, Vedat Menderes; Ehrsson, H Henrik

    2016-10-01

    To accurately localize our limbs and guide movements toward external objects, the brain must represent the body and its surrounding (peripersonal) visual space. Specific multisensory neurons encode peripersonal space in the monkey brain, and neurobehavioral studies have suggested the existence of a similar representation in humans. However, because peripersonal space lacks a distinct perceptual correlate, its involvement in spatial and bodily perception remains unclear. Here, we show that applying brushstrokes in mid-air at some distance above a rubber hand-without touching it-in synchrony with brushstrokes applied to a participant's hidden real hand results in the illusory sensation of a "magnetic force" between the brush and the rubber hand, which strongly correlates with the perception of the rubber hand as one's own. In eight experiments, we characterized this "magnetic touch illusion" by using quantitative subjective reports, motion tracking, and behavioral data consisting of pointing errors toward the rubber hand in an intermanual pointing task. We found that the illusion depends on visuo-tactile synchrony and exhibits similarities with the visuo-tactile receptive field properties of peripersonal space neurons, featuring a non-linear decay at 40cm that is independent of gaze direction and follows changes in the rubber hand position. Moreover, the "magnetic force" does not penetrate physical barriers, thus further linking this phenomenon to body-specific visuo-tactile integration processes. These findings provide strong support for the notion that multisensory integration within peripersonal space underlies bodily self-attribution. Furthermore, we propose that the magnetic touch illusion constitutes a perceptual correlate of visuo-tactile integration in peripersonal space. Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Is working memory still working?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baddeley, A D

    2001-11-01

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

  9. Enhanced recognition memory after incidental encoding in children with developmental dyslexia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Hedenius

    Full Text Available Developmental dyslexia (DD has previously been associated with a number of cognitive deficits. Little attention has been directed to cognitive functions that remain intact in the disorder, though the investigation and identification of such strengths might be useful for developing new, and improving current, therapeutical interventions. In this study, an old/new recognition memory paradigm was used to examine previously untested aspects of declarative memory in children with DD and typically developing control children. The DD group was not only not impaired at the task, but actually showed superior recognition memory, as compared to the control children. These findings complement previous reports of enhanced cognition in other domains (e.g., visuo-spatial processing in DD. Possible underlying mechanisms for the observed DD advantage in declarative memory, and the possibility of compensation by this system for reading deficits in dyslexia, are discussed.

  10. Hilar GABAergic Interneuron Activity Controls Spatial Learning and Memory Retrieval

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews-Zwilling, Yaisa; Gillespie, Anna K.; Kravitz, Alexxai V.; Nelson, Alexandra B.; Devidze, Nino; Lo, Iris; Yoon, Seo Yeon; Bien-Ly, Nga; Ring, Karen; Zwilling, Daniel; Potter, Gregory B.; Rubenstein, John L. R.; Kreitzer, Anatol C.; Huang, Yadong

    2012-01-01

    Background Although extensive research has demonstrated the importance of excitatory granule neurons in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus in normal learning and memory and in the pathogenesis of amnesia in Alzheimer's disease (AD), the role of hilar GABAergic inhibitory interneurons, which control the granule neuron activity, remains unclear. Methodology and Principal Findings We explored the function of hilar GABAergic interneurons in spatial learning and memory by inhibiting their activity through Cre-dependent viral expression of enhanced halorhodopsin (eNpHR3.0)—a light-driven chloride pump. Hilar GABAergic interneuron-specific expression of eNpHR3.0 was achieved by bilaterally injecting adeno-associated virus containing a double-floxed inverted open-reading frame encoding eNpHR3.0 into the hilus of the dentate gyrus of mice expressing Cre recombinase under the control of an enhancer specific for GABAergic interneurons. In vitro and in vivo illumination with a yellow laser elicited inhibition of hilar GABAergic interneurons and consequent activation of dentate granule neurons, without affecting pyramidal neurons in the CA3 and CA1 regions of the hippocampus. We found that optogenetic inhibition of hilar GABAergic interneuron activity impaired spatial learning and memory retrieval, without affecting memory retention, as determined in the Morris water maze test. Importantly, optogenetic inhibition of hilar GABAergic interneuron activity did not alter short-term working memory, motor coordination, or exploratory activity. Conclusions and Significance Our findings establish a critical role for hilar GABAergic interneuron activity in controlling spatial learning and memory retrieval and provide evidence for the potential contribution of GABAergic interneuron impairment to the pathogenesis of amnesia in AD. PMID:22792368

  11. Music practice is associated with development of working memory during childhood and adolescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergman Nutley, Sissela; Darki, Fahimeh; Klingberg, Torkel

    2014-01-07

    Practicing a musical instrument is associated with cognitive benefits and structural brain changes in correlational and interventional trials; however, the effect of musical training on cognition during childhood is still unclear. In this longitudinal study of child development we analyzed the association between musical practice and performance on reasoning, processing speed and working memory (WM) during development. Subjects (n = 352) between the ages of 6 and 25 years participated in neuropsychological assessments and neuroimaging investigations (n = 64) on two or three occasions, 2 years apart. Mixed model regression showed that musical practice had an overall positive association with WM capacity (visuo-spatial WM, F = 4.59, p = 0.033, verbal WM, F = 9.69, p = 0.002), processing speed, (F = 4.91, p = 0.027) and reasoning (Raven's progressive matrices, F = 28.34, p effect of parental education and other after school activities. Music players also had larger gray matter volume in the temporo-occipital and insular cortex (p = 0.008), areas previously reported to be related to musical notation reading. The change in WM between the time points was proportional to the weekly hours spent on music practice for both WM tests (VSWM, β = 0.351, p = 0.003, verbal WM, β = 0.261, p = 0.006) but this was not significant for reasoning ability (β = 0.021, p = 0.090). These effects remained when controlling for parental education and other after school activities. In conclusion, these results indicate that music practice positively affects WM development and support the importance of practice for the development of WM during childhood and adolescence.

  12. Short-term memory in Down syndrome: applying the working memory model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarrold, C; Baddeley, A D

    2001-10-01

    This paper is divided into three sections. The first reviews the evidence for a verbal short-term memory deficit in Down syndrome. Existing research suggests that short-term memory for verbal information tends to be impaired in Down syndrome, in contrast to short-term memory for visual and spatial material. In addition, problems of hearing or speech do not appear to be a major cause of difficulties on tests of verbal short-term memory. This suggests that Down syndrome is associated with a specific memory problem, which we link to a potential deficit in the functioning of the 'phonological loop' of Baddeley's (1986) model of working memory. The second section considers the implications of a phonological loop problem. Because a reasonable amount is known about the normal functioning of the phonological loop, and of its role in language acquisition in typical development, we can make firm predictions as to the likely nature of the short-term memory problem in Down syndrome, and its consequences for language learning. However, we note that the existing evidence from studies with individuals with Down syndrome does not fit well with these predictions. This leads to the third section of the paper, in which we consider key questions to be addressed in future research. We suggest that there are two questions to be answered, which follow directly from the contradictory results outlined in the previous section. These are 'What is the precise nature of the verbal short-term memory deficit in Down syndrome', and 'What are the consequences of this deficit for learning'. We discuss ways in which these questions might be addressed in future work.

  13. White Matter Microstructure in Superior Longitudinal Fasciculus Associated with Spatial Working Memory Performance in Children

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vestergaard, Martin; Madsen, Kathrine Skak; Baaré, William F C

    2011-01-01

    During childhood and adolescence, ongoing white matter maturation in the fronto-parietal cortices and connecting fiber tracts is measurable with diffusion-weighted imaging. Important questions remain, however, about the links between these changes and developing cognitive functions. Spatial working...... memory (SWM) performance improves significantly throughout the childhood years, and several lines of evidence implicate the left fronto-parietal cortices and connecting fiber tracts in SWM processing. Here we report results from a study of 76 typically developing children, 7 to 13 years of age. We...... hypothesized that better SWM performance would be associated with increased fractional anisotropy (FA) in a left fronto-parietal network composed of the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF), the regional white matter underlying the dorsolateral pFC, and the posterior parietal cortex. As hypothesized, we...

  14. Integrated cross-domain object storage in working memory : Evidence from a verbal-spatial memory task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Morey, C.C.

    2009-01-01

    Working-memory theories often include domain-specific verbal and visual stores (e.g., the phonological and visuospatial buffers of Baddeley, 1986), and some also posit more general stores thought to be capable of holding verbal or visuospatial materials (Baddeley, 2000; Cowan, 2005). However, it is

  15. Spatial memory deficits in patients after unilateral selective amygdalohippocampectomy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kessels, R.P.C.; Hendriks, M.P.H.; Schouten, J.A.; Asselen, M. van; Postma, A.

    2004-01-01

    The present study investigated the differential involvement of the right and left hippocampus in various forms of spatial memory: spatial search, positional memory versus object-location binding, and coordinate versus categorical processing. Twenty-five epilepsy patients with selective

  16. Recurrence of task set-related MEG signal patterns during auditory working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Benjamin; Bledowski, Christoph; Rieder, Maria; Kaiser, Jochen

    2016-06-01

    Processing of auditory spatial and non-spatial information in working memory has been shown to rely on separate cortical systems. While previous studies have demonstrated differences in spatial versus non-spatial processing from the encoding of to-be-remembered stimuli onwards, here we investigated whether such differences would be detectable already prior to presentation of the sample stimulus. We analyzed broad-band magnetoencephalography data from 15 healthy adults during an auditory working memory paradigm starting with a visual cue indicating the task-relevant stimulus feature for a given trial (lateralization or pitch) and a subsequent 1.5-s pre-encoding phase. This was followed by a sample sound (0.2s), the delay phase (0.8s) and a test stimulus (0.2s) after which participants made a match/non-match decision. Linear discriminant functions were trained to decode task-specific signal patterns throughout the task, and temporal generalization was used to assess whether the neural codes discriminating between the tasks during the pre-encoding phase would recur during later task periods. The spatial versus non-spatial tasks could indeed be discriminated after the onset of the cue onwards, and decoders trained during the pre-encoding phase successfully discriminated the tasks during both sample stimulus encoding and during the delay phase. This demonstrates that task-specific neural codes are established already before the memorandum is presented and that the same patterns are reestablished during stimulus encoding and maintenance. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Auditory working memory. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Semantic elaboration in auditory and visual spatial memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taevs, Meghan; Dahmani, Louisa; Zatorre, Robert J; Bohbot, Véronique D

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the hypothesis that semantic information facilitates auditory and visual spatial learning and memory. An auditory spatial task was administered, whereby healthy participants were placed in the center of a semi-circle that contained an array of speakers where the locations of nameable and non-nameable sounds were learned. In the visual spatial task, locations of pictures of abstract art intermixed with nameable objects were learned by presenting these items in specific locations on a computer screen. Participants took part in both the auditory and visual spatial tasks, which were counterbalanced for order and were learned at the same rate. Results showed that learning and memory for the spatial locations of nameable sounds and pictures was significantly better than for non-nameable stimuli. Interestingly, there was a cross-modal learning effect such that the auditory task facilitated learning of the visual task and vice versa. In conclusion, our results support the hypotheses that the semantic representation of items, as well as the presentation of items in different modalities, facilitate spatial learning and memory.

  18. Spatial and Temporal Episodic Memory Retrieval Recruit Dissociable Functional Networks in the Human Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ekstrom, Arne D.; Bookheimer, Susan Y.

    2007-01-01

    Imaging, electrophysiological studies, and lesion work have shown that the medial temporal lobe (MTL) is important for episodic memory; however, it is unclear whether different MTL regions support the spatial, temporal, and item elements of episodic memory. In this study we used fMRI to examine retrieval performance emphasizing different aspects…

  19. Selective deficit of spatial short-term memory: Role of storage and rehearsal mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonnì, Sonia; Perri, Roberta; Fadda, Lucia; Tomaiuolo, Francesco; Koch, Giacomo; Caltagirone, Carlo; Carlesimo, Giovanni Augusto

    2014-10-01

    We report the neuropsychological and MRI investigation of a patient (GP) who developed a selective impairment of spatial short-term memory (STM) following damage to the dorso-mesial areas of the right frontal lobe. We assessed in this patient spatial STM with an experimental procedure that evaluated immediate and 5-20 s delayed recall of verbal, visual and spatial stimuli. The patient scored significantly worse than normal controls on tests that required delayed recall of spatial data. This could not be ascribed to a deficit of spatial episodic long-term memory because amnesic patients performed normally on these tests. Conversely, the patient scored in the normal range on tests of immediate recall of verbal, visual and spatial data and tests of delayed recall of verbal and visual data. Comparison with a previously described patient who had a selective deficit in immediate spatial recall and an ischemic lesion that affected frontal and parietal dorso-mesial areas in the right hemisphere (Carlesimo GA, Perri R, Turriziani P, Tomaiuolo F, Caltagirone C. Remembering what but not where: independence of spatial and visual working memory in the human brain. Cortex. 2001 Sep; 37(4):519-34) suggests that the right parietal areas are involved in the short-term storage of spatial information and that the dorso-mesial regions of the right frontal underlie mechanisms for the delayed maintenance of the same data.

  20. Intrahippocampal Administration of Amyloid-β1–42 Oligomers Acutely Impairs Spatial Working Memory, Insulin Signaling, and Hippocampal Metabolism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearson-Leary, Jiah; McNay, Ewan C.

    2017-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that abnormal brain accumulation of amyloid-β1–42 (Aβ1–42) oligomers plays a causal role in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and in particular may cause the cognitive deficits that are the hallmark of AD. In vitro, Aβ1–42 oligomers impair insulin signaling and suppress neural functioning. We previously showed that endogenous insulin signaling is an obligatory component of normal hippocampal function, and that disrupting this signaling led to a rapid impairment of spatial working memory, while delivery of exogenous insulin to the hippocampus enhanced both memory and metabolism; diet-induced insulin resistance both impaired spatial memory and prevented insulin from increasing metabolism or cognitive function. Hence, we tested the hypothesis that Aβ1–42 oligomers could acutely impair hippocampal metabolic and cognitive processes in vivo in the rat. Our findings support this hypothesis: Aβ1–42 oligomers impaired spontaneous alternation behavior while preventing the task-associated dip in hippocampal ECF glucose observed in control animals. In addition, Aβ1–42 oligomers decreased plasma membrane translocation of the insulin-sensitive glucose transporter 4 (GluT4), and impaired insulin signaling as measured by phosphorylation of Akt. These data show in vivo that Aβ1–42 oligomers can rapidly impair hippocampal cognitive and metabolic processes, and provide support for the hypothesis that elevated Aβ1–42 leads to cognitive impairment via interference with hippocampal insulin signaling. PMID:22430529

  1. The medial prefrontal cortex is involved in spatial memory retrieval under partial-cue conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jo, Yong Sang; Park, Eun Hye; Kim, Il Hwan; Park, Soon Kwon; Kim, Hyun; Kim, Hyun Taek; Choi, June-Seek

    2007-12-05

    Brain circuits involved in pattern completion, or retrieval of memory from fragmented cues, were investigated. Using different versions of the Morris water maze, we explored the roles of the CA3 subregion of the hippocampus and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in spatial memory retrieval under various conditions. In a hidden platform task, both CA3 and mPFC lesions disrupted memory retrieval under partial-cue, but not under full-cue, conditions. For a delayed matching-to-place task, CA3 lesions produced a deficit in both forming and recalling spatial working memory regardless of extramaze cue conditions. In contrast, damage to mPFC impaired memory retrieval only when a fraction of cues was available. To corroborate the lesion study, we examined the expression of the immediate early gene c-fos in mPFC and the hippocampus. After training of spatial reference memory in full-cue conditions for 6 d, the same training procedure in the absence of all cues except one increased the number of Fos-immunoreactive cells in mPFC and CA3. Furthermore, mPFC inactivation with muscimol, a GABA agonist, blocked memory retrieval in the degraded-cue environment. However, mPFC-lesioned animals initially trained in a single-cue environment had no difficulty in retrieving spatial memory when the number of cues was increased, demonstrating that contextual change per se did not impair the behavioral performance of the mPFC-lesioned animals. Together, these findings strongly suggest that pattern completion requires interactions between mPFC and the hippocampus, in which mPFC plays significant roles in retrieving spatial information maintained in the hippocampus for efficient navigation.

  2. Emotion, working memory task demands and individual differences predict behavior, cognitive effort and negative affect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storbeck, Justin; Davidson, Nicole A; Dahl, Chelsea F; Blass, Sara; Yung, Edwin

    2015-01-01

    We examined whether positive and negative affect motivates verbal and spatial working memory processes, respectively, which have implications for the expenditure of mental effort. We argue that when emotion promotes cognitive tendencies that are goal incompatible with task demands, greater cognitive effort is required to perform well. We sought to investigate whether this increase in cognitive effort impairs behavioural control over a broad domain of self-control tasks. Moreover, we predicted that individuals with higher behavioural inhibition system (BIS) sensitivities would report more negative affect within the goal incompatible conditions because such individuals report higher negative affect during cognitive challenge. Positive or negative affective states were induced followed by completing a verbal or spatial 2-back working memory task. All participants then completed one of three self-control tasks. Overall, we observed that conditions of emotion and working memory incompatibility (positive/spatial and negative/verbal) performed worse on the self-control tasks, and within the incompatible conditions individuals with higher BIS sensitivities reported more negative affect at the end of the study. The combination of findings suggests that emotion and working memory compatibility reduces cognitive effort and impairs behavioural control.

  3. The synthetic cannabinoid HU210 induces spatial memory deficits and suppresses hippocampal firing rate in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, L; Goonawardena, A V; Pertwee, R G; Hampson, R E; Riedel, G

    2007-07-01

    Previous work implied that the hippocampal cannabinoid system was particularly important in some forms of learning, but direct evidence for this hypothesis is scarce. We therefore assessed the effects of the synthetic cannabinoid HU210 on memory and hippocampal activity. HU210 (100 microg kg(-1)) was administered intraperitoneally to rats under three experimental conditions. One group of animals were pre-trained in spatial working memory using a delayed-matching-to-position task and effects of HU210 were assessed in a within-subject design. In another, rats were injected before acquisition learning of a spatial reference memory task with constant platform location. Finally, a separate group of animals was implanted with electrode bundles in CA1 and CA3 and single unit responses were isolated, before and after HU210 treatment. HU210 treatment had no effect on working or short-term memory. Relative to its control Tween 80, deficits in acquisition of a reference memory version of the water maze were obtained, along with drug-related effects on anxiety, motor activity and spatial learning. Deficits were not reversed by the CB(1) receptor antagonists SR141716A (3 mg kg(-1)) or AM281 (1.5 mg kg(-1)). Single unit recordings from principal neurons in hippocampal CA3 and CA1 confirmed HU210-induced attenuation of the overall firing activity lowering both the number of complex spikes fired and the occurrence of bursts. These data provide the first direct evidence that the underlying mechanism for the spatial memory deficits induced by HU210 in rats is the accompanying abnormality in hippocampal cell firing.

  4. Strategic neuronal encoding in medial prefrontal cortex of spatial working memory in the T-maze.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yang; Mailman, Richard B

    2018-05-02

    Strategic neuronal encoding in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of the rat was correlated with spatial working memory (sWM) assessed by behavior in the T-maze. Neurons increased their firing rate around choice, with the increase largely occurring before choice as a prospective encode of behavior. This could be classified as sensitive-to-spatial information or sensitive-to-choice outcome. The sensitivity-to-spatial choice was defined by distinct firing rate changes before left- or right-choice. The percentage of left-choice sensitive neurons was not different from the percentage of right-choice sensitive neurons. There was also location-related neuronal activity in which neurons fired at distinct rates when rats were in a left- or right-location. More neurons were sensitive to left-location, as most of them were recorded from rats preferring to enter the right-location. The sensitivity to outcome was defined by a distinct firing rate around correct or error choice. Significantly more neurons were sensitive to error outcome, and, among these, more preferred to encode prospectively, increasing firing in advance of an error outcome. Similar to single neuron activity, the mPFC enhanced its neuronal network as measured by the oscillation of local field potential. The maximum power of oscillation was around choice, and occurred slightly earlier before error versus before correct outcome. Thus, sWM modulation in the mPFC includes not only spatial, but also outcome-related inputs, and neuronal ensembles monitor behavioral outcome to make strategic adjustments ensuring successful task performance. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Ontogeny of neural circuits underlying spatial memory in the rat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Alexander Ainge

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Spatial memory is a well characterised psychological function in both humans and rodents. The combined computations of a network of systems including place cells in the hippocampus, grid cells in the medial entorhinal cortex and head direction cells found in numerous structures in the brain have been suggested to form the neural instantiation of the cognitive map as first described by Tolman in 1948. However, while our understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying spatial representations in adults is relatively sophisticated, we know substantially less about how this network develops in young animals. In this article we review studies examining the developmental timescale that these systems follow. Electrophysiological recordings from very young rats show that directional information is at adult levels at the outset of navigational experience. The systems supporting allocentric memory, however, take longer to mature. This is consistent with behavioural studies of young rats which show that spatial memory based on head direction develops very early but that allocentric spatial memory takes longer to mature. We go on to report new data demonstrating that memory for associations between objects and their spatial locations is slower to develop than memory for objects alone. This is again consistent with previous reports suggesting that adult like spatial representations have a protracted development in rats and also suggests that the systems involved in processing non-spatial stimuli come online earlier.

  6. Team performance in networked supervisory control of unmanned air vehicles: effects of automation, working memory, and communication content.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKendrick, Ryan; Shaw, Tyler; de Visser, Ewart; Saqer, Haneen; Kidwell, Brian; Parasuraman, Raja

    2014-05-01

    Assess team performance within a net-worked supervisory control setting while manipulating automated decision aids and monitoring team communication and working memory ability. Networked systems such as multi-unmanned air vehicle (UAV) supervision have complex properties that make prediction of human-system performance difficult. Automated decision aid can provide valuable information to operators, individual abilities can limit or facilitate team performance, and team communication patterns can alter how effectively individuals work together. We hypothesized that reliable automation, higher working memory capacity, and increased communication rates of task-relevant information would offset performance decrements attributed to high task load. Two-person teams performed a simulated air defense task with two levels of task load and three levels of automated aid reliability. Teams communicated and received decision aid messages via chat window text messages. Task Load x Automation effects were significant across all performance measures. Reliable automation limited the decline in team performance with increasing task load. Average team spatial working memory was a stronger predictor than other measures of team working memory. Frequency of team rapport and enemy location communications positively related to team performance, and word count was negatively related to team performance. Reliable decision aiding mitigated team performance decline during increased task load during multi-UAV supervisory control. Team spatial working memory, communication of spatial information, and team rapport predicted team success. An automated decision aid can improve team performance under high task load. Assessment of spatial working memory and the communication of task-relevant information can help in operator and team selection in supervisory control systems.

  7. Selection within working memory based on a color retro-cue modulates alpha oscillations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poch, Claudia; Capilla, Almudena; Hinojosa, José Antonio; Campo, Pablo

    2017-11-01

    Working Memory (WM) maintains flexible representations. Retrospective cueing studies indicate that selective attention can be directed to memory representations in WM improving performance. While most of the work has explored the neural substrates of orienting attention based on a spatial retro-cue, behavioral studies show that a feature other than location can also improve WM performance. In the present work we explored the oscillatory underpinnings of orienting attention to a relevant representation held in WM guided by a feature value. We recorded EEG data in a group of 36 healthy human subjects (20 females) performing a WM task in which they had to memorize the orientation of four rectangles of different colors. After a maintenance period, a cue was presented indicating the color of the relevant item. We showed that directing attention to a memory item based on its color resulted in a modulation of posterior alpha activity, which appears as more desynchronization in the contralateral than in the ipsilateral hemisphere. Alpha lateralization is considered a neurophysiological marker of external and internal spatial attention. We propose that current findings support the idea that selection of a memory item based on a non-location feature could be accomplished by a spatial attentional mechanism. Moreover, using a centrally presented color retro-cue allowed us to surpass the confounds inherent to the use of spatial retro-cues, supporting that the observed lateralized alpha results from an endogenous attentional mechanism. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberauer, Klaus; Bialkova, Svetlana

    2009-01-01

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

  9. Contingency blindness: location-identity binding mismatches obscure awareness of spatial contingencies and produce profound interference in visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiacconi, Chris M; Milliken, Bruce

    2012-08-01

    The purpose of the present study was to highlight the role of location-identity binding mismatches in obscuring explicit awareness of a strong contingency. In a spatial-priming procedure, we introduced a high likelihood of location-repeat trials. Experiments 1, 2a, and 2b demonstrated that participants' explicit awareness of this contingency was heavily influenced by the local match in location-identity bindings. In Experiment 3, we sought to determine why location-identity binding mismatches produce such low levels of contingency awareness. Our results suggest that binding mismatches can interfere substantially with visual-memory performance. We attribute the low levels of contingency awareness to participants' inability to remember the critical location-identity binding in the prime on a trial-to-trial basis. These results imply a close interplay between object files and visual working memory.

  10. Implied motion language can influence visual spatial memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinson, David W; Engelen, Jan; Zwaan, Rolf A; Matlock, Teenie; Dale, Rick

    2017-07-01

    How do language and vision interact? Specifically, what impact can language have on visual processing, especially related to spatial memory? What are typically considered errors in visual processing, such as remembering the location of an object to be farther along its motion trajectory than it actually is, can be explained as perceptual achievements that are driven by our ability to anticipate future events. In two experiments, we tested whether the prior presentation of motion language influences visual spatial memory in ways that afford greater perceptual prediction. Experiment 1 showed that motion language influenced judgments for the spatial memory of an object beyond the known effects of implied motion present in the image itself. Experiment 2 replicated this finding. Our findings support a theory of perception as prediction.

  11. The Spatial Scaffold: The Effects of Spatial Context on Memory for Events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robin, Jessica; Wynn, Jordana; Moscovitch, Morris

    2016-01-01

    Events always unfold in a spatial context, leading to the claim that it serves as a scaffold for encoding and retrieving episodic memories. The ubiquitous co-occurrence of spatial context with events may induce participants to generate a spatial context when hearing scenarios of events in which it is absent. Spatial context should also serve as an…

  12. The contributions of handedness and working memory to episodic memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahu, Aparna; Christman, Stephen D; Propper, Ruth E

    2016-11-01

    Past studies have independently shown associations of working memory and degree of handedness with episodic memory retrieval. The current study takes a step ahead by examining whether handedness and working memory independently predict episodic memory. In agreement with past studies, there was an inconsistent-handed advantage for episodic memory; however, this advantage was absent for working memory tasks. Furthermore, regression analyses showed handedness, and complex working memory predicted episodic memory performance at different times. Results are discussed in light of theories of episodic memory and hemispheric interaction.

  13. Executive Functions and Working Memory Behaviours in Children with a Poor Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    St. Clair-Thompson, Helen L.

    2011-01-01

    Previous research has suggested that working memory difficulties play an integral role in children's underachievement at school. However, working memory is just one of several executive functions. The extent to which problems in working memory extend to other executive functions is not well understood. In the current study 38 children with a poor…

  14. Modeling spatial-temporal operations with context-dependent associative memories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizraji, Eduardo; Lin, Juan

    2015-10-01

    We organize our behavior and store structured information with many procedures that require the coding of spatial and temporal order in specific neural modules. In the simplest cases, spatial and temporal relations are condensed in prepositions like "below" and "above", "behind" and "in front of", or "before" and "after", etc. Neural operators lie beneath these words, sharing some similarities with logical gates that compute spatial and temporal asymmetric relations. We show how these operators can be modeled by means of neural matrix memories acting on Kronecker tensor products of vectors. The complexity of these memories is further enhanced by their ability to store episodes unfolding in space and time. How does the brain scale up from the raw plasticity of contingent episodic memories to the apparent stable connectivity of large neural networks? We clarify this transition by analyzing a model that flexibly codes episodic spatial and temporal structures into contextual markers capable of linking different memory modules.

  15. Working memory and spatial judgments: Cognitive load increases the central tendency bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allred, Sarah R; Crawford, L Elizabeth; Duffy, Sean; Smith, John

    2016-12-01

    Previous work demonstrates that memory for simple stimuli can be biased by information about the distribution of which the stimulus is a member. Specifically, people underestimate values greater than the distribution's average and overestimate values smaller than the average. This is referred to as the central tendency bias. This bias has been explained as an optimal use of both noisy sensory information and category information. In largely separate literature, cognitive load (CL) experiments attempt to manipulate the available working memory of participants in order to observe the effect on choice or judgments. In two experiments, we demonstrate that participants under high cognitive load exhibit a stronger central tendency bias than when under a low cognitive load. Although not anticipated at the outset, we also find that judgments exhibit an anchoring bias not described previously.

  16. Alpha power gates relevant information during working memory updating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manza, Peter; Hau, Chui Luen Vera; Leung, Hoi-Chung

    2014-04-23

    Human working memory (WM) is inherently limited, so we must filter out irrelevant information in our environment or our mind while retaining limited important relevant contents. Previous work suggests that neural oscillations in the alpha band (8-14 Hz) play an important role in inhibiting incoming distracting information during attention and selective encoding tasks. However, whether alpha power is involved in inhibiting no-longer-relevant content or in representing relevant WM content is still debated. To clarify this issue, we manipulated the amount of relevant/irrelevant information using a task requiring spatial WM updating while measuring neural oscillatory activity via EEG and localized current sources across the scalp using a surface Laplacian transform. An initial memory set of two, four, or six