WorldWideScience

Sample records for working memory load

  1. Working memory load modulates microsaccadic rate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalmaso, Mario; Castelli, Luigi; Scatturin, Pietro; Galfano, Giovanni

    2017-03-01

    Microsaccades are tiny eye movements that individuals perform unconsciously during fixation. Despite that the nature and the functions of microsaccades are still lively debated, recent evidence has shown an association between these micro eye movements and higher order cognitive processes. Here, in two experiments, we specifically focused on working memory and addressed whether differential memory load could be reflected in a modulation of microsaccade dynamics. In Experiment 1, participants memorized a numerical sequence composed of either two (low-load condition) or five digits (high-load condition), appearing at fixation. The results showed a reduction in the microsaccadic rate in the high-load compared to the low-load condition. In Experiment 2, five red or green digits were always presented at fixation. Participants either memorized the color (low-load condition) or the five digits (high-load condition). Hence, visual stimuli were exactly the same in both conditions. Consistent with Experiment 1, microsaccadic rate was lower in the high-load than in the low-load condition. Overall, these findings reveal that an engagement of working memory can have an impact on microsaccadic rate, consistent with the view that microsaccade generation is pervious to top-down processes.

  2. Working Memory Load Strengthens Reward Prediction Errors.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-19

    Reinforcement learning (RL) in simple instrumental tasks is usually modeled as a monolithic process in which reward prediction errors (RPEs) are used to update expected values of choice options. This modeling ignores the different contributions of different memory and decision-making systems thought to contribute even to simple learning. In an fMRI experiment, we investigated how working memory (WM) and incremental RL processes interact to guide human learning. WM load was manipulated by varying the number of stimuli to be learned across blocks. Behavioral results and computational modeling confirmed that learning was best explained as a mixture of two mechanisms: a fast, capacity-limited, and delay-sensitive WM process together with slower RL. Model-based analysis of fMRI data showed that striatum and lateral prefrontal cortex were sensitive to RPE, as shown previously, but, critically, these signals were reduced when the learning problem was within capacity of WM. The degree of this neural interaction related to individual differences in the use of WM to guide behavioral learning. These results indicate that the two systems do not process information independently, but rather interact during learning. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Reinforcement learning (RL) theory has been remarkably productive at improving our understanding of instrumental learning as well as dopaminergic and striatal network function across many mammalian species. However, this neural network is only one contributor to human learning and other mechanisms such as prefrontal cortex working memory also play a key role. Our results also show that these other players interact with the dopaminergic RL system, interfering with its key computation of reward prediction errors. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/374332-11$15.00/0.

  3. Time and cognitive load in working memory.

    OpenAIRE

    Barrouillet , Pierre; Bernardin , Sophie; Portrat , Sophie; Vergauwe , Evie; Camos , Valérie

    2007-01-01

    International audience; According to the time-based resource-sharing model (P. Barrouillet, S. Bernardin, & V. Camos, 2004), the cognitive load a given task involves is a function of the proportion of time during which it captures attention, thus impeding other attention-demanding processes. Accordingly, the present study demonstrates that the disruptive effect on concurrent maintenance of memory retrievals and response selections increases with their duration. Moreover, the effect on recall ...

  4. 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...

  5. High working memory load leads to more Ebbinghaus illusion

    OpenAIRE

    De Fockert, J. W.; Wu, Si

    2009-01-01

    The evidence that distractor processing increases with greater load on working memory has come mainly from Stroop-type interference tasks, making it difficult to establish whether cognitive load affects distractor processing at the perceptual level or during response selection. We measured the Ebbinghaus illusion under varying levels of working memory load to test whether cognitive control is also relevant for preventing processing of distractors that do not produce any response conflict, and...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  7. The Effect of Rehearsal Rate and Memory Load on Verbal Working Memory

    OpenAIRE

    Fegen, David; Buchsbaum, Bradley R.; D’Esposito, Mark

    2014-01-01

    While many neuroimaging studies have investigated verbal working memory (WM) by manipulating memory load, the subvocal rehearsal rate at these various memory loads has generally been left uncontrolled. Therefore, the goal of this study was to investigate how mnemonic load and the rate of subvocal rehearsal modulate patterns of activity in the core neural circuits underlying verbal working memory. Using fMRI in healthy subjects, we orthogonally manipulated subvocal rehearsal rate and memory lo...

  8. Executive working memory load induces inattentional blindness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fougnie, Daryl; Marois, René

    2007-02-01

    When attention is engaged in a task, unexpected events in the visual scene may go undetected, a phenomenon known as inattentional blindness (IB). At what stage of information processing must attention be engaged for IB to occur? Although manipulations that tax visuospatial attention can induce IB, the evidence is more equivocal for tasks that engage attention at late, central stages of information processing. Here, we tested whether IB can be specifically induced by central executive processes. An unexpected visual stimulus was presented during the retention interval of a working memory task that involved either simply maintaining verbal material or rearranging the material into alphabetical order. The unexpected stimulus was more likely to be missed during manipulation than during simple maintenance of the verbal information. Thus, the engagement of executive processes impairs the ability to detect unexpected, task-irrelevant stimuli, suggesting that IB can result from central, amodal stages of processing.

  9. Time and Cognitive Load in Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrouillet, Pierre; Bernardin, Sophie; Portrat, Sophie; Vergauwe, Evie; Camos, Valerie

    2007-01-01

    According to the time-based resource-sharing model (P. Barrouillet, S. Bernardin, & V. Camos, 2004), the cognitive load a given task involves is a function of the proportion of time during which it captures attention, thus impeding other attention-demanding processes. Accordingly, the present study demonstrates that the disruptive effect on…

  10. Working memory load improves early stages of independent visual processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

    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 manipulated by asking subjects to memorize the spatial locations of 6 or 3 disks. The grid was always presented between the encoding and recognition of the disk pattern. As a baseline condition, grid stimuli were presented without a VSWM context. VSWM load altered both perceptual performance and neural networks active during intervening grid encoding. Participants performed faster and more accurately on a challenging perceptual task under high VSWM load as compared to the low load and the baseline condition. Visual evoked potential (VEP) analyses identified changes in the configuration of the underlying sources in one particular period occurring 160-190 ms post-stimulus onset. Source analyses further showed an occipito-parietal down-regulation concurrent to the increased involvement of temporal and frontal resources in the high VSWM context. Together, these data suggest that cognitive control mechanisms supporting working memory may selectively enhance concurrent visual processing related to an independent goal. More broadly, our findings are in line with theoretical models implicating the engagement of frontal regions in synchronizing and optimizing mnemonic and perceptual resources towards multiple goals. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. The effect of rehearsal rate and memory load on verbal working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fegen, David; Buchsbaum, Bradley R; D'Esposito, Mark

    2015-01-15

    While many neuroimaging studies have investigated verbal working memory (WM) by manipulating memory load, the subvocal rehearsal rate at these various memory loads has generally been left uncontrolled. Therefore, the goal of this study was to investigate how mnemonic load and the rate of subvocal rehearsal modulate patterns of activity in the core neural circuits underlying verbal working memory. Using fMRI in healthy subjects, we orthogonally manipulated subvocal rehearsal rate and memory load in a verbal WM task with long 45-s delay periods. We found that middle frontal gyrus (MFG) and superior parietal lobule (SPL) exhibited memory load effects primarily early in the delay period and did not exhibit rehearsal rate effects. In contrast, we found that inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), premotor cortex (PM) and Sylvian-parietal-temporal region (area Spt) exhibited approximately linear memory load and rehearsal rate effects, with rehearsal rate effects lasting through the entire delay period. These results indicate that IFG, PM and area Spt comprise the core articulatory rehearsal areas involved in verbal WM, while MFG and SPL are recruited in a general supervisory role once a memory load threshold in the core rehearsal network has been exceeded. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Effect of cognitive load on working memory forgetting in aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumans, Christine; Adam, Stephane; Seron, Xavier

    2012-01-01

    Functional approaches to working memory (WM) have been proposed recently to better investigate "maintenance" and "processing" mechanisms. The cognitive load (CL) hypothesis presented in the "Time-Based Resource-Sharing" model (Barrouillet & Camos, 2007) suggests that forgetting from WM (maintenance) can be investigated by varying the presentation rate and processing speed (processing). In this study, young and elderly participants were compared on WM tasks in which the difference in processing speed was controlled by CL manipulations. Two main results were found. First, when time constraints (CL) were matched for the two groups, no aging effect was observed. Second, whereas a large variation in CL affected WM performance, a small CL manipulation had no effect on the elderly. This suggests that WM forgetting cannot be completely accounted for by the CL hypothesis. Rather, it highlights the need to explore restoration times in particular, and the nature of the refreshment mechanisms within maintenance.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-08

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

  16. Working memory load predicts visual search efficiency: Evidence from a novel pupillary response paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Attar, Nada; Schneps, Matthew H; Pomplun, Marc

    2016-10-01

    An observer's pupil dilates and constricts in response to variables such as ambient and focal luminance, cognitive effort, the emotional stimulus content, and working memory load. The pupil's memory load response is of particular interest, as it might be used for estimating observers' memory load while they are performing a complex task, without adding an interruptive and confounding memory test to the protocol. One important task in which working memory's involvement is still being debated is visual search, and indeed a previous experiment by Porter, Troscianko, and Gilchrist (Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 60, 211-229, 2007) analyzed observers' pupil sizes during search to study this issue. These authors found that pupil size increased over the course of the search, and they attributed this finding to accumulating working memory load. However, since the pupil response is slow and does not depend on memory load alone, this conclusion is rather speculative. In the present study, we estimated working memory load in visual search during the presentation of intermittent fixation screens, thought to induce a low, stable level of arousal and cognitive effort. Using standard visual search and control tasks, we showed that this paradigm reduces the influence of non-memory-related factors on pupil size. Furthermore, we found an early increase in working memory load to be associated with more efficient search, indicating a significant role of working memory in the search process.

  17. Independent operation of implicit working memory under cognitive load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Eunhee; Lee, Kyung Min; Kim, Min-Shik

    2017-10-01

    Implicit working memory (WM) has been known to operate non-consciously and unintentionally. The current study investigated whether implicit WM is a discrete mechanism from explicit WM in terms of cognitive resource. To induce cognitive resource competition, we used a conjunction search task (Experiment 1) and imposed spatial WM load (Experiment 2a and 2b). Each trial was composed of a set of five consecutive search displays. The location of the first four displays appeared as per pre-determined patterns, but the fifth display could follow the same pattern or not. If implicit WM can extract the moving pattern of stimuli, response times for the fifth target would be faster when it followed the pattern compared to when it did not. Our results showed implicit WM can operate when participants are searching for the conjunction target and even while maintaining spatial WM information. These results suggest that implicit WM is independent from explicit spatial WM. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  18. 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.

  19. Does high memory load kick task-irrelevant information out of visual working memory?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Jun; Zhou, Jifan; Xu, Haokui; Liang, Junying; Gao, Zaifeng; Shen, Mowei

    2012-04-01

    The limited capacity of visual working memory (VWM) requires the existence of an efficient information selection mechanism. While it has been shown that under low VWM load, an irrelevant simple feature can be processed, its fate under high load (e.g., six objects) remains unclear. We explored this issue by probing the "irrelevant-change distracting effect," in which the change of a stored irrelevant feature affects performance. Simple colored shapes were used as stimuli, with color as the target. Using a whole-probe method (presenting six objects in both the memory and test arrays), in Experiment 1 we found that a change to one of the six shapes led to a significant distracting effect. Using a partial-probe method (presenting the probe either at the screen center or at a location selected from the memory array), in Experiment 2 we showed the distracting effect again. These results suggest that irrelevant simple features can be stored into VWM, regardless of memory load.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-03-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Human processor modelling language (HPML): Estimate working memory load through interaction

    OpenAIRE

    Geisler, J.; Scheben, C.

    2007-01-01

    To operate machines over their user interface may cause high load on human's working memory. This load can decrease performance in the working task significantly if this task is a cognitive challenging one, e. g. diagnosis. With the »Human Processor Modelling Language« (HPML) the interaction activity can be modelled with a directed graph. From such models a condensed indicator value for working memory load can be estimated. Thus different user interface solutions can get compared with respect...

  3. Weight and see: Loading working memory improves incidental identification of irrelevant faces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David eCarmel

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Are task-irrelevant stimuli processed to a level enabling individual identification? This question is central both for perceptual processing models and for applied settings (e.g., eyewitness testimony. Lavie’s load theory proposes that working memory actively maintains attentional prioritization of relevant over irrelevant information. Loading working memory thus impairs attentional prioritization, leading to increased processing of task-irrelevant stimuli. Previous research has shown that increased working memory load leads to greater interference effects from response competing distractors. Here we test the novel prediction that increased processing of irrelevant stimuli under high working memory load should lead to a greater likelihood of incidental identification of entirely irrelevant stimuli. To test this, we asked participants to perform a word-categorization task while ignoring task-irrelevant images. The categorization task was performed during the retention interval of a working memory task with either low or high load (defined by memory set size. Following the final experimental trial, a surprise question assessed incidental identification of the irrelevant image. Loading working memory was found to improve identification of task-irrelevant faces, but not of building stimuli (shown in a separate experiment to be less distracting. These findings suggest that working memory plays a critical role in determining whether distracting stimuli will be subsequently identified.

  4. Working memory load eliminates the survival processing effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kroneisen, Meike; Rummel, Jan; Erdfelder, Edgar

    2014-01-01

    In a series of experiments, Nairne, Thompson, and Pandeirada (2007) demonstrated that words judged for their relevance to a survival scenario are remembered better than words judged for a scenario not relevant on a survival dimension. They explained this survival-processing effect by arguing that nature "tuned" our memory systems to process and remember fitness-relevant information. Kroneisen and Erdfelder (2011) proposed that it may not be survival processing per se that facilitates recall but the richness and distinctiveness with which information is encoded. To further test this account, we investigated how the survival processing effect is affected by cognitive load. If the survival processing effect is due to automatic processes or, alternatively, if survival processing is routinely prioritized in dual-task contexts, we would expect this effect to persist under cognitive load conditions. If the effect relies on cognitively demanding processes like richness and distinctiveness of encoding, however, the survival processing benefit should be hampered by increased cognitive load during encoding. Results were in line with the latter prediction, that is, the survival processing effect vanished under dual-task conditions.

  5. Better target detection in the presence of collinear flankers under high working memory load

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan W. De Fockert

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available There are multiple ways in which working memory can influence selective attention. Aside from the content-specific effects of working memory on selective attention, whereby attention is more likely to be directed towards information that matches the contents of working memory, the mere level of load on working memory has also been shown to have an effect on selective attention. Specifically, high load on working memory is associated with increased processing of irrelevant information. In most demonstrations of the effect to-date, this has led to impaired target performance, leaving open the possibility that the effect partly reflects an increase in general task difficulty under high load. Here we show that working memory load can result in a performance gain when processing of distracting information aids target performance. The facilitation in the detection of a low-contrast Gabor stimulus in the presence of collinear flanking Gabors was greater when load on a concurrent working memory task was high, compared to low. This finding suggests that working memory can interact with selective attention at an early stage in visual processing.

  6. Searching while loaded: Visual working memory does not interfere with hybrid search efficiency but hybrid search uses working memory capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drew, Trafton; Boettcher, Sage E P; Wolfe, Jeremy M

    2016-02-01

    In "hybrid search" tasks, such as finding items on a grocery list, one must search the scene for targets while also searching the list in memory. How is the representation of a visual item compared with the representations of items in the memory set? Predominant theories would propose a role for visual working memory (VWM) either as the site of the comparison or as a conduit between visual and memory systems. In seven experiments, we loaded VWM in different ways and found little or no effect on hybrid search performance. However, the presence of a hybrid search task did reduce the measured capacity of VWM by a constant amount regardless of the size of the memory or visual sets. These data are broadly consistent with an account in which VWM must dedicate a fixed amount of its capacity to passing visual representations to long-term memory for comparison to the items in the memory set. The data cast doubt on models in which the search template resides in VWM or where memory set item representations are moved from LTM through VWM to earlier areas for comparison to visual items.

  7. 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.

  8. Functional connectivity among multi-channel EEGs when working memory load reaches the capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Dan; Zhao, Huipo; Bai, Wenwen; Tian, Xin

    2016-01-15

    Evidence from behavioral studies has suggested a capacity existed in working memory. As the concept of functional connectivity has been introduced into neuroscience research in the recent years, the aim of this study is to investigate the functional connectivity in the brain when working memory load reaches the capacity. 32-channel electroencephalographs (EEGs) were recorded for 16 healthy subjects, while they performed a visual working memory task with load 1-6. Individual working memory capacity was calculated according to behavioral results. Short-time Fourier transform was used to determine the principal frequency band (theta band) related to working memory. The functional connectivity among EEGs was measured by the directed transform function (DTF) via spectral Granger causal analysis. The capacity was 4 calculated from the behavioral results. The power was focused in the frontal midline region. The strongest connectivity strengths of EEG theta components from load 1 to 6 distributed in the frontal midline region. The curve of DTF values vs load numbers showed that DTF increased from load 1 to 4, peaked at load 4, then decreased after load 4. This study finds that the functional connectivity between EEGs, described quantitatively by DTF, became less strong when working memory load exceeded the capacity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Ahmed, Lubna; de Fockert, Jan

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Working Memory Load Affects Processing Time in Spoken Word Recognition: Evidence from Eye-Movements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadar, Britt; Skrzypek, Joshua E.; Wingfield, Arthur; Ben-David, Boaz M.

    2016-01-01

    In daily life, speech perception is usually accompanied by other tasks that tap into working memory capacity. However, the role of working memory on speech processing is not clear. The goal of this study was to examine how working memory load affects the timeline for spoken word recognition in ideal listening conditions. We used the “visual world” eye-tracking paradigm. The task consisted of spoken instructions referring to one of four objects depicted on a computer monitor (e.g., “point at the candle”). Half of the trials presented a phonological competitor to the target word that either overlapped in the initial syllable (onset) or at the last syllable (offset). Eye movements captured listeners' ability to differentiate the target noun from its depicted phonological competitor (e.g., candy or sandal). We manipulated working memory load by using a digit pre-load task, where participants had to retain either one (low-load) or four (high-load) spoken digits for the duration of a spoken word recognition trial. The data show that the high-load condition delayed real-time target discrimination. Specifically, a four-digit load was sufficient to delay the point of discrimination between the spoken target word and its phonological competitor. Our results emphasize the important role working memory plays in speech perception, even when performed by young adults in ideal listening conditions. PMID:27242424

  12. The Effects of Presentation Method and Information Density on Visual Search Ability and Working Memory Load

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Ting-Wen; Kinshuk; Chen, Nian-Shing; Yu, Pao-Ta

    2012-01-01

    This study investigates the effects of successive and simultaneous information presentation methods on learner's visual search ability and working memory load for different information densities. Since the processing of information in the brain depends on the capacity of visual short-term memory (VSTM), the limited information processing capacity…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Fockert, Jan W.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Fockert, Jan W

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan W. De Fockert

    2013-05-01

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

  16. Effects of working memory contents and perceptual load on distractor processing: When a response-related distractor is held in working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koshino, Hideya

    2017-01-01

    Working memory and attention are closely related. Recent research has shown that working memory can be viewed as internally directed attention. Working memory can affect attention in at least two ways. One is the effect of working memory load on attention, and the other is the effect of working memory contents on attention. In the present study, an interaction between working memory contents and perceptual load in distractor processing was investigated. Participants performed a perceptual load task in a standard form in one condition (Single task). In the other condition, a response-related distractor was maintained in working memory, rather than presented in the same stimulus display as a target (Dual task). For the Dual task condition, a significant compatibility effect was found under high perceptual load; however, there was no compatibility effect under low perceptual load. These results suggest that the way the contents of working memory affect visual search depends on perceptual load. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Load and distinctness interact in working memory for lexical manual gestures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary eRudner

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The Ease of Language Understanding model (ELU, Rönnberg et al., 2013 predicts that decreasing the distinctness of language stimuli increases working memory load; in the speech domain this notion is supported by empirical evidence. Our aim was to determine whether such an over-additive interaction can be generalized to sign processing in sign-naïve individuals and whether it is modulated by experience of computer gaming. Twenty young adults with no knowledge of sign language performed an n-back working memory task based on manual gestures lexicalized in sign language; the visual resolution of the signs and working memory load were manipulated. Performance was poorer when load was high and resolution was low. These two effects interacted over-additively, demonstrating that reducing the resolution of signed stimuli increases working memory load when there is no pre-existing semantic representation. This suggests that load and distinctness are handled by a shared amodal mechanism which can be revealed empirically when stimuli are degraded and load is high, even without pre-existing semantic representation. There was some evidence that the mechanism is influenced by computer gaming experience. Future work should explore how the shared mechanism is influenced by pre-existing semantic representation and sensory factors together with computer gaming experience.

  18. Load and distinctness interact in working memory for lexical manual gestures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudner, Mary; Toscano, Elena; Holmer, Emil

    2015-01-01

    The Ease of Language Understanding model (Rönnberg et al., 2013) predicts that decreasing the distinctness of language stimuli increases working memory load; in the speech domain this notion is supported by empirical evidence. Our aim was to determine whether such an over-additive interaction can be generalized to sign processing in sign-naïve individuals and whether it is modulated by experience of computer gaming. Twenty young adults with no knowledge of sign language performed an n-back working memory task based on manual gestures lexicalized in sign language; the visual resolution of the signs and working memory load were manipulated. Performance was poorer when load was high and resolution was low. These two effects interacted over-additively, demonstrating that reducing the resolution of signed stimuli increases working memory load when there is no pre-existing semantic representation. This suggests that load and distinctness are handled by a shared amodal mechanism which can be revealed empirically when stimuli are degraded and load is high, even without pre-existing semantic representation. There was some evidence that the mechanism is influenced by computer gaming experience. Future work should explore how the shared mechanism is influenced by pre-existing semantic representation and sensory factors together with computer gaming experience.

  19. Electrocortical consequences of image processing: The influence of working memory load and worry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Evan J; Grant, DeMond M

    2017-03-30

    Research suggests that worry precludes emotional processing as well as biases attentional processes. Although there is burgeoning evidence for the relationship between executive functioning and worry, more research in this area is needed. A recent theory suggests one mechanism for the negative effects of worry on neural indicators of attention may be working memory load, however few studies have examined this directly. The goal of the current study was to document the influence of both visual and verbal working memory load and worry on attention allocation during processing of emotional images in a cued image paradigm. It was hypothesized that working memory load will decrease attention allocation during processing of emotional images. This was tested among 38 participants using a modified S1-S2 paradigm. Results indicated that both the visual and verbal working memory tasks resulted in a reduction of attention allocation to the processing of images across stimulus types compared to the baseline task, although only for individuals low in worry. These data extend the literature by documenting decreased neural responding (i.e., LPP amplitude) to imagery both the visual and verbal working memory load, particularly among individuals low in worry. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  1. Deception and Cognitive Load: Expanding our Horizon with a Working Memory Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siegfried Ludwig Sporer

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Deception and Cognitive Load: Expanding our Horizon with a Working Memory ModelAbstractRecently, studies on deception and its detection have increased dramatically. Many of these studies rely on the cognitive load approach as the sole explanatory principle to understand deception. These studies have been exclusively on lies about negative actions (usually lies of suspects of [mock] crimes. Instead, we need to re-focus more generally on the cognitive processes involved in generating both lies and truths, not just on manipulations of cognitive load. Using Baddeley's (2000, 2007, 2012 working memory model, which integrates verbal and visual processes in working memory with retrieval from long-term memory and control of action, not only verbal content cues but also nonverbal, paraverbal and linguistic cues can be investigated within a single framework. The proposed model considers long-term semantic, episodic and autobiographical memory and their connections with working memory and action. It also incorporates ironic processes of mental control (Wegner, 1994, 2009, the role of scripts and schemata and retrieval cues and retrieval processes. Specific predictions of the model are outlined and support from selective studies is presented. The model is applicable to different types of reports, particularly about lies and truths about complex events, and to different modes of production (oral, hand-written, typed. Predictions regarding several moderator variables and methods to investigate them are proposed.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nikki ePratt

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Working memory and attention interact in a way that enables us to focus on relevant items and maintain current goals. The influence of working memory on attention has been noted in several studies using dual task designs. Multitasking increases the demands on working memory and reduces the amount of resources available for cognitive control functions such as resolving stimulus conflict. However, few studies have investigated the temporal activation of the cortex while multitasking. The present study addresses the extent to which working memory load influences early (P1 and late (P300 attention-sensitive event-related potential (ERP components using a dual task paradigm. Participants performed an arrow flanker task alone (single task condition or concurrently with a Sternberg memory task (dual task condition. In the flanker task, participants responded to the direction of a central arrow surrounded by congruent or incongruent arrows. In the dual task condition, participants were presented with a Sternberg task that consisted of either 4 or 7 consonants to remember prior to a short block of flanker trials. Participants were slower and less accurate on incongruent versus congruent trials. Furthermore, accuracy on incongruent trials was reduced in both dual task conditions. Likewise, P300 amplitude to incongruent flanker stimuli decreased when working memory load increased. These findings suggest that interference from incongruent flankers was more difficult to suppress when working memory was taxed. In addition, P1 amplitude was diminished on all flanker trials in the dual task condition. This result indicates that top-down attentional control over early visual processing is diminished by increasing demands on working memory. Both the behavioral and electrophysiological results suggest that working memory is critical in maintaining attentional focus and resolving conflict.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  4. Load matters: neural correlates of verbal working memory in children with autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogan, Vanessa M; Francis, Kaitlyn E; Morgan, Benjamin R; Smith, Mary Lou; Taylor, Margot J

    2018-06-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a pervasive neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by diminished social reciprocity and communication skills and the presence of stereotyped and restricted behaviours. Executive functioning deficits, such as working memory, are associated with core ASD symptoms. Working memory allows for temporary storage and manipulation of information and relies heavily on frontal-parietal networks of the brain. There are few reports on the neural correlates of working memory in youth with ASD. The current study identified the neural systems underlying verbal working memory capacity in youth with and without ASD using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Fifty-seven youth, 27 with ASD and 30 sex- and age-matched typically developing (TD) controls (9-16 years), completed a one-back letter matching task (LMT) with four levels of difficulty (i.e. cognitive load) while fMRI data were recorded. Linear trend analyses were conducted to examine brain regions that were recruited as a function of increasing cognitive load. We found similar behavioural performance on the LMT in terms of reaction times, but in the two higher load conditions, the ASD youth had lower accuracy than the TD group. Neural patterns of activations differed significantly between TD and ASD groups. In TD youth, areas classically used for working memory, including the lateral and medial frontal, as well as superior parietal brain regions, increased in activation with increasing task difficulty, while areas related to the default mode network (DMN) showed decreasing activation (i.e., deactivation). The youth with ASD did not appear to use this opposing cognitive processing system; they showed little recruitment of frontal and parietal regions across the load but did show similar modulation of the DMN. In a working memory task, where the load was manipulated without changing executive demands, TD youth showed increasing recruitment with increasing load of the classic fronto

  5. Opposing effects of perceptual versus working memory load on emotional distraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tavares, Tamara P; Logie, Kyle; Mitchell, Derek G V

    2016-10-01

    Throughout our day-to-day activities, we are subjected to numerous stimuli that compete for our attention; consequently, we must prioritize stimuli for further processing and influence over behaviour. Previous research has demonstrated that the extent to which task-irrelevant distractors are processed is mediated by the nature of the cognitive task, and the level of processing load. Importantly though, the interaction between cognitive task, processing load, and emotional distractor processing remains unclear. This is a particularly important question given the unique ways that emotion interacts with attention, and the fact that some other forms of processing load have been shown to reduce emotional distractor encoding. In the present study, participants were presented with emotional distractors during a perceptual and working memory task, under varying levels of load. In Experiment 1, we showed that the impact of emotional distractors on behaviour was reduced under conditions of high relative to low perceptual load. However, in sharp contrast, high working memory load was associated with increased emotional distraction. Importantly, these results were replicated in Experiment 2. Overall, the impact of processing load on emotional distraction varies according to the cognitive function being performed. These results raise the intriguing possibility that working memory operations deplete some of the cognitive resources needed to control the impact of emotion on behaviour. The findings, therefore, may have important implications for clinical populations featuring cognitive dysfunction and emotional dysregulation.

  6. Distracted driving due to visual working memory load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-07-01

    In an attempt to understand the : specific mechanism by which distractions (such as cell : - : phone use) can interfere with : driving, this work tested the idea that driving performance depends on available space within visual short : - : term memor...

  7. Deception and Cognitive Load: Expanding Our Horizon with a Working Memory Model

    OpenAIRE

    Sporer, Siegfried L.

    2016-01-01

    Deception and Cognitive Load: Expanding our Horizon with a Working Memory ModelAbstractRecently, studies on deception and its detection have increased dramatically. Many of these studies rely on the cognitive load approach as the sole explanatory principle to understand deception. These studies have been exclusively on lies about negative actions (usually lies of suspects of [mock] crimes). Instead, we need to re-focus more generally on the cognitive processes involved in generating both lies...

  8. Working Memory Load and Decision Making: A Reply to Franco-Watkins, Pashler, and Rickard (2006)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinson, John M.; Whitney, Paul

    2006-01-01

    A. M. Franco-Watkins, H. Pashler, and T. C. Rickard (2006) discussed some interesting issues about the interpretation of working memory load effects and decision making in their reanalysis of our previously published data (J. M. Hinson, T. L. Jameson, & P. Whitney, 2003). Nonetheless, there is sufficiently strong evidence to sustain our original…

  9. An effect of inhibitory load in children while keeping working memory load constant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adele eDiamond

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available People are slower and more error-prone when the correct response is away from a stimulus (incongruent than when it is towards a stimulus (congruent. Two reasons for this are possible. It could be caused by the requirement to inhibit the prepotent tendency to respond toward a stimulus, or by the order of task presentation causing difficulty switching from one rule to another especially if one does not efficiently delete the first rule from active working memory. This experiment (with 96 children [49 girls] 6-10 years old used the hearts and flowers task (a hybrid combining elements of Simon and Spatial Stroop tasks used in several studies with children: Davidson et al., 2006; Diamond et al., 2007; Edgin et al., 2010; Zaitchik et al., 2013 to differentiate between those two possibilities by counterbalancing order of task presentation. Half the children were presented with the congruent block first (the traditional order for the task, where the rule is to press on the same side as the stimulus and half with incongruent trials first (with the rule press on the side opposite the stimulus. The results, which were the same regardless of task order, clearly show that the increased inhibitory control demand is responsible for children’s decreased accuracy and slower responses in the incongruent block. Worse performance on incongruent trials when they came first cannot be accounted for by inefficient clearing of working memory or by task-switching accounts. Since working memory demands are no greater on the incongruent block when it is presented first than on the congruent block when presented first, yet performance was worse, results here indicate that increasing inhibitory demands alone is sufficient to impair children’s performance in the face of no change in working memory demands, suggesting that inhibition must be a separate mental function from working memory.

  10. Errorless learning and working memory: the impact of errors, distractors, and memory span load on immediate recall in healthy adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nordvik, Jan E; Schanke, Anne-Kristine; Landro, Nils I

    2011-06-01

    Errorless learning represents an important contribution to current neuropsychological rehabilitation. Previous research has mainly explained the benefits of errorless learning through properties of long-term memory. This study aims to explore how errors affect immediate recall performance. A new, supplementary perspective focusing on the role of working memory in errorless learning is introduced. Sixty university students participated in a within-subject design experiment measuring the effect of errors, memory span load, and attentional distractors on a digit recall task. Errors were found to have significant negative impact on immediate recall, while distractors had an effect only in interaction with errors.

  11. Dissociable Roles of Different Types of Working Memory Load in Visual Detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konstantinou, Nikos; Lavie, Nilli

    2013-01-01

    We contrasted the effects of different types of working memory (WM) load on detection. Considering the sensory-recruitment hypothesis of visual short-term memory (VSTM) within load theory (e.g., Lavie, 2010) led us to predict that VSTM load would reduce visual-representation capacity, thus leading to reduced detection sensitivity during maintenance, whereas load on WM cognitive control processes would reduce priority-based control, thus leading to enhanced detection sensitivity for a low-priority stimulus. During the retention interval of a WM task, participants performed a visual-search task while also asked to detect a masked stimulus in the periphery. Loading WM cognitive control processes (with the demand to maintain a random digit order [vs. fixed in conditions of low load]) led to enhanced detection sensitivity. In contrast, loading VSTM (with the demand to maintain the color and positions of six squares [vs. one in conditions of low load]) reduced detection sensitivity, an effect comparable with that found for manipulating perceptual load in the search task. The results confirmed our predictions and established a new functional dissociation between the roles of different types of WM load in the fundamental visual perception process of detection. PMID:23713796

  12. Working memory load affects repetitive behaviour but not cognitive flexibility in adolescent autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolff, Nicole; Chmielewski, Witold X; Beste, Christian; Roessner, Veit

    2017-03-16

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is associated with repetitive and stereotyped behaviour, suggesting that cognitive flexibility may be deficient in ASD. A central, yet not examined aspect to understand possible deficits in flexible behaviour in ASD relates (i) to the role of working memory and (ii) to neurophysiological mechanisms underlying behavioural modulations. We analysed behavioural and neurophysiological (EEG) correlates of cognitive flexibility using a task-switching paradigm with and without working memory load in adolescents with ASD and typically developing controls (TD). Adolescents with ASD versus TD show similar performance in task switching with no memory load, indicating that 'pure' cognitive flexibility is not in deficit in adolescent ASD. However performance during task repetition decreases with increasing memory load. Neurophysiological data reflect the pattern of behavioural effects, showing modulations in P2 and P3 event-related potentials. Working memory demands affect repetitive behaviour while processes of cognitive flexibility are unaffected. Effects emerge due to deficits in preparatory attentional processes and deficits in task rule activation, organisation and implementation of task sets when repetitive behaviour is concerned. It may be speculated that the habitual response mode in ASD (i.e. repetitive behaviour) is particularly vulnerable to additional demands on executive control processes.

  13. Working memory load and the retro-cue effect: A diffusion model account.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherdson, Peter; Oberauer, Klaus; Souza, Alessandra S

    2018-02-01

    Retro-cues (i.e., cues presented between the offset of a memory array and the onset of a probe) have consistently been found to enhance performance in working memory tasks, sometimes ameliorating the deleterious effects of increased memory load. However, the mechanism by which retro-cues exert their influence remains a matter of debate. To inform this debate, we applied a hierarchical diffusion model to data from 4 change detection experiments using single item, location-specific probes (i.e., a local recognition task) with either visual or verbal memory stimuli. Results showed that retro-cues enhanced the quality of information entering the decision process-especially for visual stimuli-and decreased the time spent on nondecisional processes. Further, cues interacted with memory load primarily on nondecision time, decreasing or abolishing load effects. To explain these findings, we propose an account whereby retro-cues act primarily to reduce the time taken to access the relevant representation in memory upon probe presentation, and in addition protect cued representations from visual interference. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

  14. Working memory load reduces the late positive potential and this effect is attenuated with increasing anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacNamara, Annmarie; Ferri, Jamie; Hajcak, Greg

    2011-09-01

    Emotion regulation decreases the processing of arousing stimuli, as indexed by the late positive potential (LPP), an electrocortical component that varies in amplitude with emotional arousal. Emotion regulation increases activity in the prefrontal areas associated with cognitive control, including the dosolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). The present study manipulated working memory load, known to activate the DLPFC, and recorded the LPP elicited by aversive and neutral IAPS pictures presented during the retention interval. The LPP was larger on low-load compared to high-load trials, and on trials with aversive compared to neutral pictures. These LPP data suggest that emotional content and working memory load have opposing effects on attention to distracting stimuli. State anxiety was associated with reduced modulation of the LPP by working memory load. Results are discussed in terms of competition for attention between emotion and cognition and suggest a relationship between DLPFC activation and the allocation of attentional resources to distracting visual stimuli-a relationship that may be disrupted with increasing anxiety.

  15. Human area MT+ shows load-dependent activation during working memory maintenance with continuously morphing stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galashan, Daniela; Fehr, Thorsten; Kreiter, Andreas K; Herrmann, Manfred

    2014-07-11

    Initially, human area MT+ was considered a visual area solely processing motion information but further research has shown that it is also involved in various different cognitive operations, such as working memory tasks requiring motion-related information to be maintained or cognitive tasks with implied or expected motion.In the present fMRI study in humans, we focused on MT+ modulation during working memory maintenance using a dynamic shape-tracking working memory task with no motion-related working memory content. Working memory load was systematically varied using complex and simple stimulus material and parametrically increasing retention periods. Activation patterns for the difference between retention of complex and simple memorized stimuli were examined in order to preclude that the reported effects are caused by differences in retrieval. Conjunction analysis over all delay durations for the maintenance of complex versus simple stimuli demonstrated a wide-spread activation pattern. Percent signal change (PSC) in area MT+ revealed a pattern with higher values for the maintenance of complex shapes compared to the retention of a simple circle and with higher values for increasing delay durations. The present data extend previous knowledge by demonstrating that visual area MT+ presents a brain activity pattern usually found in brain regions that are actively involved in working memory maintenance.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Lubna; de Fockert, Jan W

    2012-10-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Localized Fluctuant Oscillatory Activity by Working Memory Load: A Simultaneous EEG-fMRI Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaojie Zhao

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Working memory (WM is a resource-limited memory system for temporary storage and processing of brain information during the execution of cognitive tasks. Increased WM load will increase the amount and difficulty of memory information. Several studies have used electroencephalography (EEG or functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to explore load-dependent cognition processing according to the time courses of electrophysiological activity or the spatial pattern of blood oxygen metabolic activity. However, the relationships between these two activities and the underlying neural mechanism are still unclear. In this study, using simultaneously collected EEG and fMRI data under an n-back verbal WM task, we modeled the spectral perturbation of EEG oscillation and fMRI activation through joint independent component analysis (JICA. Multi-channel oscillation features were also introduced into the JICA model for further analysis. The results showed that time-locked activity of theta and beta were modulated by memory load in the early stimuli evaluation stage, corresponding to the enhanced activation in the frontal and parietal lobe, which were involved in stimulus discrimination, information encoding and delay-period activity. In the late response selection stage, alpha and gamma activity changes dependent on the load correspond to enhanced activation in the areas of frontal, temporal and parietal lobes, which played important roles in attention, information extraction and memory retention. These findings suggest that the increases in memory load not only affect the intensity and time course of the EEG activities, but also lead to the enhanced activation of brain regions which plays different roles during different time periods of cognitive process of WM.

  19. Localized Fluctuant Oscillatory Activity by Working Memory Load: A Simultaneous EEG-fMRI Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Xiaojie; Li, Xiaoyun; Yao, Li

    2017-01-01

    Working memory (WM) is a resource-limited memory system for temporary storage and processing of brain information during the execution of cognitive tasks. Increased WM load will increase the amount and difficulty of memory information. Several studies have used electroencephalography (EEG) or functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to explore load-dependent cognition processing according to the time courses of electrophysiological activity or the spatial pattern of blood oxygen metabolic activity. However, the relationships between these two activities and the underlying neural mechanism are still unclear. In this study, using simultaneously collected EEG and fMRI data under an n-back verbal WM task, we modeled the spectral perturbation of EEG oscillation and fMRI activation through joint independent component analysis (JICA). Multi-channel oscillation features were also introduced into the JICA model for further analysis. The results showed that time-locked activity of theta and beta were modulated by memory load in the early stimuli evaluation stage, corresponding to the enhanced activation in the frontal and parietal lobe, which were involved in stimulus discrimination, information encoding and delay-period activity. In the late response selection stage, alpha and gamma activity changes dependent on the load correspond to enhanced activation in the areas of frontal, temporal and parietal lobes, which played important roles in attention, information extraction and memory retention. These findings suggest that the increases in memory load not only affect the intensity and time course of the EEG activities, but also lead to the enhanced activation of brain regions which plays different roles during different time periods of cognitive process of WM.

  20. Deception and Cognitive Load: Expanding Our Horizon with a Working Memory Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sporer, Siegfried L

    2016-01-01

    Recently, studies on deception and its detection have increased dramatically. Many of these studies rely on the "cognitive load approach" as the sole explanatory principle to understand deception. These studies have been exclusively on lies about negative actions (usually lies of suspects of [mock] crimes). Instead, we need to re-focus more generally on the cognitive processes involved in generating both lies and truths, not just on manipulations of cognitive load. Using Baddeley's (2000, 2007, 2012) working memory model, which integrates verbal and visual processes in working memory with retrieval from long-term memory and control of action, not only verbal content cues but also nonverbal, paraverbal, and linguistic cues can be investigated within a single framework. The proposed model considers long-term semantic, episodic and autobiographical memory and their connections with working memory and action. It also incorporates ironic processes of mental control (Wegner, 1994, 2009), the role of scripts and schemata and retrieval cues and retrieval processes. Specific predictions of the model are outlined and support from selective studies is presented. The model is applicable to different types of reports, particularly about lies and truths about complex events, and to different modes of production (oral, hand-written, typed). Predictions regarding several moderator variables and methods to investigate them are proposed.

  1. Load-sensitive impairment of working memory for biological motion in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hannah; Kim, Jejoong

    2017-01-01

    Impaired working memory (WM) is a core cognitive deficit in schizophrenia. Nevertheless, past studies have reported that patients may also benefit from increasing salience of memory stimuli. Such efficient encoding largely depends upon precise perception. Thus an investigation on the relationship between perceptual processing and WM would be worthwhile. Here, we used biological motion (BM), a socially relevant stimulus that schizophrenics have difficulty discriminating from similar meaningless motions, in a delayed-response task. Non-BM stimuli and static polygons were also used for comparison. In each trial, one of the three types of stimuli was presented followed by two probes, with a short delay in between. Participants were asked to indicate whether one of them was identical to the memory item or both were novel. The number of memory items was one or two. Healthy controls were more accurate in recognizing BM than non-BM regardless of memory loads. Patients with schizophrenia exhibited similar accuracy patterns to those of controls in the Load 1 condition only. These results suggest that information contained in BM could facilitate WM encoding in general, but the effect is vulnerable to the increase of cognitive load in schizophrenia, implying inefficient encoding driven by imprecise perception.

  2. Event-related potential responses to perceptual reversals are modulated by working memory load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Intaitė, Monika; Koivisto, Mika; Castelo-Branco, Miguel

    2014-04-01

    While viewing ambiguous figures, such as the Necker cube, the available perceptual interpretations alternate with one another. The role of higher level mechanisms in such reversals remains unclear. We tested whether perceptual reversals of discontinuously presented Necker cube pairs depend on working memory resources by manipulating cognitive load while recording event-related potentials (ERPs). The ERPs showed early enhancements of negativity, which were obtained in response to the first cube approximately 500 ms before perceived reversals. We found that working memory load influenced reversal-related brain responses in response to the second cube over occipital areas at the 150-300 ms post-stimulus and over central areas at P3 time window (300-500 ms), suggesting that it modulates intermediate visual processes. Interestingly, reversal rates remained unchanged by the working memory load. We propose that perceptual reversals in discontinuous presentation of ambiguous stimuli are governed by an early (well preceding pending reversals) mechanism, while the effects of load on the reversal related ERPs may reflect general top-down influences on visual processing, possibly mediated by the prefrontal cortex. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. The relative contributions of processing speed and cognitive load to working memory accuracy in multiple sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leavitt, Victoria M; Lengenfelder, Jean; Moore, Nancy B; Chiaravalloti, Nancy D; DeLuca, John

    2011-06-01

    Cognitive symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) include processing-speed deficits and working memory impairment. The precise manner in which these deficits interact in individuals with MS remains to be explicated. We hypothesized that providing more time on a complex working memory task would result in performance benefits for individuals with MS relative to healthy controls. Fifty-three individuals with clinically definite MS and 36 matched healthy controls performed a computerized task that systematically manipulated cognitive load. The interval between stimuli presentations was manipulated to provide increasing processing time. The results confirmed that individuals with MS who have processing-speed deficits significantly improve in performance accuracy when given additional time to process the information in working memory. Implications of these findings for developing appropriate cognitive rehabilitation interventions are discussed.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinfeng Tan

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

  5. Working memory load and distraction: dissociable effects of visual maintenance and cognitive control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konstantinou, Nikos; Beal, Eleanor; King, Jean-Remi; Lavie, Nilli

    2014-10-01

    We establish a new dissociation between the roles of working memory (WM) cognitive control and visual maintenance in selective attention as measured by the efficiency of distractor rejection. The extent to which focused selective attention can prevent distraction has been shown to critically depend on the level and type of load involved in the task. High perceptual load that consumes perceptual capacity leads to reduced distractor processing, whereas high WM load that reduces WM ability to exert priority-based executive cognitive control over the task results in increased distractor processing (e.g., Lavie, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9(2), 75-82, 2005). WM also serves to maintain task-relevant visual representations, and such visual maintenance is known to recruit the same sensory cortices as those involved in perception (e.g., Pasternak & Greenlee, Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 6(2), 97-107, 2005). These findings led us to hypothesize that loading WM with visual maintenance would reduce visual capacity involved in perception, thus resulting in reduced distractor processing-similar to perceptual load and opposite to WM cognitive control load. Distractor processing was assessed in a response competition task, presented during the memory interval (or during encoding; Experiment 1a) of a WM task. Loading visual maintenance or encoding by increased set size for a memory sample of shapes, colors, and locations led to reduced distractor response competition effects. In contrast, loading WM cognitive control with verbal rehearsal of a random letter set led to increased distractor effects. These findings confirm load theory predictions and provide a novel functional distinction between the roles of WM maintenance and cognitive control in selective attention.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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...

  8. Working memory load modulates the neural response to other's pain: Evidence from an ERP study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Fang; Zhu, Xiangru; Luo, Yuejia; Cheng, Jiaping

    2017-03-22

    The present study investigated the time course of processing other's pain under different conditions of working memory (WM) load. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded while the participants held two digits (low WM load) or six digits (high WM load) in WM and viewed pictures that showed others who were in painful or non-painful situations. Robust WM-load×Picture interactions were found for the N2 and LPP components. In the high WM-load condition, painful pictures elicited significantly larger amplitudes than non-painful pictures. In the low WM load condition, the difference between the painful and non-painful pictures was not significant. These ERP results indicate that WM load can influence both the early automatic N2 component and late cognitive LPP component. Compared with high WM load, low WM load reduced affective arousal and emotional sharing in response to other's pain and weakened the cognitive evaluation of task irrelevant stimuli. These findings are explained from the load theory perspective. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Visual working memory load-related changes in neural activity and functional connectivity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ling Li

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Visual working memory (VWM helps us store visual information to prepare for subsequent behavior. The neuronal mechanisms for sustaining coherent visual information and the mechanisms for limited VWM capacity have remained uncharacterized. Although numerous studies have utilized behavioral accuracy, neural activity, and connectivity to explore the mechanism of VWM retention, little is known about the load-related changes in functional connectivity for hemi-field VWM retention. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, we recorded electroencephalography (EEG from 14 normal young adults while they performed a bilateral visual field memory task. Subjects had more rapid and accurate responses to the left visual field (LVF memory condition. The difference in mean amplitude between the ipsilateral and contralateral event-related potential (ERP at parietal-occipital electrodes in retention interval period was obtained with six different memory loads. Functional connectivity between 128 scalp regions was measured by EEG phase synchronization in the theta- (4-8 Hz, alpha- (8-12 Hz, beta- (12-32 Hz, and gamma- (32-40 Hz frequency bands. The resulting matrices were converted to graphs, and mean degree, clustering coefficient and shortest path length was computed as a function of memory load. The results showed that brain networks of theta-, alpha-, beta-, and gamma- frequency bands were load-dependent and visual-field dependent. The networks of theta- and alpha- bands phase synchrony were most predominant in retention period for right visual field (RVF WM than for LVF WM. Furthermore, only for RVF memory condition, brain network density of theta-band during the retention interval were linked to the delay of behavior reaction time, and the topological property of alpha-band network was negative correlation with behavior accuracy. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We suggest that the differences in theta- and alpha- bands between LVF and RVF

  10. Visual Working Memory Load-Related Changes in Neural Activity and Functional Connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ling; Zhang, Jin-Xiang; Jiang, Tao

    2011-01-01

    Background Visual working memory (VWM) helps us store visual information to prepare for subsequent behavior. The neuronal mechanisms for sustaining coherent visual information and the mechanisms for limited VWM capacity have remained uncharacterized. Although numerous studies have utilized behavioral accuracy, neural activity, and connectivity to explore the mechanism of VWM retention, little is known about the load-related changes in functional connectivity for hemi-field VWM retention. Methodology/Principal Findings In this study, we recorded electroencephalography (EEG) from 14 normal young adults while they performed a bilateral visual field memory task. Subjects had more rapid and accurate responses to the left visual field (LVF) memory condition. The difference in mean amplitude between the ipsilateral and contralateral event-related potential (ERP) at parietal-occipital electrodes in retention interval period was obtained with six different memory loads. Functional connectivity between 128 scalp regions was measured by EEG phase synchronization in the theta- (4–8 Hz), alpha- (8–12 Hz), beta- (12–32 Hz), and gamma- (32–40 Hz) frequency bands. The resulting matrices were converted to graphs, and mean degree, clustering coefficient and shortest path length was computed as a function of memory load. The results showed that brain networks of theta-, alpha-, beta-, and gamma- frequency bands were load-dependent and visual-field dependent. The networks of theta- and alpha- bands phase synchrony were most predominant in retention period for right visual field (RVF) WM than for LVF WM. Furthermore, only for RVF memory condition, brain network density of theta-band during the retention interval were linked to the delay of behavior reaction time, and the topological property of alpha-band network was negative correlation with behavior accuracy. Conclusions/Significance We suggest that the differences in theta- and alpha- bands between LVF and RVF conditions in

  11. Impact of load-related neural processes on feature binding in visuospatial working memory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole A Kochan

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The capacity of visual working memory (WM is substantially limited and only a fraction of what we see is maintained as a temporary trace. The process of binding visual features has been proposed as an adaptive means of minimising information demands on WM. However the neural mechanisms underlying this process, and its modulation by task and load effects, are not well understood. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the neural correlates of feature binding and its modulation by WM load during the sequential phases of encoding, maintenance and retrieval. METHODS AND FINDINGS: 18 young healthy participants performed a visuospatial WM task with independent factors of load and feature conjunction (object identity and position in an event-related functional MRI study. During stimulus encoding, load-invariant conjunction-related activity was observed in left prefrontal cortex and left hippocampus. During maintenance, greater activity for task demands of feature conjunction versus single features, and for increased load was observed in left-sided regions of the superior occipital cortex, precuneus and superior frontal cortex. Where these effects were expressed in overlapping cortical regions, their combined effect was additive. During retrieval, however, an interaction of load and feature conjunction was observed. This modulation of feature conjunction activity under increased load was expressed through greater deactivation in medial structures identified as part of the default mode network. CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE: The relationship between memory load and feature binding qualitatively differed through each phase of the WM task. Of particular interest was the interaction of these factors observed within regions of the default mode network during retrieval which we interpret as suggesting that at low loads, binding processes may be 'automatic' but at higher loads it becomes a resource-intensive process leading to disengagement of activity in this

  12. Working memory load impairs the evaluation of behavioral errors in the medial frontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maier, Martin E; Steinhauser, Marco

    2017-10-01

    Early error monitoring in the medial frontal cortex enables error detection and the evaluation of error significance, which helps prioritize adaptive control. This ability has been assumed to be independent from central capacity, a limited pool of resources assumed to be involved in cognitive control. The present study investigated whether error evaluation depends on central capacity by measuring the error-related negativity (Ne/ERN) in a flanker paradigm while working memory load was varied on two levels. We used a four-choice flanker paradigm in which participants had to classify targets while ignoring flankers. Errors could be due to responding either to the flankers (flanker errors) or to none of the stimulus elements (nonflanker errors). With low load, the Ne/ERN was larger for flanker errors than for nonflanker errors-an effect that has previously been interpreted as reflecting differential significance of these error types. With high load, no such effect of error type on the Ne/ERN was observable. Our findings suggest that working memory load does not impair the generation of an Ne/ERN per se but rather impairs the evaluation of error significance. They demonstrate that error monitoring is composed of capacity-dependent and capacity-independent mechanisms. © 2017 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  13. Impact of working memory load on cognitive control in trait anxiety: an ERP study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Senqing; Zeng, Qinghong; Luo, Yangmei; Duan, Haijun; Ding, Cody; Hu, Weiping; Li, Hong

    2014-01-01

    Whether trait anxiety is associated with a general impairment of cognitive control is a matter of debate. This study investigated whether and how experimentally manipulated working memory (WM) load modulates the relation between trait anxiety and cognitive control. This question was investigated using a dual-task design in combination with event-related potentials. Participants were required to remember either one (low WM load) or six letters (high WM load) while performing a flanker task. Our results showed that a high WM load disrupted participants' ability to overcome distractor interference and this effect was exacerbated for the high trait-anxious (HTA) group. This exacerbation was reflected by larger interference effects (i.e., incongruent minus congruent) on reaction times (RTs) and N2 amplitudes for the HTA group than for the low trait-anxious group under high WM load. The two groups, however, did not differ in their ability to inhibit task-irrelevant distractors under low WM load, as indicated by both RTs and N2 amplitudes. These findings underscore the significance of WM-related cognitive demand in contributing to the presence (or absence) of a general cognitive control deficit in trait anxiety. Furthermore, our findings show that when limited WM resources are depleted by high WM load, HTA individuals exhibit less efficient recruitments of cognitive control required for the inhibition of distractors, therefore resulting in a greater degree of response conflict.

  14. Impact of working memory load on cognitive control in trait anxiety: an ERP study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Senqing Qi

    Full Text Available Whether trait anxiety is associated with a general impairment of cognitive control is a matter of debate. This study investigated whether and how experimentally manipulated working memory (WM load modulates the relation between trait anxiety and cognitive control. This question was investigated using a dual-task design in combination with event-related potentials. Participants were required to remember either one (low WM load or six letters (high WM load while performing a flanker task. Our results showed that a high WM load disrupted participants' ability to overcome distractor interference and this effect was exacerbated for the high trait-anxious (HTA group. This exacerbation was reflected by larger interference effects (i.e., incongruent minus congruent on reaction times (RTs and N2 amplitudes for the HTA group than for the low trait-anxious group under high WM load. The two groups, however, did not differ in their ability to inhibit task-irrelevant distractors under low WM load, as indicated by both RTs and N2 amplitudes. These findings underscore the significance of WM-related cognitive demand in contributing to the presence (or absence of a general cognitive control deficit in trait anxiety. Furthermore, our findings show that when limited WM resources are depleted by high WM load, HTA individuals exhibit less efficient recruitments of cognitive control required for the inhibition of distractors, therefore resulting in a greater degree of response conflict.

  15. Unilateral prefrontal direct current stimulation effects are modulated by working memory load and gender.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meiron, Oded; Lavidor, Michal

    2013-05-01

    Recent studies revealed that anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) may improve verbal working memory (WM) performance in humans. In the present study, we evaluated executive attention, which is the core of WM capacity, considered to be significantly involved in tasks that require active maintenance of memory representations in interference-rich conditions, and is highly dependent on DLPFC function. We investigated verbal WM accuracy using a WM task that is highly sensitive to executive attention function. We were interested in how verbal WM accuracy may be affected by WM load, unilateral DLPFC stimulation, and gender, as previous studies showed gender-dependent brain activation during verbal WM tasks. We utilized a modified verbal n-Back task hypothesized to increase demands on executive attention. We examined "online" WM performance while participants received transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), and implicit learning performance in a post-stimulation WM task. Significant lateralized "online" stimulation effects were found only in the highest WM load condition revealing that males benefit from left DLPFC stimulation, while females benefit from right DLPFC stimulation. High WM load performance in the left DLPFC stimulation was significantly related to post-stimulation recall performance. Our findings support the idea that lateralized stimulation effects in high verbal WM load may be gender-dependent. Further, our post-stimulation results support the idea that increased left hemisphere activity may be important for encoding verbal information into episodic memory as well as for facilitating retrieval of context-specific targets from semantic memory. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Psychosocial stress impairs working memory at high loads: An association with cortisol levels and memory retrieval

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oei, N.Y.L.; Everaerd, W.T.A.M.; Elzinga, B.M.; van Well, S.; Bermond, B.

    2006-01-01

    Stress and cortisol are known to impair memory retrieval of well-consolidated declarative material. The effects of cortisol on memory retrieval may in particular be due to glucocorticoid (GC) receptors in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC). Therefore, effects of stress and cortisol should

  17. Reduced Frontal Activations at High Working Memory Load in Mild Cognitive Impairment: Near-Infrared Spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeung, Michael K; Sze, Sophia L; Woo, Jean; Kwok, Timothy; Shum, David H K; Yu, Ruby; Chan, Agnes S

    2016-01-01

    Some functional magnetic resonance imaging studies have reported altered activations in the frontal cortex during working memory (WM) performance in individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), but the findings have been mixed. The objective of the present study was to utilize near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), an alternative imaging technique, to examine neural processing during WM performance in individuals with MCI. Twenty-six older adults with MCI (7 males; mean age 69.15 years) were compared with 26 age-, gender-, handedness-, and education-matched older adults with normal cognition (NC; 7 males; mean age 68.87 years). All of the participants undertook an n-back task with a low (i.e., 0-back) and a high (i.e., 2-back) WM load condition while their prefrontal dynamics were recorded by a 16-channel NIRS system. Although behavioral results showed that the two groups had comparable task performance, neuroimaging results showed that the MCI group, unlike the NC group, did not exhibit significantly increased frontal activations bilaterally when WM load increased. Compared to the NC group, the MCI group had similar frontal activations at low load (p > 0.05 on all channels) but reduced activations at high load (p load in individuals with MCI. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  18. Dynamic adjustments in prefrontal, hippocampal, and inferior temporal interactions with increasing visual working memory load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rissman, Jesse; Gazzaley, Adam; D'Esposito, Mark

    2008-07-01

    The maintenance of visual stimuli across a delay interval in working memory tasks is thought to involve reverberant neural communication between the prefrontal cortex and posterior visual association areas. Recent studies suggest that the hippocampus might also contribute to this retention process, presumably via reciprocal interactions with visual regions. To characterize the nature of these interactions, we performed functional connectivity analysis on an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging data set in which participants performed a delayed face recognition task. As the number of faces that participants were required to remember was parametrically increased, the right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) showed a linearly decreasing degree of functional connectivity with the fusiform face area (FFA) during the delay period. In contrast, the hippocampus linearly increased its delay period connectivity with both the FFA and the IFG as the mnemonic load increased. Moreover, the degree to which participants' FFA showed a load-dependent increase in its connectivity with the hippocampus predicted the degree to which its connectivity with the IFG decreased with load. Thus, these neural circuits may dynamically trade off to accommodate the particular mnemonic demands of the task, with IFG-FFA interactions mediating maintenance at lower loads and hippocampal interactions supporting retention at higher loads.

  19. Framing effects under cognitive load: the role of working memory in risky decisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitney, Paul; Rinehart, Christa A; Hinson, John M

    2008-12-01

    Framing effects occur in a wide range of laboratory and natural decision contexts, but the underlying processes that produce framing effects are not well understood. We explored the role of working memory (WM) in framing by manipulating WM loads during risky decisions. After starting with a hypothetical stake of money, participants were then presented a lesser amount that they could keep for certain (positive frame) or lose for certain (negative frame). They made a choice between the sure amount and a gamble in which they could either keep or lose all of the original stake. On half of the trials, the choice was made while maintaining a concurrent WM load of random letters. In both load and no-load conditions, we replicated the typical finding of risk aversion with positive frames and risk seeking with negative frames. In addition, people made fewer decisions to accept the gamble under conditions of higher cognitive load. The data are congruent with a dual-process reasoning framework in which people employ a heuristic to make satisfactory decisions with minimal effort.

  20. Cortical oscillations and entrainment in speech processing during working memory load

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hjortkjær, Jens; Märcher-Rørsted, Jonatan; Fuglsang, Søren A

    2018-01-01

    Neuronal oscillations are thought to play an important role in working memory (WM) and speech processing. Listening to speech in real-life situations is often cognitively demanding but it is unknown whether WM load influences how auditory cortical activity synchronizes to speech features. Here, we...... developed an auditory n-back paradigm to investigate cortical entrainment to speech envelope fluctuations under different degrees of WM load. We measured the electroencephalogram, pupil dilations and behavioural performance from 22 subjects listening to continuous speech with an embedded n-back task....... The speech stimuli consisted of long spoken number sequences created to match natural speech in terms of sentence intonation, syllabic rate and phonetic content. To burden different WM functions during speech processing, listeners performed an n-back task on the speech sequences in different levels...

  1. Electroencephalography Based Analysis of Working Memory Load and Affective Valence in an N-back Task with Emotional Stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grissmann, Sebastian; Faller, Josef; Scharinger, Christian; Spüler, Martin; Gerjets, Peter

    2017-01-01

    Most brain-based measures of the electroencephalogram (EEG) are used in highly controlled lab environments and only focus on narrow mental states (e.g., working memory load). However, we assume that outside the lab complex multidimensional mental states are evoked. This could potentially create interference between EEG signatures used for identification of specific mental states. In this study, we aimed to investigate more realistic conditions and therefore induced a combination of working memory load and affective valence to reveal potential interferences in EEG measures. To induce changes in working memory load and affective valence, we used a paradigm which combines an N-back task (for working memory load manipulation) with a standard method to induce affect (affective pictures taken from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS) database). Subjective ratings showed that the experimental task was successful in inducing working memory load as well as affective valence. Additionally, performance measures were analyzed and it was found that behavioral performance decreased with increasing workload as well as negative valence, showing that affective valence can have an effect on cognitive processing. These findings are supported by changes in frontal theta and parietal alpha power, parameters used for measuring of working memory load in the EEG. However, these EEG measures are influenced by the negative valence condition as well and thereby show that detection of working memory load is sensitive to affective contexts. Unexpectedly, we did not find any effects for EEG measures typically used for affective valence detection (Frontal Alpha Asymmetry (FAA)). Therefore we assume that the FAA measure might not be usable if cognitive workload is induced simultaneously. We conclude that future studies should account for potential context-specifity of EEG measures.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hester, Robert; Garavan, Hugh

    2005-03-01

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

  3. Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex GABA Concentration in Humans Predicts Working Memory Load Processing Capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoon, Jong H; Grandelis, Anthony; Maddock, Richard J

    2016-11-16

    The discovery of neural mechanisms of working memory (WM) would significantly enhance our understanding of complex human behaviors and guide treatment development for WM-related impairments found in neuropsychiatric conditions and aging. Although the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) has long been considered critical for WM, we still know little about the neural elements and pathways within the DLPFC that support WM in humans. In this study, we tested whether an individual's DLPFC gamma-aminobutryic acid (GABA) content predicts individual differences in WM task performance using a novel behavioral approach. Twenty-three healthy adults completed a task that measured the unique contribution of major WM components (memory load, maintenance, and distraction resistance) to performance. This was done to address the possibility that components have differing GABA dependencies and the failure to parse WM into components would lead to missing true associations with GABA. The subjects then had their DLPFC GABA content measured by single-voxel proton magnetic spectroscopy. We found that individuals with lower DLPFC GABA showed greater performance degradation with higher load, accounting for 31% of variance, p (corrected) = 0.015. This relationship was component, neurochemical, and brain region specific. DLPFC GABA content did not predict performance sensitivity to other components tested; DLPFC glutamate + glutamine and visual cortical GABA content did not predict load sensitivity. These results confirm the involvement of DLPFC GABA in WM load processing in humans and implicate factors controlling DLPFC GABA content in the neural mechanisms of WM and its impairments. This study demonstrated for the first time that the amount of gamma-aminobutryic acid (GABA), the major inhibitory neurotransmitter of the brain, in an individual's prefrontal cortex predicts working memory (WM) task performance. Given that WM is required for many of the most characteristic cognitive and

  4. Measuring Load on Working Memory: The Use of Heart Rate as a Means of Measuring Chemistry Students' Cognitive Load

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cranford, Kristen N.; Tiettmeyer, Jessica M.; Chuprinko, Bryan C.; Jordan, Sophia; Grove, Nathaniel P.

    2014-01-01

    Information processing provides a powerful model for understanding how learning occurs and highlights the important role that cognitive load plays in this process. In instances in which the cognitive load of a problem exceeds the available working memory, learning can be seriously hindered. Previously reported methods for measuring cognitive load…

  5. Working Memory Load and Reminder Effect on Event-Based Prospective Memory of High- and Low-Achieving Students in Math

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Youzhen; Lian, Rong; Yang, Lixian; Liu, Jianrong; Meng, Yingfang

    2017-01-01

    The effects of working memory (WM) demand and reminders on an event-based prospective memory (PM) task were compared between students with low and high achievement in math. WM load (1- and 2-back tasks) was manipulated as a within-subject factor and reminder (with or without reminder) as a between-subject factor. Results showed that high-achieving…

  6. Auditory and visual memories in PTSD patients targeted with eye movements and counting : The effect of modality-specific loading of working memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Matthijssen, Suzy J.M.A.; Verhoeven, Liselotte C.M.; van den Hout, Marcel A.; Heitland, Ivo

    2017-01-01

    Introduction: Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an evidence-based treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A key element of this therapy is simultaneously recalling an emotionally disturbing memory and performing a dual task that loads working memory.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Lubna; de Fockert, Jan W

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lubna Ahmed

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Nikki ePratt; Adrian eWilloughby; Diane eSwick; Diane eSwick

    2011-01-01

    Working memory and attention interact in a way that enables us to focus on relevant items and maintain current goals. The influence of working memory on attention has been noted in several studies using dual task designs. Multitasking increases the demands on working memory and reduces the amount of resources available for cognitive control functions such as resolving stimulus conflict. However, few studies have investigated the temporal activation of the cortex while multitasking. The pre...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Pratt, Nikki; Willoughby, Adrian; Swick, Diane

    2011-01-01

    Working memory and attention interact in a way that enables us to focus on relevant items and maintain current goals. The influence of working memory on attention has been noted in several studies using dual task designs. Multitasking increases the demands on working memory and reduces the amount of resources available for cognitive control functions such as resolving stimulus conflict. However, few studies have investigated the temporal activation of the cortex while multitasking. The presen...

  12. Effects of Age and Working Memory Load on Syntactic Processing: An Event-Related Potential Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graciela C. Alatorre-Cruz

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive changes in aging include working memory (WM decline, which may hamper language comprehension. An increase in WM demands in older adults would probably provoke a poorer sentence processing performance in this age group. A way to increase the WM load is to separate two lexical units in an agreement relation (i.e., adjective and noun, in a given sentence. To test this hypothesis, event-related potentials (ERPs were collected from Spanish speakers (30 older adults, mean age = 66.06 years old; and 30 young adults, mean age = 25.7 years old who read sentences to detect grammatical errors. The sentences varied with regard to (1 the gender agreement of the noun and adjective, where the gender of the adjective either agreed or disagreed with the noun, and (2 the WM load (i.e., the number of words between the noun and adjective in the sentence. No significant behavioral differences between groups were observed in the accuracy of the response, but older adults showed longer reaction times regardless of WM load condition. Compared with young participants, older adults showed a different pattern of ERP components characterized by smaller amplitudes of LAN, P600a, and P600b effects when the WM load was increased. A smaller LAN effect probably reflects greater difficulties in processing the morpho-syntactic features of the sentence, while smaller P600a and P600b effects could be related to difficulties in recovering and mapping all sentence constituents. We concluded that the ERP pattern in older adults showed subtle problems in syntactic processing when the WM load was increased, which was not sufficient to affect response accuracy but was only observed to result in a longer reaction time.

  13. Cortical oscillations and entrainment in speech processing during working memory load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hjortkjaer, Jens; Märcher-Rørsted, Jonatan; Fuglsang, Søren A; Dau, Torsten

    2018-02-02

    Neuronal oscillations are thought to play an important role in working memory (WM) and speech processing. Listening to speech in real-life situations is often cognitively demanding but it is unknown whether WM load influences how auditory cortical activity synchronizes to speech features. Here, we developed an auditory n-back paradigm to investigate cortical entrainment to speech envelope fluctuations under different degrees of WM load. We measured the electroencephalogram, pupil dilations and behavioural performance from 22 subjects listening to continuous speech with an embedded n-back task. The speech stimuli consisted of long spoken number sequences created to match natural speech in terms of sentence intonation, syllabic rate and phonetic content. To burden different WM functions during speech processing, listeners performed an n-back task on the speech sequences in different levels of background noise. Increasing WM load at higher n-back levels was associated with a decrease in posterior alpha power as well as increased pupil dilations. Frontal theta power increased at the start of the trial and increased additionally with higher n-back level. The observed alpha-theta power changes are consistent with visual n-back paradigms suggesting general oscillatory correlates of WM processing load. Speech entrainment was measured as a linear mapping between the envelope of the speech signal and low-frequency cortical activity (level) decreased cortical speech envelope entrainment. Although entrainment persisted under high load, our results suggest a top-down influence of WM processing on cortical speech entrainment. © 2018 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience published by Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  15. Hormonal modulation of novelty processing in women: Enhanced under working memory load with high dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate-to-dehydroepiandrosterone ratios.

    Science.gov (United States)

    do Vale, Sónia; Selinger, Lenka; Martins, João Martin; Bicho, Manuel; do Carmo, Isabel; Escera, Carles

    2016-11-10

    Several studies have suggested that dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (DHEAS) may enhance working memory and attention, yet current evidence is still inconclusive. The balance between both forms of the hormone might be crucial regarding the effects that DHEA and DHEAS exert on the central nervous system. To test the hypothesis that higher DHEAS-to-DHEA ratios might enhance working memory and/or involuntary attention, we studied the DHEAS-to-DHEA ratio in relation to involuntary attention and working memory processing by recording the electroencephalogram of 22 young women while performing a working memory load task and a task without working memory load in an audio-visual oddball paradigm. DHEA and DHEAS were measured in saliva before each task. We found that a higher DHEAS-to-DHEA ratio was related to enhanced auditory novelty-P3 amplitudes during performance of the working memory task, indicating an increased processing of the distracter, while on the other hand there was no difference in the processing of the visual target. These results suggest that the balance between DHEAS and DHEA levels modulates involuntary attention during the performance of a task with cognitive load without interfering with the processing of the task-relevant visual stimulus. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. The Roles of Working Memory and Cognitive Load in Geoscience Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaeger, Allison J.; Shipley, Thomas F.; Reynolds, Stephen J.

    2017-01-01

    Working memory is a cognitive system that allows for the simultaneous storage and processing of active information. While working memory has been implicated as an important element for success in many science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, its specific role in geoscience learning is not fully understood. The major goal of…

  17. Gestures, but Not Meaningless Movements, Lighten Working Memory Load when Explaining Math

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Susan Wagner; Yip, Terina Kuangyi; Goldin-Meadow, Susan

    2012-01-01

    Gesturing is ubiquitous in communication and serves an important function for listeners, who are able to glean meaningful information from the gestures they see. But gesturing also functions for speakers, whose own gestures reduce demands on their working memory. Here we ask whether gesture's beneficial effects on working memory stem from its…

  18. Auditory and Visual Memories in PTSD Patients Targeted with Eye Movements and Counting: The Effect of Modality-Specific Loading of Working Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzy J. M. A. Matthijssen

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR therapy is an evidence-based treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD. A key element of this therapy is simultaneously recalling an emotionally disturbing memory and performing a dual task that loads working memory. Memories targeted with this therapy are mainly visual, though there is some evidence that auditory memories can also be targeted.Objective: The present study tested whether auditory memories can be targeted with EMDR in PTSD patients. A second objective was to test whether taxing the patient (performing a dual task while recalling a memory in a modality specific way (auditory demanding for auditory memories and visually demanding for visual memories was more effective in reducing the emotionality experienced than taxing in cross-modality.Methods: Thirty-six patients diagnosed with PTSD were asked to recall two disturbing memories, one mainly visual, the other one mainly auditory. They rated the emotionality of the memories before being exposed to any condition. Both memories were then recalled under three alternating conditions [visual taxation, auditory taxation, and a control condition (CC, which comprised staring a non-moving dot] – counterbalanced in order – and patients rerated emotionality after each condition.Results: All three conditions were equally effective in reducing the emotionality of the auditory memory. Auditory loading was more effective in reducing the emotionality in the visual intrusion than the CC, but did not differ from the visual load.Conclusion: Auditory and visual aversive memories were less emotional after working memory taxation (WMT. This has some clinical implications for EMDR therapy, where mainly visual intrusions are targeted. In this study, there was no benefit of modality specificity. Further fundamental research should be conducted to specify the best protocol for WMT.

  19. Auditory and Visual Memories in PTSD Patients Targeted with Eye Movements and Counting: The Effect of Modality-Specific Loading of Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthijssen, Suzy J M A; Verhoeven, Liselotte C M; van den Hout, Marcel A; Heitland, Ivo

    2017-01-01

    Introduction: Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an evidence-based treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A key element of this therapy is simultaneously recalling an emotionally disturbing memory and performing a dual task that loads working memory. Memories targeted with this therapy are mainly visual, though there is some evidence that auditory memories can also be targeted. Objective: The present study tested whether auditory memories can be targeted with EMDR in PTSD patients. A second objective was to test whether taxing the patient (performing a dual task while recalling a memory) in a modality specific way (auditory demanding for auditory memories and visually demanding for visual memories) was more effective in reducing the emotionality experienced than taxing in cross-modality. Methods: Thirty-six patients diagnosed with PTSD were asked to recall two disturbing memories, one mainly visual, the other one mainly auditory. They rated the emotionality of the memories before being exposed to any condition. Both memories were then recalled under three alternating conditions [visual taxation, auditory taxation, and a control condition (CC), which comprised staring a non-moving dot] - counterbalanced in order - and patients rerated emotionality after each condition. Results: All three conditions were equally effective in reducing the emotionality of the auditory memory. Auditory loading was more effective in reducing the emotionality in the visual intrusion than the CC, but did not differ from the visual load. Conclusion: Auditory and visual aversive memories were less emotional after working memory taxation (WMT). This has some clinical implications for EMDR therapy, where mainly visual intrusions are targeted. In this study, there was no benefit of modality specificity. Further fundamental research should be conducted to specify the best protocol for WMT.

  20. Spatial working memory in aging and mild cognitive impairment: effects of task load and contextual cueing.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kessels, R.P.C.; Meulenbroek, O.V.; Fernandez, G.S.E.; Olde Rikkert, M.G.M.

    2010-01-01

    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

  1. Spatial Working Memory in Aging and Mild Cognitive Impairment: Effects of Task Load and Contextual Cueing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kessels, R.P.C.; Meulenbroek, O.V.; Fernandez, G.S.E.; Olde Rikkert, M.G.M.

    2010-01-01

    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

  2. A high working memory load prior to memory retrieval reduces craving in non-treatment seeking problem drinkers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kaag, A.M.; Goudriaan, A.E.; de Vries, T.J.; Pattij, T.; Wiers, R.W.

    BACKGROUND: Reconsolidation-based interventions have been suggested to be a promising treatment strategy for substance use disorders. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effectiveness of a working memory intervention to interfere with the reconsolidation of alcohol-related memories in a

  3. A high working memory load prior to memory retrieval reduces craving in non-treatment seeking problem drinkers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kaag, Anne Marije; Goudriaan, Anna E.; de Vries, Taco J.; Pattij, Tommy; Wiers, Reinout W.

    2018-01-01

    Reconsolidation-based interventions have been suggested to be a promising treatment strategy for substance use disorders. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effectiveness of a working memory intervention to interfere with the reconsolidation of alcohol-related memories in a sample of

  4. Working Memory Load and Negative Picture Processing: Neural and Behavioral Associations With Panic, Social Anxiety, and Positive Affect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacNamara, Annmarie; Jackson, T Bryan; Fitzgerald, Jacklynn M; Hajcak, Greg; Phan, K Luan

    2018-04-22

    Internalizing disorders such as anxiety may be characterized by an imbalance between bottom-up (stimulus-driven) and top-down (goal-directed) attention. The late positive potential (LPP) can be used to assess these processes when task-irrelevant negative and neutral pictures are presented within a working memory paradigm. Prior work using this paradigm has found that working memory load reduces the picture-elicited LPP across participants; however, anxious individuals showed a reduced effect of working memory load on the LPP, suggesting increased distractibility. The current study assessed transdiagnostic associations between specific symptom dimensions of anxiety, the LPP, and behavior in a clinically representative, heterogeneous group of 76 treatment-seeking patients with internalizing disorders, who performed a working memory task interspersed with negative and neutral pictures. As expected, negative pictures enhanced the LPP, and working memory load reduced the LPP. Participants with higher social anxiety showed increased LPPs to negative stimuli during early and late portions of picture presentation. Panic symptoms were associated with reduced LPPs to negative pictures compared with neutral pictures as well as a reduced effect of working memory load on the LPP during the late time window. Reduced positive affect was associated with greater behavioral interference from negative pictures. Hypervigilance for negative stimuli was uniquely explained by social anxiety symptoms, whereas panic symptoms were associated with the opposing effect-blunted processing/avoidance of these stimuli. Panic symptoms were uniquely associated with reduced top-down control. Results reveal distinct associations between neural reactivity and anxiety symptom dimensions that transcend traditional diagnostic boundaries. Copyright © 2018 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Isolating Age-Group Differences in Working Memory Load-Related Neural Activity: Assessing the Contribution of Working Memory Capacity Using a Partial-Trial fMRI Method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Ilana J.; Rivera, Hannah G.; Rypma, Bart

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies examining age-group differences in working memory load-related neural activity have yielded mixed results. When present, age-group differences in working memory capacity are frequently proposed to underlie these neural effects. However, direct relationships between working memory capacity and working memory load-related activity have only been observed in younger adults. These relationships remain untested in healthy aging. Therefore, the present study examined patterns of working memory load-related activity in 22 younger and 20 older adults and assessed the contribution of working memory capacity to these load-related effects. Participants performed a partial-trial delayed response item recognition task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. In this task, participants encoded either 2 or 6 letters, maintained them during a delay, and then indicated whether a probe was present in the memory set. Behavioral results revealed faster and more accurate responses to load 2 versus 6, with age-group differences in this load condition effect for the accuracy measure. Neuroimaging results revealed one region (medial superior frontal gyrus) that showed age-group differences in load-related activity during the retrieval period, with less (greater) neural activity for the low versus high load condition in younger (older) adults. Furthermore, for older adults, load-related activity did not vary as a function of working memory capacity. Thus, working memory-related activity varies with healthy aging, but these patterns are not due solely to working memory capacity. Neurocognitive aging theories that feature capacity will need to account for these results. PMID:23357076

  6. Isolating age-group differences in working memory load-related neural activity: assessing the contribution of working memory capacity using a partial-trial fMRI method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Ilana J; Rivera, Hannah G; Rypma, Bart

    2013-05-15

    Previous studies examining age-group differences in working memory load-related neural activity have yielded mixed results. When present, age-group differences in working memory capacity are frequently proposed to underlie these neural effects. However, direct relationships between working memory capacity and working memory load-related activity have only been observed in younger adults. These relationships remain untested in healthy aging. Therefore, the present study examined patterns of working memory load-related activity in 22 younger and 20 older adults and assessed the contribution of working memory capacity to these load-related effects. Participants performed a partial-trial delayed response item recognition task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. In this task, participants encoded either 2 or 6 letters, maintained them during a delay, and then indicated whether a probe was present in the memory set. Behavioral results revealed faster and more accurate responses to load 2 versus 6, with age-group differences in this load condition effect for the accuracy measure. Neuroimaging results revealed one region (medial superior frontal gyrus) that showed age-group differences in load-related activity during the retrieval period, with less (greater) neural activity for the low versus high load condition in younger (older) adults. Furthermore, for older adults, load-related activity did not vary as a function of working memory capacity. Thus, working memory-related activity varies with healthy aging, but these patterns are not due solely to working memory capacity. Neurocognitive aging theories that feature capacity will need to account for these results. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Effects of working memory load, a history of conduct disorder, and sex on decision making in substance dependent individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fridberg, Daniel J; Gerst, Kyle R; Finn, Peter R

    2013-12-01

    Substance dependence and antisocial psychopathology, such as a history of childhood conduct disorder (HCCD), are associated with impulsive or disadvantageous decision making and reduced working memory capacity (WMC). Reducing WMC via a working memory load increases disadvantageous decision making in healthy adults, but no previous studies have examined this effect in young adults with substance dependence and HCCD. Young adults with substance dependence (SubDep; n=158, 71 female), substance dependence and HCCD (SubDep+HCCD; n=72, 24 female), and control participants (n=152, 84 female) completed a test of decision making (the Iowa Gambling Task; IGT) with or without a concurrent working memory load intended to tax WMC. Outcomes were (i) net advantageous decisions on the IGT, and (ii) preferences for infrequent- versus frequent-punishment decks. SubDep+HCCD men made fewer advantageous decisions on the IGT than control men without a load, but there were no group differences among women in that condition. Load was associated with fewer advantageous decisions for SubDep+HCCD women and control men, but not for men or women in the other groups. Participants showed greater preference for infrequent-punishment, advantageous decks under load as well. There are gender differences in the effects of substance dependence, HCCD, and working memory load on decision making on the IGT. Decision making by control men and SubDep+HCCD women suffered the most under load. Load increases preferences for less-frequent punishments, similar to a delay discounting effect. Future research should clarify the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying these effects. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. High Working Memory Load Increases Intracortical Inhibition in Primary Motor Cortex and Diminishes the Motor Affordance Effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, Scott M; Itthipuripat, Sirawaj; Aron, Adam R

    2016-05-18

    Motor affordances occur when the visual properties of an object elicit behaviorally relevant motor representations. Typically, motor affordances only produce subtle effects on response time or on motor activity indexed by neuroimaging/neuroelectrophysiology, but sometimes they can trigger action itself. This is apparent in "utilization behavior," where individuals with frontal cortex damage inappropriately grasp affording objects. This raises the possibility that, in healthy-functioning individuals, frontal cortex helps ensure that irrelevant affordance provocations remain below the threshold for actual movement. In Experiment 1, we tested this "frontal control" hypothesis by "loading" the frontal cortex with an effortful working memory (WM) task (which ostensibly consumes frontal resources) and examined whether this increased EEG measures of motor affordances to irrelevant affording objects. Under low WM load, there were typical motor affordance signatures: an event-related desynchronization in the mu frequency and an increased P300 amplitude for affording (vs nonaffording) objects over centroparietal electrodes. Contrary to our prediction, however, these affordance measures were diminished under high WM load. In Experiment 2, we tested competing mechanisms responsible for the diminished affordance in Experiment 1. We used paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation over primary motor cortex to measure long-interval cortical inhibition. We found greater long-interval cortical inhibition for high versus low load both before and after the affording object, suggesting that a tonic inhibition state in primary motor cortex could prevent the affordance from provoking the motor system. Overall, our results suggest that a high WM load "sets" the motor system into a suppressed state that mitigates motor affordances. Is an irrelevant motor affordance more likely to be triggered when you are under low or high cognitive load? We examined this using physiological measures

  9. The effect of caffeine on working memory load-­related brain activation in middle-­aged males

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klaassen, Elissa; De Groot, Renate; Evers, Lisbeth; Snel, Jan; Veerman, Enno; Ligtenberg, Antoon; Jolles, Jelle; Veltman, Dick

    2012-01-01

    Klaassen, E. B., De Groot, R. H. M., Evers, E. A. T., Snel, J., Veerman, E. C. I., Ligtenberg, A. J. M., Jolles, J., & Veltman, D. J. (2013). The effect of caffeine on working memory load-related brain activation in middle-aged male. Neuropharmacology, 64, 160-167.

  10. Dissociating effects of stimulus identity and load on working memory attentional guidance: lengthening encoding time eliminates the effect of load but not identity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsvetanov, Kamen A; Arvanitis, Theodoros N; Humphreys, Glyn W

    2012-01-01

    Effects of the identity and load of items in working memory (WM) on visual attention were examined. With a short interval between the WM item and a subsequent search task, there were effects of both load (slowed overall reaction times, RTs, in a WM condition relative to a mere repetition baseline) and identity (search RTs were affected by re-presentation of the item in WM in the search display). As the time to encode the initial display increased, the effects of load decreased while the effect of identity remained. The data indicate that the identity of stimuli in WM can affect the subsequent deployment of attention even when time is allowed for consolidation of the stimuli in WM, and that the WM effects are not causally related to the presence of cognitive load. The results are consistent with the identity of stimuli in WM modulating attention post the memory consolidation stage.

  11. The effect of non-visual working memory load on top-down modulation of visual processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rissman, Jesse; Gazzaley, Adam; D'Esposito, Mark

    2009-06-01

    While a core function of the working memory (WM) system is the active maintenance of behaviorally relevant sensory representations, it is also critical that distracting stimuli are appropriately ignored. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine the role of domain-general WM resources in the top-down attentional modulation of task-relevant and irrelevant visual representations. In our dual-task paradigm, each trial began with the auditory presentation of six random (high load) or sequentially ordered (low load) digits. Next, two relevant visual stimuli (e.g., faces), presented amongst two temporally interspersed visual distractors (e.g., scenes), were to be encoded and maintained across a 7-s delay interval, after which memory for the relevant images and digits was probed. When taxed by high load digit maintenance, participants exhibited impaired performance on the visual WM task and a selective failure to attenuate the neural processing of task-irrelevant scene stimuli. The over-processing of distractor scenes under high load was indexed by elevated encoding activity in a scene-selective region-of-interest relative to low load and passive viewing control conditions, as well as by improved long-term recognition memory for these items. In contrast, the load manipulation did not affect participants' ability to upregulate activity in this region when scenes were task-relevant. These results highlight the critical role of domain-general WM resources in the goal-directed regulation of distractor processing. Moreover, the consequences of increased WM load in young adults closely resemble the effects of cognitive aging on distractor filtering [Gazzaley, A., Cooney, J. W., Rissman, J., & D'Esposito, M. (2005). Top-down suppression deficit underlies working memory impairment in normal aging. Nature Neuroscience 8, 1298-1300], suggesting the possibility of a common underlying mechanism.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto, David; Humphreys, Glyn W

    2008-07-01

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

  13. Working-memory load and temporal myopia in dynamic decision making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worthy, Darrell A; Otto, A Ross; Maddox, W Todd

    2012-11-01

    We examined the role of working memory (WM) in dynamic decision making by having participants perform decision-making tasks under single-task or dual-task conditions. In 2 experiments participants performed dynamic decision-making tasks in which they chose 1 of 2 options on each trial. The decreasing option always gave a larger immediate reward but caused future rewards for both options to decrease. The increasing option always gave a smaller immediate reward but caused future rewards for both options to increase. In each experiment we manipulated the reward structure such that the decreasing option was the optimal choice in 1 condition and the increasing option was the optimal choice in the other condition. Behavioral results indicated that dual-task participants selected the immediately rewarding decreasing option more often, and single-task participants selected the increasing option more often, regardless of which option was optimal. Thus, dual-task participants performed worse on 1 type of task but better on the other type. Modeling results showed that single-task participants' data were most often best fit by a win-stay, lose-shift (WSLS) rule-based model that tracked differences across trials, and dual-task participants' data were most often best fit by a Softmax reinforcement learning model that tracked recency-weighted average rewards for each option. This suggests that manipulating WM load affects the degree to which participants focus on the immediate versus delayed consequences of their actions and whether they employ a rule-based WSLS strategy, but it does not necessarily affect how well people weigh the immediate versus delayed benefits when determining the long-term utility of each option.

  14. Neural oscillations in auditory working memory

    OpenAIRE

    Wilsch, A.

    2015-01-01

    The present thesis investigated memory load and memory decay in auditory working memory. Alpha power as a marker for memory load served as the primary indicator for load and decay fluctuations hypothetically reflecting functional inhibition of irrelevant information. Memory load was induced by presenting auditory signals (syllables and pure-tone sequences) in noise because speech-in-noise has been shown before to increase memory load. The aim of the thesis was to assess with magnetoencephalog...

  15. Influence of Response Prepotency Strength, General Working Memory Resources, and Specific Working Memory Load on the Ability to Inhibit Predominant Responses: A Comparison of Young and Elderly Participants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grandjean, Julien; Collette, Fabienne

    2011-01-01

    One conception of inhibitory functioning suggests that the ability to successfully inhibit a predominant response depends mainly on the strength of that response, the general functioning of working memory processes, and the working memory demand of the task (Roberts, Hager, & Heron, 1994). The proposal that inhibition and functional working memory…

  16. Working-Memory Load and Temporal Myopia in Dynamic Decision Making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worthy, Darrell A.; Otto, A. Ross; Maddox, W. Todd

    2012-01-01

    We examined the role of working memory (WM) in dynamic decision making by having participants perform decision-making tasks under single-task or dual-task conditions. In 2 experiments participants performed dynamic decision-making tasks in which they chose 1 of 2 options on each trial. The decreasing option always gave a larger immediate reward…

  17. Reviewing the Role of Cognitive Load, Expertise Level, Motivation, and Unconscious Processing in Working Memory Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuldas, Seffetullah; Hashim, Shahabuddin; Ismail, Hairul Nizam; Abu Bakar, Zainudin

    2015-01-01

    Human cognitive capacity is unavailable for conscious processing of every amount of instructional messages. Aligning an instructional design with learner expertise level would allow better use of available working memory capacity in a cognitive learning task. Motivating students to learn consciously is also an essential determinant of the capacity…

  18. Load Modulation of BOLD Response and Connectivity Predicts Working Memory Performance in Younger and Older Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagel, Irene E.; Preuschhof, Claudia; Li, Shu-Chen; Nyberg, Lars; Backman, Lars; Lindenberger, Ulman; Heekeren, Hauke R.

    2011-01-01

    Individual differences in working memory (WM) performance have rarely been related to individual differences in the functional responsivity of the WM brain network. By neglecting person-to-person variation, comparisons of network activity between younger and older adults using functional imaging techniques often confound differences in activity…

  19. Modulation of steady state functional connectivity in the default mode and working memory networks by cognitive load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newton, Allen T; Morgan, Victoria L; Rogers, Baxter P; Gore, John C

    2011-10-01

    Interregional correlations between blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signals in the resting state have been interpreted as measures of connectivity across the brain. Here we investigate whether such connectivity in the working memory and default mode networks is modulated by changes in cognitive load. Functional connectivity was measured in a steady-state verbal identity N-back task for three different conditions (N = 1, 2, and 3) as well as in the resting state. We found that as cognitive load increases, the functional connectivity within both the working memory the default mode network increases. To test whether functional connectivity between the working memory and the default mode networks changed, we constructed maps of functional connectivity to the working memory network as a whole and found that increasingly negative correlations emerged in a dorsal region of the posterior cingulate cortex. These results provide further evidence that low frequency fluctuations in BOLD signals reflect variations in neural activity and suggests interaction between the default mode network and other cognitive networks. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  20. Impaired temporoparietal deactivation with working memory load in antipsychotic-naïve patients with first-episode schizophrenia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nejad, Ayna B; Ebdrup, Bjørn H; Siebner, Hartwig R

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Objectives. Neuroimaging studies have shown abnormal task-related deactivations during working memory (WM) in schizophrenia patients with recent emphasis on brain regions within the default mode network. Using fMRI, we tested whether antipsychotic-naïve schizophrenia patients were impaired...... load. These regions activated with the no WM load condition (0-back) in both groups. Conclusions. Because 0-back activation reflects verbal attention processes, patients' persistent activation in the 1-back and 2-back conditions may reflect an inability to shift cognitive strategy with onset of WM...

  1. An Event Related Potentials Study of the Effects of Age, Load and Maintenance Duration on Working Memory Recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinal, Diego; Zurrón, Montserrat; Díaz, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    Age-related decline in cognitive capacities has been attributed to a generalized slowing of processing speed and a reduction in working memory (WM) capacity. Nevertheless, it is unclear how age affects visuospatial WM recognition and its underlying brain electrical activity. Whether age modulates the effects of memory load or information maintenance duration, which determine the limits of WM, remains also elusive. In this exploratory study, performance in a delayed match to sample task declined with age, particularly in conditions with high memory load. Event related potentials analysis revealed longer N2 and P300 latencies in old than in young adults during WM recognition, which may reflect slowing of stimulus evaluation and classification processes, respectively. Although there were no differences between groups in N2 or P300 amplitudes, the latter was more homogeneously distributed in old than in young adults, which may indicate an age-related increased reliance in frontal vs parietal resources during WM recognition. This was further supported by an age-related reduced posterior cingulate activation and increased superior frontal gyrus activation revealed through standardized low resolution electromagnetic tomography. Memory load and maintenance duration effects on brain activity were similar in both age groups. These behavioral and electrophysiological results add evidence in support of age-related decline in WM recognition theories, with a slowing of processing speed that may be limited to stimulus evaluation and categorization processes -with no effects on perceptual processes- and a posterior to anterior shift in the recruitment of neural resources. PMID:26569113

  2. An Event Related Potentials Study of the Effects of Age, Load and Maintenance Duration on Working Memory Recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinal, Diego; Zurrón, Montserrat; Díaz, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    Age-related decline in cognitive capacities has been attributed to a generalized slowing of processing speed and a reduction in working memory (WM) capacity. Nevertheless, it is unclear how age affects visuospatial WM recognition and its underlying brain electrical activity. Whether age modulates the effects of memory load or information maintenance duration, which determine the limits of WM, remains also elusive. In this exploratory study, performance in a delayed match to sample task declined with age, particularly in conditions with high memory load. Event related potentials analysis revealed longer N2 and P300 latencies in old than in young adults during WM recognition, which may reflect slowing of stimulus evaluation and classification processes, respectively. Although there were no differences between groups in N2 or P300 amplitudes, the latter was more homogeneously distributed in old than in young adults, which may indicate an age-related increased reliance in frontal vs parietal resources during WM recognition. This was further supported by an age-related reduced posterior cingulate activation and increased superior frontal gyrus activation revealed through standardized low resolution electromagnetic tomography. Memory load and maintenance duration effects on brain activity were similar in both age groups. These behavioral and electrophysiological results add evidence in support of age-related decline in WM recognition theories, with a slowing of processing speed that may be limited to stimulus evaluation and categorization processes--with no effects on perceptual processes--and a posterior to anterior shift in the recruitment of neural resources.

  3. The Influence of Working Memory Load on Expectancy-Based Strategic Processes in the Stroop-Priming Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortells, Juan J; Álvarez, Dolores; Noguera, Carmen; Carmona, Encarna; de Fockert, Jan W

    2017-01-01

    The present study investigated whether a differential availability of cognitive control resources as a result of varying working memory (WM) load could affect the capacity for expectancy-based strategic actions. Participants performed a Stroop-priming task in which a prime word (GREEN or RED) was followed by a colored target (red vs. green) that participants had to identify. The prime was incongruent or congruent with the target color on 80 and 20% of the trials, respectively, and participants were informed about the differential proportion of congruent vs. incongruent trials. This task was interleaved with a WM task, such that the prime word was preceded by a sequence of either a same digit repeated five times (low load) or five different random digits (high load), which should be retained by participants. After two, three, or four Stroop trials, they had to decide whether or not a probe digit was a part of the memory set. The key finding was a significant interaction between prime-target congruency and WM load: Whereas a strategy-dependent (reversed Stroop) effect was found under low WM load, a standard Stroop interference effect was observed under high WM load. These findings demonstrate that the availability of WM is crucial for implementing expectancy-based strategic actions.

  4. Dynamic adjustments in frontal, hippocampal, and inferior temporal interactions with increasing visual working memory load

    OpenAIRE

    Rissman, Jesse; Gazzaley, Adam; D’Esposito, Mark

    2007-01-01

    The active maintenance of visual stimuli across a delay interval in working memory tasks is thought to involve reverberant neural communication between the prefrontal cortex and posterior visual association areas. The hippocampus has also recently been attributed a role in this retention process, presumably via its reciprocal connectivity with visual regions. To characterize the nature of these inter-regional interactions, we applied a recently developed functional connectivity analysis metho...

  5. The effect of working memory load on semantic illusions: what the phonological loop and central executive have to contribute.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Büttner, Anke Caroline

    2012-01-01

    When asked how many animals of each kind Moses took on the Ark, most people respond with "two" despite the substituted name (Moses for Noah) in the question. Possible explanations for semantic illusions appear to be related to processing limitations such as those of working memory. Indeed, individual working memory capacity has an impact upon how sentences containing substitutions are processed. This experiment examined further the role of working memory in the occurrence of semantic illusions using a dual-task working memory load approach. Participants verified statements while engaging in either articulatory suppression or random number generation. Secondary task type had a significant effect on semantic illusion rate, but only when comparing the control condition to the two dual-task conditions. Furthermore, secondary task performance in the random number generation condition declined, suggesting a tradeoff between tasks. Response time analyses also showed a different pattern of processing across the conditions. The findings suggest that the phonological loop plays a role in representing semantic illusion sentences coherently and in monitoring for details, while the role of the central executive is to assist gist-processing of sentences. This usually efficient strategy leads to error in the case of semantic illusions.

  6. Planning sentences while doing other things at the same time: effects of concurrent verbal and visuospatial working memory load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaus, Jana; Mädebach, Andreas; Oppermann, Frank; Jescheniak, Jörg D

    2017-04-01

    This study investigated to what extent advance planning during sentence production is affected by a concurrent cognitive load. In two picture-word interference experiments in which participants produced subject-verb-object sentences while ignoring auditory distractor words, we assessed advance planning at a phonological (lexeme) and at an abstract-lexical (lemma) level under visuospatial or verbal working memory (WM) load. At the phonological level, subject and object nouns were found to be activated before speech onset with concurrent visuospatial WM load, but only subject nouns were found to be activated with concurrent verbal WM load, indicating a reduced planning scope as a function of type of WM load (Experiment 1). By contrast, at the abstract-lexical level, subject and object nouns were found to be activated regardless of type of concurrent load (Experiment 2). In both experiments, sentence planning had a more detrimental effect on concurrent verbal WM task performance than on concurrent visuospatial WM task performance. Overall, our results suggest that advance planning at the phonological level is more affected by a concurrently performed verbal WM task than advance planning at the abstract-lexical level. Also, they indicate an overlap of resources allocated to phonological planning in speech production and verbal WM.

  7. An Event Related Potentials Study of the Effects of Age, Load and Maintenance Duration on Working Memory Recognition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego Pinal

    Full Text Available Age-related decline in cognitive capacities has been attributed to a generalized slowing of processing speed and a reduction in working memory (WM capacity. Nevertheless, it is unclear how age affects visuospatial WM recognition and its underlying brain electrical activity. Whether age modulates the effects of memory load or information maintenance duration, which determine the limits of WM, remains also elusive. In this exploratory study, performance in a delayed match to sample task declined with age, particularly in conditions with high memory load. Event related potentials analysis revealed longer N2 and P300 latencies in old than in young adults during WM recognition, which may reflect slowing of stimulus evaluation and classification processes, respectively. Although there were no differences between groups in N2 or P300 amplitudes, the latter was more homogeneously distributed in old than in young adults, which may indicate an age-related increased reliance in frontal vs parietal resources during WM recognition. This was further supported by an age-related reduced posterior cingulate activation and increased superior frontal gyrus activation revealed through standardized low resolution electromagnetic tomography. Memory load and maintenance duration effects on brain activity were similar in both age groups. These behavioral and electrophysiological results add evidence in support of age-related decline in WM recognition theories, with a slowing of processing speed that may be limited to stimulus evaluation and categorization processes--with no effects on perceptual processes--and a posterior to anterior shift in the recruitment of neural resources.

  8. Working Memory Load and Reminder Effect on Event-Based Prospective Memory of High- and Low-Achieving Students in Math.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Youzhen; Lian, Rong; Yang, Lixian; Liu, Jianrong; Meng, Yingfang

    The effects of working memory (WM) demand and reminders on an event-based prospective memory (PM) task were compared between students with low and high achievement in math. WM load (1- and 2-back tasks) was manipulated as a within-subject factor and reminder (with or without reminder) as a between-subject factor. Results showed that high-achieving students outperformed low-achieving students on all PM and n-back tasks. Use of a reminder improved PM performance and thus reduced prospective interference; the performance of ongoing tasks also improved for all students. Both PM and n-back performances in low WM load were better than in high WM load. High WM load had more influence on low-achieving students than on high-achieving students. Results suggest that low-achieving students in math were weak at PM and influenced more by high WM load. Thus, it is important to train these students to set up an obvious reminder for their PM and improve their WM.

  9. Does a Working Memory Load Really Influence Semantic Priming? A Self-replication Attempt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tom Heyman

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The present paper describes two attempts to replicate a recent study of ours in the semantic priming domain (Heyman, Van Rensbergen, Storms, Hutchison, & De Deyne, 2015. In that study, we observed that semantic priming for forward associates (e.g., 'panda-bear' completely evaporated when participants’ working memory was taxed, whereas backward (e.g., 'baby-stork' and symmetric associates (e.g., 'cat-dog' showed no ill-effects of a secondary task. This was the case for relatively long and short stimulus onset asynchronies (i.e., 1,200 ms and 200 ms, respectively. The results thus suggested that prospective target activation is, contrary to what some theories of semantic memory posit, not an automatic process. However, the two replication studies reported here cast serious doubt on this conclusion. A Bayesian analysis of all the available data indicated that there is at least substantial evidence for a priming effect in every condition, except for forward associates in the short SOA condition. The null hypothesis is still supported in the latter condition, though the replication studies weakened the evidence for a null effect. The theoretical implications of these findings are discussed.

  10. The effect of caffeine on working memory load-related brain activation in middle-aged males.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaassen, Elissa B; de Groot, Renate H M; Evers, Elisabeth A T; Snel, Jan; Veerman, Enno C I; Ligtenberg, Antoon J M; Jolles, Jelle; Veltman, Dick J

    2013-01-01

    Caffeine is commonly consumed in an effort to enhance cognitive performance. However, little is known about the usefulness of caffeine with regard to memory enhancement, with previous studies showing inconsistent effects on memory performance. We aimed to determine the effect of caffeine on working memory (WM) load-related activation during encoding, maintenance and retrieval phases of a WM maintenance task using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). 20 healthy, male, habitual caffeine consumers aged 40-61 years were administered 100 mg of caffeine in a double-blind placebo-controlled crossover design. Participants were scanned in a non-withdrawn state following a workday during which caffeinated products were consumed according to individual normal use (range = 145-595 mg). Acute caffeine administration was associated with increased load-related activation compared to placebo in the left and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during WM encoding, but decreased load-related activation in the left thalamus during WM maintenance. These findings are indicative of an effect of caffeine on the fronto-parietal network involved in the top-down cognitive control of WM processes during encoding and an effect on the prefrontal cortico-thalamic loop involved in the interaction between arousal and the top-down control of attention during maintenance. Therefore, the effects of caffeine on WM may be attributed to both a direct effect of caffeine on WM processes, as well as an indirect effect on WM via arousal modulation. Behavioural and fMRI results were more consistent with a detrimental effect of caffeine on WM at higher levels of WM load, than caffeine-related WM enhancement. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Cognitive Enhancers'. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

    The P3 amplitude reduction is one of the most common correlates of externalizing. However, few studies have used experimental manipulations designed to challenge different cognitive functions in order to clarify the processes that impact this reduction. To examine factors moderating P3 amplitude in trait externalizing, we administered an n-back task that manipulated cognitive control demands, working memory load, and incentives to a sample of male offenders. Offenders with high trait externalizing scores did not display a global reduction in P3 amplitude. Rather, the negative association between trait externalizing and P3 amplitude was specific to trials involving inhibition of a dominant response during infrequent stimuli, in the context of low working memory load, and incentives for performance. In addition, we discuss the potential implications of these findings for externalizing-related psychopathologies. The results complement and expand previous work on the process-level dysfunction contributing to externalizing-related deficits in P3. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unni, Anirudh; Ihme, Klas; Jipp, Meike; Rieger, Jochem W

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unni, Anirudh; Ihme, Klas; Jipp, Meike; Rieger, Jochem W.

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anirudh Unni

    2017-04-01

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

  15. The effects of cognitive load during intertrial intervals on judgements of control: The role of working memory and contextual learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavus, H A; Msetfi, Rachel M

    2016-11-01

    When there is no contingency between actions and outcomes, but outcomes occur frequently, people tend to judge that they have control over those outcomes, a phenomenon known as the outcome density (OD) effect. Recent studies show that the OD effect depends on the duration of the temporal interval between action-outcome conjunctions, with longer intervals inducing stronger effects. However, under some circumstances OD effect is reduced, for example when participants are mildly depressed. We reasoned that working memory (WM) plays an important role in learning of context; with reduced WM capacity to process contextual information during intertrial intervals (ITIs) during contingency learning might lead to reduced OD effects (limited capacity hypothesis). To test this, we used a novel dual-task procedure that increases the WM load during the ITIs of an operant (e.g., action-outcome) contingency learning task to impact contextual learning. We tested our hypotheses in groups of students with zero (Experiments 1, N=34), and positive contingencies (Experiment 2, N=34). The findings indicated that WM load during the ITIs reduced the OD effects compared to no load conditions (Experiment 1 and 2). In Experiment 2, we observed reduced OD effects on action judgements under high load in zero and positive contingencies. However, the participants' judgements were still sensitive to the difference between zero and positive contingencies. We discuss the implications of our findings for the effects of depression and context in contingency learning. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Working memory capacity and visual-verbal cognitive load modulate auditory-sensory gating in the brainstem: toward a unified view of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sörqvist, Patrik; Stenfelt, Stefan; Rönnberg, Jerker

    2012-11-01

    Two fundamental research questions have driven attention research in the past: One concerns whether selection of relevant information among competing, irrelevant, information takes place at an early or at a late processing stage; the other concerns whether the capacity of attention is limited by a central, domain-general pool of resources or by independent, modality-specific pools. In this article, we contribute to these debates by showing that the auditory-evoked brainstem response (an early stage of auditory processing) to task-irrelevant sound decreases as a function of central working memory load (manipulated with a visual-verbal version of the n-back task). Furthermore, individual differences in central/domain-general working memory capacity modulated the magnitude of the auditory-evoked brainstem response, but only in the high working memory load condition. The results support a unified view of attention whereby the capacity of a late/central mechanism (working memory) modulates early precortical sensory processing.

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

    OpenAIRE

    de Fockert, Jan W.

    2013-01-01

    The perceptual load and dilution models differ fundamentally in terms of the proposed mechanism underlying variation in distractibility during different perceptual conditions. However, both models predict that distracting information can be processed beyond perceptual processing under certain conditions, a prediction that is well-supported by the literature. Load theory proposes that in such cases, where perceptual task aspects do not allow for sufficient attentional selectivity, the maintena...

  20. Delay Discounting of Losses in Alcohol Use Disorders and Antisocial Psychopathology: Effects of a Working Memory Load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerst, Kyle R; Gunn, Rachel L; Finn, Peter R

    2017-10-01

    Alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are associated with increased discounting of delayed rewards and reduced executive working memory (eWM) capacity. This association is amplified when comorbid with antisocial psychopathology (AP). Furthermore, recent studies suggest that reduced WM capacity is associated with disinhibited decisions reflected by increased impulsive decision making on the delay discounting of rewards task. While discounting of delayed rewards is well studied, the discounting of delayed losses has received significantly less experimental attention. The current study investigated (i) the rate of discounting of delayed losses in individuals with AUD only (n = 61), AUD with comorbid AP (n = 79) and healthy controls (n = 64); (ii) the relationship between eWM capacity and discounting of delayed losses; and (iii) the effect of a WM load on discounting of delayed losses. Discounting performance was assessed using a computerized discounting of delayed losses task. Results showed that the AUD-only and AUD-AP groups had higher rates of discounting of delayed losses and lower eWM capacity compared to the control groups. Lower individual eWM capacity was associated with increased discounting of delayed losses. However, WM load did not increase discounting rates overall. These results support the hypothesis that greater discounting of delayed losses is associated with AUD and comorbid AP problems and lower individual eWM capacity. Copyright © 2017 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

  1. Delineation of the working memory profile in female FMR1 premutation carriers: the effect of cognitive load on ocular motor responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shelton, Annie L; Cornish, Kim M; Godler, David E; Clough, Meaghan; Kraan, Claudine; Bui, Minh; Fielding, Joanne

    2015-04-01

    Fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) premutation carriers (PM-carriers) are characterised as having mid-sized expansions of between 55 and 200 CGG repeats in the 5' untranslated region of the FMR1 gene. While there is evidence of executive dysfunction in PM-carriers, few studies have explicitly explored working memory capabilities in female PM-carriers. 14 female PM-carriers and 13 age- and IQ-matched healthy controls completed an ocular motor n-back working memory paradigm. This task examined working memory ability and the effect of measured increases in cognitive load. Female PM-carriers were found to have attenuated working memory capabilities. Increasing the cognitive load did not elicit the expected reciprocal increase in the task errors for female PM-carriers, as it did in controls. However female PM-carriers took longer to respond than controls, regardless of the cognitive load. Further, FMR1 mRNA levels were found to significantly predict PM-carrier response time. Although preliminary, these findings provide further evidence of executive dysfunction, specifically disruption to working memory processes, which were found to be associated with increases in FMR1 mRNA expression in female PM-carriers. With future validation, ocular motor paradigms such as the n-back paradigm will be critical to the development of behavioural biomarkers for identification of PM-carrier cognitive-affective phenotypes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. The effect of caffeine on working memory load-related brain activation in middle-aged males

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klaassen, E.B.; de Groot, R.H.M.; Evers, E.A.T.; Snel, J.; Veerman, E.C.I.; Ligtenberg, A.J.M.; Jolles, J.; Veltman, D.J.

    2013-01-01

    Caffeine is commonly consumed in an effort to enhance cognitive performance. However, little is known about the usefulness of caffeine with regard to memory enhancement, with previous studies showing inconsistent effects on memory performance. We aimed to determine the effect of caffeine on working

  3. 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

  4. High Working Memory Load Impairs Language Processing during a Simulated Piloting Task: An ERP and Pupillometry Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Causse, Mickaël; Peysakhovich, Vsevolod; Fabre, Eve F.

    2016-01-01

    Given the important amount of visual and auditory linguistic information that pilots have to process, operating an aircraft generates a high working-memory load (WML). In this context, the ability to focus attention on relevant information and to remain responsive to concurrent stimuli might be altered. Consequently, understanding the effects of WML on the processing of both linguistic targets and distractors is of particular interest in the study of pilot performance. In the present work, participants performed a simplified piloting task in which they had to follow one of three colored aircraft, according to specific written instructions (i.e., the written word for the color corresponding to the color of one of the aircraft) and to ignore either congruent or incongruent concurrent auditory distractors (i.e., a spoken name of color). The WML was manipulated with an n-back sub-task. Participants were instructed to apply the current written instruction in the low WML condition, and the 2-back written instruction in the high WML condition. Electrophysiological results revealed a major effect of WML at behavioral (i.e., decline of piloting performance), electrophysiological, and autonomic levels (i.e., greater pupil diameter). Increased WML consumed resources that could not be allocated to the processing of the linguistic stimuli, as indexed by lower P300/P600 amplitudes. Also, significantly, lower P600 responses were measured in incongruent vs. congruent trials in the low WML condition, showing a higher difficulty reorienting attention toward the written instruction, but this effect was canceled in the high WML condition. This suppression of interference in the high load condition is in line with the engagement/distraction trade-off model. We propose that P300/P600 components could be reliable indicators of WML and that they allow an estimation of its impact on the processing of linguistic stimuli. PMID:27252639

  5. What works in auditory working memory? A neural oscillations perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilsch, Anna; Obleser, Jonas

    2016-06-01

    Working memory is a limited resource: brains can only maintain small amounts of sensory input (memory load) over a brief period of time (memory decay). The dynamics of slow neural oscillations as recorded using magneto- and electroencephalography (M/EEG) provide a window into the neural mechanics of these limitations. Especially oscillations in the alpha range (8-13Hz) are a sensitive marker for memory load. Moreover, according to current models, the resultant working memory load is determined by the relative noise in the neural representation of maintained information. The auditory domain allows memory researchers to apply and test the concept of noise quite literally: Employing degraded stimulus acoustics increases memory load and, at the same time, allows assessing the cognitive resources required to process speech in noise in an ecologically valid and clinically relevant way. The present review first summarizes recent findings on neural oscillations, especially alpha power, and how they reflect memory load and memory decay in auditory working memory. The focus is specifically on memory load resulting from acoustic degradation. These findings are then contrasted with contextual factors that benefit neural as well as behavioral markers of memory performance, by reducing representational noise. We end on discussing the functional role of alpha power in auditory working memory and suggest extensions of the current methodological toolkit. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Auditory working memory. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  6. High working memory load impairs the effect of cognitive reappraisal on emotional response: Evidence from an event-related potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gan, Shuzhen; Yang, Jianfeng; Chen, Xuhai; Zhang, Xiuping; Yang, Yufang

    2017-02-03

    This study investigates how the working memory (WM) load influenced the efficacy of cognitive reappraisal, a frequently used strategy for emotion regulation. In a dual-task paradigm, the participants were required to perform a high-load or a low-load memory task and simultaneously reappraise aversive pictures with a negative or a neutral meaning. In the low-load condition, we found that the amplitude of emotion-enhanced late positive potential (LPP) was significantly decreased by neutral reappraisal compared to negative reappraisal. In the high-load condition, this regulatory effect of reappraisal disappeared. These results suggest that successful reappraisal relies on cognitive resources and WM processes. If the necessary resources involved in reappraisal are over-depleted by a concurrent memory task, the reappraisal effect will be impaired. Moreover, we found that emotion-enhanced LPP was significant in both of the high-load and low-load tasks, which suggests that emotional electrocortical response may not be susceptible to the available resources. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

  8. Models of Working Memory

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Miyake, Akira

    1997-01-01

    .... Understanding the mechanisms and structures underlying working memory is, hence, one of the most important scientific issues that need to be addressed to improve the efficiency and performance...

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. The effects of working memory load and attention refocusing on delay discounting rates in alcohol use disorder with comorbid antisocial personality disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunn, Rachel L; Gerst, Kyle R; Lake, Allison J; Finn, Peter R

    2018-02-01

    Executive working memory capacity (eWMC) is central to adaptive decision-making. Research has revealed reduced eWMC and higher rates of impulsive decision making in individuals with alcohol use disorders (AUDs: DSM-IV Alcohol Dependence of Alcohol Abuse) and antisocial psychopathology (AP). Recent work has shown that placing a load on working memory (WM) further increases impulsive decision making on the delay discounting (DD) task in those with AUDs and AP. The current study examined the effects of an attention refocusing manipulation to offset the effects of this WM-load on DD rates in control subjects, those with AUDs without AP, and AUDs with AP (AUD-AP). Results revealed that 1) the AUD-AP group had higher DD rates (i.e., more impulsive decision-making) than the AUD group, followed by controls, and 2) attention refocusing after a load is placed on WM was associated with lower DD rates compared to the load without refocusing in both AUD groups, but not controls. Results suggest that refocusing attention after a cognitive load may be an effective cognitive strategy for reducing the impulsivity-enhancing effects of cognitive load on decision making in individuals with AUDs and AP. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Working Memory and Attitudes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Eun Sook; Reid, Norman

    2009-01-01

    Working memory capacity has been shown to be an important factor in controlling understanding in the sciences. Attitudes related to studies in the sciences are also known to be important in relation to success in learning. It might be argued that if working memory capacity is a rate controlling feature of learning and success in understanding…

  13. How verbal memory loads consume attention

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Zhijian; Cowan, Nelson

    2009-01-01

    According to a traditional assumption about working memory, participants retain a series of verbal items for immediate recall using covert verbal rehearsal, without much need for attention. We reassessed this assumption by imposing a speeded, nonverbal choice reaction time (CRT) task following the presentation of each digit in a list to be recalled. When the memory load surpassed a few items, performance on the speeded CRT task became increasingly impaired. This CRT task impairment depended o...

  14. Effects of load and maintenance duration on the time course of information encoding and retrieval in working memory: from perceptual analysis to post-categorization processes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego ePinal

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Working memory (WM involves three cognitive events: information encoding, maintenance and retrieval; these are supported by brain activity in a network of frontal, parietal and temporal regions. Manipulation of WM load and duration of the maintenance period can modulate this activity. Although such modulations have been widely studied using the ERP technique, a precise description of the time course of brain activity during encoding and retrieval is still required. Here, we used this technique and principal component analysis to assess the time course of brain activity during encoding and retrieval in a delayed match to sample task. We also investigated the effects of memory load and duration of the maintenance period on ERP activity. Brain activity was similar during information encoding and retrieval and comprised six temporal factors, which closely matched the latency and scalp distribution of some ERP components: P1, N1, P2, N2, P300 and a slow wave. Changes in memory load modulated task performance and yielded variations in frontal lobe activation. Moreover, the P300 amplitude was smaller in the high than in the low load condition during encoding and retrieval. Conversely, the slow wave amplitude was higher in the high than in the low load condition during encoding, and the same was true for the N2 amplitude during retrieval. Thus, during encoding, memory load appears to modulate the processing resources for context updating and post-categorization processes, and during retrieval it modulates resources for stimulus classification and context updating. Besides, despite the lack of differences in task performance related to duration of the maintenance period, larger N2 amplitude and stronger activation of the left temporal lobe after long than after short maintenance periods were found during information retrieval. Thus, results regarding the duration of maintenance period were complex, and future work is required to test the time-based decay

  15. The Effect of Non-Visual Working Memory Load on Top-Down Modulation of Visual Processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rissman, Jesse; Gazzaley, Adam; D'Esposito, Mark

    2009-01-01

    While a core function of the working memory (WM) system is the active maintenance of behaviorally relevant sensory representations, it is also critical that distracting stimuli are appropriately ignored. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine the role of domain-general WM resources in the top-down attentional modulation of…

  16. Working memory for meaningless manual gestures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudner, Mary

    2015-03-01

    Effects on working memory performance relating to item similarity have been linked to prior categorisation of representations in long-term memory. However, there is evidence from gesture processing that this link may not be obligatory. The present study investigated whether working memory for incidentally generated meaningless manual gestures is influenced by formational similarity and whether this effect is modulated by working-memory load. Results showed that formational similarity did lower performance, demonstrating that similarity effects are not dependent on prior categorisation. However, this effect was only found when working-memory load was low, supporting a flexible resource allocation model according to which it is the quality rather than quantity of working memory representations that determines performance. This interpretation is in line with proposals suggesting language modality specific allocation of resources in working memory. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  17. Reading and Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baddeley, Alan

    1984-01-01

    Outlines the concept of working memory, with particular reference to a hypothetical subcomponent, the articulatory loop. Discusses the role of the loop in fluent adult reading, then examines the reading performance of adults with deficits in auditory verbal memory, showing that a capacity to articulate is not necessary for the effective…

  18. Models of Working Memory

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Miyake, Akira

    1997-01-01

    Working memory is a basic cognitive mechanism (or set of mechanisms) that is responsible for keeping track of multiple task related goals and subgoals, or integrating multiple sources of information...

  19. Working memory load related modulations of the oscillatory brain activity. N-back ERD/ERS study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nakao, Yoshiaki; Tamura, Toshiyo; Kodabashi, Atsushi; Fujimoto, Toshiro; Yarita, Masaru

    2011-01-01

    In recent cognitive neuroscience, a lot of studies of the human working memory were examined, and electroencephalography (EEG) measurements during n-back task were often used. However, they were almost studied by event related potentials (ERP) analysis. In the ERP study, time-locked components can be elicited, but non time-locked components such as the modulated brain oscillatory activity might be lost by an averaging procedure. To elucidate the contribution of the modulations of the brain oscillatory activity to the human working memory, we examined event related desynchronization (ERD)/event related synchronization (ERS) analysis on the source waveforms during n-back task. Source waveforms were calculated from a source model which was constructed with the sources seeded from fMRI meta-analysis of n-back task and additional sources in the orbitofrontal cortex and the visual cortex estimated with P100 and P360 components in the n-back ERP. Our results suggested the network which included the prefrontal cortex and the parietal lobe had a contribution to human working memory process, and it was mediated by theta oscillatory activity. (author)

  20. Working Memory and Neurofeedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    YuLeung To, Eric; Abbott, Kathy; Foster, Dale S; Helmer, D'Arcy

    2016-01-01

    Impairments in working memory are typically associated with impairments in other cognitive faculties such as attentional processes and short-term memory. This paper briefly introduces neurofeedback as a treatment modality in general, and, more specifically, we review several of the current modalities successfully used in neurofeedback (NF) for the treatment of working memory deficits. Two case studies are presented to illustrate how neurofeedback is applied in treatment. The development of Low Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography (LORETA) and its application in neurofeedback now makes it possible to specifically target deep cortical/subcortical brain structures. Developments in neuroscience concerning neural networks, combined with highly specific yet practical NF technologies, makes neurofeedback of particular interest to neuropsychological practice, including the emergence of specific methodologies for treating very difficult working memory (WM) problems.

  1. Effects of load and maintenance duration on the time course of information encoding and retrieval in working memory: from perceptual analysis to post-categorization processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinal, Diego; Zurrón, Montserrat; Díaz, Fernando

    2014-01-01

    information encoding, maintenance, and retrieval; these are supported by brain activity in a network of frontal, parietal and temporal regions. Manipulation of WM load and duration of the maintenance period can modulate this activity. Although such modulations have been widely studied using the event-related potentials (ERP) technique, a precise description of the time course of brain activity during encoding and retrieval is still required. Here, we used this technique and principal component analysis to assess the time course of brain activity during encoding and retrieval in a delayed match to sample task. We also investigated the effects of memory load and duration of the maintenance period on ERP activity. Brain activity was similar during information encoding and retrieval and comprised six temporal factors, which closely matched the latency and scalp distribution of some ERP components: P1, N1, P2, N2, P300, and a slow wave. Changes in memory load modulated task performance and yielded variations in frontal lobe activation. Moreover, the P300 amplitude was smaller in the high than in the low load condition during encoding and retrieval. Conversely, the slow wave amplitude was higher in the high than in the low load condition during encoding, and the same was true for the N2 amplitude during retrieval. Thus, during encoding, memory load appears to modulate the processing resources for context updating and post-categorization processes, and during retrieval it modulates resources for stimulus classification and context updating. Besides, despite the lack of differences in task performance related to duration of the maintenance period, larger N2 amplitude and stronger activation of the left temporal lobe after long than after short maintenance periods were found during information retrieval. Thus, results regarding the duration of maintenance period were complex, and future work is required to test the time-based decay theory predictions.

  2. Interactions between working memory and selective attention

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

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

  3. Dynamics of auditory working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jochen eKaiser

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Working memory denotes the ability to retain stimuli in mind that are no longer physically present and to perform mental operations on them. Electro- and magnetoencephalography allow investigating the short-term maintenance of acoustic stimuli at a high temporal resolution. Studies investigating working memory for non-spatial and spatial auditory information have suggested differential roles of regions along the putative auditory ventral and dorsal streams, respectively, in the processing of the different sound properties. Analyses of event-related potentials have shown sustained, memory load-dependent deflections over the retention periods. The topography of these waves suggested an involvement of modality-specific sensory storage regions. Spectral analysis has yielded information about the temporal dynamics of auditory working memory processing of individual stimuli, showing activation peaks during the delay phase whose timing was related to task performance. Coherence at different frequencies was enhanced between frontal and sensory cortex. In summary, auditory working memory seems to rely on the dynamic interplay between frontal executive systems and sensory representation regions.

  4. Increasing Working Memory Load Reduces Processing of Cross-Modal Task-Irrelevant Stimuli Even after Controlling for Task Difficulty and Executive Capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Sharon S; Tusch, Erich S; Holcomb, Phillip J; Daffner, Kirk R

    2016-01-01

    The classic account of the load theory (LT) of attention suggests that increasing cognitive load leads to greater processing of task-irrelevant stimuli due to competition for limited executive resource that reduces the ability to actively maintain current processing priorities. Studies testing this hypothesis have yielded widely divergent outcomes. The inconsistent results may, in part, be related to variability in executive capacity (EC) and task difficulty across subjects in different studies. Here, we used a cross-modal paradigm to investigate whether augmented working memory (WM) load leads to increased early distracter processing, and controlled for the potential confounders of EC and task difficulty. Twenty-three young subjects were engaged in a primary visual WM task, under high and low load conditions, while instructed to ignore irrelevant auditory stimuli. Demands of the high load condition were individually titrated to make task difficulty comparable across subjects with differing EC. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were used to measure neural activity in response to stimuli presented in both the task relevant modality (visual) and task-irrelevant modality (auditory). Behavioral results indicate that the load manipulation and titration procedure of the primary visual task were successful. ERPs demonstrated that in response to visual target stimuli, there was a load-related increase in the posterior slow wave, an index of sustained attention and effort. Importantly, under high load, there was a decrease of the auditory N1 in response to distracters, a marker of early auditory processing. These results suggest that increased WM load is associated with enhanced attentional engagement and protection from distraction in a cross-modal setting, even after controlling for task difficulty and EC. Our findings challenge the classic LT and offer support for alternative models.

  5. Increasing working memory load reduces processing of cross-modal task-irrelevant stimuli even after controlling for task difficulty and executive capacity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharon Sanz Simon

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The classic account of the Load Theory (LT of attention suggests that increasing cognitive load leads to greater processing of task-irrelevant stimuli due to competition for limited executive resource that reduces the ability to actively maintain current processing priorities. Studies testing this hypothesis have yielded widely divergent outcomes. The inconsistent results may, in part, be related to variability in executive capacity (EC and task difficulty across subjects in different studies. Here, we used a cross-modal paradigm to investigate whether augmented working memory (WM load leads to increased early distracter processing, and controlled for the potential confounders of EC and task difficulty. Twenty-three young subjects were engaged in a primary visual WM task, under high and low load conditions, while instructed to ignore irrelevant auditory stimuli. Demands of the high load condition were individually titrated to make task difficulty comparable across subjects with differing EC. Event-related potentials (ERPs were used to measure neural activity in response to stimuli presented in both the task relevant modality (visual and task-irrelevant modality (auditory. Behavioral results indicate that the load manipulation and titration procedure of the primary visual task were successful. ERPs demonstrated that in response to visual target stimuli, there was a load-related increase in the posterior slow wave, an index of sustained attention and effort. Importantly, under high load, there was a decrease of the auditory N1 in response to distracters, a marker of early auditory processing. These results suggest that increased WM load is associated with enhanced attentional engagement and protection from distraction in a cross-modal setting, even after controlling for task difficulty and EC. Our findings challenge the classic LT and offer support for alternative models.

  6. Loads and loads and loads: The influence of prospective load, retrospective load, and ongoing task load in prospective memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beat eMeier

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available In prospective memory tasks different kinds of load can occur. Adding a prospective memory task can impose a load on ongoing task performance. Adding ongoing task load can affect prospective memory performance. The existence of multiple target events increases prospective load and adding complexity to the to-be-remembered action increases retrospective load. In two experiments, we systematically examined the effects of these different types of load on prospective memory performance. Results showed an effect of prospective load on costs in the ongoing task for categorical targets (Experiment 2, but not for specific targets (Experiment 1. Retrospective load and ongoing task load both affected remembering the retrospective component of the prospective memory task. We suggest that prospective load can enhance costs in the ongoing task due to additional monitoring requirements. Retrospective load and ongoing task load seem to impact the division of resources between the ongoing task and retrieval of the retrospective component, which may affect disengagement from the ongoing task. In general, the results demonstrate that the different types of load affect prospective memory differentially.

  7. Quantifiers and working memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Szymanik, J.; Zajenkowski, M.

    2010-01-01

    The paper presents a study examining the role of working memory in quantifier verification. We created situations similar to the span task to compare numerical quantifiers of low and high rank, parity quantifiers and proportional quantifiers. The results enrich and support the data obtained

  8. Quantifiers and working memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Szymanik, J.; Zajenkowski, M.

    2009-01-01

    The paper presents a study examining the role of working memory in quantifier verification. We created situations similar to the span task to compare numerical quantifiers of low and high rank, parity quantifiers and proportional quantifiers. The results enrich and support the data obtained

  9. Load-dependent brain activation assessed by time-domain functional near-infrared spectroscopy during a working memory task with graded levels of difficulty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molteni, Erika; Contini, Davide; Caffini, Matteo; Baselli, Giuseppe; Spinelli, Lorenzo; Cubeddu, Rinaldo; Cerutti, Sergio; Bianchi, Anna Maria; Torricelli, Alessandro

    2012-05-01

    We evaluated frontal brain activation during a mixed attentional/working memory task with graded levels of difficulty in a group of 19 healthy subjects, by means of time-domain functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Brain activation was assessed, and load-related oxy- and deoxy-hemoglobin changes were studied. Generalized linear model (GLM) was applied to the data to explore the metabolic processes occurring during the mental effort and, possibly, their involvement in short-term memorization. GLM was applied to the data twice: for modeling the task as a whole and for specifically investigating brain activation at each cognitive load. This twofold employment of GLM allowed (1) the extraction and isolation of different information from the same signals, obtained through the modeling of different cognitive categories (sustained attention and working memory), and (2) the evaluation of model fitness, by inspection and comparison of residuals (i.e., unmodeled part of the signal) obtained in the two different cases. Results attest to the presence of a persistent attentional-related metabolic activity, superimposed to a task-related mnemonic contribution. Some hemispherical differences have also been highlighted frontally: deoxy-hemoglobin changes manifested a strong right lateralization, whereas modifications in oxy- and total hemoglobin showed a medial localization. The present work successfully explored the capability of fNIRS to detect the two neurophysiological categories under investigation and distinguish their activation patterns.

  10. 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.

  11. Detailed sensory memory, sloppy working memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

    Visual short-term memory (VSTM) enables us to actively maintain information in mind for a brief period of time after stimulus disappearance. According to recent studies, VSTM consists of three stages - iconic memory, fragile VSTM, and visual working memory - with increasingly stricter capacity

  12. Investigating the influence of working memory capacity when driving behavior is combined with cognitive load: An LCT study of young novice drivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Veerle; Jongen, Ellen M M; Wang, Weixin; Brijs, Tom; Brijs, Kris; Ruiter, Robert A C; Wets, Geert

    2014-01-01

    Distracted driving has received increasing attention in the literature due to potential adverse safety outcomes. An often posed solution to alleviate distraction while driving is hands-free technology. Interference by distraction can occur however at the sensory input (e.g., visual) level, but also at the cognitive level where hands-free technology induces working memory (WM) load. Active maintenance of goal-directed behavior in the presence of distraction depends on WM capacity (i.e., Lavie's Load theory) which implies that people with higher WM capacity are less susceptible to distractor interference. This study investigated the interaction between verbal WM load and WM capacity on driving performance to determine whether individuals with higher WM capacity were less affected by verbal WM load, leading to a smaller deterioration of driving performance. Driving performance of 46 young novice drivers (17-25 years-old) was measured with the lane change task (LCT). Participants drove without and with verbal WM load of increasing complexity (auditory-verbal response N-back task). Both visuospatial and verbal WM capacity were investigated. Dependent measures were mean deviation in the lane change path (MDEV), lane change initiation (LCI) and percentage of correct lane changes (PCL). Driving experience was included as a covariate. Performance on each dependent measure deteriorated with increasing verbal WM load. Meanwhile, higher WM capacity related to better LCT performance. Finally, for LCI and PCL, participants with higher verbal WM capacity were influenced less by verbal WM load. These findings entail that completely eliminating distraction is necessary to minimize crash risks among young novice drivers. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. The Benefit of Attention-to-Memory Depends on the Interplay of Memory Capacity and Memory Load

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Sung-Joo; Wöstmann, Malte; Geweke, Frederik; Obleser, Jonas

    2018-01-01

    Humans can be cued to attend to an item in memory, which facilitates and enhances the perceptual precision in recalling this item. Here, we demonstrate that this facilitating effect of attention-to-memory hinges on the overall degree of memory load. The benefit an individual draws from attention-to-memory depends on her overall working memory performance, measured as sensitivity (d′) in a retroactive cue (retro-cue) pitch discrimination task. While listeners maintained 2, 4, or 6 auditory syllables in memory, we provided valid or neutral retro-cues to direct listeners’ attention to one, to-be-probed syllable in memory. Participants’ overall memory performance (i.e., perceptual sensitivity d′) was relatively unaffected by the presence of valid retro-cues across memory loads. However, a more fine-grained analysis using psychophysical modeling shows that valid retro-cues elicited faster pitch-change judgments and improved perceptual precision. Importantly, as memory load increased, listeners’ overall working memory performance correlated with inter-individual differences in the degree to which precision improved (r = 0.39, p = 0.029). Under high load, individuals with low working memory profited least from attention-to-memory. Our results demonstrate that retrospective attention enhances perceptual precision of attended items in memory but listeners’ optimal use of informative cues depends on their overall memory abilities. PMID:29520246

  14. The Benefit of Attention-to-Memory Depends on the Interplay of Memory Capacity and Memory Load

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sung-Joo Lim

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Humans can be cued to attend to an item in memory, which facilitates and enhances the perceptual precision in recalling this item. Here, we demonstrate that this facilitating effect of attention-to-memory hinges on the overall degree of memory load. The benefit an individual draws from attention-to-memory depends on her overall working memory performance, measured as sensitivity (d′ in a retroactive cue (retro-cue pitch discrimination task. While listeners maintained 2, 4, or 6 auditory syllables in memory, we provided valid or neutral retro-cues to direct listeners’ attention to one, to-be-probed syllable in memory. Participants’ overall memory performance (i.e., perceptual sensitivity d′ was relatively unaffected by the presence of valid retro-cues across memory loads. However, a more fine-grained analysis using psychophysical modeling shows that valid retro-cues elicited faster pitch-change judgments and improved perceptual precision. Importantly, as memory load increased, listeners’ overall working memory performance correlated with inter-individual differences in the degree to which precision improved (r = 0.39, p = 0.029. Under high load, individuals with low working memory profited least from attention-to-memory. Our results demonstrate that retrospective attention enhances perceptual precision of attended items in memory but listeners’ optimal use of informative cues depends on their overall memory abilities.

  15. Rethinking the Connection between Working Memory and Language Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Archibald, Lisa M. D.; Harder Griebeling, Katherine

    2016-01-01

    Background: Working memory deficits have been found for children with specific language impairment (SLI) on tasks imposing increasing short-term memory load with or without additional, consistent (and simple) processing load. Aims: To examine the processing function of working memory in children with low language (LL) by employing tasks imposing…

  16. Identifying Patients with Poststroke Mild Cognitive Impairment by Pattern Recognition of Working Memory Load-Related ERP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoou Li

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The early detection of subjects with probable cognitive deficits is crucial for effective appliance of treatment strategies. This paper explored a methodology used to discriminate between evoked related potential signals of stroke patients and their matched control subjects in a visual working memory paradigm. The proposed algorithm, which combined independent component analysis and orthogonal empirical mode decomposition, was applied to extract independent sources. Four types of target stimulus features including P300 peak latency, P300 peak amplitude, root mean square, and theta frequency band power were chosen. Evolutionary multiple kernel support vector machine (EMK-SVM based on genetic programming was investigated to classify stroke patients and healthy controls. Based on 5-fold cross-validation runs, EMK-SVM provided better classification performance compared with other state-of-the-art algorithms. Comparing stroke patients with healthy controls using the proposed algorithm, we achieved the maximum classification accuracies of 91.76% and 82.23% for 0-back and 1-back tasks, respectively. Overall, the experimental results showed that the proposed method was effective. The approach in this study may eventually lead to a reliable tool for identifying suitable brain impairment candidates and assessing cognitive function.

  17. Identifying patients with poststroke mild cognitive impairment by pattern recognition of working memory load-related ERP.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiaoou; Yan, Yuning; Wei, Wenshi

    2013-01-01

    The early detection of subjects with probable cognitive deficits is crucial for effective appliance of treatment strategies. This paper explored a methodology used to discriminate between evoked related potential signals of stroke patients and their matched control subjects in a visual working memory paradigm. The proposed algorithm, which combined independent component analysis and orthogonal empirical mode decomposition, was applied to extract independent sources. Four types of target stimulus features including P300 peak latency, P300 peak amplitude, root mean square, and theta frequency band power were chosen. Evolutionary multiple kernel support vector machine (EMK-SVM) based on genetic programming was investigated to classify stroke patients and healthy controls. Based on 5-fold cross-validation runs, EMK-SVM provided better classification performance compared with other state-of-the-art algorithms. Comparing stroke patients with healthy controls using the proposed algorithm, we achieved the maximum classification accuracies of 91.76% and 82.23% for 0-back and 1-back tasks, respectively. Overall, the experimental results showed that the proposed method was effective. The approach in this study may eventually lead to a reliable tool for identifying suitable brain impairment candidates and assessing cognitive function.

  18. Neurocognitive architecture of working memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eriksson, Johan; Vogel, Edward K.; Lansner, Anders; Bergström, Fredrik; Nyberg, Lars

    2015-01-01

    The crucial role of working memory for temporary information processing and guidance of complex behavior has been recognized for many decades. There is emerging consensus that working memory maintenance results from the interactions among long-term memory representations and basic processes, including attention, that are instantiated as reentrant loops between frontal and posterior cortical areas, as well as subcortical structures. The nature of such interactions can account for capacity limitations, lifespan changes, and restricted transfer after working-memory training. Recent data and models indicate that working memory may also be based on synaptic plasticity, and that working memory can operate on non-consciously perceived information. PMID:26447571

  19. Loads and loads and loads: the influence of prospective load, retrospective load, and ongoing task load in prospective memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Beat; Zimmermann, Thomas D.

    2015-01-01

    In prospective memory tasks different kinds of load can occur. Adding a prospective memory task can impose a load on ongoing task performance. Adding ongoing task load (OTL) can affect prospective memory performance. The existence of multiple target events increases prospective load (PL) and adding complexity to the to-be-remembered action increases retrospective load (RL). In two experiments, we systematically examined the effects of these different types of load on prospective memory performance. Results showed an effect of PL on costs in the ongoing task for categorical targets (Experiment 2), but not for specific targets (Experiment 1). RL and OTL both affected remembering the retrospective component of the prospective memory task. We suggest that PL can enhance costs in the ongoing task due to additional monitoring requirements. RL and OTL seem to impact the division of resources between the ongoing task and retrieval of the retrospective component, which may affect disengagement from the ongoing task. In general, the results demonstrate that the different types of load affect prospective memory differentially. PMID:26082709

  20. Loads and loads and loads: the influence of prospective load, retrospective load, and ongoing task load in prospective memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Beat; Zimmermann, Thomas D

    2015-01-01

    In prospective memory tasks different kinds of load can occur. Adding a prospective memory task can impose a load on ongoing task performance. Adding ongoing task load (OTL) can affect prospective memory performance. The existence of multiple target events increases prospective load (PL) and adding complexity to the to-be-remembered action increases retrospective load (RL). In two experiments, we systematically examined the effects of these different types of load on prospective memory performance. Results showed an effect of PL on costs in the ongoing task for categorical targets (Experiment 2), but not for specific targets (Experiment 1). RL and OTL both affected remembering the retrospective component of the prospective memory task. We suggest that PL can enhance costs in the ongoing task due to additional monitoring requirements. RL and OTL seem to impact the division of resources between the ongoing task and retrieval of the retrospective component, which may affect disengagement from the ongoing task. In general, the results demonstrate that the different types of load affect prospective memory differentially.

  1. 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.

  2. Detailed Sensory Memory, Sloppy Working Memory

    OpenAIRE

    Sligte, Ilja G.; Vandenbroucke, Annelinde R. E.; Scholte, H. Steven; Lamme, Victor A. F.

    2010-01-01

    Visual short-term memory (VSTM) enables us to actively maintain information in mind for a brief period of time after stimulus disappearance. According to recent studies, VSTM consists of three stages - iconic memory, fragile VSTM, and visual working memory - with increasingly stricter capacity limits and progressively longer lifetimes. Still, the resolution (or amount of visual detail) of each VSTM stage has remained unexplored and we test this in the present study. We presented people with a...

  3. Measuring Working Memory With Digit Span and the Letter-Number Sequencing Subtests From the WAIS-IV: Too Low Manipulation Load and Risk for Underestimating Modality Effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egeland, Jens

    2015-01-01

    The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) is one of the most frequently used tests among psychologists. In the fourth edition of the test (WAIS-IV), the subtests Digit Span and Letter-Number Sequencing are expanded for better measurement of working memory (WM). However, it is not clear whether the new extended tasks contribute sufficient complexity to be sensitive measures of manipulation WM, nor do we know to what degree WM capacity differs between the visual and the auditory modality because the WAIS-IV only tests the auditory modality. Performance by a mixed sample of 226 patients referred for neuropsychological examination on the Digit Span and Letter-Number Sequencing subtests from the WAIS-IV and on Spatial Span from the Wechsler Memory Scale-Third Edition was analyzed in two confirmatory factor analyses to investigate whether a unitary WM model or divisions based on modality or level/complexity best fit the data. The modality model showed the best fit when analyzing summed scores for each task as well as scores for the longest span. The clinician is advised to apply tests with higher manipulation load and to consider testing visual span as well before drawing conclusions about impaired WM from the WAIS-IV.

  4. 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.

  5. Hippocampal gamma oscillations increase with memory load

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Vugt, Marieke K.; Schulze-Bonhage, Andreas; Litt, Brian; Brandt, Armin; Kahana, Michael J.

    2010-01-01

    Although the hippocampus plays a crucial role in encoding and retrieval of contextually mediated episodic memories, considerable controversy surrounds the role of the hippocampus in short-term or working memory. To examine both hippocampal and neocortical contributions to working memory function, we

  6. Working memory and simultaneous interpreting

    OpenAIRE

    Timarova, Sarka

    2009-01-01

    Working memory is a cognitive construct underlying a number of abilities, and it has been hypothesised for many years that it is crucial for interpreting. A number of studies have been conducted with the aim to support this hypothesis, but research has not yielded convincing results. Most researchers focused on studying working memory differences between interpreters and non-interpreters with the rationale that differences in working memory between the two groups would provide evidence of wor...

  7. Working memory load-dependent spatio-temporal activity of single-trial P3 response detected with an adaptive wavelet denoiser.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qiushi; Yang, Xueqian; Yao, Li; Zhao, Xiaojie

    2017-03-27

    Working memory (WM) refers to the holding and manipulation of information during cognitive tasks. Its underlying neural mechanisms have been explored through both functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG). Trial-by-trial coupling of simultaneously collected EEG and fMRI signals has become an important and promising approach to study the spatio-temporal dynamics of such cognitive processes. Previous studies have demonstrated a modulation effect of the WM load on both the BOLD response in certain brain areas and the amplitude of P3. However, much remains to be explored regarding the WM load-dependent relationship between the amplitude of ERP components and cortical activities, and the low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the EEG signal still poses a challenge to performing single-trial analyses. In this paper, we investigated the spatio-temporal activities of P3 during an n-back verbal WM task by introducing an adaptive wavelet denoiser into the extraction of single-trial P3 features and using general linear model (GLM) to integrate simultaneously collected EEG and fMRI data. Our results replicated the modulation effect of the WM load on the P3 amplitude. Additionally, the activation of single-trial P3 amplitudes was detected in multiple brain regions, including the insula, the cuneus, the lingual gyrus (LG), and the middle occipital gyrus (MOG). Moreover, we found significant correlations between P3 features and behavioral performance. These findings suggest that the single-trial integration of simultaneous EEG and fMRI signals may provide new insights into classical cognitive functions. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Synaptic Correlates of Working Memory Capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mi, Yuanyuan; Katkov, Mikhail; Tsodyks, Misha

    2017-01-18

    Psychological studies indicate that human ability to keep information in readily accessible working memory is limited to four items for most people. This extremely low capacity severely limits execution of many cognitive tasks, but its neuronal underpinnings remain unclear. Here we show that in the framework of synaptic theory of working memory, capacity can be analytically estimated to scale with characteristic time of short-term synaptic depression relative to synaptic current time constant. The number of items in working memory can be regulated by external excitation, enabling the system to be tuned to the desired load and to clear the working memory of currently held items to make room for new ones. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Changing concepts of working memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Wei Ji; Husain, Masud; Bays, Paul M

    2014-01-01

    Working memory is widely considered to be limited in capacity, holding a fixed, small number of items, such as Miller's ‘magical number’ seven or Cowan's four. It has recently been proposed that working memory might better be conceptualized as a limited resource that is distributed flexibly among all items to be maintained in memory. According to this view, the quality rather than the quantity of working memory representations determines performance. Here we consider behavioral and emerging neural evidence for this proposal. PMID:24569831

  10. Working memory and inattentional blindness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bredemeier, Keith; Simons, Daniel J

    2012-04-01

    Individual differences in working memory predict many aspects of cognitive performance, especially for tasks that demand focused attention. One negative consequence of focused attention is inattentional blindness, the failure to notice unexpected objects when attention is engaged elsewhere. Yet, the relationship between individual differences in working memory and inattentional blindness is unclear; some studies have found that higher working memory capacity is associated with greater noticing, but others have found no direct association. Given the theoretical and practical significance of such individual differences, more definitive tests are needed. In two studies with large samples, we tested the relationship between multiple working memory measures and inattentional blindness. Individual differences in working memory predicted the ability to perform an attention-demanding tracking task, but did not predict the likelihood of noticing an unexpected object present during the task. We discuss the reasons why we might not expect such individual differences in noticing and why other studies may have found them.

  11. The Development of Time-Based Prospective Memory in Childhood: The Role of Working Memory Updating

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    This large-scale study examined the development of time-based prospective memory (PM) across childhood and the roles that working memory updating and time monitoring play in driving age effects in PM performance. One hundred and ninety-seven children aged 5 to 14 years completed a time-based PM task where working memory updating load was…

  12. Load-Dependent Increases in Delay-Period Alpha-Band Power Track the Gating of Task-Irrelevant Inputs to Working Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J. Heinz

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Studies exploring the role of neural oscillations in cognition have revealed sustained increases in alpha-band power (ABP during the delay period of verbal and visual working memory (VWM tasks. There have been various proposals regarding the functional significance of such increases, including the inhibition of task-irrelevant cortical areas as well as the active retention of information in VWM. The present study examines the role of delay-period ABP in mediating the effects of interference arising from on-going visual processing during a concurrent VWM task. Specifically, we reasoned that, if set-size dependent increases in ABP represent the gating out of on-going task-irrelevant visual inputs, they should be predictive with respect to some modulation in visual evoked potentials resulting from a task-irrelevant delay period probe stimulus. In order to investigate this possibility, we recorded the electroencephalogram while subjects performed a change detection task requiring the retention of two or four novel shapes. On a portion of trials, a novel, task-irrelevant bilateral checkerboard probe was presented mid-way through the delay. Analyses focused on examining correlations between set-size dependent increases in ABP and changes in the magnitude of the P1, N1 and P3a components of the probe-evoked response and how such increases might be related to behavior. Results revealed that increased delay-period ABP was associated with changes in the amplitude of the N1 and P3a event-related potential (ERP components, and with load-dependent changes in capacity when the probe was presented during the delay. We conclude that load-dependent increases in ABP likely play a role in supporting short-term retention by gating task-irrelevant sensory inputs and suppressing potential sources of disruptive interference.

  13. Working Memory: A Selective Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kent, Phillip L

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to provide a selective overview of the evolution of the concept and assessment of working memory, and how its assessment has been confused with the assessment of some components of attention. A literature search using PsychNet Gold was conducted using the terms working memory. In addition, the writer reviewed recommendations from a sampling of recent neuropsychology texts in regard to the assessment of attention and working memory, as well as the two most recent editions of the Wechsler Memory Scale. It is argued that many clinicians have an incomplete understanding of the relationship between attention and working memory, and often conflate the two in assessment and treatment. Suggestions were made for assessing these abilities.

  14. Evidence for Two Attentional Components in Visual Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Temporal dynamics of visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    The involvement of the human cerebellum in working memory has been well established in the last decade. However, the cerebro-cerebellar network for visual working memory is not as well defined. Our previous fMRI study showed superior and inferior cerebellar activations during a block design visual working memory task, but specific cerebellar contributions to cognitive processes in encoding, maintenance and retrieval have not yet been established. The current study examined cerebellar contributions to each of the components of visual working memory and presence of cerebellar hemispheric laterality was investigated. 40 young adults performed a Sternberg visual working memory task during fMRI scanning using a parametric paradigm. The contrast between high and low memory load during each phase was examined. We found that the most prominent activation was observed in vermal lobule VIIIb and bilateral lobule VI during encoding. Using a quantitative laterality index, we found that left-lateralized activation of lobule VIIIa was present in the encoding phase. In the maintenance phase, there was bilateral lobule VI and right-lateralized lobule VIIb activity. Changes in activation in right lobule VIIIa were present during the retrieval phase. The current results provide evidence that superior and inferior cerebellum contributes to visual working memory, with a tendency for left-lateralized activations in the inferior cerebellum during encoding and right-lateralized lobule VIIb activations during maintenance. The results of the study are in agreement with Baddeley's multi-component working memory model, but also suggest that stored visual representations are additionally supported by maintenance mechanisms that may employ verbal coding. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Visual working memory contaminates perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Min-Suk; Hong, Sang Wook; Blake, Randolph; Woodman, Geoffrey F

    2011-10-01

    Indirect evidence suggests that the contents of visual working memory may be maintained within sensory areas early in the visual hierarchy. We tested this possibility using a well-studied motion repulsion phenomenon in which perception of one direction of motion is distorted when another direction of motion is viewed simultaneously. We found that observers misperceived the actual direction of motion of a single motion stimulus if, while viewing that stimulus, they were holding a different motion direction in visual working memory. Control experiments showed that none of a variety of alternative explanations could account for this repulsion effect induced by working memory. Our findings provide compelling evidence that visual working memory representations directly interact with the same neural mechanisms as those involved in processing basic sensory events.

  17. Precision of working memory for speech sounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schweppe, Judith; Rummer, Ralf

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Behind the scenes: how visual memory load biases selective attention during processing of visual streams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaver, Peter; Talsma, Durk

    2013-11-01

    We recorded ERPs to investigate whether the visual memory load can bias visual selective attention. Participants memorized one or four letters and then responded to memory-matching letters presented in a relevant color while ignoring distractor letters or letters in an irrelevant color. Stimuli in the relevant color elicited larger frontal selection positivities (FSP) and occipital selection negativities (OSN) compared to irrelevant color stimuli. Only distractors elicited a larger FSP in the high than in the low memory load task. Memory load prolonged the OSN for all letters. Response mapping complexity was also modulated but did not affect the FSP and OSN. Together, the FSP data suggest that high memory load increased distractability. The OSN data suggest that memory load sustained attention to letters in a relevant color until working memory processing was completed, independently of whether the letters were in working memory or not. Copyright © 2013 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  20. 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.

  1. Working memory and Down syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baddeley, A; Jarrold, C

    2007-12-01

    A brief account is given of the evolution of the concept of working memory from a unitary store into a multicomponent system. Four components are distinguished, the phonological loop which is responsible for maintaining speech-based information, the visuospatial sketchpad performing a similar function for visual information, the central executive which acts as an attentional control system, and finally a new component, the episodic buffer. The buffer comprises a temporary multidimensional store which is assumed to form an interface between the various subsystems of working memory, long-term memory, and perception. The operation of the model is then illustrated through an account of a research programme concerned with the analysis of working memory in Down syndrome.

  2. Caffeine, extraversion and working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Andrew P

    2013-01-01

    Research has shown that extraverts performing a working memory task benefit more from caffeine than do introverts. The present study aimed to replicate this and extend our knowledge by using a lower dose of caffeine (65 mg) and a range of tasks related to different components of working memory. In addition, tasks assessing psychomotor speed and the encoding of new information were included to determine whether caffeine-extraversion interactions were restricted to working memory tasks. A double-blind design was used, with 128 participants being randomly assigned to caffeinated or de-caffeinated coffee conditions. The results showed that caffeine interacted with extraversion in the predicted direction for serial recall and running memory tasks. Caffeine improved simple reaction time and the speed of encoding of new information, effects which were not modified by extraversion. These results suggest possible biological mechanisms underlying effects of caffeine on cognitive performance.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies indicate deficits in associative working memory in patients with medial-temporal lobe amnesia. However, it is unclear whether these deficits reflect working memory processing or are due to hippocampally mediated long-term memory impairment. We investigated associative working memory

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies indicate deficits in associative working memory in patients with medial-temporal lobe amnesia. However, it is unclear whether these deficits reflect working memory processing or are due to hippocampally mediated long-term memory impairment. We investigated associative working memory

  5. Memory systems interaction in the pigeon: working and reference memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

    Pigeons' performance on a working memory task, symbolic delayed matching-to-sample, was used to examine the interaction between working memory and reference memory. Reference memory was established by training pigeons to discriminate between the comparison cues used in delayed matching as S+ and S- stimuli. Delayed matching retention tests then measured accuracy when working and reference memory were congruent and incongruent. In 4 experiments, it was shown that the interaction between working and reference memory is reciprocal: Strengthening either type of memory leads to a decrease in the influence of the other type of memory. A process dissociation procedure analysis of the data from Experiment 4 showed independence of working and reference memory, and a model of working memory and reference memory interaction was shown to predict the findings reported in the 4 experiments. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  6. Working memory retrieval as a decision process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearson, Benjamin; Raskevicius, Julius; Bays, Paul M; Pertzov, Yoni; Husain, Masud

    2014-02-03

    Working memory (WM) is a core cognitive process fundamental to human behavior, yet the mechanisms underlying it remain highly controversial. Here we provide a new framework for understanding retrieval of information from WM, conceptualizing it as a decision based on the quality of internal evidence. Recent findings have demonstrated that precision of WM decreases with memory load. If WM retrieval uses a decision process that depends on memory quality, systematic changes in response time distribution should occur as a function of WM precision. We asked participants to view sample arrays and, after a delay, report the direction of change in location or orientation of a probe. As WM precision deteriorated with increasing memory load, retrieval time increased systematically. Crucially, the shape of reaction time distributions was consistent with a linear accumulator decision process. Varying either task relevance of items or maintenance duration influenced memory precision, with corresponding shifts in retrieval time. These results provide strong support for a decision-making account of WM retrieval based on noisy storage of items. Furthermore, they show that encoding, maintenance, and retrieval in WM need not be considered as separate processes, but may instead be conceptually unified as operations on the same noise-limited, neural representation.

  7. Working memory and the hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baddeley, Alan; Jarrold, Christopher; Vargha-Khadem, Faraneh

    2011-12-01

    A number of studies suggest an important role for the hippocampus in tasks involving visuospatial or relational working memory. We test the generality of this proposal across tasks using a battery designed to investigate the various components of working memory, studying the working memory performance of Jon, who shows a bilateral reduction in hippocampal volume of approximately 50%, comparing him to a group of 48 college students. We measure performance on four complex working memory span measures based on combining visuospatial and verbal storage with visuospatial or verbal concurrent processing as well as measuring Jon's ability to carry out the component storage and processing aspects of these tasks. Jon performed at a consistently high level across our range of tasks. Possible reasons for the apparent disparity between our own findings and earlier studies showing a hippocampal deficit are discussed in terms of both the potential differences in the demands placed on relational memory and of the proposed distinction between egocentric and allocentric visuospatial processing.

  8. The Unintentional Memory Load in Tests for Young Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Margaret Hubbard

    The validity of certain standardized tests may be affected by the short-term memory load therein and its relation to a child's short-term memory capacity. Factors of testing which increase a test's memory load and consequently interfere with comprehension are discussed. It is hypothesized that a test which strains the short-term memory capacity of…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  10. Concurrent Memory Load Can Make RSVP Search More Efficient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gil-Gomez de Liano, Beatriz; Botella, Juan

    2011-01-01

    The detrimental effect of increased memory load on selective attention has been demonstrated in many situations. However, in search tasks over time using RSVP methods, it is not clear how memory load affects attentional processes; no effects as well as beneficial and detrimental effects of memory load have been found in these types of tasks. The…

  11. Can Interactive Working Memory Training Improve Learning?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alloway, Tracy

    2012-01-01

    Background: Working memory is linked to learning outcomes and there is emerging evidence that training working memory can yield gains in working memory and fluid intelligence. Aims: The aim of the present study was to investigate whether interactive working memory training would transfer to acquired cognitive skills, such as vocabulary and…

  12. Illumination influences working memory: an EEG study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Jin Young; Min, Byoung-Kyong; Jung, Young-Chul; Pak, Hyensou; Jeong, Yeon-Hong; Kim, Eosu

    2013-09-05

    Illumination conditions appear to influence working efficacy in everyday life. In the present study, we obtained electroencephalogram (EEG) correlates of working-memory load, and investigated how these waveforms are modulated by illumination conditions. We hypothesized that illumination conditions may affect cognitive performance. We designed an EEG study to monitor and record participants' EEG during the Sternberg working memory task under four different illumination conditions. Illumination conditions were generated with a factorial design of two color-temperatures (3000 and 7100 K) by two illuminance levels (150 and 700 lx). During a working memory task, we observed that high illuminance led to significantly lower frontal EEG theta activity than did low illuminance. These differences persisted despite no significant difference in task performance between illumination conditions. We found that the latency of an early event-related potential component, such as N1, was significantly modulated by the illumination condition. The fact that the illumination condition affects brain activity but not behavioral performance suggests that the lighting conditions used in the present study did not influence the performance stage of behavioral processing. Nevertheless, our findings provide objective evidence that illumination conditions modulate brain activity. Further studies are necessary to refine the optimal lighting parameters for facilitating working memory. Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Can verbal working memory training improve reading?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banales, Erin; Kohnen, Saskia; McArthur, Genevieve

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the current study was to determine whether poor verbal working memory is associated with poor word reading accuracy because the former causes the latter, or the latter causes the former. To this end, we tested whether (a) verbal working memory training improves poor verbal working memory or poor word reading accuracy, and whether (b) reading training improves poor reading accuracy or verbal working memory in a case series of four children with poor word reading accuracy and verbal working memory. Each child completed 8 weeks of verbal working memory training and 8 weeks of reading training. Verbal working memory training improved verbal working memory in two of the four children, but did not improve their reading accuracy. Similarly, reading training improved word reading accuracy in all children, but did not improve their verbal working memory. These results suggest that the causal links between verbal working memory and reading accuracy may not be as direct as has been assumed.

  14. Visual Working Memory Capacity and Proactive Interference

    OpenAIRE

    Hartshorne, Joshua

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Visual working memory capacity is extremely limited and appears to be relatively immune to practice effects or the use of explicit strategies. The recent discovery that visual working memory tasks, like verbal working memory tasks, are subject to proactive interference, coupled with the fact that typical visual working memory tasks are particularly conducive to proactive interference, suggests that visual working memory capacity may be systematically under-estimated. METHODOLOGY/P...

  15. Working Memory and Down Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baddeley, A.; Jarrold, C.

    2007-01-01

    A brief account is given of the evolution of the concept of working memory from a unitary store into a multicomponent system. Four components are distinguished, the phonological loop which is responsible for maintaining speech-based information, the visuospatial sketchpad performing a similar function for visual information, the central executive…

  16. Is Working Memory Training Effective?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shipstead, Zach; Redick, Thomas S.; Engle, Randall W.

    2012-01-01

    Working memory (WM) is a cognitive system that strongly relates to a person's ability to reason with novel information and direct attention to goal-relevant information. Due to the central role that WM plays in general cognition, it has become the focus of a rapidly growing training literature that seeks to affect broad cognitive change through…

  17. Effects of memory load on hemispheric asymmetries of colour memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clapp, Wes; Kirk, Ian J; Hausmann, Markus

    2007-03-01

    Hemispheric asymmetries in colour perception have been a matter of debate for some time. Recent evidence suggests that lateralisation of colour processing may be largely task specific. Here we investigated hemispheric asymmetries during different types and phases of a delayed colour-matching (recognition) memory task. A total of 11 male and 12 female right-handed participants performed colour-memory tasks. The task involved presentation of a set of colour stimuli (encoding), and subsequent indication (forced choice) of which colours in a larger set had previously appeared at the retrieval or recognition phase. The effect of memory load (set size), and the effect of lateralisation at the encoding or retrieval phases were investigated. Overall, the results indicate a right hemisphere advantage in colour processing, which was particularly pronounced in high memory load conditions, and was seen in males rather than female participants. The results suggest that verbal (mnemonic) strategies can significantly affect the magnitude of hemispheric asymmetries in a non-verbal task.

  18. The effects of eye movements on emotional memories: using an objective measure of cognitive load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Veen, Suzanne C; Engelhard, Iris M; van den Hout, Marcel A

    2016-01-01

    Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is an effective treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder. The working memory (WM) theory explains its efficacy: recall of an aversive memory and making eye movements (EM) both produce cognitive load, and competition for the limited WM resources reduces the memory's vividness and emotionality. The present study tested several predictions from WM theory. We hypothesized that 1) recall of an aversive autobiographical memory loads WM compared to no recall, and 2) recall with EM reduces the vividness, emotionality, and cognitive load of recalling the memory more than only recall or only cognitive effort (i.e., recall of an irrelevant memory with EM). Undergraduates (N=108) were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: 1) recall relevant memory with EM, 2) recall relevant memory without EM, and 3) recall irrelevant memory with EM. We used a random interval repetition task to measure the cognitive load of recalling the memory. Participants responded to randomly administered beeps, with or without recalling the memory. The degree to which participants slow down during recall provides an index of cognitive load. We measured the cognitive load and self-reported vividness and emotionality before, halfway through (8×24 s), and after (16×24 s) the intervention. Reaction times slowed down during memory recall compared to no recall. The recall relevant with EM condition showed a larger decrease in self-reported vividness and emotionality than the control conditions. The cognitive load of recalling the memory also decreased in this condition but not consistently more than in the control conditions. Recall of an aversive memory loads WM, but drops in vividness and emotionality do not immediately reduce the cognitive load of recalling the memory. More research is needed to find objective measures that could capture changes in the quality of the memory.

  19. The effects of eye movements on emotional memories: using an objective measure of cognitive load

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzanne C. van Veen

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR is an effective treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder. The working memory (WM theory explains its efficacy: recall of an aversive memory and making eye movements (EM both produce cognitive load, and competition for the limited WM resources reduces the memory's vividness and emotionality. The present study tested several predictions from WM theory. Objective: We hypothesized that 1 recall of an aversive autobiographical memory loads WM compared to no recall, and 2 recall with EM reduces the vividness, emotionality, and cognitive load of recalling the memory more than only recall or only cognitive effort (i.e., recall of an irrelevant memory with EM. Method: Undergraduates (N=108 were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: 1 recall relevant memory with EM, 2 recall relevant memory without EM, and 3 recall irrelevant memory with EM. We used a random interval repetition task to measure the cognitive load of recalling the memory. Participants responded to randomly administered beeps, with or without recalling the memory. The degree to which participants slow down during recall provides an index of cognitive load. We measured the cognitive load and self-reported vividness and emotionality before, halfway through (8×24 s, and after (16×24 s the intervention. Results: Reaction times slowed down during memory recall compared to no recall. The recall relevant with EM condition showed a larger decrease in self-reported vividness and emotionality than the control conditions. The cognitive load of recalling the memory also decreased in this condition but not consistently more than in the control conditions. Conclusions: Recall of an aversive memory loads WM, but drops in vividness and emotionality do not immediately reduce the cognitive load of recalling the memory. More research is needed to find objective measures that could capture changes in the quality of the memory.

  20. Contralateral Delay Activity Tracks Fluctuations in Working Memory Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adam, Kirsten C S; Robison, Matthew K; Vogel, Edward K

    2018-01-08

    Neural measures of working memory storage, such as the contralateral delay activity (CDA), are powerful tools in working memory research. CDA amplitude is sensitive to working memory load, reaches an asymptote at known behavioral limits, and predicts individual differences in capacity. An open question, however, is whether neural measures of load also track trial-by-trial fluctuations in performance. Here, we used a whole-report working memory task to test the relationship between CDA amplitude and working memory performance. If working memory failures are due to decision-based errors and retrieval failures, CDA amplitude would not differentiate good and poor performance trials when load is held constant. If failures arise during storage, then CDA amplitude should track both working memory load and trial-by-trial performance. As expected, CDA amplitude tracked load (Experiment 1), reaching an asymptote at three items. In Experiment 2, we tracked fluctuations in trial-by-trial performance. CDA amplitude was larger (more negative) for high-performance trials compared with low-performance trials, suggesting that fluctuations in performance were related to the successful storage of items. During working memory failures, participants oriented their attention to the correct side of the screen (lateralized P1) and maintained covert attention to the correct side during the delay period (lateralized alpha power suppression). Despite the preservation of attentional orienting, we found impairments consistent with an executive attention theory of individual differences in working memory capacity; fluctuations in executive control (indexed by pretrial frontal theta power) may be to blame for storage failures.

  1. Concurrent performance of two memory tasks: evidence for domain-specific working memory systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cocchini, Gianna; Logie, Robert H; Della Sala, Sergio; MacPherson, Sarah E; Baddeley, Alan D

    2002-10-01

    Previous studies of dual-task coordination in working memory have shown a lack of dual-task interference when a verbal memory task is combined with concurrent perceptuomotor tracking. Two experiments are reported in which participants were required to perform pairwise combinations of (1) a verbal memory task, a visual memory task, and perceptuomotor tracking (Experiment 1), and (2) pairwise combinations of the two memory tasks and articulatory suppression (Experiment 2). Tracking resulted in no disruption of the verbal memory preload over and above the impact of a delay in recall and showed only minimal disruption of the retention of the visual memory load. Performing an ongoing verbal memory task had virtually no impact on retention of a visual memory preload or vice versa, indicating that performing two demanding memory tasks results in little mutual interference. Experiment 2 also showed minimal disruption when the two memory tasks were combined, although verbal memory (but not visual memory) was clearly disrupted by articulatory suppression interpolated between presentation and recall. These data suggest that a multiple-component working memory model provides a better account for performance in concurrent immediate memory tasks than do theories that assume a single processing and storage system or a limited-capacity attentional system coupled with activated memory traces.

  2. Consolidation and restoration of memory traces in working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Schrijver, Sébastien; Barrouillet, Pierre

    2017-10-01

    Consolidation is the process through which ephemeral sensory traces are transformed into more stable short-term memory traces. It has been shown that consolidation plays a crucial role in working memory (WM) performance, by strengthening memory traces that then better resist interference and decay. In a recent study, Bayliss, Bogdanovs, and Jarrold (Journal of Memory and Language, 81, 34-50, 2015) argued that this process is separate from the processes known to restore WM traces after degradation, such as attentional refreshing and verbal rehearsal. In the present study, we investigated the relationship between the two types of processes in the context of WM span tasks. Participants were presented with series of letters for serial recall, each letter being followed by four digits for parity judgment. Consolidation opportunity was manipulated by varying the delay between each letter and the first digit to be processed, while opportunities for restoration were manipulated by varying the pace at which the parity task had to be performed (i.e., its cognitive load, or CL). Increasing the time available for either consolidation or restoration resulted in higher WM spans, with some substitutability between the two processes. Accordingly, when consolidation time was added to restoration time in the calculation of CL, the new resulting index, called extended CL, proved a very good predictor of recall performance, a finding also observed when verbal rehearsal was prevented by articulatory suppression. This substitutability between consolidation and restoration suggests that both processes may rely on the same mechanisms.

  3. Being right is its own reward: load and performance related ventral striatum activation to correct responses during a working memory task in youth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satterthwaite, Theodore D; Ruparel, Kosha; Loughead, James; Elliott, Mark A; Gerraty, Raphael T; Calkins, Monica E; Hakonarson, Hakon; Gur, Ruben C; Gur, Raquel E; Wolf, Daniel H

    2012-07-02

    The ventral striatum (VS) is a critical brain region for reinforcement learning and motivation. Intrinsically motivated subjects performing challenging cognitive tasks engage reinforcement circuitry including VS even in the absence of external feedback or incentives. However, little is known about how such VS responses develop with age, relate to task performance, and are influenced by task difficulty. Here we used fMRI to examine VS activation to correct and incorrect responses during a standard n-back working memory task in a large sample (n=304) of healthy children, adolescents and young adults aged 8-22. We found that bilateral VS activates more strongly to correct than incorrect responses, and that the VS response scales with the difficulty of the working memory task. Furthermore, VS response was correlated with discrimination performance during the task, and the magnitude of VS response peaked in mid-adolescence. These findings provide evidence for scalable intrinsic reinforcement signals during standard cognitive tasks, and suggest a novel link between motivation and cognition during adolescent development. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. 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 ...

  5. Visual working memory contaminates perception

    OpenAIRE

    Kang, Min-Suk; Hong, Sang Wook; Blake, Randolph; Woodman, Geoffrey F.

    2011-01-01

    Indirect evidence suggests that the contents of visual working memory may be maintained within sensory areas early in the visual hierarchy. We tested this possibility using a well-studied motion repulsion phenomenon in which perception of one direction of motion is distorted when another direction of motion is viewed simultaneously. We found that observers misperceived the actual direction of motion of a single motion stimulus if, while viewing that stimulus, they were holding a different mot...

  6. Cerebrocerebellar networks during articulatory rehearsal and verbal working memory tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, S H Annabel; Desmond, John E

    2005-01-15

    Converging evidence has implicated the cerebellum in verbal working memory. The current fMRI study sought to further characterize cerebrocerebellar participation in this cognitive process by revealing regions of activation common to a verbal working task and an articulatory control task, as well as regions that are uniquely activated by working memory. Consistent with our model's predictions, load-dependent activations were observed in Broca's area (BA 44/6) and the superior cerebellar hemisphere (VI/CrusI) for both working memory and motoric rehearsal. In contrast, activations unique to verbal working memory were found in the inferior parietal lobule (BA 40) and the right inferior cerebellum hemisphere (VIIB). These findings provide evidence for two cerebrocerebellar networks for verbal working memory: a frontal/superior cerebellar articulatory control system and a parietal/inferior cerebellar phonological storage system.

  7. The impact of working memory on interpreting

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    白云安; 张国梅

    2016-01-01

    This paper investigates the roles of working memory in interpreting process. First of all, it gives a brief introduction to interpreting. Secondly, the paper exemplifies the role of working memory in interpreting. The result reveals that the working memory capacity of interpreters is not adsolutely proportional to the quality of interpreting in the real interpreting conditions. The performance of an interpreter with well-equipped working memory capacity will comprehensively influenced by various elements.

  8. Working Memory Influences on Long-Term Memory and Comprehension

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Radvansky, Gabriel

    2004-01-01

    .... This study looked at how comprehension and memory processing at the mental model level is related to traditional measures of working memory capacity, including the word span, reading span, operation...

  9. Control of Interference during Working Memory Updating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szmalec, Arnaud; Verbruggen, Frederick; Vandierendonck, Andre; Kemps, Eva

    2011-01-01

    The current study examined the nature of the processes underlying working memory updating. In 4 experiments using the n-back paradigm, the authors demonstrate that continuous updating of items in working memory prevents strong binding of those items to their contexts in working memory, and hence leads to an increased susceptibility to proactive…

  10. Selection History Modulates Working Memory Capacity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bo-Cheng Kuo

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have shown that past selection history affects the allocation of attention on target selection. However, it is unclear whether context-driven selection history can modulate the efficacy of attention allocation on working memory (WM representations. This study tests the influences of selection history on WM capacity. A display of one item (low load or three/four items (high load was shown for the participants to hold in WM in a delayed response task. Participants then judged whether a probe item was in the memory display or not. Selection history was defined as the number of items attended across trials in the task context within a block, manipulated by the stimulus set-size in the contexts with fewer possible stimuli (4-item or 5-item context or more possible stimuli (8-item or 9-item context from which the memorized content was selected. The capacity measure (i.e. the K parameter was estimated to reflect the number of items that can be held in WM. Across four behavioral experiments, the results revealed that the capacity was significantly reduced in the context with more possible stimuli relative to the context with fewer possible stimuli. Moreover, the reduction in capacity was significant for high WM load and not observed when the focus was on only a single item. Together, these findings indicate that context-driven selection history and focused attention influence WM capacity.

  11. Working memory, long-term memory, and medial temporal lobe function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeneson, Annette; Squire, Larry R.

    2012-01-01

    Early studies of memory-impaired patients with medial temporal lobe (MTL) damage led to the view that the hippocampus and related MTL structures are involved in the formation of long-term memory and that immediate memory and working memory are independent of these structures. This traditional idea has recently been revisited. Impaired performance in patients with MTL lesions on tasks with short retention intervals, or no retention interval, and neuroimaging findings with similar tasks have been interpreted to mean that the MTL is sometimes needed for working memory and possibly even for visual perception itself. We present a reappraisal of this interpretation. Our main conclusion is that, if the material to be learned exceeds working memory capacity, if the material is difficult to rehearse, or if attention is diverted, performance depends on long-term memory even when the retention interval is brief. This fundamental notion is better captured by the terms subspan memory and supraspan memory than by the terms short-term memory and long-term memory. We propose methods for determining when performance on short-delay tasks must depend on long-term (supraspan) memory and suggest that MTL lesions impair performance only when immediate memory and working memory are insufficient to support performance. In neuroimaging studies, MTL activity during encoding is influenced by the memory load and correlates positively with long-term retention of the material that was presented. The most parsimonious and consistent interpretation of all the data is that subspan memoranda are supported by immediate memory and working memory and are independent of the MTL. PMID:22180053

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalton, Polly; Santangelo, Valerio; Spence, Charles

    2009-11-01

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

  13. Mental Imagery and Visual Working Memory

    OpenAIRE

    Keogh, Rebecca; Pearson, Joel

    2011-01-01

    Visual working memory provides an essential link between past and future events. Despite recent efforts, capacity limits, their genesis and the underlying neural structures of visual working memory remain unclear. Here we show that performance in visual working memory - but not iconic visual memory - can be predicted by the strength of mental imagery as assessed with binocular rivalry in a given individual. In addition, for individuals with strong imagery, modulating the background luminance ...

  14. As Working Memory Grows: A Developmental Account of Neural Bases of Working Memory Capacity in 5- to 8-Year Old Children and Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kharitonova, Maria; Winter, Warren; Sheridan, Margaret A

    2015-09-01

    Working memory develops slowly: Even by age 8, children are able to maintain only half the number of items that adults can remember. Neural substrates that support performance on working memory tasks also have a slow developmental trajectory and typically activate to a lesser extent in children, relative to adults. Little is known about why younger participants elicit less neural activation. This may be due to maturational differences, differences in behavioral performance, or both. Here we investigate the neural correlates of working memory capacity in children (ages 5-8) and adults using a visual working memory task with parametrically increasing loads (from one to four items) using fMRI. This task allowed us to estimate working memory capacity limit for each group. We found that both age groups increased the activation of frontoparietal networks with increasing working memory loads, until working memory capacity was reached. Because children's working memory capacity limit was half of that for adults, the plateau occurred at lower loads for children. Had a parametric increase in load not been used, this would have given an impression of less activation overall and less load-dependent activation for children relative to adults. Our findings suggest that young children and adults recruit similar frontoparietal networks at working memory loads that do not exceed capacity and highlight the need to consider behavioral performance differences when interpreting developmental differences in neural activation.

  15. ASSERT: Augmentation Grant on Working Memory Capacity

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Engle, Randall

    2000-01-01

    .... That work has resulted in numerous publications and conference presentations demonstrating that individuals who score in the bottom quartile on measures of working memory capacity show more errors...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

    Threat induces a state of sustained anxiety that can disrupt cognitive processing, and, reciprocally, cognitive processing can modulate an anxiety response to threat. These effects depend on the level of cognitive engagement, which itself varies as a function of task difficulty. In adults, we recently showed that induced anxiety impaired working memory accuracy at low and medium but not high load. Conversely, increasing the task load reduced the physiological correlates of anxiety (anxiety-potentiated startle). The present work examines such threat-cognition interactions as a function of age. We expected threat to more strongly impact working memory in younger individuals by virtue of putatively restricted cognitive resources and weaker emotion regulation. This was tested by examining the influence of age on the interaction of anxiety and working memory in 25 adolescents (10 to 17 years) and 25 adults (22 to 46 years). Working memory load was manipulated using a verbal n-back task. Anxiety was induced using the threat of an aversive loud scream and measured via eyeblink startle. Findings revealed that, in both age groups, accuracy was lower during threat than safe conditions at low and medium but not high load, and reaction times were faster during threat than safe conditions at high load but did not differ at other loads. Additionally, anxiety-potentiated startle was greater during low and medium than high load. Thus, the interactions of anxiety with working memory appear similar in adolescents and adults. Whether these similarities reflect common neural mechanisms would need to be assessed using functional neuroimaging. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  17. fMRI characterization of visual working memory recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-15

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

  18. Prospective memory, working memory, retrospective memory and self-rated memory performance in persons with intellectual disability

    OpenAIRE

    Levén, Anna; Lyxell, Björn; Andersson, Jan; Danielsson, Henrik; Rönnberg, Jerker

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between prospective memory, working memory, retrospective memory and self-rated memory capacity in adults with and without intellectual disability. Prospective memory was investigated by means of a picture-based task. Working memory was measured as performance on span tasks. Retrospective memory was scored as recall of subject performed tasks. Self-ratings of memory performance were based on the prospective and retrospective mem...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

    According to the attentional control theory (ACT) proposed by Eysenck and colleagues, anxiety interferes with cognitive processing by prioritizing bottom-up attentional processes over top-down attentional processes, leading to competition for access to limited resources in working memory, particularly the central executive (Eysenck, Derakshan, Santos, & Calvo, ). However, previous research using the n-back working memory task suggests that working memory load also reduces state anxiety. Assuming that similar mechanisms underlie the effect of anxiety on cognition, and the effect of cognition on anxiety, one possible implication of the ACT would suggest that the reduction of state anxiety with increasing working memory load is driven by activation of central executive attentional control processes. We tested this hypothesis using the Sternberg working memory paradigm, where maintenance processes can be isolated from central executive processes (Altamura et al., ; Sternberg, ). Consistent with the n-back results, subjects showed decreased state anxiety during the maintenance period of high-load trials relative to low-load trials, suggesting that maintenance processes alone are sufficient to achieve this state anxiety reduction. Given that the Sternberg task does not require central executive engagement, these results are not consistent with an implication of the ACT where the cognition/anxiety relationship and anxiety/cognition relationship are mediated by similar central executive mechanisms. Instead, we propose an extension of the ACT such that engaging working memory maintenance suppresses state anxiety in a load-dependent manner. Furthermore, we hypothesize that the efficacy of this effect may moderate the effect of trait anxiety on cognition. Published 2016. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Training working memory to reduce rumination.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Onraedt

    Full Text Available Cognitive symptoms of depression, such as rumination, have shown to be associated with deficits in working memory functioning. More precisely, the capacity to expel irrelevant negative information from working memory seems to be affected. Even though these associations have repeatedly been demonstrated, the nature and causal direction of this association is still unclear. Therefore, within an experimental design, we tried to manipulate working memory functioning of participants with heightened rumination scores in two similar experiments (n = 72 and n = 45 using a six day working memory training compared to active and passive control groups. Subsequently the effects on the processing of non-emotional and emotional information in working memory were monitored. In both experiments, performance during the training task significantly increased, but this performance gain did not transfer to the outcome working memory tasks or rumination and depression measures. Possible explanations for the failure to find transfer effects are discussed.

  3. Relating color working memory and color perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allred, Sarah R; Flombaum, Jonathan I

    2014-11-01

    Color is the most frequently studied feature in visual working memory (VWM). Oddly, much of this work de-emphasizes perception, instead making simplifying assumptions about the inputs served to memory. We question these assumptions in light of perception research, and we identify important points of contact between perception and working memory in the case of color. Better characterization of its perceptual inputs will be crucial for elucidating the structure and function of VWM. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Transfer after Working Memory Updating Training

    OpenAIRE

    Waris, Otto; Soveri, Anna; Laine, Matti

    2015-01-01

    During the past decade, working memory training has attracted much interest. However, the training outcomes have varied between studies and methodological problems have hampered the interpretation of results. The current study examined transfer after working memory updating training by employing an extensive battery of pre-post cognitive measures with a focus on near transfer. Thirty-one healthy Finnish young adults were randomized into either a working memory training group or an active cont...

  5. 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...

  6. Working Memory Capacity, Confidence and Scientific Thinking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Ahmadi, Fatheya; Oraif, Fatima

    2009-01-01

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

  7. Visual working memory capacity and proactive interference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartshorne, Joshua K

    2008-07-23

    Visual working memory capacity is extremely limited and appears to be relatively immune to practice effects or the use of explicit strategies. The recent discovery that visual working memory tasks, like verbal working memory tasks, are subject to proactive interference, coupled with the fact that typical visual working memory tasks are particularly conducive to proactive interference, suggests that visual working memory capacity may be systematically under-estimated. Working memory capacity was probed behaviorally in adult humans both in laboratory settings and via the Internet. Several experiments show that although the effect of proactive interference on visual working memory is significant and can last over several trials, it only changes the capacity estimate by about 15%. This study further confirms the sharp limitations on visual working memory capacity, both in absolute terms and relative to verbal working memory. It is suggested that future research take these limitations into account in understanding differences across a variety of tasks between human adults, prelinguistic infants and nonlinguistic animals.

  8. Visual working memory capacity and proactive interference.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua K Hartshorne

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Visual working memory capacity is extremely limited and appears to be relatively immune to practice effects or the use of explicit strategies. The recent discovery that visual working memory tasks, like verbal working memory tasks, are subject to proactive interference, coupled with the fact that typical visual working memory tasks are particularly conducive to proactive interference, suggests that visual working memory capacity may be systematically under-estimated. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Working memory capacity was probed behaviorally in adult humans both in laboratory settings and via the Internet. Several experiments show that although the effect of proactive interference on visual working memory is significant and can last over several trials, it only changes the capacity estimate by about 15%. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This study further confirms the sharp limitations on visual working memory capacity, both in absolute terms and relative to verbal working memory. It is suggested that future research take these limitations into account in understanding differences across a variety of tasks between human adults, prelinguistic infants and nonlinguistic animals.

  9. Working memory affects false memory production for emotional events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirandola, Chiara; Toffalini, Enrico; Ciriello, Alfonso; Cornoldi, Cesare

    2017-01-01

    Whereas a link between working memory (WM) and memory distortions has been demonstrated, its influence on emotional false memories is unclear. In two experiments, a verbal WM task and a false memory paradigm for negative, positive or neutral events were employed. In Experiment 1, we investigated individual differences in verbal WM and found that the interaction between valence and WM predicted false recognition, with negative and positive material protecting high WM individuals against false remembering; the beneficial effect of negative material disappeared in low WM participants. In Experiment 2, we lowered the WM capacity of half of the participants with a double task request, which led to an overall increase in false memories; furthermore, consistent with Experiment 1, the increase in negative false memories was larger than that of neutral or positive ones. It is concluded that WM plays a critical role in determining false memory production, specifically influencing the processing of negative material.

  10. Cognitive Load Theory: A Broader View on the Role of Memory in Learning and Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paas, Fred; Ayres, Paul

    2014-01-01

    According to cognitive load theory (CLT), the limitations of working memory (WM) in the learning of new tasks together with its ability to cooperate with an unlimited long-term memory (LTM) for familiar tasks enable human beings to deal effectively with complex problems and acquire highly complex knowledge and skills. With regard to WM, CLT has…

  11. Time and interference: Effects on working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botto, Marta; Palladino, Paola

    2016-05-01

    This study tested predictions from the time-based resource-sharing (TBRS) model with a classical verbal working memory (WM) task, where target and non-target information interfere strongly with each other. Different predictions can be formulated according to the dominant perspectives (TBRS and interference hypothesis) on the role of inhibitory control in WM task performance. Here, we aimed to trace the activation of irrelevant information, examining priming effects in a lexical decision task immediately following WM recall. Results indicate the roles of both time and interference constraints in determining task performance. In particular, the role of time available seemed crucial at the highest WM loads (i.e., 3 and 4 memoranda). These were also associated with a higher activation of no-longer-relevant information but, in this case, independently from time available for processing. © 2015 The British Psychological Society.

  12. Mental Imagery and Visual Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keogh, Rebecca; Pearson, Joel

    2011-01-01

    Visual working memory provides an essential link between past and future events. Despite recent efforts, capacity limits, their genesis and the underlying neural structures of visual working memory remain unclear. Here we show that performance in visual working memory - but not iconic visual memory - can be predicted by the strength of mental imagery as assessed with binocular rivalry in a given individual. In addition, for individuals with strong imagery, modulating the background luminance diminished performance on visual working memory and imagery tasks, but not working memory for number strings. This suggests that luminance signals were disrupting sensory-based imagery mechanisms and not a general working memory system. Individuals with poor imagery still performed above chance in the visual working memory task, but their performance was not affected by the background luminance, suggesting a dichotomy in strategies for visual working memory: individuals with strong mental imagery rely on sensory-based imagery to support mnemonic performance, while those with poor imagery rely on different strategies. These findings could help reconcile current controversy regarding the mechanism and location of visual mnemonic storage. PMID:22195024

  13. Mental imagery and visual working memory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca Keogh

    Full Text Available Visual working memory provides an essential link between past and future events. Despite recent efforts, capacity limits, their genesis and the underlying neural structures of visual working memory remain unclear. Here we show that performance in visual working memory--but not iconic visual memory--can be predicted by the strength of mental imagery as assessed with binocular rivalry in a given individual. In addition, for individuals with strong imagery, modulating the background luminance diminished performance on visual working memory and imagery tasks, but not working memory for number strings. This suggests that luminance signals were disrupting sensory-based imagery mechanisms and not a general working memory system. Individuals with poor imagery still performed above chance in the visual working memory task, but their performance was not affected by the background luminance, suggesting a dichotomy in strategies for visual working memory: individuals with strong mental imagery rely on sensory-based imagery to support mnemonic performance, while those with poor imagery rely on different strategies. These findings could help reconcile current controversy regarding the mechanism and location of visual mnemonic storage.

  14. Mental imagery and visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keogh, Rebecca; Pearson, Joel

    2011-01-01

    Visual working memory provides an essential link between past and future events. Despite recent efforts, capacity limits, their genesis and the underlying neural structures of visual working memory remain unclear. Here we show that performance in visual working memory--but not iconic visual memory--can be predicted by the strength of mental imagery as assessed with binocular rivalry in a given individual. In addition, for individuals with strong imagery, modulating the background luminance diminished performance on visual working memory and imagery tasks, but not working memory for number strings. This suggests that luminance signals were disrupting sensory-based imagery mechanisms and not a general working memory system. Individuals with poor imagery still performed above chance in the visual working memory task, but their performance was not affected by the background luminance, suggesting a dichotomy in strategies for visual working memory: individuals with strong mental imagery rely on sensory-based imagery to support mnemonic performance, while those with poor imagery rely on different strategies. These findings could help reconcile current controversy regarding the mechanism and location of visual mnemonic storage.

  15. Working Memory Involved in Predicting Future Outcomes Based on Past Experiences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dretsch, Michael N.; Tipples, Jason

    2008-01-01

    Deficits in working memory have been shown to contribute to poor performance on the Iowa Gambling Task [IGT: Bechara, A., & Martin, E.M. (2004). "Impaired decision making related to working memory deficits in individuals with substance addictions." "Neuropsychology," 18, 152-162]. Similarly, a secondary memory load task has been shown to impair…

  16. Lie construction affects information storage under high memory load condition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuqiu Liu

    Full Text Available Previous studies indicate that lying consumes cognitive resources, especially working memory (WM resources. Considering the dual functions that WM might play in lying: holding the truth-related information and turning the truth into lies, the present study examined the relationship between the information storage and processing in the lie construction. To achieve that goal, a deception task based on the old/new recognition paradigm was designed, which could manipulate two levels of WM load (low-load task using 4 items and high-load task using 6 items during the deception process. The analyses based on the amplitude of the contralateral delay activity (CDA, a proved index of the number of representations being held in WM, showed that the CDA amplitude was lower in the deception process than that in the truth telling process under the high-load condition. In contrast, under the low-load condition, no CDA difference was found between the deception and truth telling processes. Therefore, we deduced that the lie construction and information storage compete for WM resources; when the available WM resources cannot meet this cognitive demand, the WM resources occupied by the information storage would be consumed by the lie construction.

  17. Lie construction affects information storage under high memory load condition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yuqiu; Wang, Chunjie; Jiang, Haibo; He, Hongjian; Chen, Feiyan

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies indicate that lying consumes cognitive resources, especially working memory (WM) resources. Considering the dual functions that WM might play in lying: holding the truth-related information and turning the truth into lies, the present study examined the relationship between the information storage and processing in the lie construction. To achieve that goal, a deception task based on the old/new recognition paradigm was designed, which could manipulate two levels of WM load (low-load task using 4 items and high-load task using 6 items) during the deception process. The analyses based on the amplitude of the contralateral delay activity (CDA), a proved index of the number of representations being held in WM, showed that the CDA amplitude was lower in the deception process than that in the truth telling process under the high-load condition. In contrast, under the low-load condition, no CDA difference was found between the deception and truth telling processes. Therefore, we deduced that the lie construction and information storage compete for WM resources; when the available WM resources cannot meet this cognitive demand, the WM resources occupied by the information storage would be consumed by the lie construction.

  18. Executive and Perceptual Distraction in Visual Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    The contents of visual working memory are likely to reflect the influence of both executive control resources and information present in the environment. We investigated whether executive attention is critical in the ability to exclude unwanted stimuli by introducing concurrent potentially distracting irrelevant items to a visual working memory paradigm, and manipulating executive load using simple or more demanding secondary verbal tasks. Across 7 experiments varying in presentation format, timing, stimulus set, and distractor number, we observed clear disruptive effects of executive load and visual distraction, but relatively minimal evidence supporting an interactive relationship between these factors. These findings are in line with recent evidence using delay-based interference, and suggest that different forms of attentional selection operate relatively independently in visual working memory. PMID:28414499

  19. Executive and perceptual distraction in visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

    The contents of visual working memory are likely to reflect the influence of both executive control resources and information present in the environment. We investigated whether executive attention is critical in the ability to exclude unwanted stimuli by introducing concurrent potentially distracting irrelevant items to a visual working memory paradigm, and manipulating executive load using simple or more demanding secondary verbal tasks. Across 7 experiments varying in presentation format, timing, stimulus set, and distractor number, we observed clear disruptive effects of executive load and visual distraction, but relatively minimal evidence supporting an interactive relationship between these factors. These findings are in line with recent evidence using delay-based interference, and suggest that different forms of attentional selection operate relatively independently in visual working memory. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  20. 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.

  1. Conditional load and store in a shared memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blumrich, Matthias A; Ohmacht, Martin

    2015-02-03

    A method, system and computer program product for implementing load-reserve and store-conditional instructions in a multi-processor computing system. The computing system includes a multitude of processor units and a shared memory cache, and each of the processor units has access to the memory cache. In one embodiment, the method comprises providing the memory cache with a series of reservation registers, and storing in these registers addresses reserved in the memory cache for the processor units as a result of issuing load-reserve requests. In this embodiment, when one of the processor units makes a request to store data in the memory cache using a store-conditional request, the reservation registers are checked to determine if an address in the memory cache is reserved for that processor unit. If an address in the memory cache is reserved for that processor, the data are stored at this address.

  2. Similarity, Not Complexity, Determines Visual Working Memory Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Margaret C.; Linden, David E. J.; Roberts, Mark V.; Kriegeskorte, Nikolaus; Haenschel, Corinna

    2015-01-01

    A number of studies have shown that visual working memory (WM) is poorer for complex versus simple items, traditionally accounted for by higher information load placing greater demands on encoding and storage capacity limits. Other research suggests that it may not be complexity that determines WM performance per se, but rather increased…

  3. Work load and musculoskeletal complaints during pregnancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, J A; van Dijk, F J; Frings-Dresen, M H

    1994-06-01

    Many pregnant women have musculoskeletal complaints, the onset and aggravation of which are thought to be associated with their activity or work postures. The purpose of this paper was to obtain more insight into the influence of pregnancy on the load of the musculoskeletal system at work to provide a better basis for preventing complaints. To this end, literature pertinent to a model called "work load of the musculoskeletal system" was reviewed. The model was developed to describe how work contributes to musculoskeletal complaints. It was found that pregnancy causes changes in a worker's characteristics. These changes can lead to changes in the work situation, activity pattern, and postural characteristics and possibly result in a change in work load. In addition, physical changes such as weight gain increase the work load in a given posture. The load-bearing capacity of the musculoskeletal system decreases due to pregnancy. The changes in load and the decrease in load-bearing capacity singly or simultaneously increase the risk of musculoskeletal complaints. The multifactorial cause of musculoskeletal complaints during pregnancy reveals various possibilities for prevention.

  4. The effects of memory load and stimulus relevance on the EEG during a visual selective memory search task : An ERP and ERD/ERS study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gomarus, HK; Althaus, M; Wijers, AA; Minderaa, RB

    Objective: Psychophysiological correlates of selective attention and working memory were investigated in a group of 18 healthy children using a visually presented selective mernory search task. Methods: Subjects had to memorize one (load 1) or 3 (load3) letters (memory set) and search for these

  5. Working Memory and Developmental Language Impairments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, Lucy A.; Botting, Nicola

    2017-01-01

    Children with developmental language impairments (DLI) are often reported to show difficulties with working memory. This review describes the four components of the well-established working memory model, and considers whether there is convincing evidence for difficulties within each component in children with DLI. The emphasis is on the most…

  6. Teaching Political Science through Memory Work

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansson, Maria; Wendt, Maria; Ase, Cecilia

    2009-01-01

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

  7. Working Memory Intervention: A Reading Comprehension Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Tracy L.; Malaia, Evguenia

    2013-01-01

    For any complex mental task, people rely on working memory. Working memory capacity (WMC) is one predictor of success in learning. Historically, attempts to improve verbal WM through training have not been effective. This study provided elementary students with WM consolidation efficiency training to answer the question, Can reading comprehension…

  8. 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…

  9. A Brain System for Auditory Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Sukhbinder; Joseph, Sabine; Gander, Phillip E; Barascud, Nicolas; Halpern, Andrea R; Griffiths, Timothy D

    2016-04-20

    The brain basis for auditory working memory, the process of actively maintaining sounds in memory over short periods of time, is controversial. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging in human participants, we demonstrate that the maintenance of single tones in memory is associated with activation in auditory cortex. In addition, sustained activation was observed in hippocampus and inferior frontal gyrus. Multivoxel pattern analysis showed that patterns of activity in auditory cortex and left inferior frontal gyrus distinguished the tone that was maintained in memory. Functional connectivity during maintenance was demonstrated between auditory cortex and both the hippocampus and inferior frontal cortex. The data support a system for auditory working memory based on the maintenance of sound-specific representations in auditory cortex by projections from higher-order areas, including the hippocampus and frontal cortex. In this work, we demonstrate a system for maintaining sound in working memory based on activity in auditory cortex, hippocampus, and frontal cortex, and functional connectivity among them. Specifically, our work makes three advances from the previous work. First, we robustly demonstrate hippocampal involvement in all phases of auditory working memory (encoding, maintenance, and retrieval): the role of hippocampus in working memory is controversial. Second, using a pattern classification technique, we show that activity in the auditory cortex and inferior frontal gyrus is specific to the maintained tones in working memory. Third, we show long-range connectivity of auditory cortex to hippocampus and frontal cortex, which may be responsible for keeping such representations active during working memory maintenance. Copyright © 2016 Kumar et al.

  10. Working memory and planning during sentence production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Randi C; Yan, Hao; Schnur, Tatiana T

    2014-10-01

    Speakers retrieve conceptual, syntactic and lexical information in advance of articulation during sentence production. What type of working memory (WM) store is used to hold the planned information before speaking? To address this question, we measured onset latencies when subjects produced sentences that began with either a complex or a simple initial noun phrase, while holding semantic, phonological or spatial information in WM. Although we found that subjects had longer onset latencies for sentences beginning with a complex noun phrase, showing a phrasal scope of planning, the magnitude of this complexity effect was not affected by any type of WM load. However, subjects made more syntactic errors (but not lexical errors) for sentences beginning with a complex noun phrase, suggesting that advance planning for these phrases occurs at a syntactic rather than lexical-semantic level, which may account for the lack of effect with various types of WM load in the current study. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. How Does Working Memory Work in the Classroom?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alloway, Tracy Packiam

    2006-01-01

    Working memory plays a key role in supporting children's learning over the school years, and beyond this into adulthood. It is proposed here that working memory is crucially required to store information while other material is being mentally manipulated during the classroom learning activities that form the foundations for the acquisition of…

  13. Working memory can enhance unconscious visual perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Yi; Cheng, Qiu-Ping; Luo, Qian-Ying

    2012-06-01

    We demonstrate that unconscious processing of a stimulus property can be enhanced when there is a match between the contents of working memory and the stimulus presented in the visual field. Participants first held a cue (a colored circle) in working memory and then searched for a brief masked target shape presented simultaneously with a distractor shape. When participants reported having no awareness of the target shape at all, search performance was more accurate in the valid condition, where the target matched the cue in color, than in the neutral condition, where the target mismatched the cue. This effect cannot be attributed to bottom-up perceptual priming from the presentation of a memory cue, because unconscious perception was not enhanced when the cue was merely perceptually identified but not actively held in working memory. These findings suggest that reentrant feedback from the contents of working memory modulates unconscious visual perception.

  14. 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.

  15. Prospective memory in schizophrenia: The impact of varying retrospective-memory load

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Altgassen, A.M.; Kliegel, M.; Rendell, P.G.; Henry, J.D.; Zöllig, J.

    2008-01-01

    The present study investigated event-based prospective memory in individuals with schizophrenia (nn=n23) and healthy controls (nn=n23). The retrospective-memory load was varied to disentangle the relative contributions of the retrospective and prospective components on prospective-memory

  16. Dissociation between Features and Feature Relations in Infant Memory: Effects of Memory Load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhatt, Ramesh S.; Rovee-Collier, Carolyn

    1997-01-01

    Four experiments examined effects of the number of features and feature relations on learning and long-term memory in 3-month olds. Findings suggested that memory load size selectively constrained infants' long-term memory for relational information, suggesting that in infants, features and relations are psychologically distinct and that memory…

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. The relationship between working memory and episodic memory disorders in transient global amnesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinette, Peggy; Guillery-Girard, Bérengère; Noël, Audrey; de la Sayette, Vincent; Viader, Fausto; Desgranges, Béatrice; Eustache, Francis

    2006-01-01

    In a previous study, we investigated the relationship between the disorders of both episodic memory and working memory in the acute phase of transient global amnesia (TGA). Since executive functions were spared, another dysfunction may be responsible for the binding and maintenance of multimodal informations and contribute to the encoding disorders observed in some patients [Quinette, P., Guillery, B., Desgranges, B., de la Sayette, V., Viader, F., & Eustache, F. (2003). Working memory and executive functions in transient global amnesia. Brain, 126, 1917-1934.]. The aim of this present study was to assess the functions of binding and maintenance of multimodal information during TGA and explore their involvement in episodic memory disorders. We therefore conducted a more thorough investigation of working memory in 16 new patients during the acute phase of TGA using two tasks designed to assess the binding process and both dimensions of the maintenance, namely the active storage and the memory load ability. We also investigated the nature of the episodic memory impairment in distinguishing between the performance of patients with preferential encoding deficits and those of patients with preferential storage disorders on the episodic memory task. This distinction was closely related to the severity of amnesia, i.e. an encoding disorder was observed rather in the early phase of TGA. The results showed that while the functions of binding and maintenance of multimodal information were intact in patients with storage disorders, they were impaired in the case of encoding deficits. These results are interpreted in the recent framework of episodic buffer proposed by Baddeley [Baddeley, A. D. (2000). The episodic buffer: A new component of working memory? Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 4, 417-423] that represents an interface between working memory and episodic memory.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing eFeng

    2012-04-01

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

  2. FFT transformed quantitative EEG analysis of short term memory load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Yogesh; Singh, Jayvardhan; Sharma, Ratna; Talwar, Anjana

    2015-07-01

    The EEG is considered as building block of functional signaling in the brain. The role of EEG oscillations in human information processing has been intensively investigated. To study the quantitative EEG correlates of short term memory load as assessed through Sternberg memory test. The study was conducted on 34 healthy male student volunteers. The intervention consisted of Sternberg memory test, which runs on a version of the Sternberg memory scanning paradigm software on a computer. Electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded from 19 scalp locations according to 10-20 international system of electrode placement. EEG signals were analyzed offline. To overcome the problems of fixed band system, individual alpha frequency (IAF) based frequency band selection method was adopted. The outcome measures were FFT transformed absolute powers in the six bands at 19 electrode positions. Sternberg memory test served as model of short term memory load. Correlation analysis of EEG during memory task was reflected as decreased absolute power in Upper alpha band in nearly all the electrode positions; increased power in Theta band at Fronto-Temporal region and Lower 1 alpha band at Fronto-Central region. Lower 2 alpha, Beta and Gamma band power remained unchanged. Short term memory load has distinct electroencephalographic correlates resembling the mentally stressed state. This is evident from decreased power in Upper alpha band (corresponding to Alpha band of traditional EEG system) which is representative band of relaxed mental state. Fronto-temporal Theta power changes may reflect the encoding and execution of memory task.

  3. 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 spatial locations was to be memorized over a delay until an updating cue was presented indicating that only one or three locations remained relevant for a subsequent recognition test. Alpha amplitude varied with memory maintenance and updating demands among a cluster of left frontocentral electrodes. Greater postcue alpha power was associated with the high relevant load conditions (six and four dots cued to reduce to three relevant) relative to the lower load conditions (four and two dots reduced to one). Across subjects, this difference in alpha power was correlated with condition differences in performance accuracy. In contrast, no significant effects of irrelevant load were observed. These findings demonstrate that, during WM updating, alpha power reflects maintenance of relevant memory contents rather than suppression of no-longer-relevant memory traces.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricker, Timothy J.; Cowan, Nelson

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Direct Access to Working Memory Contents

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bialkova, S.E.; Oberauer, K.

    2010-01-01

    Abstract. In two experiments participants held in working memory (WM) three digits in three different colors, and updated individual digits with the results of arithmetic equations presented in one of the colors. In the memory-access condition, a digit from WM had to be used as the first number in

  6. Working Memory and Binding in Sentence Recall

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baddeley, A. D.; Hitch, G. J.; Allen, R. J.

    2009-01-01

    A series of experiments explored whether chunking in short-term memory for verbal materials depends on attentionally limited executive processes. Secondary tasks were used to disrupt components of working memory and chunking was indexed by the sentence superiority effect, whereby immediate recall is better for sentences than word lists. To…

  7. Accessibility Limits Recall from Visual Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    In this article, we demonstrate limitations of accessibility of information in visual working memory (VWM). Recently, cued-recall has been used to estimate the fidelity of information in VWM, where the feature of a cued object is reproduced from memory (Bays, Catalao, & Husain, 2009; Wilken & Ma, 2004; Zhang & Luck, 2008). Response…

  8. Visuospatial imagery and working memory in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Natasha L; Collins, Kathleen P; Thakkar, Katharine N; Park, Sohee

    2014-01-01

    The ability to form mental images that reconstruct former perceptual experiences is closely related to working memory (WM) ability. However, whereas WM deficits are established as a core feature of schizophrenia, an independent body of work suggests that mental imagery ability is enhanced in the disorder. Across two experiments we investigated mental imagery in schizophrenia and its relationship with WM. In Experiment 1, individuals with schizophrenia (SZ: n=15) and matched controls (CO: n=14) completed a mental imagery generation and inspection task and a spatial delayed-response WM task. In Experiment 2, SZ (n=16) and CO (n=16) completed a novel version of the mental imagery task modified to increase WM maintenance demand. In Experiment 1, SZ demonstrated enhanced mental imagery performance, as evidenced by faster response times relative to CO, with preserved accuracy. However, enhanced mental imagery in SZ was accompanied by impaired WM as assessed by the delayed-response task. In Experiment 2, when WM maintenance load was increased, SZ no longer showed superior imagery performance. We found evidence for enhanced imagery manipulation in SZ despite their WM maintenance deficit. However, this imagery enhancement was abolished when WM maintenance demands were increased. This profile of enhanced imagery manipulation but impaired maintenance could be used to implement novel remediation strategies in the disorder.

  9. Work load and musculoskeletal complaints during pregnancy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Paul, J. A.; van Dijk, F. J.; Frings-Dresen, M. H.

    1994-01-01

    Many pregnant women have musculoskeletal complaints, the onset and aggravation of which are thought to be associated with their activity or work postures. The purpose of this paper was to obtain more insight into the influence of pregnancy on the load of the musculoskeletal system at work to provide

  10. Bidirectional Frontoparietal Oscillatory Systems Support Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Elizabeth L; Dewar, Callum D; Solbakk, Anne-Kristin; Endestad, Tor; Meling, Torstein R; Knight, Robert T

    2017-06-19

    The ability to represent and select information in working memory provides the neurobiological infrastructure for human cognition. For 80 years, dominant views of working memory have focused on the key role of prefrontal cortex (PFC) [1-8]. However, more recent work has implicated posterior cortical regions [9-12], suggesting that PFC engagement during working memory is dependent on the degree of executive demand. We provide evidence from neurological patients with discrete PFC damage that challenges the dominant models attributing working memory to PFC-dependent systems. We show that neural oscillations, which provide a mechanism for PFC to communicate with posterior cortical regions [13], independently subserve communications both to and from PFC-uncovering parallel oscillatory mechanisms for working memory. Fourteen PFC patients and 20 healthy, age-matched controls performed a working memory task where they encoded, maintained, and actively processed information about pairs of common shapes. In controls, the electroencephalogram (EEG) exhibited oscillatory activity in the low-theta range over PFC and directional connectivity from PFC to parieto-occipital regions commensurate with executive processing demands. Concurrent alpha-beta oscillations were observed over parieto-occipital regions, with directional connectivity from parieto-occipital regions to PFC, regardless of processing demands. Accuracy, PFC low-theta activity, and PFC → parieto-occipital connectivity were attenuated in patients, revealing a PFC-independent, alpha-beta system. The PFC patients still demonstrated task proficiency, which indicates that the posterior alpha-beta system provides sufficient resources for working memory. Taken together, our findings reveal neurologically dissociable PFC and parieto-occipital systems and suggest that parallel, bidirectional oscillatory systems form the basis of working memory. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  11. The neural bases of orthographic working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremy Purcell

    2014-04-01

    First, these results reveal a neurotopography of OWM lesion sites that is well-aligned with results from neuroimaging of orthographic working memory in neurally intact participants (Rapp & Dufor, 2011. Second, the dorsal neurotopography of the OWM lesion overlap is clearly distinct from what has been reported for lesions associated with either lexical or sublexical deficits (e.g., Henry, Beeson, Stark, & Rapcsak, 2007; Rapcsak & Beeson, 2004; these have, respectively, been identified with the inferior occipital/temporal and superior temporal/inferior parietal regions. These neurotopographic distinctions support the claims of the computational distinctiveness of long-term vs. working memory operations. The specific lesion loci raise a number of questions to be discussed regarding: (a the selectivity of these regions and associated deficits to orthographic working memory vs. working memory more generally (b the possibility that different lesion sub-regions may correspond to different components of the OWM system.

  12. Central load reduces peripheral processing: Evidence from incidental memory of background speech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halin, Niklas; Marsh, John E; Sörqvist, Patrik

    2015-12-01

    Is there a trade-off between central (working memory) load and peripheral (perceptual) processing? To address this question, participants were requested to undertake an n-back task in one of two levels of central/cognitive load (i.e., 1-back or 2-back) in the presence of a to-be-ignored story presented via headphones. Participants were told to ignore the background story, but they were given a surprise memory test of what had been said in the background story, immediately after the n-back task was completed. Memory was poorer in the high central load (2-back) condition in comparison with the low central load (1-back) condition. Hence, when people compensate for higher central load, by increasing attentional engagement, peripheral processing is constrained. Moreover, participants with high working memory capacity (WMC) - with a superior ability for attentional engagement - remembered less of the background story, but only in the low central load condition. Taken together, peripheral processing - as indexed by incidental memory of background speech - is constrained when task engagement is high. © 2015 The Authors. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology published by Scandinavian Psychological Associations and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Do Computerised Training Programmes Designed to Improve Working Memory Work?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apter, Brian J. B.

    2012-01-01

    A critical review of working memory training research during the last 10 years is provided. Particular attention is given to research that has attempted to investigate the efficacy of commercially marketed computerised training programmes such as "Cogmed" and "Jungle Memory". Claimed benefits are questioned on the basis that research methodologies…

  14. Attention to information in working memory

    OpenAIRE

    Oberauer Klaus; Hein Laura

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Shielding cognition from nociception with working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legrain, Valéry; Crombez, Geert; Plaghki, Léon; Mouraux, André

    2013-01-01

    Because pain often signals the occurrence of potential tissue damage, nociceptive stimuli have the capacity to capture attention and interfere with ongoing cognitive activities. Working memory is known to guide the orientation of attention by maintaining goal priorities active during the achievement of a task. This study investigated whether the cortical processing of nociceptive stimuli and their ability to capture attention are under the control of working memory. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded while participants performed primary tasks on visual targets that required or did not require rehearsal in working memory (1-back vs 0-back conditions). The visual targets were shortly preceded by task-irrelevant tactile stimuli. Occasionally, in order to distract the participants, the tactile stimuli were replaced by novel nociceptive stimuli. In the 0-back conditions, task performance was disrupted by the occurrence of the nociceptive distracters, as reflected by the increased reaction times in trials with novel nociceptive distracters as compared to trials with standard tactile distracters. In the 1-back conditions, such a difference disappeared suggesting that attentional capture and task disruption induced by nociceptive distracters were suppressed by working memory, regardless of task demands. Most importantly, in the conditions involving working memory, the magnitude of nociceptive ERPs, including ERP components at early latency, were significantly reduced. This indicates that working memory is able to modulate the cortical processing of nociceptive input already at its earliest stages, and could explain why working memory reduces consequently ability of nociceptive stimuli to capture attention and disrupt performance of the primary task. It is concluded that protecting cognitive processing against pain interference is best guaranteed by keeping out of working memory pain-related information. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Social Working Memory: Neurocognitive networks and plasticity

    OpenAIRE

    Meyer, Meghan Leigh

    2014-01-01

    The social world is incredibly complex and the ability to keep track of various pieces of social information at once is imperative for success as a social species. Yet, how humans manage social information in mind has to date remained a mystery. On the one hand, psychological models of working memory, or the ability to maintain and manipulate information in mind, suggest that managing social information in mind would rely on generic working memory processes. However, recent research in social...

  17. Working memory predicts the rejection of false memories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leding, Juliana K

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Working memory capacity and controlled serial memory search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mızrak, Eda; Öztekin, Ilke

    2016-08-01

    The speed-accuracy trade-off (SAT) procedure was used to investigate the relationship between working memory capacity (WMC) and the dynamics of temporal order memory retrieval. High- and low-span participants (HSs, LSs) studied sequentially presented five-item lists, followed by two probes from the study list. Participants indicated the more recent probe. Overall, accuracy was higher for HSs compared to LSs. Crucially, in contrast to previous investigations that observed no impact of WMC on speed of access to item information in memory (e.g., Öztekin & McElree, 2010), recovery of temporal order memory was slower for LSs. While accessing an item's representation in memory can be direct, recovery of relational information such as temporal order information requires a more controlled serial memory search. Collectively, these data indicate that WMC effects are particularly prominent during high demands of cognitive control, such as serial search operations necessary to access temporal order information from memory. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. On the law relating processing to storage in working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrouillet, Pierre; Portrat, Sophie; Camos, Valérie

    2011-04-01

    Working memory is usually defined in cognitive psychology as a system devoted to the simultaneous processing and maintenance of information. However, although many models of working memory have been put forward during the last decades, they often leave underspecified the dynamic interplay between processing and storage. Moreover, the account of their interaction proposed by the most popular A. D. Baddeley and G. Hitch's (1974) multiple-component model is contradicted by facts, leaving unresolved one of the main issues of cognitive functioning. In this article, the author derive from the time-based resource-sharing model of working memory a mathematical function relating the cognitive load involved by concurrent processing to the amount of information that can be simultaneously maintained active in working memory. A meta-analysis from several experiments testing the effects of processing on storage corroborates the parameters of the predicted function, suggesting that it properly reflects the law relating the 2 functions of working memory. 2011 APA, all rights reserved

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

    OpenAIRE

    Zokaei, Nahid; Heider, Maike; Husain, Masud

    2013-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. The cognitive neuroscience of working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Esposito, Mark; Postle, Bradley R

    2015-01-03

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

  3. The Nature of Individual Differences in Working Memory Capacity: Active Maintenance in Primary Memory and Controlled Search from Secondary Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unsworth, Nash; Engle, Randall W.

    2007-01-01

    Studies examining individual differences in working memory capacity have suggested that individuals with low working memory capacities demonstrate impaired performance on a variety of attention and memory tasks compared with individuals with high working memory capacities. This working memory limitation can be conceived of as arising from 2…

  4. Visual Working Memory Capacity for Emotional Facial Expressions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Domagoj Švegar

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The capacity of visual working memory is limited to no more than four items. At the same time, it is limited not only by the number of objects, but also by the total amount of information that needs to be memorized, and the relation between the information load per object and the number of objects that can be stored into visual working memory is inverse. The objective of the present experiment was to compute visual working memory capacity for emotional facial expressions, and in order to do so, change detection tasks were applied. Pictures of human emotional facial expressions were presented to 24 participants in 1008 experimental trials, each of which began with a presentation of a fixation mark, which was followed by a short simultaneous presentation of six emotional facial expressions. After that, a blank screen was presented, and after such inter-stimulus interval, one facial expression was presented at one of previously occupied locations. Participants had to answer if the facial expression presented at test is different or identical as the expression presented at that same location before the retention interval. Memory capacity was estimated through accuracy of responding, by the formula constructed by Pashler (1988, adopted from signal detection theory. It was found that visual working memory capacity for emotional facial expressions equals 3.07, which is high compared to capacity for facial identities and other visual stimuli. The obtained results were explained within the framework of evolutionary psychology.

  5. The contribution of working memory to divided attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santangelo, Valerio; Macaluso, Emiliano

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Working memory capacity in generalized social phobia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amir, Nader; Bomyea, Jessica

    2011-05-01

    Research suggests that understanding complex social cues depends on the availability of cognitive resources (e.g., Phillips, Channon, Tunstall, Hedenstrom, & Lyons, 2008). In spite of evidence suggesting that executive control functioning may impact anxiety (e.g., Eysenck, Derakshan, Santos, & Calvo, 2007), relatively few studies have examined working memory in individuals with generalized social phobia. Moreover, few studies have examined the role of threat-relevant content in working memory performance in clinically anxious populations. To this end, the present study assessed working memory capacity (WMC) in individuals with generalized social phobia and nonanxious controls using an operation span task with threat-relevant and neutral stimuli. Results revealed that nonanxious individuals demonstrated better WMC than individuals with generalized social phobia for neutral words but not for social threat words. Individuals with generalized social phobia demonstrated better WMC performance for threat words relative to neutral words. These results suggest that individuals with generalized social phobia may have relatively enhanced working memory performance for salient, socially relevant information. This enhanced working memory capacity for threat-relevant information may be the result of practice with this information in generalized social phobia.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Ricker, Timothy J.; Cowan, Nelson

    2013-01-01

    Understanding forgetting from working memory, the memory used in ongoing cognitive processing, is critical to understanding human cognition. In the past decade, a number of conflicting findings have been reported regarding the role of time in forgetting from working memory. This has led to a debate concerning whether longer retention intervals necessarily result in more forgetting. An obstacle to directly comparing conflicting reports is a divergence in methodology across studies. Studies tha...

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Does working memory training lead to generalized improvements in children with low working memory? A randomized controlled trial

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. An interference model of visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberauer, Klaus; Lin, Hsuan-Yu

    2017-01-01

    The article introduces an interference model of working memory for information in a continuous similarity space, such as the features of visual objects. The model incorporates the following assumptions: (a) Probability of retrieval is determined by the relative activation of each retrieval candidate at the time of retrieval; (b) activation comes from 3 sources in memory: cue-based retrieval using context cues, context-independent memory for relevant contents, and noise; (c) 1 memory object and its context can be held in the focus of attention, where it is represented with higher precision, and partly shielded against interference. The model was fit to data from 4 continuous-reproduction experiments testing working memory for colors or orientations. The experiments involved variations of set size, kind of context cues, precueing, and retro-cueing of the to-be-tested item. The interference model fit the data better than 2 competing models, the Slot-Averaging model and the Variable-Precision resource model. The interference model also fared well in comparison to several new models incorporating alternative theoretical assumptions. The experiments confirm 3 novel predictions of the interference model: (a) Nontargets intrude in recall to the extent that they are close to the target in context space; (b) similarity between target and nontarget features improves recall, and (c) precueing-but not retro-cueing-the target substantially reduces the set-size effect. The success of the interference model shows that working memory for continuous visual information works according to the same principles as working memory for more discrete (e.g., verbal) contents. Data and model codes are available at https://osf.io/wgqd5/. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  13. Working-memory training improves developmental dyslexia in Chinese children★

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

    Although plasticity in the neural system underlies working memory, and working memory can be improved by training, there is thus far no evidence that children with developmental dyslexia can benefit from working-memory training. In the present study, thirty dyslexic children aged 8–11 years were recruited from an elementary school in Wuhan, China. They received working-memory training, including training in visuospatial memory, verbal memory, and central executive tasks. The difficulty of the...

  14. Assessing Working Memory in Spanish-Speaking Children: Automated Working Memory Assessment Battery Adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Injoque-Ricle, Irene; Calero, Alejandra D.; Alloway, Tracy P.; Burin, Debora I.

    2011-01-01

    The Automated Working Memory Assessment battery was designed to assess verbal and visuospatial passive and active working memory processing in children and adolescents. The aim of this paper is to present the adaptation and validation of the AWMA battery to Argentinean Spanish-speaking children aged 6 to 11 years. Verbal subtests were adapted and…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  16. Working memory: a proposal for child evaluating

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mayra Monteiro Pires

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The working memory is a system with limited capacity which allows the temporary storage and manipulation of information to cognitive complex abilities like language, learning and reasoning. This study has as the objective present the construction, the adaptation and the evaluation of four psycholinguistics working memory tests in Brazilian Portuguese that were based in the English battery of tests Memory Test Battery For Children. The tests adapted were applied in a pilot investigation in a group of 15 children with learning school difficulties and compared to a group of 15 children with normal development. The adaptation of the tests was developed in the E-Prime v2.0 Professional® software. The four psycholinguistic tests access the simultaneous storage and processing capacities of information in general domain, as also specific for language information. The results suggest that the four tests are sensible instruments to detect possible difficulties in the working memory processing in children, because they could identify the different performances between the two groups in a statistical analysis. The tests developed perfectly attended their aims for evaluation and can contribute in a near future for other studies with a greater number of subjects, providing a more concrete and evidences of working memory development in children.

  17. Methylphenidate does not enhance visual working memory but benefits motivation in macaque monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oemisch, Mariann; Johnston, Kevin; Paré, Martin

    2016-10-01

    Working memory is a limited-capacity cognitive process that retains relevant information temporarily to guide thoughts and behavior. A large body of work has suggested that catecholamines exert a major modulatory influence on cognition, but there is only equivocal evidence of a direct influence on working memory ability, which would be reflected in a dependence on working memory load. Here we tested the contribution of catecholamines to working memory by administering a wide range of acute oral doses of the dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor methylphenidate (MPH, 0.1-9 mg/kg) to three female macaque monkeys (Macaca mulatta), whose working memory ability was measured from their performance in a visual sequential comparison task. This task allows the systematic manipulation of working memory load, and we therefore tested the specific hypothesis that MPH modulates performance in a manner that depends on both dose and memory load. We found no evidence of a dose- or memory load-dependent effect of MPH on performance. In contrast, significant effects on measures of motivation were observed. These findings suggest that an acute increase in catecholamines does not seem to affect the retention of visual information per se. As such, these results help delimit the effects of MPH on cognition. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. The relationship between dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA, working memory and distraction--a behavioral and electrophysiological approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sónia do Vale

    Full Text Available Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA and dehydroepiandrosterone-sulphate (DHEAS have been reported to have memory enhancement effects in humans. A neuro-stimulatory action and an anti-cortisol mechanism of action may contribute to that relation. In order to study DHEA, DHEAS and cortisol relations to working memory and distraction, we recorded the electroencephalogram of 23 young women performing a discrimination (no working memory load or 1-back (working memory load task in an audio-visual oddball paradigm. We measured salivary DHEA, DHEAS and cortisol both before each task and at 30 and 60 min. Under working memory load, a higher baseline cortisol/DHEA ratio was related to higher distraction as indexed by an enhanced novelty P3. This suggests that cortisol may lead to increased distraction whereas DHEA may hinder distraction by leading to less processing of the distractor. An increased DHEA production with consecutive cognitive tasks was found and higher DHEA responses attributed to working memory load were related to enhanced working memory processing as indexed by an enhanced visual P300. Overall, the results suggest that in women DHEA may oppose cortisol effects reducing distraction and that a higher DHEA response may enhance working memory at the electrophysiological level.

  19. Working Memory in Students with Mathematical Difficulties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nur, I. R. D.; Herman, T.; Ningsih, S.

    2018-04-01

    Learning process is the activities that has important role because this process is one of the all factors that establish students success in learning. oftentimes we find so many students get the difficulties when they study mathematics. This condition is not only because of the outside factor but also it comes from the inside. The purpose of this research is to analyze and give the representation how students working memory happened in physical education students for basic statistics subjects which have mathematical difficulties. The subjects are 4 students which have a mathematical difficulties. The research method is case study and when the describe about students working memory are explanated deeply with naturalistic observation. Based on this research, it was founded that 4 students have a working memory deficit in three components. The components are phonological loop, visuospatial sketchpad, dan episodic buffer.

  20. 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.

  1. Visual short-term memory load strengthens selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roper, Zachary J J; Vecera, Shaun P

    2014-04-01

    Perceptual load theory accounts for many attentional phenomena; however, its mechanism remains elusive because it invokes underspecified attentional resources. Recent dual-task evidence has revealed that a concurrent visual short-term memory (VSTM) load slows visual search and reduces contrast sensitivity, but it is unknown whether a VSTM load also constricts attention in a canonical perceptual load task. If attentional selection draws upon VSTM resources, then distraction effects-which measure attentional "spill-over"-will be reduced as competition for resources increases. Observers performed a low perceptual load flanker task during the delay period of a VSTM change detection task. We observed a reduction of the flanker effect in the perceptual load task as a function of increasing concurrent VSTM load. These findings were not due to perceptual-level interactions between the physical displays of the two tasks. Our findings suggest that perceptual representations of distractor stimuli compete with the maintenance of visual representations held in memory. We conclude that access to VSTM determines the degree of attentional selectivity; when VSTM is not completely taxed, it is more likely for task-irrelevant items to be consolidated and, consequently, affect responses. The "resources" hypothesized by load theory are at least partly mnemonic in nature, due to the strong correspondence they share with VSTM capacity.

  2. Work load issues in clinical nursing education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuster, P; Fitzgerald, D C; McCarthy, P A; McDougal, D

    1997-01-01

    This survey of 22 baccalaureate (BSN) programs was undertaken to describe and analyze work load issues in BSN nursing education. Academic careers of nursing faculty may be at risk because clinical work load policies generally place less value on clinical teaching than on classroom teaching. Research question addressed teaching credit hours received for each clinical contact hour, remaining weekly hours available for clinical faculty to accomplish service and research activities, and student-to-faculty ratios in clinical settings. Seventy per cent of the programs surveyed allocated less than 1 teaching credit hour to 1 clinical contact hour. Nursing faculty who taught clinical courses with 5:1 to .25:1 work load credit for face-to-face contact hour ratios needed to work between 8 and 24 hours more in face-to-face teaching compared with colleagues teaching lecture courses, thus leaving less time for scholarship and service activities. Fifty per cent of the programs reported 10 or more students in some of the clinical courses. Faculty reported concerns about quality of learning experiences and supervisory difficulties as student numbers in clinical courses exceeded 8 students/faculty member.

  3. Working on Memories of Abuse....

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horsman, Jenny

    1994-01-01

    Through working with a woman abused as a child, a teacher concluded that the violence of sexual, physical, and psychological abuse is common among many adults who read and write poorly. Their experiences should be acknowledged in literacy programs that encourage people to develop skills with which to tell their stories. (SK)

  4. Controlling attention to nociceptive stimuli with working memory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valéry Legrain

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Tactile Working Memory Outside our Hands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takako Yoshida

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The haptic perception of 2D images is believed to make heavy demands on working memory. During active exploration, we need to store not only the current sensory information, but also to integrate this with kinesthetic information of the hand and fingers in order to generate a coherent percept. The question that arises is how much tactile memory we have for tactile stimuli that are no longer in contact with the skin during active touch? We examined working memory using a tactile change detection task with active exploration. Each trial contained two stimulation arrays. Participants engaged in unconstrained active tactile exploration of an array of vibrotactile stimulators. In half of the trials, one of the vibrating tactors that was active in the first stimulation turned off and another started vibrating in the second stimulation. Participants had to report whether the arrays were the same or different. Performance was near-perfect when up to two tactors were used and dropped linearly as the number of the vibrating tactors increased. These results suggest that the tactile working memory off the hand is limited and there is little or no memory integration across hand movements.

  9. Interactions between visual working memory representations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bae, Gi-Yeul; Luck, Steven J

    2017-11-01

    We investigated whether the representations of different objects are maintained independently in working memory or interact with each other. Observers were shown two sequentially presented orientations and required to reproduce each orientation after a delay. The sequential presentation minimized perceptual interactions so that we could isolate interactions between memory representations per se. We found that similar orientations were repelled from each other whereas dissimilar orientations were attracted to each other. In addition, when one of the items was given greater attentional priority by means of a cue, the representation of the high-priority item was not influenced very much by the orientation of the low-priority item, but the representation of the low-priority item was strongly influenced by the orientation of the high-priority item. This indicates that attention modulates the interactions between working memory representations. In addition, errors in the reported orientations of the two objects were positively correlated under some conditions, suggesting that representations of distinct objects may become grouped together in memory. Together, these results demonstrate that working-memory representations are not independent but instead interact with each other in a manner that depends on attentional priority.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

    Working memory, phonological awareness and spelling hypothesis. To verify the relationship between working memory, phonological awareness and spelling hypothesis in pre-school children and first graders. Participants of this study were 90 students, belonging to state schools, who presented typical linguistic development. Forty students were preschoolers, with the average age of six and 50 students were first graders, with the average age of seven. Participants were submitted to an evaluation of the working memory abilities based on the Working Memory Model (Baddeley, 2000), involving phonological loop. Phonological loop was evaluated using the Auditory Sequential Test, subtest 5 of Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities (ITPA), Brazilian version (Bogossian & Santos, 1977), and the Meaningless Words Memory Test (Kessler, 1997). Phonological awareness abilities were investigated using the Phonological Awareness: Instrument of Sequential Assessment (CONFIAS - Moojen et al., 2003), involving syllabic and phonemic awareness tasks. Writing was characterized according to Ferreiro & Teberosky (1999). Preschoolers presented the ability of repeating sequences of 4.80 digits and 4.30 syllables. Regarding phonological awareness, the performance in the syllabic level was of 19.68 and in the phonemic level was of 8.58. Most of the preschoolers demonstrated to have a pre-syllabic writing hypothesis. First graders repeated, in average, sequences of 5.06 digits and 4.56 syllables. These children presented a phonological awareness of 31.12 in the syllabic level and of 16.18 in the phonemic level, and demonstrated to have an alphabetic writing hypothesis. The performance of working memory, phonological awareness and spelling level are inter-related, as well as being related to chronological age, development and scholarity.

  11. The impact of auditory working memory training on the fronto-parietal working memory network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 training with strongly distinct auditory materials transfers exclusively to an auditory (intra-modal) working memory task or whether it generalizes to a (across-modal) visual working memory task. We used adaptive n-back training with tonal sequences and a passive control condition. The memory training led to a reliable training gain. Transfer effects were found for the (intra-modal) auditory but not for the (across-modal) visual transfer task. Training-induced activation decreases in the auditory transfer task were found in two regions in the right inferior frontal gyrus. These effects confirm our previous findings in the visual modality and extents intra-modal effects in the prefrontal cortex to the auditory modality. As the right inferior frontal gyrus is frequently found in maintaining modality-specific auditory information, these results might reflect increased neural efficiency in auditory working memory processes. Furthermore, task-unspecific (amodal) activation decreases in the visual and auditory transfer task were found in the right inferior parietal lobule and the superior portion of the right middle frontal gyrus reflecting less demand on general attentional control processes. These data are in good agreement with amodal activation decreases within the same brain regions on a visual transfer task reported previously.

  12. The impact of auditory working memory training on the fronto-parietal working memory network

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 training with strongly distinct auditory materials transfers exclusively to an auditory (intra-modal) working memory task or whether it generalizes to a (across-modal) visual working memory task. We used adaptive n-back training with tonal sequences and a passive control condition. The memory training led to a reliable training gain. Transfer effects were found for the (intra-modal) auditory but not for the (across-modal) visual transfer task. Training-induced activation decreases in the auditory transfer task were found in two regions in the right inferior frontal gyrus. These effects confirm our previous findings in the visual modality and extents intra-modal effects in the prefrontal cortex to the auditory modality. As the right inferior frontal gyrus is frequently found in maintaining modality-specific auditory information, these results might reflect increased neural efficiency in auditory working memory processes. Furthermore, task-unspecific (amodal) activation decreases in the visual and auditory transfer task were found in the right inferior parietal lobule and the superior portion of the right middle frontal gyrus reflecting less demand on general attentional control processes. These data are in good agreement with amodal activation decreases within the same brain regions on a visual transfer task reported previously. PMID:22701418

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia eSchneiders

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Working memory training has been widely used to investigate working memory processes. We have shown previously that visual working memory benefits only from intra-modal visual but not from across-modal auditory working memory training. In the present functional magnetic resonance imaging study we examined whether auditory working memory processes can also be trained specifically and which training-induced activation changes accompany theses effects. It was investigated whether working memory training with strongly distinct auditory materials transfers exclusively to an auditory (intra-modal working memory task or whether it generalizes to an (across-modal visual working memory task. We used an adaptive n-back training with tonal sequences and a passive control condition. The memory training led to a reliable training gain. Transfer effects were found for the (intra-modal auditory but not for the (across-modal visual 2-back task. Training-induced activation changes in the auditory 2-back task were found in two regions in the right inferior frontal gyrus. These effects confirm our previous findings in the visual modality and extends intra-modal effects to the auditory modality. These results might reflect increased neural efficiency in auditory working memory processes as in the right inferior frontal gyrus is frequently found in maintaining modality-specific auditory information. By this, these effects are analogical to the activation decreases in the right middle frontal gyrus for the visual modality in our previous study. Furthermore, task-unspecific (across-modal activation decreases in the visual and auditory 2-back task were found in the right inferior parietal lobule and the superior portion of the right middle frontal gyrus reflecting less demands on general attentional control processes. These data are in good agreement with across-modal activation decreases within the same brain regions on a visual 2-back task reported previously.

  14. Can concurrent memory load reduce distraction? A replication study and beyond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gil-Gómez de Liaño, Beatriz; Stablum, Franca; Umiltà, Carlo

    2016-01-01

    The effects of concurrent working memory load in attentional processes have been 1 of the most puzzling issues in cognitive psychology. Studies have shown detrimental effects, no effects, and even beneficial effects of working memory load in different attentional tasks. In the present study we attempted to replicate Kim, Kim, and Chun's (2005, Experiment 3b) findings of beneficial effects of concurrent working memory load in a spatial Stroop-like task. In 3 experiments in which our sample was 3 times larger than that in the original Kim et al. study, we could not replicate their findings. The results are discussed in terms of what may have produced the conflicting results, trying to shed light on how working memory load affects attentional tasks. Also, we emphasize the importance of using adequately large samples in cognitive research. Although we acknowledge the relevance of meta-analyses to analyze conflicting results, in the present article we stress (perhaps more important) the power of an essential trademark in science for research development: replicability. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velichkovsky, Boris B

    2017-10-01

    Working memory has long been thought to be closely related to consciousness. However, recent empirical studies show that unconscious content may be maintained within working memory and that complex cognitive computations may be performed on-line. This promotes research on the exact relationships between consciousness and working memory. Current evidence for working memory being a conscious as well as an unconscious process is reviewed. Consciousness is shown to be considered a subset of working memory by major current theories of working memory. Evidence for unconscious elements in working memory is shown to come from visual masking and attentional blink paradigms, and from the studies of implicit working memory. It is concluded that more research is needed to explicate the relationship between consciousness and working memory. Future research directions regarding the relationship between consciousness and working memory are discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Disrupted Working Memory Circuitry in Adolescent Psychosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariel Eckfeld

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Individuals with schizophrenia (SZ consistently show deficits in spatial working memory (WM and associated atypical patterns of neural activity within key WM regions, including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC and parietal cortices. However, little research has focused on adolescent psychosis (AP and potential age-associated disruptions of WM circuitry that may occur in youth with this severe form of illness. Here we utilized each subject’s individual spatial WM capacity to investigate task-based neural dysfunction in 17 patients with AP (16.58 ± 2.60 years old as compared to 17 typically developing, demographically comparable adolescents (18.07 ± 3.26 years old. AP patients showed lower behavioral performance at higher WM loads and lower overall WM capacity compared to healthy controls. Whole-brain activation analyses revealed greater bilateral precentral and right postcentral activity in controls relative to AP patients, when controlling for individual WM capacity. Seed-based psychophysiological interaction (PPI analyses revealed significantly greater co-activation between the left dlPFC and left frontal pole in controls relative to AP patients. Significant group-by-age interactions were observed in both whole-brain and PPI analyses, with AP patients showing atypically greater neural activity and stronger coupling between WM task activated brain regions as a function of increasing age. Additionally, AP patients demonstrated positive relationships between right dlPFC neural activity and task performance, but unlike healthy controls, failed to show associations between neural activity and out-of-scanner neurocognitive performance. Collectively, these findings are consistent with atypical WM-related functioning and disrupted developmental processes in youth with AP.

  17. Spike-timing theory of working memory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Botond Szatmáry

    Full Text Available Working memory (WM is the part of the brain's memory system that provides temporary storage and manipulation of information necessary for cognition. Although WM has limited capacity at any given time, it has vast memory content in the sense that it acts on the brain's nearly infinite repertoire of lifetime long-term memories. Using simulations, we show that large memory content and WM functionality emerge spontaneously if we take the spike-timing nature of neuronal processing into account. Here, memories are represented by extensively overlapping groups of neurons that exhibit stereotypical time-locked spatiotemporal spike-timing patterns, called polychronous patterns; and synapses forming such polychronous neuronal groups (PNGs are subject to associative synaptic plasticity in the form of both long-term and short-term spike-timing dependent plasticity. While long-term potentiation is essential in PNG formation, we show how short-term plasticity can temporarily strengthen the synapses of selected PNGs and lead to an increase in the spontaneous reactivation rate of these PNGs. This increased reactivation rate, consistent with in vivo recordings during WM tasks, results in high interspike interval variability and irregular, yet systematically changing, elevated firing rate profiles within the neurons of the selected PNGs. Additionally, our theory explains the relationship between such slowly changing firing rates and precisely timed spikes, and it reveals a novel relationship between WM and the perception of time on the order of seconds.

  18. Work Stress, Caregiving, and Allostatic Load

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dich, Nadya; Lange, Theis; Head, Jenny

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: Studies investigating health effects of work and family stress usually consider these factors in isolation. The present study investigated prospective interactive effects of job strain and informal caregiving on allostatic load (AL), a multisystem indicator of physiological......). Regardless of job strain, participants with low caregiving burden (below sample median) had lower subsequent AL levels than did non-caregivers (b = -0.22, 95% confidence interval = -0.06--0.37). CONCLUSIONS: The study provides some evidence for adverse effects of stress at work combined with family demands...

  19. Evidence against decay in verbal working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberauer, Klaus; Lewandowsky, Stephan

    2013-05-01

    The article tests the assumption that forgetting in working memory for verbal materials is caused by time-based decay, using the complex-span paradigm. Participants encoded 6 letters for serial recall; each letter was preceded and followed by a processing period comprising 4 trials of difficult visual search. Processing duration, during which memory could decay, was manipulated via search set size. This manipulation increased retention interval by up to 100% without having any effect on recall accuracy. This result held with and without articulatory suppression. Two experiments using a dual-task paradigm showed that the visual search process required central attention. Thus, even when memory maintenance by central attention and by articulatory rehearsal was prevented, a large delay had no effect on memory performance, contrary to the decay notion. Most previous experiments that manipulated the retention interval and the opportunity for maintenance processes in complex span have confounded these variables with time pressure during processing periods. Three further experiments identified time pressure as the variable that affected recall. We conclude that time-based decay does not contribute to the capacity limit of verbal working memory. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.

  20. Reconceptualizing Working Memory in Educational Research

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. A Neural Region of Abstract Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowan, Nelson; Li, Dawei; Moffitt, Amanda; Becker, Theresa M.; Martin, Elizabeth A.; Saults, J. Scott; Christ, Shawn E.

    2011-01-01

    Over 350 years ago, Descartes proposed that the neural basis of consciousness must be a brain region in which sensory inputs are combined. Using fMRI, we identified at least one such area for working memory, the limited information held in mind, described by William James as the trailing edge of consciousness. Specifically, a region in the left…

  2. Evidence against Decay in Verbal Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberauer, Klaus; Lewandowsky, Stephan

    2013-01-01

    The article tests the assumption that forgetting in working memory for verbal materials is caused by time-based decay, using the complex-span paradigm. Participants encoded 6 letters for serial recall; each letter was preceded and followed by a processing period comprising 4 trials of difficult visual search. Processing duration, during which…

  3. Aging and verbal working memory capacity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

    Objectives. The development of verbal working memory capacity over time was investigated. xxx Methods. Four different age groups were tested with the new standard computerized version of the reading span test (Van den Noort et al., 2006, 2008). xxx Results. Compared to the young adults, the old

  4. 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…

  5. Modularity, Working Memory and Language Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baddeley, Alan D.

    2017-01-01

    The concept of modularity is used to contrast the approach to working memory proposed by Truscott with the Baddeley and Hitch multicomponent model. This proposes four sub components comprising the "central executive," an executive control system of limited attentional capacity that utilises storage based on separate but interlinked…

  6. Learning, working memory, and intelligence revisited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamez, Elaine; Myerson, Joel; Hale, Sandra

    2008-06-01

    Based on early findings showing low correlations between intelligence test scores and learning on laboratory tasks, psychologists typically have dismissed the role of learning in intelligence and emphasized the role of working memory instead. In 2006, however, B.A. Williams developed a verbal learning task inspired by three-term reinforcement contingencies and reported unexpectedly high correlations between this task and Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices (RAPM) scores [Williams, B.A., Pearlberg, S.L., 2006. Learning of three-term contingencies correlates with Raven scores, but not with measures of cognitive processing. Intelligence 34, 177-191]. The present study replicated this finding: Performance on the three-term learning task explained almost 25% of the variance in RAPM scores. Adding complex verbal working memory span, measured using the operation span task, did not improve prediction. Notably, this was not due to a lack of correlation between complex working memory span and RAPM scores. Rather, it occurred because most of the variance captured by the complex working memory span was already accounted for by the three-term learning task. Taken together with the findings of Williams and Pearlberg, the present results make a strong case for the role of learning in performance on intelligence tests.

  7. Measuring Working Memory Deficits in Aphasia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Jamie F.; Murray, Laura L.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: Many adults with aphasia demonstrate concomitant deficits in working memory (WM), but such deficits are difficult to quantify because of a lack of validated measures as well as the complex interdependence between language and WM. We examined the feasibility, reliability, and internal consistency of an "n"-back task for…

  8. The Distributed Nature of Working Memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Christophel, Thomas B.; Klink, P. Christiaan; Spitzer, Bernhard; Roelfsema, Pieter R.; Haynes, John-Dylan

    2017-01-01

    Studies in humans and non-human primates have provided evidence for storage of working memory contents in multiple regions ranging from sensory to parietal and prefrontal cortex. We discuss potential explanations for these distributed representations: (i) features in sensory regions versus

  9. When Higher Working Memory Capacity Hinders Insight

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Foreign language proficiency and working memory capacity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

    In this study, the hypothesis that working memory capacity interacts with (foreign) language proficiency was tested on multilinguals, who were native (L1) Dutch speakers, were fluent in their second (L2) language, German, and had recently started the acquisition of their third (L3) language,

  11. Intelligence, Working Memory, and Multitasking Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colom, Roberto; Martinez-Molina, Agustin; Shih, Pei Chun; Santacreu, Jose

    2010-01-01

    Multitasking performance is relevant in everyday life and job analyses highlight the influence of multitasking over several diverse occupations. Intelligence is the best single predictor of overall job performance and it is also related to individual differences in multitasking. However, it has been shown that working memory capacity (WMC) is…

  12. Familiarity Enhances Visual Working Memory for Faces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Margaret C.; Raymond, Jane E.

    2008-01-01

    Although it is intuitive that familiarity with complex visual objects should aid their preservation in visual working memory (WM), empirical evidence for this is lacking. This study used a conventional change-detection procedure to assess visual WM for unfamiliar and famous faces in healthy adults. Across experiments, faces were upright or…

  13. Phonological awareness and working memory: Comparisons ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The aim of this study was to compare the working memory and phonological awareness profiles of children from diverse linguistic backgrounds, as well as to investigate the constructs that underlie these skills. A total of 119 children, all in their first year of learning to read in English, were administered phonological ...

  14. Working memory, math performance, and math anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashcraft, Mark H; Krause, Jeremy A

    2007-04-01

    The cognitive literature now shows how critically math performance depends on working memory, for any form of arithmetic and math that involves processes beyond simple memory retrieval. The psychometric literature is also very clear on the global consequences of mathematics anxiety. People who are highly math anxious avoid math: They avoid elective coursework in math, both in high school and college, they avoid college majors that emphasize math, and they avoid career paths that involve math. We go beyond these psychometric relationships to examine the cognitive consequences of math anxiety. We show how performance on a standardized math achievement test varies as a function of math anxiety, and that math anxiety compromises the functioning of working memory. High math anxiety works much like a dual task setting: Preoccupation with one's math fears and anxieties functions like a resource-demanding secondary task. We comment on developmental and educational factors related to math and working memory, and on factors that may contribute to the development of math anxiety.

  15. Joint Attention Enhances Visual Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  16. The accessibility of memory items in children’s working memory

    OpenAIRE

    Roome, Hannah; Towse, John

    2016-01-01

    This thesis investigates the processes and systems that support recall in working memory. In particular it seeks to apply ideas from the adult-based dual-memory framework (Unsworth & Engle, 2007b) that claims primary memory and secondary memory are independent contributors to working memory capacity. These two memory systems are described as domain-general processes that combine control of attention and basic memory abilities to retain information. The empirical contribution comprises five ex...

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brady, Timothy F.; Tenenbaum, Joshua B.

    2013-01-01

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

  19. [Developmental changes in visuospatial working memory].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oka, Makio; Takeuchi, Akihito; Morooka, Teruko; Ogino, Tatsuya; Ohtsuka, Yoko

    2010-07-01

    We investigated the developmental changes in visuospatial working memory using the Visuospatial Span Task (VST) and the Matrix Visuospatial Working Memory Test (VSWMT). VST is a short-term storage task, while VSWMT is a complex dual task. VSWMT requires the use of storage, processing, and selective attention, all of which are thought to be supported by the central executive (Baddeley). The subjects of this study were 60 typically developing children (43 boys and 17 girls) aged 6-14 years (average 10.4 years). For each task we evaluated span scores and the number of total passed trials, and investigated the changes that occurred with age. To further elucidate age-related changes in visuospatial working memory, we divided the subjects into three age groups (Group A: 6-8 years, Group B: 9-11 years, and Group C: 12-14 years of age), and statistically evaluated the differences between the groups. In both tasks, span scores and the number of total passed trials showed definite age-related changes from 6 to 14 years of age. Span scores and the number of total passed trials in VSMWT continued to increase until adolescence, with significant differences between the three age groups, while those in VST increased significantly between Groups A and B (the number of total passed trials only) and between Groups A and C (span scores and the number of total passed trials); there was no significant difference between Groups B and C, however. These results suggest that the network of the brain involved in visuospatial working memory gradually matures during early school years and adolescence, and that the basic mechanisms of this network exist by 6-7 years of age. Our results also show that VST and VSWMT are suitable tests for the evaluation of visuospatial working memory in childhood and adolescence.

  20. Limitations of Human Visual Working Memory

    OpenAIRE

    Wesenick, Maria-Barbara

    2004-01-01

    The present empirical study investigates limitations of human visual working memory (VWM). The experiments of the present work involve the experimental paradigm of change detection using simple geometrical objects in the form of rectangles of different colour, length, and orientation. It can be shown, that a limited performance in the temporary storage of visual information has multiple sources. Limitations of VWM can be attributed to a limited capacity or a limited duration, but also to limi...

  1. Assessing Working Memory in Children: The Comprehensive Assessment Battery for Children – Working Memory (CABC-WM)

    OpenAIRE

    Cabbage, Kathryn; Brinkley, Shara; Gray, Shelley; Alt, Mary; Cowan, Nelson; Green, Samuel; Kuo, Trudy; Hogan, Tiffany P.

    2017-01-01

    The Comprehensive Assessment Battery for Children - Working Memory (CABC-WM) is a computer-based battery designed to assess different components of working memory in young school-age children. Working memory deficits have been identified in children with language-based learning disabilities, including dyslexia1 2 and language impairment3 4, but it is not clear whether these children exhibit deficits in subcomponents of working memory, such as visuospatial or phonological working memory. The C...

  2. Liar, liar, working memory on fire: Investigating the role of working memory in childhood verbal deception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alloway, Tracy Packiam; McCallum, Fiona; Alloway, Ross G; Hoicka, Elena

    2015-09-01

    The aim of the current study was to investigate the role of working memory in verbal deception in children. We presented 6- and 7-year-olds with a temptation resistance paradigm; they played a trivia game and were then given an opportunity to peek at the final answers on the back of a card. Measures of both verbal and visuospatial working memory were included. The good liars performed better on the verbal working memory test in both processing and recall compared with the bad liars. However, there was no difference in visuospatial working scores between good liars and bad liars. This pattern suggests that verbal working memory plays a role in processing and manipulating the multiple pieces of information involved in lie-telling. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Rhythmic Working Memory Activation in the Human Hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcin Leszczyński

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Working memory (WM maintenance is assumed to rely on a single sustained process throughout the entire maintenance period. This assumption, although fundamental, has never been tested. We used intracranial electroencephalography (EEG recordings from the human hippocampus in two independent experiments to investigate the neural dynamics underlying WM maintenance. We observed periodic fluctuations between two different oscillatory regimes: Periods of “memory activation” were reflected by load-dependent alpha power reductions and lower levels of cross-frequency coupling (CFC. They occurred interleaved with periods characterized by load-independent high levels of alpha power and CFC. During memory activation periods, a relevant CFC parameter (load-dependent changes of the peak modulated frequency correlated with individual WM capacity. Fluctuations between these two periods predicted successful performance and were locked to the phase of endogenous delta oscillations. These results show that hippocampal maintenance is a dynamic rather than constant process and depends critically on a hierarchy of oscillations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matzel, Louis D; Kolata, Stefan

    2010-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Effects of chewing in working memory processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirano, Yoshiyuki; Obata, Takayuki; Kashikura, Kenichi; Nonaka, Hiroi; Tachibana, Atsumichi; Ikehira, Hiroo; Onozuka, Minoru

    2008-05-09

    It has been generally suggested that chewing produces an enhancing effect on cognitive performance-related aspects of memory by the test battery. Furthermore, recent studies have shown that chewing is associated with activation of various brain regions, including the prefrontal cortex. However, little is known about the relation between cognitive performances affected by chewing and the neuronal activity in specified regions in the brain. We therefore examined the effects of chewing on neuronal activities in the brain during a working memory task using fMRI. The subjects chewed gum, without odor and taste components, between continuously performed two- or three-back (n-back) working memory tasks. Chewing increased the BOLD signals in the middle frontal gyrus (Brodmann's areas 9 and 46) in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during the n-back tasks. Furthermore, there were more prominent activations in the right premotor cortex, precuneus, thalamus, hippocampus and inferior parietal lobe during the n-back tasks after the chewing trial. These results suggest that chewing may accelerate or recover the process of working memory besides inducing improvement in the arousal level by the chewing motion.

  7. Visual short-term memory load reduces retinotopic cortex response to contrast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konstantinou, Nikos; Bahrami, Bahador; Rees, Geraint; Lavie, Nilli

    2012-11-01

    Load Theory of attention suggests that high perceptual load in a task leads to reduced sensory visual cortex response to task-unrelated stimuli resulting in "load-induced blindness" [e.g., Lavie, N. Attention, distraction and cognitive control under load. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 19, 143-148, 2010; Lavie, N. Distracted and confused?: Selective attention under load. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9, 75-82, 2005]. Consideration of the findings that visual STM (VSTM) involves sensory recruitment [e.g., Pasternak, T., & Greenlee, M. Working memory in primate sensory systems. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 6, 97-107, 2005] within Load Theory led us to a new hypothesis regarding the effects of VSTM load on visual processing. If VSTM load draws on sensory visual capacity, then similar to perceptual load, high VSTM load should also reduce visual cortex response to incoming stimuli leading to a failure to detect them. We tested this hypothesis with fMRI and behavioral measures of visual detection sensitivity. Participants detected the presence of a contrast increment during the maintenance delay in a VSTM task requiring maintenance of color and position. Increased VSTM load (manipulated by increased set size) led to reduced retinotopic visual cortex (V1-V3) responses to contrast as well as reduced detection sensitivity, as we predicted. Additional visual detection experiments established a clear tradeoff between the amount of information maintained in VSTM and detection sensitivity, while ruling out alternative accounts for the effects of VSTM load in terms of differential spatial allocation strategies or task difficulty. These findings extend Load Theory to demonstrate a new form of competitive interactions between early visual cortex processing and visual representations held in memory under load and provide a novel line of support for the sensory recruitment hypothesis of VSTM.

  8. Working Memory Capacity and Fluid Abilities: Examining the Correlation between Operation Span and Raven

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unsworth, N.; Engle, R.W.

    2005-01-01

    The correlation between a measure of working memory capacity (WMC) (Operation Span) and a measure of fluid abilities (Raven Advanced Progressive Matrices) was examined. Specifically, performance on Raven problems was decomposed by difficulty, memory load, and rule type. The results suggest that the relation between Operation Span and Raven is…

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Working memory capacity and the spacing effect in cued recall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delaney, Peter F; Godbole, Namrata R; Holden, Latasha R; Chang, Yoojin

    2018-07-01

    Spacing repetitions typically improves memory (the spacing effect). In three cued recall experiments, we explored the relationship between working memory capacity and the spacing effect. People with higher working memory capacity are more accurate on memory tasks that require retrieval relative to people with lower working memory capacity. The experiments used different retention intervals and lags between repetitions, but were otherwise similar. Working memory capacity and spacing of repetitions both improved memory in most of conditions, but they did not interact, suggesting additive effects. The results are consistent with the ACT-R model's predictions, and with a study-phase recognition process underpinning the spacing effect in cued recall.

  12. Adult ADHD and working memory: neural evidence of impaired encoding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Soyeon; Liu, Zhongxu; Glizer, Daniel; Tannock, Rosemary; Woltering, Steven

    2014-08-01

    To investigate neural and behavioural correlates of visual encoding during a working memory (WM) task in young adults with and without Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). A sample of 30 college students currently meeting a diagnosis of ADHD and 25 typically developing students, matched on age and gender, performed a delayed match-to-sample task with low and high memory load conditions. Dense-array electroencephalography was recorded. Specifically, the P3, an event related potential (ERP) associated with WM, was examined because of its relation with attentional allocation during WM. Task performance (accuracy, reaction time) as well as performance on other neuropsychological tasks of WM was analyzed. Neural differences were found between the groups. Specifically, the P3 amplitude was smaller in the ADHD group compared to the comparison group for both load conditions at parietal-occipital sites. Lower scores on behavioural working memory tasks were suggestive of impaired behavioural WM performance in the ADHD group. Findings from this study provide the first evidence of neural differences in the encoding stage of WM in young adults with ADHD, suggesting ineffective allocation of attentional resources involved in encoding of information in WM. These findings, reflecting alternate neural functioning of WM, may explain some of the difficulties related to WM functioning that college students with ADHD report in their every day cognitive functioning. Copyright © 2013 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  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. 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.

  15. Assessing Working Memory in Children: The Comprehensive Assessment Battery for Children - Working Memory (CABC-WM).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabbage, Kathryn; Brinkley, Shara; Gray, Shelley; Alt, Mary; Cowan, Nelson; Green, Samuel; Kuo, Trudy; Hogan, Tiffany P

    2017-06-12

    The Comprehensive Assessment Battery for Children - Working Memory (CABC-WM) is a computer-based battery designed to assess different components of working memory in young school-age children. Working memory deficits have been identified in children with language-based learning disabilities, including dyslexia 1 , 2 and language impairment 3 , 4 , but it is not clear whether these children exhibit deficits in subcomponents of working memory, such as visuospatial or phonological working memory. The CABC-WM is administered on a desktop computer with a touchscreen interface and was specifically developed to be engaging and motivating for children. Although the long-term goal of the CABC-WM is to provide individualized working memory profiles in children, the present study focuses on the initial success and utility of the CABC-WM for measuring central executive, visuospatial, phonological loop, and binding constructs in children with typical development. Immediate next steps are to administer the CABC-WM to children with specific language impairment, dyslexia, and comorbid specific language impairment and dyslexia.

  16. Resource allocation models of auditory working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph, Sabine; Teki, Sundeep; Kumar, Sukhbinder; Husain, Masud; Griffiths, Timothy D

    2016-06-01

    Auditory working memory (WM) is the cognitive faculty that allows us to actively hold and manipulate sounds in mind over short periods of time. We develop here a particular perspective on WM for non-verbal, auditory objects as well as for time based on the consideration of possible parallels to visual WM. In vision, there has been a vigorous debate on whether WM capacity is limited to a fixed number of items or whether it represents a limited resource that can be allocated flexibly across items. Resource allocation models predict that the precision with which an item is represented decreases as a function of total number of items maintained in WM because a limited resource is shared among stored objects. We consider here auditory work on sequentially presented objects of different pitch as well as time intervals from the perspective of dynamic resource allocation. We consider whether the working memory resource might be determined by perceptual features such as pitch or timbre, or bound objects comprising multiple features, and we speculate on brain substrates for these behavioural models. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Auditory working memory. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Obligatory encoding of task-irrelevant features depletes working memory resources

    OpenAIRE

    Marshall, Louise; Bays, Paul M.

    2013-01-01

    Selective attention is often considered the “gateway” to visual working memory (VWM). However, the extent to which we can voluntarily control which of an object's features enter memory remains subject to debate. Recent research has converged on the concept of VWM as a limited commodity distributed between elements of a visual scene. Consequently, as memory load increases, the fidelity with which each visual feature is stored decreases. Here we used changes in recall precision to probe whether...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-11-01

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

  19. INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN WORKING MEMORY PERFORMANCE: «OVERLOAD» EFFECT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuri G. Pavlov

    2015-01-01

    subjects.Practical significance. The work urgency is connected with increasing loadings for memory of the person in a modern information society. Research of the operating memory mechanisms is especially important for finding-out of pupils’ possibilities to renew their knowledge and independently solve various cognitive problems, including planning, orientation in verbal space, a mental manipulation objects, etc.

  20. Stress Effects on Working Memory, Explicit Memory, and Implicit Memory for Neutral and Emotional Stimuli in Healthy Men

    OpenAIRE

    Luethi, Mathias; Meier, Beat; Sandi, Carmen

    2009-01-01

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

  1. Emotion processing facilitates working memory performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindström, Björn R; Bohlin, Gunilla

    2011-11-01

    The effect of emotional stimulus content on working memory performance has been investigated with conflicting results, as both emotion-dependent facilitation and impairments are reported in the literature. To clarify this issue, 52 adult participants performed a modified visual 2-back task with highly arousing positive stimuli (sexual scenes), highly arousing negative stimuli (violent death) and low-arousal neutral stimuli. Emotional stimulus processing was found to facilitate task performance relative to that of neutral stimuli, both in regards to response accuracy and reaction times. No emotion-dependent differences in false-alarm rates were found. These results indicate that emotional information can have a facilitating effect on working memory maintenance and processing of information.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James M Stone

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Working memory is a key construct within cognitive science. It is an important theory in its own right, but the influence of working memory is enriched due to the widespread evidence that measures of its capacity are linked to a variety of functions in wider cognition. To facilitate the active research environment into this topic, we describe seven computer-based tasks that provide estimates of short-term and working memory incorporating both visuospatial and verbal material. The memory span tasks provided are; digit span, matrix span, arrow span, reading span, operation span, rotation span, and symmetry span. These tasks are built to be simple to use, flexible to adapt to the specific needs of the research design, and are open source. All files can be downloaded from the project website http://www.cognitivetools.uk and the source code is available via Github.

  3. The hippocampus, time and working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rawlins, J N; Tsaltas, E

    1983-12-01

    Rats were trained on a discrete trial working memory leverpress alternation task, following hippocampal lesions (HC), cortical control lesions (CC) or sham operations (SO). Each trial consisted of a forced information response, for which a randomly selected lever was presented followed by a free choice stage, when both levers were presented. The rats were rewarded for pressing the lever which had not been presented at the information stage. When the information response was not rewarded, all rats learnt the task equally well at IRIs of up to 12.75 sec. When the information response was rewarded, the HC rats showed impaired choice accuracy. The extent of this impairment depended on the IRI, being greatest at long IRIs, and least at short ones. Varying the number of leverpresses required to complete the information response affected choice accuracy equivalently in all groups: all rats chose significantly less accurately when only one leverpress was required than when ten leverpresses were required. There was no interaction between the lesion treatments and the information response requirements. It was concluded that both the length of the IRI and the occurrence of events during the IRI determine the extent of the hippocampal lesion-induced performance deficit in working memory tasks. It is proposed that hippocampal damage disrupts an intermediate-term, high-capacity memory buffer, but leaves both a residual short-term memory system and the long-term retention of associations unaffected. This proposal leads to the prediction that reference memory tasks should also be affected by hippocampal lesions when a delay is introduced between making a response and being rewarded for doing so.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 mem...

  5. Verbal declarative memory impairments in specific language impairment are related to working memory deficits

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    This study examined verbal declarative memory functioning in SLI and its relationship to working memory. Encoding, recall, and recognition of verbal information was examined in children with SLI who had below average working memory (SLILow WM), children with SLI who had average working memory (SLIAvg. WM) and, a group of non-language impaired children with average working memory (TDAvg. WM). The SLILow WM group was significantly worse than both the SLIAvg. WM and TDAvg. WM groups at encoding ...

  6. Working memory and language: an overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baddeley, Alan

    2003-01-01

    Working memory involves the temporary storage and manipulation of information that is assumed to be necessary for a wide range of complex cognitive activities. In 1974, Baddeley and Hitch proposed that it could be divided into three subsystems, one concerned with verbal and acoustic information, the phonological loop, a second, the visuospatial sketchpad providing its visual equivalent, while both are dependent upon a third attentionally-limited control system, the central executive. A fourth subsystem, the episodic buffer, has recently been proposed. These are described in turn, with particular reference to implications for both the normal processing of language, and its potential disorders. The reader will be introduced to the concept of a multi-component working memory. Particular emphasis will be placed on the phonological loop component, and (a) its fractionation into a storage and processing component, (b) the neuropsychological evidence for this distinction, and (c) its implication for both native and second language learning. This will be followed by (d) a brief overview of the visuospatial sketchpad and its possible role in language, culminating in (e) discussion of the higher-level control functions of working memory which include (f) the central executive and its multi-dimensional storage system, the episodic buffer. An attempt throughout is made to link the model to its role in both normal and disordered language functions.

  7. Working memory capacity as a dynamic process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa R Simmering

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available A well-known characteristic of working memory is its limited capacity. The source of such limitations, however, is a continued point of debate. Developmental research is positioned to address this debate by jointly identifying the source(s of limitations and the mechanism(s underlying capacity increases. Here we provide a cross-domain survey of studies and theories of working memory capacity development, which reveals a complex picture: dozens of studies from 50 papers show nearly universal increases in capacity estimates with age, but marked variation across studies, tasks, and domains. We argue that the full pattern of performance cannot be captured through traditional approaches emphasizing single causes, or even multiple separable causes, underlying capacity development. Rather, we consider working memory capacity as a dynamic process that emerges from a unified cognitive system flexibly adapting to the context and demands of each task. We conclude by enumerating specific challenges for researchers and theorists that will need to be met in order to move our understanding forward.

  8. Working memory predicts children's analogical reasoning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simms, Nina K; Frausel, Rebecca R; Richland, Lindsey E

    2018-02-01

    Analogical reasoning is the cognitive skill of drawing relationships between representations, often between prior knowledge and new representations, that allows for bootstrapping cognitive and language development. Analogical reasoning proficiency develops substantially during childhood, although the mechanisms underlying this development have been debated, with developing cognitive resources as one proposed mechanism. We explored the role of executive function (EF) in supporting children's analogical reasoning development, with the goal of determining whether predicted aspects of EF were related to analogical development at the level of individual differences. We assessed 5- to 11-year-old children's working memory, inhibitory control, and cognitive flexibility using measures from the National Institutes of Health Toolbox Cognition battery. Individual differences in children's working memory best predicted performance on an analogical mapping task, even when controlling for age, suggesting a fundamental interrelationship between analogical reasoning and working memory development. These findings underscore the need to consider cognitive capacities in comprehensive theories of children's reasoning development. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Training working memory updating in young adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

    Working memory updating (WMU) is a core mechanism in the human mental architecture and a good predictor of a wide range of cognitive processes. This study analyzed the benefits of two different WMU training procedures, near transfer effects on a working memory measure, and far transfer effects on nonverbal reasoning. Maintenance of any benefits a month later was also assessed. Participants were randomly assigned to: an adaptive training group that performed two numerical WMU tasks during four sessions; a non-adaptive training group that performed the same tasks but on a constant and less demanding level of difficulty; or an active control group that performed other tasks unrelated with working memory. After the training, all three groups showed improvements in most of the tasks, and these benefits were maintained a month later. The gain in one of the two WMU measures was larger for the adaptive and non-adaptive groups than for the control group. This specific gain in a task similar to the one trained would indicate the use of a better strategy for performing the task. Besides this nearest transfer effect, no other transfer effects were found. The adaptability of the training procedure did not produce greater improvements. These results are discussed in terms of the training procedure and the feasibility of training WMU.

  10. Supramodal parametric working memory processing in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spitzer, Bernhard; Blankenburg, Felix

    2012-03-07

    Previous studies of delayed-match-to-sample (DMTS) frequency discrimination in animals and humans have succeeded in delineating the neural signature of frequency processing in somatosensory working memory (WM). During retention of vibrotactile frequencies, stimulus-dependent single-cell and population activity in prefrontal cortex was found to reflect the task-relevant memory content, whereas increases in occipital alpha activity signaled the disengagement of areas not relevant for the tactile task. Here, we recorded EEG from human participants to determine the extent to which these mechanisms can be generalized to frequency retention in the visual and auditory domains. Subjects performed analogous variants of a DMTS frequency discrimination task, with the frequency information presented either visually, auditorily, or by vibrotactile stimulation. Examining oscillatory EEG activity during frequency retention, we found characteristic topographical distributions of alpha power over visual, auditory, and somatosensory cortices, indicating systematic patterns of inhibition and engagement of early sensory areas, depending on stimulus modality. The task-relevant frequency information, in contrast, was found to be represented in right prefrontal cortex, independent of presentation mode. In each of the three modality conditions, parametric modulations of prefrontal upper beta activity (20-30 Hz) emerged, in a very similar manner as recently found in vibrotactile tasks. Together, the findings corroborate a view of parametric WM as supramodal internal scaling of abstract quantity information and suggest strong relevance of previous evidence from vibrotactile work for a more general framework of quantity processing in human working memory.

  11. Working memory differences in long-distance dependency resolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno eNicenboim

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available There is a wealth of evidence showing that increasing the distance between an argument and its head leads to more processing effort, namely, locality effects; these are usually associated with constraints in working memory (DLT: Gibson, 2000; activation-based model: Lewis and Vasishth, 2005. In SOV languages, however, the opposite effect has been found: antilocality (see discussion in Levy et al., 2013. Antilocality effects can be explained by the expectation-based approach as proposed by Levy (2008 or by the activation-based model of sentence processing as proposed by Lewis and Vasishth (2005.We report an eye-tracking and a self-paced reading study with sentences in Spanish together with measures of individual differences to examine the distinction between expectation- and memory-based accounts, and within memory-based accounts the further distinction between DLT and the activation-based model. The experiments show that (i antilocality effects as predicted by the expectation account appear only for high-capacity readers; (ii increasing dependency length by interposing material that modifies the head of the dependency (the verb produces stronger facilitation than increasing dependency length with material that does not modify the head; this is in agreement with the activation-based model but not with the expectation account; and (iii a possible outcome of memory load on low-capacity readers is the increase in regressive saccades (locality effects as predicted by memory-based accounts or, surprisingly, a speedup in the self-paced reading task; the latter consistent with good-enough parsing (Ferreira et al., 2002. In sum, the study suggests that individual differences in working memory capacity play a role in dependency resolution, and that some of the aspects of dependency resolution can be best explained with the activation-based model together with a prediction component.

  12. Working memory differences in long-distance dependency resolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicenboim, Bruno; Vasishth, Shravan; Gattei, Carolina; Sigman, Mariano; Kliegl, Reinhold

    2015-01-01

    There is a wealth of evidence showing that increasing the distance between an argument and its head leads to more processing effort, namely, locality effects; these are usually associated with constraints in working memory (DLT: Gibson, 2000; activation-based model: Lewis and Vasishth, 2005). In SOV languages, however, the opposite effect has been found: antilocality (see discussion in Levy et al., 2013). Antilocality effects can be explained by the expectation-based approach as proposed by Levy (2008) or by the activation-based model of sentence processing as proposed by Lewis and Vasishth (2005). We report an eye-tracking and a self-paced reading study with sentences in Spanish together with measures of individual differences to examine the distinction between expectation- and memory-based accounts, and within memory-based accounts the further distinction between DLT and the activation-based model. The experiments show that (i) antilocality effects as predicted by the expectation account appear only for high-capacity readers; (ii) increasing dependency length by interposing material that modifies the head of the dependency (the verb) produces stronger facilitation than increasing dependency length with material that does not modify the head; this is in agreement with the activation-based model but not with the expectation account; and (iii) a possible outcome of memory load on low-capacity readers is the increase in regressive saccades (locality effects as predicted by memory-based accounts) or, surprisingly, a speedup in the self-paced reading task; the latter consistent with good-enough parsing (Ferreira et al., 2002). In sum, the study suggests that individual differences in working memory capacity play a role in dependency resolution, and that some of the aspects of dependency resolution can be best explained with the activation-based model together with a prediction component. PMID:25852623

  13. Task Performance induced Work Load in Nursing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shirazeh Arghami

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Background & objective: High workload may lead to increase human errors, compromise quality and safety of care, and reduce the nurses’ quality of working life. The aim of this study is to determine the task-induced workload in nursing. Methods: This is a descriptive analytical study. All of 214 nurses of one of the educational hospital took part in. After obtaining informed consent from participants, data were collected based on NASA-TLX questionnaire and the desired level assumed less than 50%. Analysis of data was performed by descriptive statistics and Anova in SPSS software (version 11. 0 at significant level of 0.05. Results: The results showed that perceived mental pressure for nurses is more than other NASA-TLX subscales (P< .001. Also, the mean perceived workload was more than 50%. However, mean workload score of NASA-TLX showed significant correlation with age (P< .001, work experience (P< .001, shift work (P< .02, and department (P< .001. Conclusion: The results show that effective programs will be required to reduce the work load, and to enhance nurses' performance

  14. Stimulus-specific variability in color working memory with delayed estimation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bae, Gi-Yeul; Olkkonen, Maria; Allred, Sarah R; Wilson, Colin; Flombaum, Jonathan I

    2014-04-08

    Working memory for color has been the central focus in an ongoing debate concerning the structure and limits of visual working memory. Within this area, the delayed estimation task has played a key role. An implicit assumption in color working memory research generally, and delayed estimation in particular, is that the fidelity of memory does not depend on color value (and, relatedly, that experimental colors have been sampled homogeneously with respect to discriminability). This assumption is reflected in the common practice of collapsing across trials with different target colors when estimating memory precision and other model parameters. Here we investigated whether or not this assumption is secure. To do so, we conducted delayed estimation experiments following standard practice with a memory load of one. We discovered that different target colors evoked response distributions that differed widely in dispersion and that these stimulus-specific response properties were correlated across observers. Subsequent experiments demonstrated that stimulus-specific responses persist under higher memory loads and that at least part of the specificity arises in perception and is eventually propagated to working memory. Posthoc stimulus measurement revealed that rendered stimuli differed from nominal stimuli in both chromaticity and luminance. We discuss the implications of these deviations for both our results and those from other working memory studies.

  15. Non-invasive brain stimulation targeting the right fusiform gyrus selectively increases working memory for faces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunyé, Tad T; Moran, Joseph M; Holmes, Amanda; Mahoney, Caroline R; Taylor, Holly A

    2017-04-01

    The human extrastriate cortex contains a region critically involved in face detection and memory, the right fusiform gyrus. The present study evaluated whether transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) targeting this anatomical region would selectively influence memory for faces versus non-face objects (houses). Anodal tDCS targeted the right fusiform gyrus (Brodmann's Area 37), with the anode at electrode site PO10, and cathode at FP2. Two stimulation conditions were compared in a repeated-measures design: 0.5mA versus 1.5mA intensity; a separate control group received no stimulation. Participants completed a working memory task for face and house stimuli, varying in memory load from 1 to 4 items. Individual differences measures assessed trait-based differences in facial recognition skills. Results showed 1.5mA intensity stimulation (versus 0.5mA and control) increased performance at high memory loads, but only with faces. Lower overall working memory capacity predicted a positive impact of tDCS. Results provide support for the notion of functional specialization of the right fusiform regions for maintaining face (but not non-face object) stimuli in working memory, and further suggest that low intensity electrical stimulation of this region may enhance demanding face working memory performance particularly in those with relatively poor baseline working memory skills. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  16. Postural responses to specific types of working memory tasks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

    Standing participants performed working memory tasks that varied along three dimensions: (1) type of information presented (verbal or visual); (2) the primary cognitive process engaged (encoding or rehearsal); and (3) interference that targeted the working memory components (phonological loop and

  17. Cognition-emotion interactions are modulated by working memory capacity in individuals with schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strauss, Gregory P; Lee, Bern G; Waltz, James A; Robinson, Benjamin M; Brown, Jaime K; Gold, James M

    2012-11-01

    Prior research provides evidence for aberrant cognition-emotion interactions in schizophrenia. In the current study, we aimed to extend these findings by administering the "distractor devaluation" task to 40 individuals with schizophrenia and 32 demographically matched healthy controls. The task consisted of a simple visual search task for neutral faces, followed by an evaluative response made for one of the search items (or a novel item) to determine whether prior attentional selection results in a devaluation of a previously unattended stimulus. We also manipulated working memory demands by preceding the search array with a memory array that required subjects to hold 0, 1, or 2 items in working memory while performing the search array and devaluation task, to determine whether the normative process by which attentional states influence evaluative response is limited by working memory capacity. Results indicated that individuals with schizophrenia demonstrated the typical distractor devaluation effect at working memory load 0, suggesting intact evaluative response. However, the devaluation effect was absent at working memory loads of 1 and 2, suggesting that normal evaluative responses can be abolished in people with schizophrenia when working memory capacity is exceeded. Thus, findings provide further evidence for normal evaluative response in schizophrenia, but clarify that these normal experiences may not hold when working memory demands are too high. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. How a high working memory capacity can increase proactive interference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinwascher, Merle A; Meiser, Thorsten

    2016-08-01

    Previous findings suggested that a high working memory capacity (WMC) is potentially associated with a higher susceptibility to proactive interference (PI) if the latter is measured under high cognitive load. To explain such a finding, we propose to consider susceptibility to PI as a net effect of individual executive processes and the intrinsic potential for PI. With the latter, we refer to the amount of information that is activated at a given time and that has the potential to exert PI subsequently. In two studies deploying generalized linear mixed models, susceptibility to PI was modeled as the decline of performance over trials of a complex span task. The results revealed that a higher WMC was associated with a higher susceptibility to PI. Moreover, the number of stimuli recalled in one trial as a proxy variable for the intrinsic potential for PI negatively affected memory performance in the subsequent trial. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. THE COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE OF WORKING MEMORY

    Science.gov (United States)

    D’Esposito, Mark; Postle, Bradley R.

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Phonological similarity in working memory span tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chow, Michael; Macnamara, Brooke N; Conway, Andrew R A

    2016-08-01

    In a series of four experiments, we explored what conditions are sufficient to produce a phonological similarity facilitation effect in working memory span tasks. By using the same set of memoranda, but differing the secondary-task requirements across experiments, we showed that a phonological similarity facilitation effect is dependent upon the semantic relationship between the memoranda and the secondary-task stimuli, and is robust to changes in the representation, ordering, and pool size of the secondary-task stimuli. These findings are consistent with interference accounts of memory (Brown, Neath, & Chater, Psychological Review, 114, 539-576, 2007; Oberauer, Lewandowsky, Farrell, Jarrold, & Greaves, Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 19, 779-819, 2012), whereby rhyming stimuli provide a form of categorical similarity that allows distractors to be excluded from retrieval at recall.

  4. Working memory, long-term memory and language processing : issues and future directions

    OpenAIRE

    Collette, Fabienne; Van der Linden, Martial; Poncelet, Martine

    2000-01-01

    We examined different views of the relationships between working memory, long-term memory and language processing : working memory considered as a gateway between sensory input and long-term memory or rather as a workspace; working memory considered as not strictly tied to any particular cognitive system (and consequently viewed as separated from the language system) or rather as drawing on the operation and storage capacities of a subset of components involved in language processing. It is a...

  5. Prefrontal inhibition of threat processing protects working memory from interference.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert James Clarke

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Bottom-up processes can interrupt ongoing cognitive processing in order to adaptively respond to emotional stimuli of high potential significance, such as those that threaten wellbeing. However it is vital that this interference can be modulated in certain contexts to focus on current tasks. Deficits in the ability to maintain the appropriate balance between cognitive and emotional demands can severely impact on day-to-day activities. This fMRI study examined this interaction between threat processing and cognition; 18 adult participants performed a visuospatial working memory (WM task with two load conditions, in the presence and absence of anxiety induction by threat of electric shock. Threat of shock interfered with performance in the low cognitive load condition; however interference was eradicated under high load, consistent with engagement of emotion regulation mechanisms. Under low load the amygdala showed significant activation to threat of shock that was modulated by high cognitive load. A directed top-down control contrast identified two regions associated with top-down control; ventrolateral PFC and dorsal ACC. Dynamic causal modelling provided further evidence that under high cognitive load, top-down inhibition is exerted on the amygdala and its outputs to prefrontal regions. Additionally, we hypothesised that individual differences in a separate, non-emotional top-down control task would predict the recruitment of dorsal ACC and ventrolateral PFC during top-down control of threat. Consistent with this, performance on a separate dichotic listening task predicted dorsal ACC and ventrolateral PFC activation during high WM load under threat of shock, though activation in these regions did not directly correlate with WM performance. Together, the findings suggest that under high cognitive load and threat, top-down control is exerted by dACC and vlPFC to inhibit threat processing, thus enabling WM performance without threat

  6. Teachers' Perceptions of Classroom Behaviour and Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alloway, Tracy Packiam

    2012-01-01

    Working memory, ability to remember and manipulate information, is crucial to academic attainment. The aim of the present study was to understand teachers' perception of working memory and how it impacts classroom behaviour. A semi-structured interview was used to explore teachers' ability to define working memory, identify these difficulties in…

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  9. Predictors of verbal working memory in children with cerebral palsy.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peeters, M.; Verhoeven, L.; Moor, J.M.H. de

    2009-01-01

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

  10. Reflections on Working Memory: Are the Two Models Complementary?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pascual-Leone, Juan

    2000-01-01

    Compares and contrasts working memory theory of Baddeley and theory of constructive operators of Pascual- Leone. Concludes that although the theory of constructive operators is complementary with working memory theory (explains developmental and individual differences that working memory theory cannot), the converse is not true; theory of…

  11. Predictors of verbal working memory in children with cerebral palsy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peeters, M.H.J.; Verhoeven, L.T.W.; Moor, J.M.H. de

    2009-01-01

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

  12. Verbal Working Memory in Children with Mild Intellectual Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

    Background: Previous research into working memory of individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) has established clear deficits. The current study examined working memory in children with mild ID (IQ 55-85) within the framework of the Baddeley model, fractionating working memory into a central executive and two slave systems, the phonological…

  13. 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…

  14. Working Memory Interventions with Children: Classrooms or Computers?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colmar, Susan; Double, Kit

    2017-01-01

    The importance of working memory to classroom functioning and academic outcomes has led to the development of many interventions designed to enhance students' working memory. In this article we briefly review the evidence for the relative effectiveness of classroom and computerised working memory interventions in bringing about measurable and…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gathercole, Susan E.; Alloway, Tracy Packiam

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Adaptive Value Normalization in the Prefrontal Cortex Is Reduced by Memory Load

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, C. J.; Seifritz, E.; Tobler, P. N.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Adaptation facilitates neural representation of a wide range of diverse inputs, including reward values. Adaptive value coding typically relies on contextual information either obtained from the environment or retrieved from and maintained in memory. However, it is unknown whether having to retrieve and maintain context information modulates the brain’s capacity for value adaptation. To address this issue, we measured hemodynamic responses of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in two studies on risky decision-making. In each trial, healthy human subjects chose between a risky and a safe alternative; half of the participants had to remember the risky alternatives, whereas for the other half they were presented visually. The value of safe alternatives varied across trials. PFC responses adapted to contextual risk information, with steeper coding of safe alternative value in lower-risk contexts. Importantly, this adaptation depended on working memory load, such that response functions relating PFC activity to safe values were steeper with presented versus remembered risk. An independent second study replicated the findings of the first study and showed that similar slope reductions also arose when memory maintenance demands were increased with a secondary working memory task. Formal model comparison showed that a divisive normalization model fitted effects of both risk context and working memory demands on PFC activity better than alternative models of value adaptation, and revealed that reduced suppression of background activity was the critical parameter impairing normalization with increased memory maintenance demand. Our findings suggest that mnemonic processes can constrain normalization of neural value representations. PMID:28462394

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  19. The role of working memory in dichotic-listening studies of auditory laterality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penner, Iris-Katharina; Schläfli, Katrin; Opwis, Klaus; Hugdahl, Kenneth

    2009-11-01

    We present data related to the role of working memory in dichotic-listening studies of speech lateralization using consonant-vowel syllable stimuli. A working-memory procedure was actually used in the pioneering dichotic-listening studies by Doreen Kimura in 1960, a fact that was forgotten in later dichotic-listening studies, exclusively focusing on the perceptual aspects of speech sound lateralization. Capitalizing on the original Kimura (1961a, 1961b) studies, we hypothesized that an increase in working-memory load leads to an amplified right-ear advantage (REA) in the dichotic-listening task. A total of 30 participants completed a dichotic-listening task including three working-memory load conditions, each consisting of trials of 3, 4, and 5 dichotically presented letter pairs. Results confirmed an enhanced REA as working-memory load increased. This right-ear effect increased significantly from 3 to 4 stimulus pairs and leveled off with the 5th pair. In addition, the assumption was tested that, within a single load condition, the REA appears mainly in late serial input positions. A detailed analysis of the results revealed that only late positions contributed to the overall REA. However, the highest load condition (5 letter pairs) also produced significant ear differences in the early part of the input position curve. The mechanisms likely to be responsible for these results are discussed in terms of top-down and bottom-up processes in hemispheric asymmetry.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walter T. Herbranson

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available A new method was developed to concurrently investigate procedural memory and working memory in pigeons. Pigeons performed a sequence of keypecks across 3 response keys in a serial response task, with periodic choice probes for the location of a recently produced response. Procedural memory was operationally defined as decreasing response times to predictable cues in the sequence. Working memory was reflected by accurate responses to the choice probes. Changing the sequence of required keypecks to a random sequence interfered with procedural memory in the form of slowed response times, but did not prevent pigeons from effectively using working memory to remember specific cue locations. Conversely, changing exposure duration of to a cue location influenced working memory but had no effect on procedural memory. Double dissociations such as this have supported the multiple systems approach to the study of memory in cognitive psychology and neuroscience, and they encourage a similar approach in comparative psychology.

  1. Value conditioning modulates visual working memory processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Paul M J; FitzGibbon, Lily; Raymond, Jane E

    2016-01-01

    Learning allows the value of motivationally salient events to become associated with stimuli that predict those events. Here, we asked whether value associations could facilitate visual working memory (WM), and whether such effects would be valence dependent. Our experiment was specifically designed to isolate value-based effects on WM from value-based effects on selective attention that might be expected to bias encoding. In a simple associative learning task, participants learned to associate the color of tinted faces with gaining or losing money or neither. Tinted faces then served as memoranda in a face identity WM task for which previously learned color associations were irrelevant and no monetary outcomes were forthcoming. Memory was best for faces with gain-associated tints, poorest for faces with loss-associated tints, and average for faces with no-outcome-associated tints. Value associated with 1 item in the WM array did not modulate memory for other items in the array. Eye movements when studying faces did not depend on the valence of previously learned color associations, arguing against value-based biases being due to differential encoding. This valence-sensitive value-conditioning effect on WM appears to result from modulation of WM maintenance processes. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  2. Working memory overload: fronto-limbic interactions and effects on subsequent working memory function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yun, Richard J; Krystal, John H; Mathalon, Daniel H

    2010-03-01

    The human working memory system provides an experimentally useful model for examination of neural overload effects on subsequent functioning of the overloaded system. This study employed functional magnetic resonance imaging in conjunction with a parametric working memory task to characterize the behavioral and neural effects of cognitive overload on subsequent cognitive performance, with particular attention to cognitive-limbic interactions. Overloading the working memory system was associated with varying degrees of subsequent decline in performance accuracy and reduced activation of brain regions central to both task performance and suppression of negative affect. The degree of performance decline was independently predicted by three separate factors operating during the overload condition: the degree of task failure, the degree of amygdala activation, and the degree of inverse coupling between the amygdala and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. These findings suggest that vulnerability to overload effects in cognitive functioning may be mediated by reduced amygdala suppression and subsequent amygdala-prefrontal interaction.

  3. Different effects of executive and visuospatial working memory on visual consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Loof, Esther; Poppe, Louise; Cleeremans, Axel; Gevers, Wim; Van Opstal, Filip

    2015-11-01

    Consciousness and working memory are two widely studied cognitive phenomena. Although they have been closely tied on a theoretical and neural level, empirical work that investigates their relation is largely lacking. In this study, the relationship between visual consciousness and different working memory components is investigated by using a dual-task paradigm. More specifically, while participants were performing a visual detection task to measure their visual awareness threshold, they had to concurrently perform either an executive or visuospatial working memory task. We hypothesized that visual consciousness would be hindered depending on the type and the size of the load in working memory. Results showed that maintaining visuospatial content in working memory hinders visual awareness, irrespective of the amount of information maintained. By contrast, the detection threshold was progressively affected under increasing executive load. Interestingly, increasing executive load had a generic effect on detection speed, calling into question whether its obstructing effect is specific to the visual awareness threshold. Together, these results indicate that visual consciousness depends differently on executive and visuospatial working memory.

  4. [Distribution of neural memory, loading factor, its regulation and optimization].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radchenko, A N

    1999-01-01

    Recording and retrieving functions of the neural memory are simulated as a control of local conformational processes in neural synaptic fields. The localization of conformational changes is related to the afferent temporal-spatial pulse pattern flow, the microstructure of connections and a plurality of temporal delays in synaptic fields and afferent pathways. The loci of conformations are described by sets of afferent addresses named address domains. Being superimposed on each other, address domains form a multilayer covering of the address space of the neuron or the ensemble. The superposition factor determines the dissemination of the conformational process, and the fuzzing of memory, and its accuracy and reliability. The engram is formed as detects in the packing of the address space and hence can be retrieved in inverse form. The accuracy of the retrieved information depends on the threshold level of conformational transitions, the distribution of conformational changes in synaptic fields of the neuronal population, and the memory loading factor. The latter is represented in the model by a slow potential. It reflects total conformational changes and displaces the membrane potential to monostable conformational regimes, by governing the exit from the recording regime, the potentiation of the neurone, and the readiness to reproduction. A relative amplitude of the slow potential and the coefficient of postconformational modification of ionic conductivity, which provides maximum reliability, accuracy, and capacity of memory, are calculated.

  5. Infrared thermographic analysis of shape memory polymer during cyclic loading

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Staszczak, Maria; Pieczyska, Elżbieta A; Maj, Michał; Kukla, Dominik; Tobushi, Hisaaki

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we present the effects of thermomechanical couplings occurring in polyurethane shape memory polymer subjected to cyclic tensile loadings conducted at various strain rates. Stress–strain characteristics were elaborated using a quasistatic testing machine, whereas the specimen temperature changes accompanying the deformation process were obtained with an infrared camera. We demonstrate a tight correlation between the mechanical and thermal results within the initial loading stage. The polymer thermomechanical behaviour in four subsequent loading-unloading cycles and the influence of the strain rate on the stress and the related temperature changes were also examined. In the range of elastic deformation the specimen temperature drops below the initial level due to thermoelastic effect whereas at the higher strains the temperature always increased, due to the dissipative deformation mechanisms. The difference in the characteristics of the specimen temperature has been applied to determine a limit of the polymer reversible deformation and analyzed for various strain rates. It was shown that at the higher strain rates higher values of the stress and temperature changes are obtained, which are related to higher values of the polymer yield points. During the cyclic loading a significant difference between the first and the second cycle was observed. The subsequent loading-unloading cycles demonstrated similar sharply shaped stress and temperature profiles and gradually decrease in values. (paper)

  6. Working memory: theories, models, and controversies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baddeley, Alan

    2012-01-01

    I present an account of the origins and development of the multicomponent approach to working memory, making a distinction between the overall theoretical framework, which has remained relatively stable, and the attempts to build more specific models within this framework. I follow this with a brief discussion of alternative models and their relationship to the framework. I conclude with speculations on further developments and a comment on the value of attempting to apply models and theories beyond the laboratory studies on which they are typically based.

  7. Caffeine enhances working memory for extraverts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smillie, Luke D; Gökçen, Elif

    2010-12-01

    Using a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled design we examined the effects of caffeine on working memory (WM) as a function of extraverted personality. Participants (N=59) received 200mg of caffeine and placebo in counterbalanced-order over two sessions prior to completing a 'N-Back' WM paradigm. Findings revealed that caffeine administration relative to the placebo condition resulted in heightened WM performance, but only for extraverted participants. We suggest based on previous theory and research that dopamine function (DA) may be the most plausible mechanism underlying this finding. Crown Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. 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.

  9. Coaching positively influences the effects of working memory training on visual working memory as well as mathematical ability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nelwan, M.; Vissers, C.T.W.M.; Kroesbergen, E.H.

    2018-01-01

    The goal of the present study was to test whether the amount of coaching influenced the results of working memory training on both visual and verbal working memory. Additionally, the effects of the working memory training on the amount of progress after specific training in mathematics were

  10. Memory – what is it and how it works?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanja Šešok

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: Memory system presents a basis for many cognitive functions and at the same time it itself depends on their normal function. The purpose of the article is to show how it works as an array of interacting systems, each capable of registring information, storing it, and making available by retrieval. In the case of the psychological study of memory, the most common model used for understanding memory functions is the time based model, which presume that memory can be divided into sensory memory, short-term or working memory and long-term memory. Memory is a process and the information processing approach to memory suggests that there are five processes involved in any type of memory: attention, encoding, storage, consolidation and retrieval. Several most common explanations of forgetting are described.

  11. Dynamic visual noise interferes with storage in visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean, Graham M; Dewhurst, Stephen A; Whittaker, Annalise

    2008-01-01

    Several studies have demonstrated that dynamic visual noise (DVN) does not interfere with memory for random matrices. This has led to suggestions that (a) visual working memory is distinct from imagery, and (b) visual working memory is not a gateway between sensory input and long-term storage. A comparison of the interference effects of DVN with memory for matrices and colored textures shows that DVN can interfere with visual working memory, probably at a level of visual detail not easily supported by long-term memory structures or the recoding of the visual pattern elements. The results support a gateway model of visuospatial working memory and raise questions about the most appropriate ways to measure and model the different levels of representation of information that can be held in visual working memory.

  12. Working Memory From the Psychological and Neurosciences Perspectives: A Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chai, Wen Jia; Abd Hamid, Aini Ismafairus; Abdullah, Jafri Malin

    2018-01-01

    Since the concept of working memory was introduced over 50 years ago, different schools of thought have offered different definitions for working memory based on the various cognitive domains that it encompasses. The general consensus regarding working memory supports the idea that working memory is extensively involved in goal-directed behaviors in which information must be retained and manipulated to ensure successful task execution. Before the emergence of other competing models, the concept of working memory was described by the multicomponent working memory model proposed by Baddeley and Hitch. In the present article, the authors provide an overview of several working memory-relevant studies in order to harmonize the findings of working memory from the neurosciences and psychological standpoints, especially after citing evidence from past studies of healthy, aging, diseased, and/or lesioned brains. In particular, the theoretical framework behind working memory, in which the related domains that are considered to play a part in different frameworks (such as memory's capacity limit and temporary storage) are presented and discussed. From the neuroscience perspective, it has been established that working memory activates the fronto-parietal brain regions, including the prefrontal, cingulate, and parietal cortices. Recent studies have subsequently implicated the roles of subcortical regions (such as the midbrain and cerebellum) in working memory. Aging also appears to have modulatory effects on working memory; age interactions with emotion, caffeine and hormones appear to affect working memory performances at the neurobiological level. Moreover, working memory deficits are apparent in older individuals, who are susceptible to cognitive deterioration. Another younger population with working memory impairment consists of those with mental, developmental, and/or neurological disorders such as major depressive disorder and others. A less coherent and organized neural

  13. Two items remembered as precisely as one: how integral features can improve visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bae, Gi Yeul; Flombaum, Jonathan I

    2013-10-01

    In the ongoing debate about the efficacy of visual working memory for more than three items, a consensus has emerged that memory precision declines as memory load increases from one to three. Many studies have reported that memory precision seems to be worse for two items than for one. We argue that memory for two items appears less precise than that for one only because two items present observers with a correspondence challenge that does not arise when only one item is stored--the need to relate observations to their corresponding memory representations. In three experiments, we prevented correspondence errors in two-item trials by varying sample items along task-irrelevant but integral (as opposed to separable) dimensions. (Initial experiments with a classic sorting paradigm identified integral feature relationships.) In three memory experiments, our manipulation produced equally precise representations of two items and of one item.

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. Training Planning and Working Memory in Third Graders

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. About the distinction between working memory and short-term memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bart eAben

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The theoretical concepts short-term memory (STM and working memory (WM have been used to refer to the maintenance and the maintenance plus manipulation of memory, respectively. Although they are conceptually different, the use of the terms STM and WM in literature is not always strict. Short-term memory and WM are different theoretical concepts that are assumed to reflect different cognitive functions. However, correlational studies have not been able to separate both constructs consistently and there is evidence for a large or even complete overlap. The emerging view from neurobiological studies is partly different, although there are conceptual problems troubling the interpretation of findings. In this regard, there is a crucial role for the tasks that are used to measure STM or WM (simple and complex span tasks, respectively and for the cognitive load reflected by factors like attention and processing speed that may covary between and within these tasks. These conceptual issues are discussed based on several abstract models for the relation between STM and WM.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeneson, Annette; Squire, Larry R.

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Working Memory From the Psychological and Neurosciences Perspectives: A Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chai, Wen Jia; Abd Hamid, Aini Ismafairus; Abdullah, Jafri Malin

    2018-01-01

    Since the concept of working memory was introduced over 50 years ago, different schools of thought have offered different definitions for working memory based on the various cognitive domains that it encompasses. The general consensus regarding working memory supports the idea that working memory is extensively involved in goal-directed behaviors in which information must be retained and manipulated to ensure successful task execution. Before the emergence of other competing models, the concept of working memory was described by the multicomponent working memory model proposed by Baddeley and Hitch. In the present article, the authors provide an overview of several working memory-relevant studies in order to harmonize the findings of working memory from the neurosciences and psychological standpoints, especially after citing evidence from past studies of healthy, aging, diseased, and/or lesioned brains. In particular, the theoretical framework behind working memory, in which the related domains that are considered to play a part in different frameworks (such as memory’s capacity limit and temporary storage) are presented and discussed. From the neuroscience perspective, it has been established that working memory activates the fronto-parietal brain regions, including the prefrontal, cingulate, and parietal cortices. Recent studies have subsequently implicated the roles of subcortical regions (such as the midbrain and cerebellum) in working memory. Aging also appears to have modulatory effects on working memory; age interactions with emotion, caffeine and hormones appear to affect working memory performances at the neurobiological level. Moreover, working memory deficits are apparent in older individuals, who are susceptible to cognitive deterioration. Another younger population with working memory impairment consists of those with mental, developmental, and/or neurological disorders such as major depressive disorder and others. A less coherent and organized

  20. Working Memory From the Psychological and Neurosciences Perspectives: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wen Jia Chai

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Since the concept of working memory was introduced over 50 years ago, different schools of thought have offered different definitions for working memory based on the various cognitive domains that it encompasses. The general consensus regarding working memory supports the idea that working memory is extensively involved in goal-directed behaviors in which information must be retained and manipulated to ensure successful task execution. Before the emergence of other competing models, the concept of working memory was described by the multicomponent working memory model proposed by Baddeley and Hitch. In the present article, the authors provide an overview of several working memory-relevant studies in order to harmonize the findings of working memory from the neurosciences and psychological standpoints, especially after citing evidence from past studies of healthy, aging, diseased, and/or lesioned brains. In particular, the theoretical framework behind working memory, in which the related domains that are considered to play a part in different frameworks (such as memory’s capacity limit and temporary storage are presented and discussed. From the neuroscience perspective, it has been established that working memory activates the fronto-parietal brain regions, including the prefrontal, cingulate, and parietal cortices. Recent studies have subsequently implicated the roles of subcortical regions (such as the midbrain and cerebellum in working memory. Aging also appears to have modulatory effects on working memory; age interactions with emotion, caffeine and hormones appear to affect working memory performances at the neurobiological level. Moreover, working memory deficits are apparent in older individuals, who are susceptible to cognitive deterioration. Another younger population with working memory impairment consists of those with mental, developmental, and/or neurological disorders such as major depressive disorder and others. A less coherent

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zokaei, Nahid; Heider, Maike; Husain, Masud

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  3. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Greg D; Romano, Alexandra C

    2016-01-01

    In this article, we review research and theory on the development of attention and working memory in infancy using a developmental cognitive neuroscience framework. We begin with a review of studies examining the influence of attention on neural and behavioral correlates of an earlier developing and closely related form of memory (i.e., recognition memory). Findings from studies measuring attention utilizing looking measures, heart rate, and event-related potentials (ERPs) indicate significant developmental change in sustained and selective attention across the infancy period. For example, infants show gains in the magnitude of the attention related response and spend a greater proportion of time engaged in attention with increasing age (Richards and Turner, 2001). Throughout infancy, attention has a significant impact on infant performance on a variety of tasks tapping into recognition memory; however, this approach to examining the influence of infant attention on memory performance has yet to be utilized in research on working memory. In the second half of the article, we review research on working memory in infancy focusing on studies that provide insight into the developmental timing of significant gains in working memory as well as research and theory related to neural systems potentially involved in working memory in early development. We also examine issues related to measuring and distinguishing between working memory and recognition memory in infancy. To conclude, we discuss relations between the development of attention systems and working memory.

  5. Verbal working memory-related neural network communication in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kustermann, Thomas; Popov, Tzvetan; Miller, Gregory A; Rockstroh, Brigitte

    2018-04-19

    Impaired working memory (WM) in schizophrenia is associated with reduced hemodynamic and electromagnetic activity and altered network connectivity within and between memory-associated neural networks. The present study sought to determine whether schizophrenia involves disruption of a frontal-parietal network normally supporting WM and/or involvement of another brain network. Nineteen schizophrenia patients (SZ) and 19 healthy comparison subjects (HC) participated in a cued visual-verbal Sternberg task while dense-array EEG was recorded. A pair of item arrays each consisting of 2-4 consonants was presented bilaterally for 200 ms with a prior cue signaling the hemifield of the task-relevant WM set. A central probe letter 2,000 ms later prompted a choice reaction time decision about match/mismatch with the target WM set. Group and WM load effects on time domain and time-frequency domain 11-15 Hz alpha power were assessed for the cue-to-probe time window, and posterior 11-15 Hz alpha power and frontal 4-8 Hz theta power were assessed during the retention period. Directional connectivity was estimated via Granger causality, evaluating group differences in communication. SZ showed slower responding, lower accuracy, smaller overall time-domain alpha power increase, and less load-dependent alpha power increase. Midline frontal theta power increases did not vary by group or load. Network communication in SZ was characterized by temporal-to-posterior information flow, in contrast to bidirectional temporal-posterior communication in HC. Results indicate aberrant WM network activity supporting WM in SZ that might facilitate normal load-dependent and only marginally less accurate task performance, despite generally slower responding. © 2018 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  6. The Development of Working Memory: Further Note on the Comparability of Two Models of Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Ribaupierre, Anik; Bailleux, Christine

    2000-01-01

    Summarizes similarities and differences between the working memory models of Pascual-Leone and Baddeley. Debates whether each model makes a specific contribution to explanation of Kemps, De Rammelaere, and Desmet's results. Argues for necessity of theoretical task analyses. Compares a study similar to that of Kemps et al. in which different…

  7. 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,

  8. Working memory contents revive the neglected, but suppress the inhibited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Suk Won

    2015-12-01

    It is well known that attention is biased toward a stimulus matching working memory contents. However, it remains unknown whether the maintenance of information in working memory by itself is sufficient to create memory-driven attentional capture. Notably, in many previous studies showing the memory-driven attentional capture, the task settings might have explicitly or implicitly incentivized participants to strategically attend to a memory-matching stimulus. By innovating an experimental paradigm, the present study overcame this challenge and directly tested whether working memory contents capture attention in the absence of task-level attentional bias toward a memory-matching stimulus. I found that a stimulus that is usually outside the focus of attention, powerfully captured attention when it matched working memory contents, whereas a match between working memory and an inhibited stimulus suppressed attentional allocation toward the memory-matching stimulus. These findings suggest that in the absence of any task-level attentional bias toward memory-matching stimuli, attention is biased toward a memory-matching stimulus, but this memory-driven attentional capture is diminished when top-down inhibition is imposed on the stimulus. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Working memory limitations in children with severe language impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Daal, John; Verhoeven, Ludo; van Leeuwe, Jan; van Balkom, Hans

    2008-01-01

    In the present study, the relations of various aspects of working memory to various aspects of language problems in a clinical sample of 97 Dutch speaking 5-year-old children with severe language problems were studied. The working memory and language abilities of the children were examined using an extensive battery of tests. Working memory was operationalized according to the model of Baddeley. Confirmative factor analyses revealed three memory factors: phonological, visual and central executive. Language was construed as a multifactorial construct, and confirmative factor analyses revealed four factors: lexical-semantic abilities, phonological abilities, syntactic abilities and speech production abilities. Moderate to high correlations were found between the memory and language factors. Structural equation modelling was used to further explore the relations between the different factors. Phonological memory was found to predict phonological abilities; central-executive memory predicted lexical-semantic abilities; and visual memory predicted speech production abilities. Phonological abilities also predicted syntactic abilities. Both the theoretical and clinical implications of the findings are discussed. The reader will be introduced to the concepts of multifactorial components of working memory as well as language impairment. Secondly the reader will recognize that working memory and language impairment factors can be related. Particular emphasis will be placed on phonological memory, central-executive memory and visual memory and their possible prediction of specific components of language impairment.

  10. Efficiency of working memory: Theoretical concept and practical application

    OpenAIRE

    Lalović Dejan

    2008-01-01

    Efficiency of working memory is the concept which connects psychology of memory with different fields of cognitive, differential and applied psychology. In this paper, the history of interest for the assessment of the capacity of short-term memory is presented in brief, as well as the different methods used nowadays to assess the individual differences in the efficiency of working memory. What follows is the consideration of studies that indicate the existence of significant links between the...

  11. Working memory, phonological awareness, and developing language skills

    OpenAIRE

    Engel de Abreu, Pascale; Gathercole, S

    2008-01-01

    The relationship between working memory, verbal short-term memory, phonological awareness, and developing language skills was explored longitudinally in children growing up in a multilingual society. A sample of 121 children from Luxembourg were followed from the end of Kindergarten to 1st Grade, and completed multiple assessments of verbal short-term memory, complex working memory, phonological awareness, native and foreign vocabulary knowledge, language comprehension, and reading. Resu...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Previous work suggested that individuals with low working memory capacity may be at a disadvantage in adverse listening environments, including situations with background noise or substantial modification of the acoustic signal. This study explored the relationship between patient factors (including working memory capacity) and intelligibility and quality of modified speech for older individuals with sensorineural hearing loss. The modification was created using a combination of hearing aid processing [wide-dynamic range compression (WDRC) and frequency compression (FC)] applied to sentences in multitalker babble. The extent of signal modification was quantified via an envelope fidelity index. We also explored the contribution of components of working memory by including measures of processing speed and executive function. We hypothesized that listeners with low working memory capacity would perform more poorly than those with high working memory capacity across all situations, and would also be differentially affected by high amounts of signal modification. Results showed a significant effect of working memory capacity for speech intelligibility, and an interaction between working memory, amount of hearing loss and signal modification. Signal modification was the major predictor of quality ratings. These data add to the literature on hearing-aid processing and working memory by suggesting that the working memory-intelligibility effects may be related to aggregate signal fidelity, rather than to the specific signal manipulation. They also suggest that for individuals with low working memory capacity, sensorineural loss may be most appropriately addressed with WDRC and/or FC parameters that maintain the fidelity of the signal envelope. PMID:25999874

  14. Working Memory Training and Speech in Noise Comprehension in Older Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel V. Wayne

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Understanding speech in the presence of background sound can be challenging for older adults. Speech comprehension in noise appears to depend on working memory and executive-control processes (e.g., Heald & Nusbaum, 2014, and their augmentation through training may have rehabilitative potential for age-related hearing loss. We examined the efficacy of adaptive working-memory training (Cogmed; Klingberg, Forssberg & Westerberg, 2002 in 24 older adults, assessing generalization to other working-memory tasks (near-transfer and to other cognitive domains (far-transfer using a cognitive test battery, including the Reading Span test, sensitive to working memory (e.g., Daneman and Carpenter 1980. We also assessed far transfer to speech-in-noise performance, including a closed-set sentence task (Kidd, Best & Mason 2005. To examine the effect of cognitive training on benefit obtained from semantic context, we also assessed transfer to open-set sentences; half were semantically coherent (high-context and half were semantically anomalous (low-context. Subjects completed 25 sessions (0.5-1 hour each; 5 sessions/week of both adaptive working memory training and placebo training over 10 weeks in a crossover design. Subjects’ scores on the adaptive working-memory training tasks improved as a result of training. However, training did not transfer to other working memory tasks, nor to tasks recruiting other cognitive domains. We did not observe any training-related improvement in speech-in-noise performance. Measures of working memory correlated with the intelligibility of low-context, but not high-context, sentences, suggesting that sentence context may reduce the load on working memory. The Reading Span test significantly correlated only with a test of visual episodic memory, suggesting that the Reading Span test is not a pure-test of working memory, as is commonly assumed.

  15. Working Memory Training and Speech in Noise Comprehension in Older Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wayne, Rachel V; Hamilton, Cheryl; Jones Huyck, Julia; Johnsrude, Ingrid S

    2016-01-01

    Understanding speech in the presence of background sound can be challenging for older adults. Speech comprehension in noise appears to depend on working memory and executive-control processes (e.g., Heald and Nusbaum, 2014), and their augmentation through training may have rehabilitative potential for age-related hearing loss. We examined the efficacy of adaptive working-memory training (Cogmed; Klingberg et al., 2002) in 24 older adults, assessing generalization to other working-memory tasks (near-transfer) and to other cognitive domains (far-transfer) using a cognitive test battery, including the Reading Span test, sensitive to working memory (e.g., Daneman and Carpenter, 1980). We also assessed far transfer to speech-in-noise performance, including a closed-set sentence task (Kidd et al., 2008). To examine the effect of cognitive training on benefit obtained from semantic context, we also assessed transfer to open-set sentences; half were semantically coherent (high-context) and half were semantically anomalous (low-context). Subjects completed 25 sessions (0.5-1 h each; 5 sessions/week) of both adaptive working memory training and placebo training over 10 weeks in a crossover design. Subjects' scores on the adaptive working-memory training tasks improved as a result of training. However, training did not transfer to other working memory tasks, nor to tasks recruiting other cognitive domains. We did not observe any training-related improvement in speech-in-noise performance. Measures of working memory correlated with the intelligibility of low-context, but not high-context, sentences, suggesting that sentence context may reduce the load on working memory. The Reading Span test significantly correlated only with a test of visual episodic memory, suggesting that the Reading Span test is not a pure-test of working memory, as is commonly assumed.

  16. Is less really more: Does a prefrontal efficiency genotype actually confer better performance when working memory becomes difficult?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ihne, Jessica L; Gallagher, Natalie M; Sullivan, Marie; Callicott, Joseph H; Green, Adam E

    2016-01-01

    Perhaps the most widely studied effect to emerge from the combination of neuroimaging and human genetics is the association of the COMT-Val(108/158)Met polymorphism with prefrontal activity during working memory. COMT-Val is a putative risk factor in schizophrenia, which is characterized by disordered prefrontal function. Work in healthy populations has sought to characterize mechanisms by which the valine (Val) allele may lead to disadvantaged prefrontal cognition. Lower activity in methionine (Met) carriers has been interpreted as advantageous neural efficiency. Notably, however, studies reporting COMT effects on neural efficiency have generally not reported working memory performance effects. Those studies have employed relatively low/easy working memory loads. Higher loads are known to elicit individual differences in working memory performance that are not visible at lower loads. If COMT-Met confers greater neural efficiency when working memory is easy, a reasonable prediction is that Met carriers will be better able to cope with increasing demand for neural resources when working memory becomes difficult. To our knowledge, this prediction has thus far gone untested. Here, we tested performance on three working memory tasks. Performance on each task was measured at multiple levels of load/difficulty, including loads more demanding than those used in prior studies. We found no genotype-by-load interactions or main effects of COMT genotype on accuracy or reaction time. Indeed, even testing for performance differences at each load of each task failed to find a single significant effect of COMT genotype. Thus, even if COMT genotype has the effects on prefrontal efficiency that prior work has suggested, such effects may not directly impact high-load working memory ability. The present findings accord with previous evidence that behavioral effects of COMT are small or nonexistent and, more broadly, with a growing consensus that substantial effects on phenotype will

  17. Coaching positively influences the effects of working memory training on visual working memory as well as mathematical ability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelwan, Michel; Vissers, Constance; Kroesbergen, Evelyn H

    2018-05-01

    The goal of the present study was to test whether the amount of coaching influenced the results of working memory training on both visual and verbal working memory. Additionally, the effects of the working memory training on the amount of progress after specific training in mathematics were evaluated. In this study, 23 children between 9 and 12 years of age with both attentional and mathematical difficulties participated in a working memory training program with a high amount of coaching, while another 25 children received no working memory training. Results of these groups were compared to 21 children who completed the training with a lower amount of coaching. The quality of working memory, as well as mathematic skills, were measured three times using untrained transfer tasks. Bayesian statistics were used to test informative hypotheses. After receiving working memory training, the highly coached group performed better than the group that received less coaching on visual working memory and mathematics, but not on verbal working memory. The highly coached group retained their advantage in mathematics, even though the effect on visual working memory decreased. However, no added effect of working memory training was found on the learning curve during mathematical training. Moreover, the less-coached group was outperformed by the group that did not receive working memory training, both in visual working memory and mathematics. These results suggest that motivation and proper coaching might be crucial for ensuring compliance and effects of working memory training, and that far transfer might be possible. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Competition increases binding errors in visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emrich, Stephen M; Ferber, Susanne

    2012-04-20

    When faced with maintaining multiple objects in visual working memory, item information must be bound to the correct object in order to be correctly recalled. Sometimes, however, binding errors occur, and participants report the feature (e.g., color) of an unprobed, non-target item. In the present study, we examine whether the configuration of sample stimuli affects the proportion of these binding errors. The results demonstrate that participants mistakenly report the identity of the unprobed item (i.e., they make a non-target response) when sample items are presented close together in space, suggesting that binding errors can increase independent of increases in memory load. Moreover, the proportion of these non-target responses is linearly related to the distance between sample items, suggesting that these errors are spatially specific. Finally, presenting sample items sequentially decreases non-target responses, suggesting that reducing competition between sample stimuli reduces the number of binding errors. Importantly, these effects all occurred without increases in the amount of error in the memory representation. These results suggest that competition during encoding can account for some of the binding errors made during VWM recall.

  19. Retro-dimension-cue benefit in visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Chaoxiong; Hu, Zhonghua; Ristaniemi, Tapani; Gendron, Maria; Liu, Qiang

    2016-10-24

    In visual working memory (VWM) tasks, participants' performance can be improved by a retro-object-cue. However, previous studies have not investigated whether participants' performance can also be improved by a retro-dimension-cue. Three experiments investigated this issue. We used a recall task with a retro-dimension-cue in all experiments. In Experiment 1, we found benefits from retro-dimension-cues compared to neutral cues. This retro-dimension-cue benefit is reflected in an increased probability of reporting the target, but not in the probability of reporting the non-target, as well as increased precision with which this item is remembered. Experiment 2 replicated the retro-dimension-cue benefit and showed that the length of the blank interval after the cue disappeared did not influence recall performance. Experiment 3 replicated the results of Experiment 2 with a lower memory load. Our studies provide evidence that there is a robust retro-dimension-cue benefit in VWM. Participants can use internal attention to flexibly allocate cognitive resources to a particular dimension of memory representations. The results also support the feature-based storing hypothesis.

  20. Examining procedural working memory processing in obsessive-compulsive disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shahar, Nitzan; Teodorescu, Andrei R; Anholt, Gideon E; Karmon-Presser, Anat; Meiran, Nachshon

    2017-07-01

    Previous research has suggested that a deficit in working memory might underlie the difficulty of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) patients to control their thoughts and actions. However, a recent meta-analyses found only small effect sizes for working memory deficits in OCD. Recently, a distinction has been made between declarative and procedural working memory. Working memory in OCD was tested mostly using declarative measurements. However, OCD symptoms typically concerns actions, making procedural working-memory more relevant. Here, we tested the operation of procedural working memory in OCD. Participants with OCD and healthy controls performed a battery of choice reaction tasks under high and low procedural working memory demands. Reaction-times (RT) were estimated using ex-Gaussian distribution fitting, revealing no group differences in the size of the RT distribution tail (i.e., τ parameter), known to be sensitive to procedural working memory manipulations. Group differences, unrelated to working memory manipulations, were found in the leading-edge of the RT distribution and analyzed using a two-stage evidence accumulation model. Modeling results suggested that perceptual difficulties might underlie the current group differences. In conclusion, our results suggest that procedural working-memory processing is most likely intact in OCD, and raise a novel, yet untested assumption regarding perceptual deficits in OCD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Working memory for speech and music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulze, Katrin; Koelsch, Stefan

    2012-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukuda, Keisuke; Woodman, Geoffrey F

    2017-05-16

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heider, Maike; Husain, Masud

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Age-related differences in working memory performance in a 2-back task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nele eWild-Wall

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The present study aimed to elucidate the neuro-cognitive processes underlying age-related differences in working memory. Young and middle-aged participants performed a two-choice task with low and a 2-back task with high working memory load. The P300, an event-related potential reflecting controlled stimulus-response processing in working memory, and the underlying neuronal sources of expected age-related differences were analyzed using sLORETA. Response speed was generally slower for the middle-aged than the young group. Under low working memory load the middle-aged participants traded speed for accuracy. The middle-aged were less efficient in the 2-back task as they responded slower while the error rates did not differ for groups. An age-related decline of the P300 amplitude and characteristic topographical differences were especially evident in the 2-back task. A more detailed analysis of the P300 in non-target trials revealed that amplitudes in the young but not middle-aged group differentiate between correctly detected vs. missed targets in the following trial. For these trials, source analysis revealed higher activation for the young vs. middle-aged group in brain areas which support working memory processes. The relationship between P300 and overt performance was validated by significant correlations. To sum up, under high working memory load the young group showed an increased neuronal activity before a successful detected target, while the middle-aged group showed the same neuronal pattern regardless of whether a subsequent target will be detected or missed. This stable memory trace before detected targets was reflected by a specific activation enhancement in brain areas which orchestrate maintenance, update, storage and retrieval of information in working memory.

  6. Age-Related Differences in Working Memory Performance in A 2-Back Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wild-Wall, Nele; Falkenstein, Michael; Gajewski, Patrick D.

    2011-01-01

    The present study aimed to elucidate the neuro-cognitive processes underlying age-related differences in working memory. Young and middle-aged participants performed a two-choice task with low and a 2-back task with high working memory load. The P300, an event-related potential reflecting controlled stimulus–response processing in working memory, and the underlying neuronal sources of expected age-related differences were analyzed using sLORETA. Response speed was generally slower for the middle-aged than the young group. Under low working memory load the middle-aged participants traded speed for accuracy. The middle-aged were less efficient in the 2-back task as they responded slower while the error rates did not differ for groups. An age-related decline of the P300 amplitude and characteristic topographical differences were especially evident in the 2-back task. A more detailed analysis of the P300 in non-target trials revealed that amplitudes in the young but not middle-aged group differentiate between correctly detected vs. missed targets in the following trial. For these trials, source analysis revealed higher activation for the young vs. middle-aged group in brain areas which support working memory processes. The relationship between P300 and overt performance was validated by significant correlations. To sum up, under high working memory load the young group showed an increased neuronal activity before a successful detected target, while the middle-aged group showed the same neuronal pattern regardless of whether a subsequent target will be detected or missed. This stable memory trace before detected targets was reflected by a specific activation enhancement in brain areas which orchestrate maintenance, update, storage, and retrieval of information in working memory. PMID:21909328

  7. 46 CFR 109.525 - Cranes: Working loads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Cranes: Working loads. 109.525 Section 109.525 Shipping... Cranes § 109.525 Cranes: Working loads. The master or person in charge shall ensure that tables... working the crane. ...

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2013-01-01

    Although plasticity in the neural system underlies working memory, and working memory can be improved by training, there is thus far no evidence that children with developmental dyslexia can were recruited from an elementary school in Wuhan, China. They received working-memory training, including training in visuospatial memory, verbal memory, and central executive tasks. The difficulty of the tasks was adjusted based on the performance of each subject, and the training sessions lasted 40 minutes per day, for 5 weeks. The results showed that working-memory training significantly enhanced performance on the nontrained working memory tasks such as the visuospatial, the verbal domains, and central executive tasks in children with developmental dyslexia. More importantly, the visual rhyming task and reading fluency task were also significantly improved by training. Progress on working memory measures was related to changes in reading skills. These experimental findings indicate that working memory is a pivotal factor in reading development among children with developmental dyslexia, and interventions to improve working memory may help dyslexic children to become more proficient in reading.

  9. The Sensory Components of High-Capacity Iconic Memory and Visual Working Memory

    OpenAIRE

    Bradley, Claire; Pearson, Joel

    2012-01-01

    Early visual memory can be split into two primary components: a high-capacity, short-lived iconic memory followed by a limited-capacity visual working memory that can last many seconds. Whereas a large number of studies have investigated visual working memory for low-level sensory features, much research on iconic memory has used more “high-level” alphanumeric stimuli such as letters or numbers. These two forms of memory are typically examined separately, despite an intrinsic overlap in their...

  10. The sensory components of high-capacity iconic memory and visual working memory

    OpenAIRE

    Claire eBradley; Claire eBradley; Joel ePearson

    2012-01-01

    Early visual memory can be split into two primary components: a high-capacity, short-lived iconic memory followed by a limited-capacity visual working memory that can last many seconds. Whereas a large number of studies have investigated visual working memory for low-level sensory features, much research on iconic memory has used more high-level alphanumeric stimuli such as letters or numbers. These two forms of memory are typically examined separately, despite an intrinsic overlap in their c...

  11. Electrophysiological Evidence for a Sensory Recruitment Model of Somatosensory Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katus, Tobias; Grubert, Anna; Eimer, Martin

    2015-12-01

    Sensory recruitment models of working memory assume that information storage is mediated by the same cortical areas that are responsible for the perceptual processing of sensory signals. To test this assumption, we measured somatosensory event-related brain potentials (ERPs) during a tactile delayed match-to-sample task. Participants memorized a tactile sample set at one task-relevant hand to compare it with a subsequent test set on the same hand. During the retention period, a sustained negativity (tactile contralateral delay activity, tCDA) was elicited over primary somatosensory cortex contralateral to the relevant hand. The amplitude of this component increased with memory load and was sensitive to individual limitations in memory capacity, suggesting that the tCDA reflects the maintenance of tactile information in somatosensory working memory. The tCDA was preceded by a transient negativity (N2cc component) with a similar contralateral scalp distribution, which is likely to reflect selection of task-relevant tactile stimuli at the encoding stage. The temporal sequence of N2cc and tCDA components mirrors previous observations from ERP studies of working memory in vision. The finding that the sustained somatosensory delay period activity varies as a function of memory load supports a sensory recruitment model for spatial working memory in touch. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. 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.

  13. Compression in Working Memory and Its Relationship With Fluid Intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chekaf, Mustapha; Gauvrit, Nicolas; Guida, Alessandro; Mathy, Fabien

    2018-06-01

    Working memory has been shown to be strongly related to fluid intelligence; however, our goal is to shed further light on the process of information compression in working memory as a determining factor of fluid intelligence. Our main hypothesis was that compression in working memory is an excellent indicator for studying the relationship between working-memory capacity and fluid intelligence because both depend on the optimization of storage capacity. Compressibility of memoranda was estimated using an algorithmic complexity metric. The results showed that compressibility can be used to predict working-memory performance and that fluid intelligence is well predicted by the ability to compress information. We conclude that the ability to compress information in working memory is the reason why both manipulation and retention of information are linked to intelligence. This result offers a new concept of intelligence based on the idea that compression and intelligence are equivalent problems. Copyright © 2018 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  14. Storage of features, conjunctions and objects in visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, E K; Woodman, G F; Luck, S J

    2001-02-01

    Working memory can be divided into separate subsystems for verbal and visual information. Although the verbal system has been well characterized, the storage capacity of visual working memory has not yet been established for simple features or for conjunctions of features. The authors demonstrate that it is possible to retain information about only 3-4 colors or orientations in visual working memory at one time. Observers are also able to retain both the color and the orientation of 3-4 objects, indicating that visual working memory stores integrated objects rather than individual features. Indeed, objects defined by a conjunction of four features can be retained in working memory just as well as single-feature objects, allowing many individual features to be retained when distributed across a small number of objects. Thus, the capacity of visual working memory must be understood in terms of integrated objects rather than individual features.

  15. High Working Memory Capacity Predicts Less Retrieval Induced Forgetting

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mall, Jonathan T.; Morey, Candice C.

    2013-01-01

    Background : Working Memory Capacity (WMC) is thought to be related to executive control and focused memory search abilities. These two hypotheses make contrasting predictions regarding the effects of retrieval on forgetting. Executive control during memory retrieval is believed to lead to retrieval

  16. Storage and binding of object features in visual working memory

    OpenAIRE

    Bays, Paul M; Wu, Emma Y; Husain, Masud

    2010-01-01

    An influential conception of visual working memory is of a small number of discrete memory “slots”, each storing an integrated representation of a single visual object, including all its component features. When a scene contains more objects than there are slots, visual attention controls which objects gain access to memory.

  17. 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.

  18. Improving everyday memory performance after acquired brain injury: An RCT on recollection and working memory training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, Kim Merle; Mödden, Claudia; Eling, Paul; Hildebrandt, Helmut

    2018-04-26

    To show the effectiveness of a combined recognition and working memory training on everyday memory performance in patients suffering from organic memory disorders. In this double-blind, randomized controlled Study 36 patients with organic memory impairments, mainly attributable to stroke, were assigned to either the experimental or the active control group. In the experimental group a working memory training was combined with a recollection training based on the repetition-lag procedure. Patients in the active control group received the memory therapy usually provided in the rehabilitation center. Both groups received nine hours of therapy. Prior (T0) and subsequent (T1) to the therapy, patients were evaluated on an everyday memory test (EMT) as well as on a neuropsychological test battery. Based on factor analysis of the neuropsychological test scores at T0 we calculated composite scores for working memory, verbal learning and word fluency. After treatment, the intervention group showed a significantly greater improvement for WM performance compared with the active control group. More importantly, performance on the EMT also improved significantly in patients receiving the recollection and working memory training compared with patients with standard memory training. Our results show that combining working memory and recollection training significantly improves performance on everyday memory tasks, demonstrating far transfer effects. The present study argues in favor of a process-based approach for treating memory impairments. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

  19. Working Memory for Linguistic and Non-linguistic Manual Gestures: Evidence, Theory, and Application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudner, Mary

    2018-01-01

    Linguistic manual gestures are the basis of sign languages used by deaf individuals. Working memory and language processing are intimately connected and thus when language is gesture-based, it is important to understand related working memory mechanisms. This article reviews work on working memory for linguistic and non-linguistic manual gestures and discusses theoretical and applied implications. Empirical evidence shows that there are effects of load and stimulus degradation on working memory for manual gestures. These effects are similar to those found for working memory for speech-based language. Further, there are effects of pre-existing linguistic representation that are partially similar across language modalities. But above all, deaf signers score higher than hearing non-signers on an n-back task with sign-based stimuli, irrespective of their semantic and phonological content, but not with non-linguistic manual actions. This pattern may be partially explained by recent findings relating to cross-modal plasticity in deaf individuals. It suggests that in linguistic gesture-based working memory, semantic aspects may outweigh phonological aspects when processing takes place under challenging conditions. The close association between working memory and language development should be taken into account in understanding and alleviating the challenges faced by deaf children growing up with cochlear implants as well as other clinical populations.

  20. Working Memory for Linguistic and Non-linguistic Manual Gestures: Evidence, Theory, and Application

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary Rudner

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Linguistic manual gestures are the basis of sign languages used by deaf individuals. Working memory and language processing are intimately connected and thus when language is gesture-based, it is important to understand related working memory mechanisms. This article reviews work on working memory for linguistic and non-linguistic manual gestures and discusses theoretical and applied implications. Empirical evidence shows that there are effects of load and stimulus degradation on working memory for manual gestures. These effects are similar to those found for working memory for speech-based language. Further, there are effects of pre-existing linguistic representation that are partially similar across language modalities. But above all, deaf signers score higher than hearing non-signers on an n-back task with sign-based stimuli, irrespective of their semantic and phonological content, but not with non-linguistic manual actions. This pattern may be partially explained by recent findings relating to cross-modal plasticity in deaf individuals. It suggests that in linguistic gesture-based working memory, semantic aspects may outweigh phonological aspects when processing takes place under challenging conditions. The close association between working memory and language development should be taken into account in understanding and alleviating the challenges faced by deaf children growing up with cochlear implants as well as other clinical populations.

  1. 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.

  2. Event-related potentials elicited during working memory are altered in mild cognitive impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López Zunini, Rocío A; Knoefel, Frank; Lord, Courtney; Dzuali, Fiatsogbe; Breau, Michael; Sweet, Lisa; Goubran, Rafik; Taler, Vanessa

    2016-11-01

    Persons with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) can experience deficits in working memory. In the present study, we investigated working memory in persons with MCI and cognitively healthy older adults using event-related potentials (ERPs). Participants performed an n-back working memory task with baseline (0-back), low load (1-back), and high load (2-back) working memory conditions. MCI participants' performance was less accurate than that of healthy older adults in both the 1-back and 2-back conditions, and reaction times were longer in MCI than control participants in the 0-back, 1-back and 2-back conditions. ERP analyses revealed delayed P200 and N200 latencies and smaller P300 amplitudes in MCI relative to control participants in the 0-back, 1-back and 2-back conditions. Deterioration in working memory performance concomitant with marked electrophysiological alterations suggests that persons with MCI exhibit deficits in several cognitive processes that include early attention, stimulus discrimination and classification, and updating and manipulation of information held in working memory. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Working memory for braille is shaped by experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-01

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

  4. Working memory for braille is shaped by experience

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Resource-sharing in multiple-component working memory

    OpenAIRE

    Doherty, Jason M.; Logie, Robert H.

    2016-01-01

    Working memory research often focuses on measuring the capacity of the system and how it relates to other cognitive abilities. However, research into the structure of working memory is less concerned with an overall capacity measure but rather with the intricacies of underlying components and their contribution to different tasks. A number of models of working memory structure have been proposed, each with different assumptions and predictions, but none of which adequately accounts for the fu...

  6. Dieting and Food Cue-Related Working Memory Performance

    OpenAIRE

    Meule, Adrian

    2016-01-01

    Executive functioning (e.g., working memory) is tightly intertwined with self-regulation. For example, food cue-elicited craving has been found to impair working memory performance. Furthermore, current dieters have been found to show lower working memory performance than non-dieters. Recent research, however, suggests that it is crucial to consider dieting success in addition to current dieting status or restrained eating in order to reveal cognitive mechanisms that are associated with succe...

  7. The spatially asymmetric cost of memory load on visual perception: transient stimulus-centered neglect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gozli, Davood G; Wilson, Kristin E; Ferber, Susanne

    2014-04-01

    Recent evidence suggests that visual working memory (VWM) load reduces performance accuracy on a concurrent visual recognition task, particularly for objects presented in the left hemifield. It has also been shown that high VWM load causes suppression of activity in the right temporoparietal junction (TPJ). Given the resemblance of VWM load effects to symptoms of unilateral neglect (i.e., impaired perception on the left side and lesion to the right TPJ), we investigated whether VWM load effects are restricted to the left side of space or extend to object-centered reference frames. In other words, akin to object-centered neglect, can high VWM load cause a perceptual cost in attending to the left side of the stimulus? We addressed this question using an object recognition task (Experiment 1) and a visual search task (Experiment 2) showing that this transient left-neglect can indeed be modulated by an object-centered frame of reference. These findings suggest that load-induced impairments of visual attention are spatially asymmetric and can emerge within multiple spatial reference frames. Therefore, the attentional consequences of high VWM load on conscious perception may serve as a useful model of unilateral perceptual neglect.

  8. The working memory networks of the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linden, David E J

    2007-06-01

    Working memory and short-term memory are closely related in their cognitive architecture, capacity limitations, and functional neuroanatomy, which only partly overlap with those of long-term memory. The author reviews the functional neuroimaging literature on the commonalities and differences between working memory and short-term memory and the interplay of areas with modality-specific and supramodal representations in the brain networks supporting these fundamental cognitive processes. Sensory stores in the visual, auditory, and somatosensory cortex play a role in short-term memory, but supramodal parietal and frontal areas are often recruited as well. Classical working memory operations such as manipulation, protection against interference, or updating almost certainly require at least some degree of prefrontal support, but many pure maintenance tasks involve these areas as well. Although it seems that activity shifts from more posterior regions during encoding to more anterior regions during delay, some studies reported sustained delay activity in sensory areas as well. This spatiotemporal complexity of the short-term memory/working memory networks is mirrored in the activation patterns that may explain capacity constraints, which, although most prominent in the parietal cortex, seem to be pervasive across sensory and premotor areas. Finally, the author highlights open questions for cognitive neuroscience research of working memory, such as that of the mechanisms for integrating different types of content (binding) or those providing the link to long-term memory.

  9. Memory – what is it and how it works?

    OpenAIRE

    Sanja Šešok

    2006-01-01

    Abstract: Memory system presents a basis for many cognitive functions and at the same time it itself depends on their normal function. The purpose of the article is to show how it works as an array of interacting systems, each capable of registring information, storing it, and making available by retrieval. In the case of the psychological study of memory, the most common model used for understanding memory functions is the time based model, which presume that memory can be divided into senso...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-06-01

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

  11. Working memory and organizational skills problems in ADHD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kofler, Michael J; Sarver, Dustin E; Harmon, Sherelle L; Moltisanti, Allison; Aduen, Paula A; Soto, Elia F; Ferretti, Nicole

    2018-01-01

    This study tested model-driven predictions regarding working memory's role in the organizational problems associated with ADHD. Children aged 8-13 (M = 10.33, SD = 1.42) with and without ADHD (N = 103; 39 girls; 73% Caucasian/Non-Hispanic) were assessed on multiple, counterbalanced working memory tasks. Parents and teachers completed norm-referenced measures of organizational problems (Children's Organizational Skills Scale; COSS). Results confirmed large magnitude working memory deficits (d = 1.24) and organizational problems in ADHD (d = 0.85). Bias-corrected, bootstrapped conditional effect