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Working memory capacity

Richard E Spinney, Joseph T Lizier
The characterization of information processing is an important task in complex systems science. Information dynamics is a quantitative methodology for modeling the intrinsic information processing conducted by a process represented as a time series, but to date has only been formulated in discrete time. Building on previous work which demonstrated how to formulate transfer entropy in continuous time, we give a total account of information processing in this setting, incorporating information storage. We find that a convergent rate of predictive capacity, comprising the transfer entropy and active information storage, does not exist, arising through divergent rates of active information storage...
July 2018: Physical Review. E
Frida Bayard, Charlotte Nymberg Thunell, Christoph Abé, Rita Almeida, Tobias Banaschewski, Gareth Barker, Arun L W Bokde, Uli Bromberg, Christian Büchel, Erin Burke Quinlan, Sylvane Desrivières, Herta Flor, Vincent Frouin, Hugh Garavan, Penny Gowland, Andreas Heinz, Bernd Ittermann, Jean-Luc Martinot, Marie-Laure Paillère Martinot, Frauke Nees, Dimitri Papadopoulos Orfanos, Tomáš Paus, Luise Poustka, Patricia Conrod, Argyris Stringaris, Maren Struve, Jani Penttilä, Viola Kappel, Yvonne Grimmer, Tahmine Fadai, Betteke van Noort, Michael N Smolka, Nora C Vetter, Henrik Walter, Robert Whelan, Gunter Schumann, Predrag Petrovic
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and conduct disorder (CD) exemplify top-down dysregulation conditions that show a large comorbidity and shared genetics. At the same time, they entail two different types of symptomology involving mainly non-emotional or emotional dysregulation. Few studies have tried to separate the specific biology underlying these two dimensions. It has also been suggested that both types of conditions consist of extreme cases in the general population where the symptoms are widely distributed...
August 14, 2018: Molecular Psychiatry
Britta Hahn, Benjamin M Robinson, Carly J Leonard, Steven J Luck, James M Gold
Prefrontal cortex (PFC) dysfunction is widely believed to underlie working memory (WM) deficits in people with schizophrenia (PSZ), but few studies have focused on measures of WM storage devoid of manipulation. Research in neurotypical individuals has shown that storage capacity is more closely related to posterior parietal cortex (PPC) than PFC, suggesting that reductions in WM storage capacity in schizophrenia that are associated with broad cognitive deficits may be related to neural activity in PPC. In the present human neuroimaging study, 37 PSZ and 37 matched healthy control subjects (HCS) of either sex completed a change detection task with varying set sizes while undergoing functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging...
August 13, 2018: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Thomas Koelewijn, Adriana A Zekveld, Thomas Lunner, Sophia E Kramer
Listening to speech in noise can be effortful but when motivated people seem to be more persevering. Previous research showed effects of monetary reward on autonomic responses like cardiovascular reactivity and pupil dilation while participants processed auditory information. The current study examined the effects of monetary reward on the processing of speech in noise and related listening effort as reflected by the pupil dilation response. Twenty-four participants (median age 21 yrs) performed two speech reception threshold (SRT) tasks, one tracking 50% correct (hard) and one tracking 85% correct (easy), both of which they listened to and repeated sentences uttered by a female talker...
July 27, 2018: Hearing Research
Zengjian Wang, Jin Jing, Kazue Igarashi, Lijun Fan, Siyuan Yang, YongMei Li, Yu Jin
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and those with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) always show working memory deficits. However, research findings on the factors that affected the working memory in ASD and ADHD were inconsistent. Thus, we developed the present study to investigate the association of executive function (EF) with the visuospatial working memory (VSWM) in ASD and ADHD. Three groups of participants were examined: 21 children with ASD, 28 children with ADHD and 28 typically developing (TD) children as the controls...
August 10, 2018: Autism Research: Official Journal of the International Society for Autism Research
Michael A Hunter, Gregory Lieberman, Brian A Coffman, Michael C Trumbo, Mikaela L Armenta, Charles S H Robinson, Matthew A Bezdek, Anthony J O'Sickey, Aaron P Jones, Victoria Romero, Seth Elkin-Frankston, Sean Gaurino, Leonard Eusebi, Eric H Schumacher, Katie Witkiewitz, Vincent P Clark
Mindfulness-based training (MBT) and transcranial electrical stimulation (TES) methods such as direct current stimulation (tDCS) have demonstrated promise for the augmentation of cognitive abilities. The current study investigated the potential compatibility of concurrent "electrical" MBT and tDCS (or eMBT) by testing its combined effects on behavioral and neurophysiological indices of working memory (WM) and attentional resource allocation. Thirty-four healthy participants were randomly assigned to either a MBT task with tDCS group (eMBT) or an active control training task with sham tDCS (Control) group...
July 2018: Heliyon
Chao Wang, Binrang Yang, Diangang Fang, Hongwu Zeng, Xiaowen Chen, Gang Peng, Qiuying Cheng, Guohua Liang
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a highly heritable neurodevelopment disorder. The deficit in working memory is a central cognitive impairment in ADHD. The SNAP-25 is a neurotransmitter vesicular docking protein whose MnlI polymorphism (rs3746544) is located in the 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) and known to be linked to ADHD, but the underlying mechanism of this polymorphism remains unclear. Using a functional connectivity density (FCD) mapping method based on resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging in a sample of male children diagnosed with ADHD, we first investigated the correlation between SNAP-25 rs3746544 and FCD hubs...
August 6, 2018: Biological Psychology
Paul Sauseng, Charline Peylo, Anna Lena Biel, Elisabeth V C Friedrich, Carola Romberg-Taylor
Nesting of fast rhythmical brain activity (gamma) into slower brain waves (theta) has frequently been suggested as a core mechanism of multi-item working memory (WM) retention. It provides a better understanding of WM capacity limitations, and, as we discuss in this review article, it can lead to applications for modulating memory capacity. However, could cross-frequency coupling of brain oscillations also constructively contribute to a better understanding of the neuronal signatures of working memory compatible with theoretical approaches that assume flexible capacity limits? Could a theta-gamma code also be considered as a neural mechanism of flexible sharing of cognitive resources between memory representations in multi-item WM? Here, we propose potential variants of theta-gamma coupling that could explain WM retention beyond a fixed memory capacity limit of a few visual items...
August 5, 2018: British Journal of Psychology
Claudia Jara, Alejandra Aránguiz, Waldo Cerpa, Cheril Tapia-Rojas, Rodrigo A Quintanilla
Tau is a key protein for microtubule stability; however, post-translationally modified tau contributes to neurodegenerative diseases by forming tau aggregates in the neurons. Previous reports from our group and others have shown that pathological forms of tau are toxic and impair mitochondrial function, whereas tau deletion is neuroprotective. However, the effects of tau ablation on brain structure and function in young mice have not been fully elucidated. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the implications of tau ablation on the mitochondrial function and cognitive abilities of a litter of young mice (3 months old)...
July 19, 2018: Redox Biology
Leah M Feuerstahler, Steven J Luck, Angus MacDonald, Niels G Waller
The change detection task is a common method for assessing the storage capacity of working memory, but estimates of memory capacity from this task can be distorted by lapses of attention. When combined with appropriate mathematical models, some versions of the change detection task make it possible to separately estimate working memory and the probability of attentional lapses. In principle, these models should allow researchers to isolate the effects of experimental manipulations, group differences, and individual differences on working memory capacity and on the rate of attentional lapses...
August 3, 2018: Behavior Research Methods
Jessica S B Figueira, Luiza B Pacheco, Isabela Lobo, Eliane Volchan, Mirtes G Pereira, Leticia de Oliveira, Isabel A David
Some studies have demonstrated a beneficial role of Positive Affect on working memory (WM) by either applying protocols of mood induction or assessing naturally occurring state Positive Affect. However, there are no studies directly linking Positive Affect as a stable personality-like trait with WM. We aimed to address this potential relationship using the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule scale and contra-lateral delay activity (CDA) as measures of trait Positive Affect and WM Capacity, respectively. We also sought to investigate the impact of a neutral or unpleasant emotional state on this relationship...
2018: Frontiers in Psychology
Charly Eielts, Wim Pouw, Kim Ouwehand, Tamara van Gog, Rolf A Zwaan, Fred Paas
During silent problem solving, hand gestures arise that have no communicative intent. The role of such co-thought gestures in cognition has been understudied in cognitive research as compared to co-speech gestures. We investigated whether gesticulation during silent problem solving supported subsequent performance in a Tower of Hanoi problem-solving task, in relation to visual working-memory capacity and task complexity. Seventy-six participants were assigned to either an instructed gesture condition or a condition that allowed them to gesture, but without explicit instructions to do so...
July 31, 2018: Psychological Research
Juan J Ortells, Jan W De Fockert, Nazaret Romera, Sergio Fernández
The present research examined whether imposing a high (or low) working memory (WM) load in different types of non-verbal WM tasks could affect the implementation of expectancy-based strategic processes in a sequential verbal Stroop task. Participants had to identify a colored (green vs. red) target patch that was preceded by a prime word (GREEN or RED), which was either incongruent or congruent with the target color on 80% and 20% of the trials, respectively. Previous findings have shown that participants can strategically use this information to predict the upcoming target color, and avoid the standard Stroop interference effect...
2018: Frontiers in Psychology
Laura E Hatz, Kayleigh N McCarty, Bruce D Bartholow, Denis M McCarthy
BACKGROUND: Attitudes toward driving after drinking are strongly predictive of drinking and driving behavior. This study tested working memory capacity (WMC) as a moderator of the association between attitudes and drinking and driving behavior. Consistent with dual process models of cognition, we hypothesized that the association between perceived danger and drinking and driving would be stronger for individuals with higher WMC. METHODS: Participants (N = 161) enrolled in larger alcohol administration study were randomly assigned to an alcohol (n = 57), placebol (n = 52), or control (n = 52, not included) beverage condition...
July 31, 2018: Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research
Claire Sergent
When do we become conscious of a stimulus after its presentation? We would all agree that this necessarily takes time and that it is not instantaneous. Here, I would like to propose not only that conscious access is delayed relative to the external stimulation, but also that it can flexibly desynchronize from external stimulation; it can process some information 'offline', if and when it becomes relevant. Thus, in contrast with initial sensory processing, conscious experience might not strictly follow the sequence of events in the environment...
September 19, 2018: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Steven Gross
Theories of consciousness divide over whether perceptual consciousness is rich or sparse in specific representational content and whether it requires cognitive access. These two issues are often treated in tandem because of a shared assumption that the representational capacity of cognitive access is fairly limited. Recent research on working memory challenges this shared assumption. This paper argues that abandoning the assumption undermines post-cue-based 'overflow' arguments, according to which perceptual consciousness is rich and does not require cognitive access...
September 19, 2018: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
G Elliott Wimmer, Jamie K Li, Krzysztof J Gorgolewski, Russell A Poldrack
Over the past few decades, neuroscience research has illuminated the neural mechanisms supporting learning from reward feedback. Learning paradigms are increasingly being extended to study mood and psychiatric disorders as well as addiction. However, one potentially critical characteristic that this research ignores is the effect of time on learning: human feedback learning paradigms are usually conducted in a single rapidly paced session, while learning experiences in ecologically relevant circumstances and in animal research are almost always separated by longer periods of time...
July 30, 2018: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Ali Ghazizadeh, Simon Hong, Okihide Hikosaka
As a central hub for cognitive control, prefrontal cortex (PFC) is thought to utilize memories. However, unlike working or short-term memory, the neuronal representation of long-term memory in PFC has not been systematically investigated. Using single-unit recordings in macaques, we show that PFC neurons rapidly update and maintain responses to objects based on short-term reward history. Interestingly, after repeated object-reward association, PFC neurons continue to show value-biased responses to objects even in the absence of reward...
July 23, 2018: Current Biology: CB
Michel Quak, Zachary D Langford, Raquel E London, Durk Talsma
An ongoing debate in visual working memory research is concentrated on whether visual working memory capacity is determined solely by the number of objects to be memorized, or additionally by the number of relevant features contained within objects. Using a novel change detection task that contained multi-feature objects we examined the effect of both object number and feature number on visual working memory capacity, change detection sensitivity, and posterior slow wave event-related brain potential (ERP) activity...
July 25, 2018: Biological Psychology
Kevin J MacDonald, Holly A Lockhart, Alex C Storace, Stephen M Emrich, Kimberly A Cote
Working memory (WM) is impaired following sleep loss and may be improved after a nap. The goal of the current study was to better understand sleep-related WM enhancement by: (1) employing a WM task that assesses the ability to hold and report visual representations as well as the fidelity of the reports on a fine scale, (2) investigating neurophysiological properties of sleep and WM capacity as potential predictors or moderators of sleep-related enhancement, and (3) exploring frontal and occipital event-related delay activity to index the neural processing of stimuli in WM...
July 26, 2018: Cognitive, Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience
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