Working memory

  • Article
    | Open Access

    The relative roles of visual, parietal, and frontal cortex in working memory have been actively debated. Here, the authors show that distraction impacts visual working memory representations in primary visual areas, indicating that these regions play a key role in the maintenance of working memory.

    • Grace E. Hallenbeck
    • , Thomas C. Sprague
    •  & Clayton E. Curtis
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Intratelencephalic and pyramidal tract neurons are two major types of cortical excitatory neurons that project to cortical and subcortical structures. The authors show that in the prefrontal cortex the two populations have different roles for the maintenance of working memory and for tracking the passage of time.

    • Jung Won Bae
    • , Huijeong Jeong
    •  & Min Whan Jung
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here, the authors show that beta-band coordination between prefrontal and temporal cortex predicts working memory performance. Moreover, inferior temporal neurons exhibits greater memory activity when coordination between these areas is high, suggesting that this interaction supports object memory maintenance.

    • Ehsan Rezayat
    • , Mohammad-Reza A. Dehaqani
    •  & Behrad Noudoost
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Stein, Barbosa et al. show that anti-NMDAR encephalitis and schizophrenia are characterized by reduced serial dependence in spatial working memory. Cortical network simulations show that this can be parsimoniously explained by a reduction in NMDAR-dependent short-term synaptic potentiation in these diseases.

    • Heike Stein
    • , Joao Barbosa
    •  & Albert Compte
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Working memory is a critical component of executive function that allows people to complete complex tasks in the moment. Here, the authors show that this ability is underpinned by two newly defined brain networks.

    • Andrew C. Murphy
    • , Maxwell A. Bertolero
    •  & Danielle S. Bassett
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Working memory training reshapes the brain functional network reorganization. Here, the authors demonstrate an increase of the whole-brain network segregation during the n-back task, accompanied by alterations in dynamic communication between the default mode system and task-positive systems.

    • Karolina Finc
    • , Kamil Bonna
    •  & Danielle S. Bassett
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Trajectory-coding neurons in the hippocampus convey important information for performing memory tasks. Here, Kinsky et al. track long-term neural activity in the hippocampus to find that trajectory-coding emerges rapidly and remains stable across long time-scales.

    • Nathaniel R. Kinsky
    • , William Mau
    •  & Michael E. Hasselmo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Neuronal patterns during working memory show low-frequency oscillatory activity. Here, the authors demonstrate a rhythmic retention of working memory information in theta and alpha frequency ranges. Moreover, phase-locked amplification of the retained information improves working memory performance.

    • Sanne ten Oever
    • , Peter De Weerd
    •  & Alexander T. Sack
  • Article
    | Open Access

    People can easily extract task-relevant gist features from visual scenes and hold those features in working memory. Here, the authors show that this gist information is gradually abstracted from posterior to anterior regions of the brain and stably represented at the anterior region.

    • Byung-Il Oh
    • , Yee-Joon Kim
    •  & Min-Suk Kang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Microsaccades are small-amplitude, fixational eye movements that are largely thought to be involuntary. Here, the authors demonstrate that monkeys (and humans) can be easily trained to respond to a remembered target location with a volitional microsaccade, and that a population of superior colliculus neurons is selectively associated with them.

    • Konstantin F. Willeke
    • , Xiaoguang Tian
    •  & Ziad M. Hafed
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Neural representations in working memory are susceptible to internal noise, which scales with memory load. Here, the authors show that attractor dynamics mitigate the influence of internal noise by pulling memories towards a few stable representations.

    • Matthew F. Panichello
    • , Brian DePasquale
    •  & Timothy J. Buschman
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Disruption of cerebellar activity impairs working memory during evidence accumulation in mice. Here, the authors show that optogenetic perturbation of Purkinje cell activity disrupts the accurate accumulation of somatosensory information in working memory during perceptual decision-making.

    • Ben Deverett
    • , Mikhail Kislin
    •  & Samuel S.-H. Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Early neuropsychological studies suggested that different aspects of working memory (WM) are exclusively associated with specific brain areas. Here, the authors show, using machine-learning analysis of fMRI, how WM processes are dynamically coded by large-scale overlapping networks in the human brain.

    • Eyal Soreq
    • , Robert Leech
    •  & Adam Hampshire
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Studies of the functional organization of the prefrontal cortex have produced contradicting results depending on the task used. Here, Riley and colleagues demonstrate that prefrontal areas are specialized across the anterior posterior axis and that the effects of the task themselves impact more the anterior areas.

    • Mitchell R. Riley
    • , Xue-Lian Qi
    •  & Christos Constantinidis
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Working memory (WM) is represented in persistent activity of single neurons as well as a dynamic population code. Here, the authors find that neurons flexibly switch their coding according to current attention while those with stable resting activity maintain WM representations through dynamic activity patterns.

    • Sean E. Cavanagh
    • , John P. Towers
    •  & Steven W. Kennerley
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Prefrontal neurons exhibit both transient and persistent firing in working memory tasks. Here the authors report that the intrinsic timescale of neuronal firing outside the task is predictive of the temporal dynamics of coding during working memory in three frontoparietal brain areas.

    • D. F. Wasmuht
    • , E. Spaak
    •  & M. G. Stokes
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Neurons in the lateral prefrontal cortex are known to encode visual features as well as maintain them in working memory. Here the authors report that LPFC neurons encode both perceived and memorized visual features in diverse combinations and the population activity reliably decodes as well as differentiates between these two representations.

    • Diego Mendoza-Halliday
    •  & Julio C. Martinez-Trujillo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Working memory is known to improve through adolescence into adulthood, yet the associated changes in neuronal activity are not well understood. Zhou and colleagues report increased delay period activity correlated with changes in performance on working memory tasks in monkeys as they transition into adulthood.

    • Xin Zhou
    • , Dantong Zhu
    •  & Christos Constantinidis
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Surprising events affect ongoing behaviour and cognitive processing, yet the underlying neural mechanisms remain unclear. Wessel and colleagues show that surprise recruits a motor suppression mechanism which may be implemented via the sub-thalamic nucleus and interrupts working memory performance.

    • Jan R. Wessel
    • , Ned Jenkinson
    •  & Adam R. Aron
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Rapidly switching the focus of attention is believed to impair memory, but it is unclear how. Lewis-Peacock and Norman use brain imaging and multivariate analysis to show that when two memories briefly and closely compete in the brain, there is a lasting impairment in the ability to remember these thoughts.

    • Jarrod A. Lewis-Peacock
    •  & Kenneth A. Norman
  • Article |

    The human fusiform face area (FFA) plays a major role in face recognition. Ghuman et al.study the temporal dynamics of face information processing in the FFA and establish the timecourse of information processing as well as the processing stages that FFA contributes to when a face is first viewed.

    • Avniel Singh Ghuman
    • , Nicolas M. Brunet
    •  & R. Mark Richardson
  • Article |

    The ability to delay gratification in childhood correlates with the ability to exert self-control in adulthood. Berman and colleagues re-examine individuals that were studied 40 years ago and find that the individuals who are able to exert a high level of self-control have more efficient neural networks.

    • Marc G. Berman
    • , Grigori Yourganov
    •  & John Jonides
  • Article |

    Working memory is vital for individuals to carry out everyday activities. Fougnie and colleagues ask subjects to perform memory tasks and find that the precision of working memory varies independently across trials and items, which is inconsistent with the assumptions of standard models of memory.

    • Daryl Fougnie
    • , Jordan W. Suchow
    •  & George A. Alvarez