Working memory updating

This allows new representations to be activated (encoded) and replace the ones previously maintained, thereby updating context information in working memory.

working memory updating-5

Working memory updating updating iphone 1 1 4 to 2 1

First we used functional MRI (f MRI) to identify regions of PFC associated with the representation of context in a working memory task.

Next we used single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), guided spatially by our f MRI findings and temporally by previous event-related EEG recordings, to disrupt context encoding while participants performed the same working memory task.

It has also been hypothesized that the encoding of context representations in PFC is regulated by phasic dopamine gating signals.

Here we use multimodal methods to test these hypotheses.

It has long been recognized that prefrontal cortex (PFC) is critical for this ability, often referred to as cognitive control (1, 2).

There is a growing consensus that PFC contributes to cognitive control by maintaining in working memory representations of information (e.g., instructions or rules) that are necessary to direct attention to and successfully perform goal-directed tasks (3–10).

In the absence of this signal, inputs have a weak influence on PFC, allowing representations that are currently active to persist.

When the gating signal occurs, inputs to the PFC are enhanced.

The conflicting needs to maintain and yet appropriately update context representations present opposing perils—a sort of Scylla and Charybdis—that must be navigated to avoid both distraction and perseveration.

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