Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3085

Search results for: working memory

3085 Short-Term and Working Memory Differences Across Age and Gender in Children

Authors: Farzaneh Badinloo, Niloufar Jalali-Moghadam, Reza Kormi-Nouri

Abstract:

The aim of this study was to explore the short-term and working memory performances across age and gender in school aged children. Most of the studies have been interested in looking into memory changes in adult subjects. This study was instead focused on exploring both short-term and working memories of children over time. Totally 410 school child participants belonging to four age groups (approximately 8, 10, 12 and 14 years old) among which were 201 girls and 208 boys were employed in the study. digits forward and backward tests of the Wechsler children intelligence scale-revised were conducted respectively as short-term and working memory measures. According to results, there was found a general increment in both short-term and working memory scores across age (p ˂ .05) by which whereas short-term memory performance was shown to increase up to 12 years old, working memory scores showed no significant increase after 10 years old of age. No difference was observed in terms of gender (p ˃ .05). In conclusion, this study suggested that both short-term and working memories improve across age in children where 12 and 10 years of old are likely the crucial age periods in terms of short-term and working memories development.

Keywords: age, gender, short-term memory, working memory

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3084 The Involvement of Visual and Verbal Representations Within a Quantitative and Qualitative Visual Change Detection Paradigm

Authors: Laura Jenkins, Tim Eschle, Joanne Ciafone, Colin Hamilton

Abstract:

An original working memory model suggested the separation of visual and verbal systems in working memory architecture, in which only visual working memory components were used during visual working memory tasks. It was later suggested that the visuo spatial sketch pad was the only memory component at use during visual working memory tasks, and components such as the phonological loop were not considered. In more recent years, a contrasting approach has been developed with the use of an executive resource to incorporate both visual and verbal representations in visual working memory paradigms. This was supported using research demonstrating the use of verbal representations and an executive resource in a visual matrix patterns task. The aim of the current research is to investigate the working memory architecture during both a quantitative and a qualitative visual working memory task. A dual task method will be used. Three secondary tasks will be used which are designed to hit specific components within the working memory architecture – Dynamic Visual Noise (visual components), Visual Attention (spatial components) and Verbal Attention (verbal components). A comparison of the visual working memory tasks will be made to discover if verbal representations are at use, as the previous literature suggested. This direct comparison has not been made so far in the literature. Considerations will be made as to whether a domain specific approach should be employed when discussing visual working memory tasks, or whether a more domain general approach could be used instead.

Keywords: semantic organisation, visual memory, change detection

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3083 The Relationship between Life Event Stress, Depressive Thoughts, and Working Memory Capacity

Authors: Eid Abo Hamza, Ahmed Helal

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Purpose: The objective is to measure the capacity of the working memory, ie. the maximum number of elements that can be retrieved and processed, by measuring the basic functions of working memory (inhibition/transfer/update), and also to investigate its relationship to life stress and depressive thoughts. Methods: The study sample consisted of 50 students from Egypt. A cognitive task was designed to measure the working memory capacity based on the determinants found in previous research, which showed that cognitive tasks are the best measurements of the functions and capacity of working memory. Results: The results indicated that there were statistically significant differences in the level of life stress events (high/low) on the task of measuring the working memory capacity. The results also showed that there were no statistically significant differences between males and females or between academic major on the task of measuring the working memory capacity. Furthermore, the results reported that there was no statistically significant effect of the interaction of the level of life stress (high/low) and gender (male/female) on the task of measuring working memory capacity. Finally, the results showed that there were significant differences in the level of depressive thoughts (high/low) on the task of measuring working memory. Conclusions: The current research concludes that neither the interaction of stressful life events, gender, and academic major, nor the interaction of depressive thoughts, gender, and academic major, influence on working memory capacity.

Keywords: working memory, depression, stress, life event

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3082 Working Memory Growth from Kindergarten to First Grade: Considering Impulsivity, Parental Discipline Methods and Socioeconomic Status

Authors: Ayse Cobanoglu

Abstract:

Working memory can be defined as a workspace that holds and regulates active information in mind. This study investigates individual changes in children's working memory from kindergarten to first grade. The main purpose of the study is whether parental discipline methods and child impulsive/overactive behaviors affect children's working memory initial status and growth rate, controlling for gender, minority status, and socioeconomic status (SES). A linear growth curve model with the first four waves of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort of 2011 (ECLS-K:2011) is performed to analyze the individual growth of children's working memory longitudinally (N=3915). Results revealed that there is a significant variation among students' initial status in the kindergarten fall semester as well as the growth rate during the first two years of schooling. While minority status, SES, and children's overactive/impulsive behaviors influenced children's initial status, only SES and minority status were significantly associated with the growth rate of working memory. For parental discipline methods, such as giving a warning and ignoring the child's negative behavior, are also negatively associated with initial working memory scores. Following that, students' working memory growth rate is examined, and students with lower SES as well as minorities showed a faster growth pattern during the first two years of schooling. However, the findings of parental disciplinary methods on working memory growth rates were mixed. It can be concluded that schooling helps low-SES minority students to develop their working memory.

Keywords: growth curve modeling, impulsive/overactive behaviors, parenting, working memory

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3081 Relation between Sensory Processing Patterns and Working Memory in Autistic Children

Authors: Abbas Nesayan

Abstract:

Background: In recent years, autism has been under consideration in public and research area. Autistic children have dysfunction in communication, socialization, repetitive and stereotyped behaviors. In addition, they clinically suffer from difficulty in attention, challenge with familiar behaviors and sensory processing problems. Several variables are linked to sensory processing problems in autism, one of these variables is working memory. Working memory is part of the executive function which provides the necessary ability to completing multiple stages tasks. Method: This study has categorized in correlational research methods. After determining of entry criteria, according to purposive sampling method, 50 children were selected. Dunn’s sensory profile school companion was used for assessment of sensory processing patterns; behavioral rating inventory of executive functions was used (BRIEF) for assessment of working memory. Pearson correlation coefficient and linear regression were used for data analyzing. Results: The results showed the significant relationship between sensory processing patterns (low registration, sensory seeking, sensory sensitivity and sensory avoiding) with working memory in autistic children. Conclusion: According to the findings, there is the significant relationship between the patterns of sensory processing and working memory. So, in order to improve the working memory could be used some interventions based on the sensory processing.

Keywords: sensory processing patterns, working memory, autism, autistic children

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3080 The Effects of Emotional Working Memory Training on Trait Anxiety

Authors: Gabrielle Veloso, Welison Ty

Abstract:

Trait anxiety is a pervasive tendency to attend to and experience fears and worries to a disproportionate degree, across various situations. This study sought to determine if participants who undergo emotional working memory training will have significantly lower scores on the trait anxiety scales post-intervention. The study also sought to determine if emotional regulation mediated the relationship between working memory training and trait anxiety. Forty-nine participants underwent 20 days of computerized emotional working memory training called Emotional Dual n-back, which involves viewing a continuous stream of emotional content on a grid, and then remembering the location and color of items presented on the grid. Participants of the treatment group had significantly lower trait anxiety compared to controls post-intervention. Mediation analysis determined that working memory training had no significant relationship to anxiety as measured by the Beck’s Anxiety Inventory-Trait (BAIT), but was significantly related to anxiety as measured by form Y2 of the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-Y2). Emotion regulation, as measured by the Emotional Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ), was found not to mediate between working memory training and trait anxiety reduction. Results suggest that working memory training may be useful in reducing psychoemotional symptoms rather than somatic symptoms of trait anxiety. Moreover, it proposes for future research to further look into the mediating role of emotion regulation via neuroimaging and the development of more comprehensive measures of emotion regulation.

Keywords: anxiety, emotion regulation, working-memory, working-memory training

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3079 Working Memory Capacity and Motivation in Japanese English as a Foreign Language Learners' Speaking Skills

Authors: Akiko Kondo

Abstract:

Although the effects of working memory capacity on second/foreign language speaking skills have been researched in depth, few studies have focused on Japanese English as a foreign language (EFL) learners as compared to other languages (Indo-European languages), and the sample sizes of the relevant Japanese studies have been relatively small. Furthermore, comparing the effects of working memory capacity and motivation which is another kind of frequently researched individual factor on L2 speaking skills would add to the scholarly literature in the field of second language acquisition research. Therefore, the purposes of this study were to investigate whether working memory capacity and motivation have significant relationships with Japanese EFL learners’ speaking skills and to investigate the degree to which working memory capacity and motivation contribute to their English speaking skills. One-hundred and ten Japanese EFL students aged 18 to 26 years participated in this study. All of them are native Japanese speakers and have learned English as s foreign language for 6 to 15. They completed the Versant English speaking test, which has been widely used to measure non-native speakers’ English speaking skills, two types of working memory tests (the L1-based backward digit span test and the L1-based listening span test), and the language learning motivation survey. The researcher designed the working memory tests and the motivation survey. To investigate the relationship between the variables (English speaking skills, working memory capacity, and language learning motivation), a correlation analysis was conducted, which showed that L2 speaking test scores were significantly related to both working memory capacity and language learning motivation, although the correlation coefficients were weak. Furthermore, a multiple regression analysis was performed, with L2 speaking skills as the dependent variable and working memory capacity and language learning motivation as the independent variables. The results showed that working memory capacity and motivation significantly explained the variance in L2 speaking skills and that the L2 motivation had slightly larger effects on the L2 speaking skills than the working memory capacity. Although this study includes several limitations, the results could contribute to the generalization of the effects of individual differences, such as working memory and motivation on L2 learning, in the literature.

Keywords: individual differences, motivation, speaking skills, working memory

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3078 Emotional Awareness and Working Memory as Predictive Factors for the Habitual Use of Cognitive Reappraisal among Adolescents

Authors: Yuri Kitahara

Abstract:

Background: Cognitive reappraisal refers to an emotion regulation strategy in which one changes the interpretation of emotion-eliciting events. Numerous studies show that cognitive reappraisal is associated with mental health and better social functioning. However the examination of the predictive factors of adaptive emotion regulation remains as an issue. The present study examined the factors contributing to the habitual use of cognitive reappraisal, with a focus on emotional awareness and working memory. Methods: Data was collected from 30 junior high school students, using a Japanese version of the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ), the Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale for Children (LEAS-C), and N-back task. Results: A positive correlation between emotional awareness and cognitive reappraisal was observed in the high-working-memory group (r = .54, p < .05), whereas no significant relationship was found in the low-working-memory group. In addition, the results of the analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed a significant interaction between emotional awareness and working memory capacity (F(1, 26) = 7.74, p < .05). Subsequent analysis of simple main effects confirmed that high working memory capacity significantly increases the use of cognitive reappraisal for high-emotional-awareness subjects, and significantly decreases the use of cognitive reappraisal for low-emotional-awareness subjects. Discussion: These results indicate that under the condition when one has an adequate ability for simultaneous processing of information, explicit understanding of emotion would contribute to adaptive cognitive emotion regulation. The findings are discussed along with neuroscientific claims.

Keywords: cognitive reappraisal, emotional awareness, emotion regulation, working memory

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3077 Spatial Working Memory Is Enhanced by the Differential Outcome Procedure in a Group of Participants with Mild Cognitive Impairment

Authors: Ana B. Vivas, Antonia Ypsilanti, Aristea I. Ladas, Angeles F. Estevez

Abstract:

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is considered an intermediate stage between normal and pathological aging, as a substantial percentage of people diagnosed with MCI converts later to dementia of the Alzheimer’s type. Memory is of the first cognitive processes to deteriorate in this condition. In the present study we employed the differential outcomes procedure (DOP) to improve visuospatial memory in a group of participants with MCI. The DOP requires the structure of a conditional discriminative learning task in which a correct choice response to a specific stimulus-stimulus association is reinforced with a particular reinforcer or outcome. A group of 10 participants with MCI, and a matched control group had to learn and keep in working memory four target locations out of eight possible locations where a shape could be presented. Results showed that participants with MCI had a statistically significant better terminal accuracy when a unique outcome was paired with a location (76% accuracy) as compared to a non differential outcome condition (64%). This finding suggests that the DOP is useful in improving working memory in MCI patients, which may delay their conversion to dementia.

Keywords: mild cognitive impairment, working memory, differential outcomes, cognitive process

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3076 Cognitive Benefits of Being Bilingual: The Effect of Language Learning on the Working Memory in Emerging Miao-Mandarin Juveniles in Rural Regions of China

Authors: Peien Ma

Abstract:

Bilingual effect/advantage theorized the positive effect of being bilingual on general cognitive abilities, but it was unknown which factors tend to modulate these bilingualism effects on working memory capacity. This study imposed empirical field research on a group of low-SES emerging bilinguals, Miao people, in the hill tribes of rural China to investigate whether bilingualism affected their verbal working memory performance. 20 Miao-Chinese bilinguals (13 girls and 7 boys with a mean age of 11.45, SD=1.67) and 20 Chinese monolingual peers (13 girls and 7 boys with a mean age of 11.6, SD=0.68) were recruited. These bilingual and monolingual juveniles, matched on age, sex, socioeconomic status, and educational status, completed a language background questionnaire and a standard forward and backward digit span test adapted from Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (WAIS-R). The results showed that bilinguals earned a significantly higher overall mean score of the task, suggesting the superiority of working memory ability over the monolinguals. And bilingual cognitive benefits were independent of proficiency levels in learners’ two languages. The results suggested that bilingualism enhances working memory in sequential bilinguals from low SES backgrounds and shed light on our understanding of the bilingual advantage from a psychological and social perspective.

Keywords: bilingual effects, heritage language, Miao/Hmong language Mandarin, working memory

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3075 Effects of Listening to Pleasant Thai Classical Music on Increasing Working Memory in Elderly: An Electroencephalogram Study

Authors: Anchana Julsiri, Seree Chadcham

Abstract:

The present study determined the effects of listening to pleasant Thai classical music on increasing working memory in elderly. Thai classical music without lyrics that made participants feel fun and aroused was used in the experiment for 3.19-5.40 minutes. The accuracy scores of Counting Span Task (CST), upper alpha ERD%, and theta ERS% were used to assess working memory of participants both before and after listening to pleasant Thai classical music. The results showed that the accuracy scores of CST and upper alpha ERD% in the frontal area of participants after listening to Thai classical music were significantly higher than before listening to Thai classical music (p < .05). Theta ERS% in the fronto-parietal network of participants after listening to Thai classical music was significantly lower than before listening to Thai classical music (p < .05).

Keywords: brain wave, elderly, pleasant Thai classical music, working memory

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3074 Effectiveness of Working Memory Training on Cognitive Flexibility

Authors: Leila Maleki, Ezatollah Ahmadi

Abstract:

The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of memory training exercise on cognitive flexibility. The method of this study was experimental. The statistical population selected 40 students 14 years old, samples were chosen by available sampling method and then they were replaced in experimental (training program) group and control group randomly and answered to Wisconsin Card Sorting Test; covariance test results indicated that there were a significant in post-test scores of experimental group (p<0.005).

Keywords: cognitive flexibility, working memory exercises, problem solving, reaction time

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3073 Testing the Impact of Formal Interpreting Training on Working Memory Capacity: Evidence from Turkish-English Student-Interpreters

Authors: Elena Antonova Unlu, Cigdem Sagin Simsek

Abstract:

The research presents two studies examining the impact of formal interpreting training (FIT) on Working Memory Capacity (WMC) of student-interpreters. In Study 1, the storage and processing capacities of the working memory (WM) of last-year student-interpreters were compared with those of last-year Foreign Language Education (FLE) students. In Study 2, the impact of FIT on the WMC of student-interpreters was examined via comparing their results on WM tasks at the beginning and the end of their FIT. In both studies, Digit Span Task (DST) and Reading Span Task (RST) were utilized for testing storage and processing capacities of WM. The results of Study 1 revealed that the last-year student-interpreters outperformed the control groups on the RST but not on the DST. The findings of Study 2 were consistent with Study 1 showing that after FIT, the student-interpreters performed better on the RST but not on the DST. Our findings can be considered as evidence supporting the view that FIT has a beneficial effect not only on the interpreting skills of student-interpreters but also on the central executive and processing capacity of their WM.

Keywords: working memory capacity, formal interpreting training, student-interpreters, cross-sectional and longitudinal data

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3072 Selective Effect of Occipital Alpha Transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation in Perception and Working Memory

Authors: Andreina Giustiniani, Massimiliano Oliveri

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Rhythmic activity in different frequencies could subserve distinct functional roles during visual perception and visual mental imagery. In particular, alpha band activity is thought to play a role in active inhibition of both task-irrelevant regions and processing of non-relevant information. In the present blind placebo-controlled study we applied alpha transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) in the occipital cortex both during a basic visual perception and a visual working memory task. To understand if the role of alpha is more related to a general inhibition of distractors or to an inhibition of task-irrelevant regions, we added a non visual distraction to both the tasks.Sixteen adult volunteers performed both a simple perception and a working memory task during 10 Hz tACS. The electrodes were placed over the left and right occipital cortex, the current intensity was 1 mA peak-to-baseline. Sham stimulation was chosen as control condition and in order to elicit the skin sensation similar to the real stimulation, electrical stimulation was applied for short periods (30 s) at the beginning of the session and then turned off. The tasks were split in two sets, in one set distracters were included and in the other set, there were no distracters. Motor interference was added by changing the answer key after subjects completed the first set of trials.The results show that alpha tACS improves working memory only when no motor distracters are added, suggesting a role of alpha tACS in inhibiting non-relevant regions rather than in a general inhibition of distractors. Additionally, we found that alpha tACS does not affect accuracy and hit rates during the visual perception task. These results suggest that alpha activity in the occipital cortex plays a different role in perception and working memory and it could optimize performance in tasks in which attention is internally directed, as in this working memory paradigm, but only when there is not motor distraction. Moreover, alpha tACS improves working memory performance by means of inhibition of task-irrelevant regions while it does not affect perception.

Keywords: alpha activity, interference, perception, working memory

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3071 Explaining Listening Comprehension among L2 Learners of English: The Contribution of Vocabulary Knowledge and Working Memory Capacity

Authors: Ahmed Masrai

Abstract:

Listening comprehension constitutes a considerable challenge for the second language (L2) learners, but a little is known about the explanatory power of different variables in explaining variance in listening comprehension. Since research in this area, to the researcher's knowledge, is relatively small in comparison to that focusing on the relationship between reading comprehension and factors such as vocabulary and working memory, there is a need for studies that are seeking to fill the gap in our knowledge about the specific contribution of working memory capacity (WMC), aural vocabulary knowledge and written vocabulary knowledge to explaining listening comprehension. Among 130 English as foreign language learners, the present study examines what proportion of the variance in listening comprehension is explained by aural vocabulary knowledge, written vocabulary knowledge, and WMC. Four measures were used to collect the required data for the study: (1) A-Lex, a measure of aural vocabulary knowledge; (2) XK-Lex, a measure of written vocabulary knowledge; (3) Listening Span Task, a measure of WMC and; (4) IELTS Listening Test, a measure of listening comprehension. The results show that aural vocabulary knowledge is the strongest predictor of listening comprehension, followed by WMC, while written vocabulary knowledge is the weakest predictor. The study discusses implications for the explanatory power of aural vocabulary knowledge and WMC to listening comprehension and pedagogical practice in L2 classrooms.

Keywords: listening comprehension, second language, vocabulary knowledge, working memory

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3070 A Randomized Controlled Intervention Study of the Effect of Music Training on Mathematical and Working Memory Performances

Authors: Ingo Roden, Stefana Lupu, Mara Krone, Jasmin Chantah, Gunter Kreutz, Stephan Bongard, Dietmar Grube

Abstract:

The present experimental study examined the effects of music and math training on mathematical skills and visuospatial working memory capacity in kindergarten children. For this purpose, N = 54 children (mean age: 5.46 years; SD = .29) were randomly assigned to three groups. Children in the music group (n = 18) received weekly sessions of 60 min music training over a period of eight weeks, whereas children in the math group (n = 18) received the same amount of training focusing on mathematical basic skills, such as numeracy skills, quantity comparison, and counting objectives. The third group of children (n = 18) served as waiting controls. The groups were matched for sex, age, IQ and previous music experiences at baseline. Pre-Post intervention measurements revealed a significant interaction effect of group x time, showing that children in both music and math groups significantly improved their early numeracy skills, whereas children in the control group did not. No significant differences between groups were observed for the visuospatial working memory performances. These results confirm and extend previous findings on transfer effects of music training on mathematical abilities and visuospatial working memory capacity. They show that music and math interventions are similarly effective to enhance children’s mathematical skills. More research is necessary to establish, whether cognitive transfer effects arising from music interventions might facilitate children’s transition from kindergarten to first-grade.

Keywords: music training, mathematical skills, working memory, transfer

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3069 Verbal Working Memory in Sequential and Simultaneous Bilinguals: An Exploratory Study

Authors: Archana Rao R., Deepak P., Chayashree P. D., Darshan H. S.

Abstract:

Cognitive abilities in bilinguals have been widely studied over the last few decades. Bilingualism has been found to extensively facilitate the ability to store and manipulate information in Working Memory (WM). The mechanism of WM includes primary memory, attentional control, and secondary memory, each of which makes a contribution to WM. Many researches have been done in an attempt to measure WM capabilities through both verbal (phonological) and nonverbal tasks (visuospatial). Since there is a lot of speculations regarding the relationship between WM and bilingualism, further investigation is required to understand the nature of WM in bilinguals, i.e., with respect to sequential and simultaneous bilinguals. Hence the present study aimed to highlight the verbal working memory abilities in sequential and simultaneous bilinguals with respect to the processing and recall abilities of nouns and verbs. Two groups of bilinguals aged between 18-30 years were considered for the study. Group 1 consisted of 20 (10 males and 10 females) sequential bilinguals who had acquired L1 (Kannada) before the age of 3 and had exposure to L2 (English) for a period of 8-10 years. Group 2 consisted of 20 (10 males and 10 females) simultaneous bilinguals who have acquired both L1 and L2 before the age of 3. Working memory abilities were assessed using two tasks, and a set of stimuli which was presented in gradation of complexity and the stimuli was inclusive of frequent and infrequent nouns and verbs. The tasks involved the participants to judge the correctness of the sentence and simultaneously remember the last word of each sentence and the participants are instructed to recall the words at the end of each set. The results indicated no significant difference between sequential and simultaneous bilinguals in processing the nouns and verbs, and this could be attributed to the proficiency level of the participants in L1 and the alike cognitive abilities between the groups. And recall of nouns was better compared to verbs, maybe because of the complex argument structure involved in verbs. Similarly, authors found a frequency of occurrence of nouns and verbs also had an effect on WM abilities. The difference was also found across gradation due to the load imposed on the central executive function and phonological loop.

Keywords: bilinguals, nouns, verbs, working memory

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3068 Effect of Blood Sugar Levels on Short Term and Working Memory Status in Type 2 Diabetics

Authors: Mythri G., Manjunath ML, Girish Babu M., Shireen Swaliha Quadri

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Background: The increase in diabetes among the elderly is of concern because in addition to the wide range of traditional diabetes complications, evidence has been growing that diabetes is associated with increased risk of cognitive decline. Aims and Objectives: To find out if there is any association between blood sugar levels and short-term and working memory status in patients of type 2 diabetes. Materials and Methods: The study was carried out in 200 individuals aged between 40-65 years consisting of 100 diagnosed cases of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and 100 non-diabetics from OPD of Mc Gann Hospital, Shivamogga. Rye’s Auditory Verbal Learning Test, Verbal Fluency Test and Visual Reproduction Test, Working Digit Span Test and Validation Span Test were used to assess short-term and working memory. Fasting and Post Prandial blood sugar levels were estimated. Statistical analysis was done using SPSS 21. Results: Memory test scores of type 2 diabetics were significantly reduced (p < 0.001) when compared to the memory scores of age and gender matched non-diabetics. Fasting blood sugar levels were found to have a negative correlation with memory scores for all 5 tests: AVLT (r=-0.837), VFT (r=-0.888), VRT(r=-0.787), WDST (r=-0.795) and VST (r=-0.943). Post- Prandial blood sugar levels were found to have a negative correlation with memory scores for all 5 tests: AVLT (r=-0.922), VFT (r=-0.848), VRT(r=-0.707),WDST (r=-0.729) and VST (r=-0.880) Memory scores in all 5 tests were found to be negatively correlated with the FBS and PPBS levels in diabetic patients (p < 0.001). Conclusion: The decreased memory status in diabetic patients may be due to many factors like hyperglycemia, vascular disease, insulin resistance, amyloid deposition and also some of the factor combine to produce additive effects like, type of diabetes, co-morbidities, age of onset, duration of the disease and type of therapy. These observed effects of blood sugar levels of diabetics on memory status are of potential clinical importance because even mild cognitive impairment could interfere with todays’ activities.

Keywords: diabetes, cognition, diabetes, HRV, respiratory medicine

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3067 Effectiveness of Medication and Non-Medication Therapy on Working Memory of Children with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder

Authors: Mohaammad Ahmadpanah, Amineh Akhondi, Mohammad Haghighi, Ali Ghaleiha, Leila Jahangard, Elham Salari

Abstract:

Background: Working memory includes the capability to keep and manipulate information in a short period of time. This capability is the basis of complicated judgments and has been attended to as the specific and constant character of individuals. Children with attention deficit and hyperactivity are among the people suffering from deficiency in the active memory, and this deficiency has been attributed to the problem of frontal lobe. This study utilizes a new approach with suitable tasks and methods for training active memory and assessment of the effects of the trainings. Participants: The children participating in this study were of 7-15 year age, who were diagnosed by the psychiatrist and psychologist as hyperactive and attention deficit based on DSM-IV criteria. The intervention group was consisted of 8 boys and 6 girls with the average age of 11 years and standard deviation of 2, and the control group was consisted of 2 girls and 5 boys with an average age of 11.4 and standard deviation of 3. Three children in the test group and two in the control group were under medicinal therapy. Results: Working memory training meaningfully improved the performance in not-trained areas as visual-spatial working memory as well as the performance in Raven progressive tests which are a perfect example of non-verbal, complicated reasoning tasks. In addition, motional activities – measured based on the number of head movements during computerized measuring program – was meaningfully reduced in the medication group. The results of the second test showed that training similar exercise to teenagers and adults results in the improvement of cognition functions, as in hyperactive people. Discussion: The results of this study showed that the performance of working memory is improved through training, and these trainings are extended and generalized in other areas of cognition functions not receiving any training. Trainings resulted in the improvement of performance in the tasks related to prefrontal. They had also a positive and meaningful impact on the moving activities of hyperactive children.

Keywords: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, working memory, non-medical treatment, children

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3066 An Educational Application of Online Games for Learning Difficulties

Authors: Maria Margoudi, Zacharoula Smyraniou

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The current paper presents the results of a conducted case study, which was part of the author’s master thesis. During the past few years the number of children diagnosed with Learning Difficulties has drastically augmented and especially the cases of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). One of the core characteristics of ADHD is a deficit in working memory functions. The review of the literature indicates a plethora of educational software that aim at training and enhancing the working memory. Nevertheless, in the current paper, the possibility of using for the same purpose free, online games will be explored. Another issue of interest is the potential effect of the working memory training to the core symptoms of ADHD. In order to explore the abovementioned research questions, three digital tests are employed, all of which are developed on the E-slate platform by the author, in order to check the level of ADHD’s symptoms and to be used as diagnostic tools, both in the beginning and in the end of the case study. The tools used during the main intervention of the research are free online games for the training of working memory. The research and the data analysis focus on the following axes: a) the presence and the possible change in two of the core symptoms of ADHD, attention and impulsivity and b) a possible change in the general cognitive abilities of the individual. The case study was conducted with the participation of a thirteen year-old, female student, diagnosed with ADHD, during after-school hours. The results of the study indicate positive changes both in the levels of attention and impulsivity. Therefore we conclude that the training of working memory through the use of free, online games has a positive impact on the characteristics of ADHD. Finally, concerning the second research question, the change in general cognitive abilities, no significant changes were noted.

Keywords: ADHD, attention, impulsivity, online games

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3065 Attention and Memory in the Music Learning Process in Individuals with Visual Impairments

Authors: Lana Burmistrova

Abstract:

Introduction: The influence of visual impairments on several cognitive processes used in the music learning process is an increasingly important area in special education and cognitive musicology. Many children have several visual impairments due to the refractive errors and irreversible inhibitors. However, based on the compensatory neuroplasticity and functional reorganization, congenitally blind (CB) and early blind (EB) individuals use several areas of the occipital lobe to perceive and process auditory and tactile information. CB individuals have greater memory capacity, memory reliability, and less false memory mechanisms are used while executing several tasks, they have better working memory (WM) and short-term memory (STM). Blind individuals use several strategies while executing tactile and working memory n-back tasks: verbalization strategy (mental recall), tactile strategy (tactile recall) and combined strategies. Methods and design: The aim of the pilot study was to substantiate similar tendencies while executing attention, memory and combined auditory tasks in blind and sighted individuals constructed for this study, and to investigate attention, memory and combined mechanisms used in the music learning process. For this study eight (n=8) blind and eight (n=8) sighted individuals aged 13-20 were chosen. All respondents had more than five years music performance and music learning experience. In the attention task, all respondents had to identify pitch changes in tonal and randomized melodic pairs. The memory task was based on the mismatch negativity (MMN) proportion theory: 80 percent standard (not changed) and 20 percent deviant (changed) stimuli (sequences). Every sequence was named (na-na, ra-ra, za-za) and several items (pencil, spoon, tealight) were assigned for each sequence. Respondents had to recall the sequences, to associate them with the item and to detect possible changes. While executing the combined task, all respondents had to focus attention on the pitch changes and had to detect and describe these during the recall. Results and conclusion: The results support specific features in CB and EB, and similarities between late blind (LB) and sighted individuals. While executing attention and memory tasks, it was possible to observe the tendency in CB and EB by using more precise execution tactics and usage of more advanced periodic memory, while focusing on auditory and tactile stimuli. While executing memory and combined tasks, CB and EB individuals used passive working memory to recall standard sequences, active working memory to recall deviant sequences and combined strategies. Based on the observation results, assessment of blind respondents and recording specifics, following attention and memory correlations were identified: reflective attention and STM, reflective attention and periodic memory, auditory attention and WM, tactile attention and WM, auditory tactile attention and STM. The results and the summary of findings highlight the attention and memory features used in the music learning process in the context of blindness, and the tendency of the several attention and memory types correlated based on the task, strategy and individual features.

Keywords: attention, blindness, memory, music learning, strategy

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3064 Improving Working Memory in School Children through Chess Training

Authors: Veena Easvaradoss, Ebenezer Joseph, Sumathi Chandrasekaran, Sweta Jain, Aparna Anna Mathai, Senta Christy

Abstract:

Working memory refers to a cognitive processing space where information is received, managed, transformed, and briefly stored. It is an operational process of transforming information for the execution of cognitive tasks in different and new ways. Many class room activities require children to remember information and mentally manipulate it. While the impact of chess training on intelligence and academic performance has been unequivocally established, its impact on working memory needs to be studied. This study, funded by the Cognitive Science Research Initiative, Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, analyzed the effect of one-year chess training on the working memory of children. A pretest–posttest with control group design was used, with 52 children in the experimental group and 50 children in the control group. The sample was selected from children studying in school (grades 3 to 9), which included both the genders. The experimental group underwent weekly chess training for one year, while the control group was involved in extracurricular activities. Working memory was measured by two subtests of WISC-IV INDIA. The Digit Span Subtest involves recalling a list of numbers of increasing length presented orally in forward and in reverse order, and the Letter–Number Sequencing Subtest involves rearranging jumbled alphabets and numbers presented orally following a given rule. Both tasks require the child to receive and briefly store information, manipulate it, and present it in a changed format. The Children were trained using Winning Moves curriculum, audio- visual learning method, hands-on- chess training and recording the games using score sheets, analyze their mistakes, thereby increasing their Meta-Analytical abilities. They were also trained in Opening theory, Checkmating techniques, End-game theory and Tactical principles. Pre equivalence of means was established. Analysis revealed that the experimental group had significant gains in working memory compared to the control group. The present study clearly establishes a link between chess training and working memory. The transfer of chess training to the improvement of working memory could be attributed to the fact that while playing chess, children evaluate positions, visualize new positions in their mind, analyze the pros and cons of each move, and choose moves based on the information stored in their mind. If working-memory’s capacity could be expanded or made to function more efficiently, it could result in the improvement of executive functions as well as the scholastic performance of the child.

Keywords: chess training, cognitive development, executive functions, school children, working memory

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3063 Working Memory and Audio-Motor Synchronization in Children with Different Degrees of Central Nervous System's Lesions

Authors: Anastasia V. Kovaleva, Alena A. Ryabova, Vladimir N. Kasatkin

Abstract:

Background: The most simple form of entrainment to a sensory (typically auditory) rhythmic stimulus involves perceiving and synchronizing movements with an isochronous beat with one level of periodicity, such as that produced by a metronome. Children with pediatric cancer usually treated with chemo- and radiotherapy. Because of such treatment, psychologists and health professionals declare cognitive and motor abilities decline in cancer patients. The purpose of our study was to measure working memory characteristics with association with audio-motor synchronization tasks, also involved some memory resources, in children with different degrees of central nervous system lesions: posterior fossa tumors, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and healthy controls. Methods: Our sample consisted of three groups of children: children treated for posterior fossa tumors (PFT-group, n=42, mean age 12.23), children treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL-group, n=11, mean age 11.57) and neurologically healthy children (control group, n=36, mean age 11.67). Participants were tested for working memory characteristics with Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB). Pattern recognition memory (PRM) and spatial working memory (SWM) tests were applied. Outcome measures of PRM test include the number and percentage of correct trials and latency (speed of participant’s response), and measures of SWM include errors, strategy, and latency. In the synchronization tests, the instruction was to tap out a regular beat (40, 60, 90 and 120 beats per minute) in synchrony with the rhythmic sequences that were played. This meant that for the sequences with an isochronous beat, participants were required to tap into every auditory event. Variations of inter-tap-intervals and deviations of children’s taps from the metronome were assessed. Results: Analysis of variance revealed the significant effect of group (ALL, PFT and control) on such parameters as short-term PRM, SWM strategy and errors. Healthy controls demonstrated more correctly retained elements, better working memory strategy, compared to cancer patients. Interestingly that ALL patients chose the bad strategy, but committed significantly less errors in SWM test then PFT and controls did. As to rhythmic ability, significant associations of working memory were found out only with 40 bpm rhythm: the less variable were inter-tap-intervals of the child, the more elements in memory he/she could retain. The ability to audio-motor synchronization may be related to working memory processes mediated by the prefrontal cortex whereby each sensory event is actively retrieved and monitored during rhythmic sequencing. Conclusion: Our results suggest that working memory, tested with appropriate cognitive methods, is associated with the ability to synchronize movements with rhythmic sounds, especially in sub-second intervals (40 per minute).

Keywords: acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), audio-motor synchronization, posterior fossa tumor, working memory

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3062 The Impact of Two Factors on EFL Learners' Fluency

Authors: Alireza Behfar, Mohammad Mahdavi

Abstract:

Nowadays, in the light of progress in the world of science, technology and communications, mastery of learning international languages is a sure and needful matter. In learning any language as a second language, progress and achieving a desirable level in speaking is indeed important for approximately all learners. In this research, we find out how preparation can influence L2 learners' oral fluency with respect to individual differences in working memory capacity. The participants consisted of sixty-one advanced L2 learners including MA students of TEFL at Isfahan University as well as instructors teaching English at Sadr Institute in Isfahan. The data collection consisted of two phases: A working memory test (reading span test) and a picture description task, with a one-month interval between the two tasks. Speaking was elicited through speech generation task in which the individuals were asked to discuss four topics emerging in two pairs. The two pairs included one simple and one complex topic and was accompanied by planning time and without any planning time respectively. Each topic was accompanied by several relevant pictures. L2 fluency was assessed based on preparation. The data were then analyzed in terms of the number of syllables, the number of silent pauses, and the mean length of pauses produced per minute. The study offers implications for strategies to improve learners’ both fluency and working memory.

Keywords: two factors, fluency, working memory capacity, preparation, L2 speech production reading span test picture description

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3061 Math Anxiety Effects on Complex Addition: An ERP Study

Authors: María Isabel Núñez-Peña, Macarena Suárez Pellicioni

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In the present study, we used event-related potentials (ERP) to address the question of whether high (HMA) and low math-anxious (LMA) individuals differ on a complex addition verification task, which involved both carrying and non-carrying additions. ERPs were recorded while seventeen HMA and seventeen LMA individuals performed the verification task. Groups did not differ in trait anxiety or gender distribution. Participants were presented with two-digit additions and were asked to decide whether the proposed solution was correct or incorrect. Behavioral data showed a significant Carrying x Proposed solution x Group interaction for accuracy, showing that carrying additions were more error prone than non-carrying ones for both groups, although the difference non-carrying minus carrying was larger for the HMA group. As for ERPs, a P2 component larger in HMA individuals than in their LMA peers was found both for carrying and non-carrying additions. The P2 was followed by a sustained negative slow wave at parietal positions. Because the negative slow waves are thought to reflect the updating of working memory, these results give support to the relationship among working memory, math performance and math anxiety.

Keywords: math anxiety, carrying, working memory, P2

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3060 Effects of Partial Sleep Deprivation on Prefrontal Cognitive Functions in Adolescents

Authors: Nurcihan Kiris

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Restricted sleep is common in young adults and adolescents. The results of a few objective studies of sleep deprivation on cognitive performance were not clarified. In particular, the effect of sleep deprivation on the cognitive functions associated with frontal lobe such as attention, executive functions, working memory is not well known. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of partial sleep deprivation experimentally in adolescents on the cognitive tasks of frontal lobe including working memory, strategic thinking, simple attention, continuous attention, executive functions, and cognitive flexibility. Subjects of the study were recruited from voluntary students of Cukurova University. Eighteen adolescents underwent four consecutive nights of monitored sleep restriction (6–6.5 hr/night) and four nights of sleep extension (10–10.5 hr/night), in counterbalanced order, and separated by a washout period. Following each sleep period, cognitive performance was assessed, at a fixed morning time, using a computerized neuropsychological battery based on frontal lobe functions task, a timed test providing both accuracy and reaction time outcome measures. Only the spatial working memory performance of cognitive tasks was found to be statistically lower in a restricted sleep condition than the extended sleep condition. On the other hand, there was no significant difference in the performance of cognitive tasks evaluating simple attention, constant attention, executive functions, and cognitive flexibility. It is thought that especially the spatial working memory and strategic thinking skills of adolescents may be susceptible to sleep deprivation. On the other hand, adolescents are predicted to be optimally successful in ideal sleep conditions, especially in the circumstances requiring for the short term storage of visual information, processing of stored information, and strategic thinking. The findings of this study may also be associated with possible negative functional effects on the processing of academic social and emotional inputs in adolescents for partial sleep deprivation. Acknowledgment: This research was supported by Cukurova University Scientific Research Projects Unit.

Keywords: attention, cognitive functions, sleep deprivation, working memory

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3059 Executive Deficits in Non-Clinical Hoarders

Authors: Thomas Heffernan, Nick Neave, Colin Hamilton, Gill Case

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Hoarding is the acquisition of and failure to discard possessions, leading to excessive clutter and significant psychological/emotional distress. From a cognitive-behavioural approach, excessive hoarding arises from information-processing deficits, as well as from problems with emotional attachment to possessions and beliefs about the nature of possessions. In terms of information processing, hoarders have shown deficits in executive functions, including working memory, planning, inhibitory control, and cognitive flexibility. However, this previous research is often confounded by co-morbid factors such as anxiety, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. The current study adopted a cognitive-behavioural approach, specifically assessing executive deficits and working memory in a non-clinical sample of hoarders, compared with non-hoarders. In this study, a non-clinical sample of 40 hoarders and 73 non-hoarders (defined by The Savings Inventory-Revised) completed the Adult Executive Functioning Inventory, which measures working memory and inhibition, Dysexecutive Questionnaire-Revised, which measures general executive function and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, which measures mood. The participant sample was made up of unpaid young adult volunteers who were undergraduate students and who completed the questionnaires on a university campus. The results revealed that, after observing no differences between hoarders and non-hoarders on age, sex, and mood, hoarders reported significantly more deficits in inhibitory control and general executive function when compared with non-hoarders. There was no between-group difference on general working memory. This suggests that non-clinical hoarders have a specific difficulty with inhibition-control, which enables you to resist repeated, unwanted urges. This might explain the hoarder’s inability to resist urges to buy and keep items that are no longer of any practical use. These deficits may be underpinned by general executive function deficiencies.

Keywords: hoarding, memory, executive, deficits

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3058 Memory-Guided Oculomotor Task in High School Football Players with ADHD, Post-Concussive Injuries, and Controls

Authors: B. McGovern, J. F. Luck, A. Gade, I. V. Lake, D. O’Connell, H. C. Cutcliffe, K. P. Shah, E. E. Ginalis, C. M. Lambert, N. Christian, J. R. Kait, A. W. Yu, C. P. Eckersley, C. R. Bass

Abstract:

Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) in the form of post-concussive injuries and attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) share similar cognitive impairments, including impaired working memory and executive function. The memory-guided oculomotor task separates working memory and inhibitory components to provide further information on the nature of these deficits in each pathology. Eleven subjects with ADHD, fifteen control subjects, and ten subjects with recent concussive injury were matched on age, gender, and education (all high school-age males). Eye movements were recorded during memory-guided oculomotor tasks with varying delays using EyeLink 1000 (SR Research). The percentage of premature saccades and the latency of correct response are the analyzed measures for response inhibition and working memory, respectively. No significant differences were found in latencies between controls subjects and subjects with ADHD or post-concussive injuries, in accordance with previous studies. Subjects with ADHD and post-concussive injuries both demonstrated a trend of increased percentages of premature saccades compared to control subjects in the same oculomotor task. This trend reached statistical significance between the post-concussive and control groups (p < 0.05). These findings support the primary nature of the executive function deficits in response inhibition in ADHD and mTBI. The interpretation of results is limited by the small sample size and the exploratory nature of the study. Further investigation into oculomotor performance differences in mTBI and ADHD may help in differentiating these pathologies in consequent diagnoses and provide insight into the interaction of these deficits in mTBI.

Keywords: attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), concussion, diagnosis, oculomotor, pediatrics

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3057 Real-Time Episodic Memory Construction for Optimal Action Selection in Cognitive Robotics

Authors: Deon de Jager, Yahya Zweiri, Dimitrios Makris

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The three most important components in the cognitive architecture for cognitive robotics is memory representation, memory recall, and action-selection performed by the executive. In this paper, action selection, performed by the executive, is defined as a memory quantification and optimization process. The methodology describes the real-time construction of episodic memory through semantic memory optimization. The optimization is performed by set-based particle swarm optimization, using an adaptive entropy memory quantification approach for fitness evaluation. The performance of the approach is experimentally evaluated by simulation, where a UAV is tasked with the collection and delivery of a medical package. The experiments show that the UAV dynamically uses the episodic memory to autonomously control its velocity, while successfully completing its mission.

Keywords: cognitive robotics, semantic memory, episodic memory, maximum entropy principle, particle swarm optimization

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3056 Development of Visual Working Memory Precision: A Cross-Sectional Study of Simultaneously Delayed Responses Paradigm

Authors: Yao Fu, Xingli Zhang, Jiannong Shi

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Visual working memory (VWM) capacity is the ability to maintain and manipulate short-term information which is not currently available. It is well known for its significance to form the basis of numerous cognitive abilities and its limitation in holding information. VWM span, the most popular measurable indicator, is found to reach the adult level (3-4 items) around 12-13 years’ old, while less is known about the precision development of the VWM capacity. By using simultaneously delayed responses paradigm, the present study investigates the development of VWM precision among 6-18-year-old children and young adults, besides its possible relationships with fluid intelligence and span. Results showed that precision and span both increased with age, and precision reached the maximum in 16-17 age-range. Moreover, when remembering 3 simultaneously presented items, the probability of remembering target item correlated with fluid intelligence and the probability of wrap errors (misbinding target and non-target items) correlated with age. When remembering more items, children had worse performance than adults due to their wrap errors. Compared to span, VWM precision was effective predictor of intelligence even after controlling for age. These results suggest that unlike VWM span, precision developed in a slow, yet longer fashion. Moreover, decreasing probability of wrap errors might be the main reason for the development of precision. Last, precision correlated more closely with intelligence than span in childhood and adolescence, which might be caused by the probability of remembering target item.

Keywords: fluid intelligence, precision, visual working memory, wrap errors

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