Working memory is our ability to hold information in mind, for short periods of time. It can be disrupted by almost any brain problem. It has been difficult to pinpoint where and how such immediate memories are held.

We study short-term visual memories, measuring our memory capacity, how memories decay, and are disrupted by irrelevant information.

Recently we have developed a neural model of working memory, proposing a very simple network. It is unlike previously proposed mechanisms, because it suggests that the patterns of brain activity do not correspond to what we are remembering. Rather, rapid interference leads to highly variable — but predictable — codes in prefrontal cortex.