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. “Neural mechanisms of attending to items in working memory”, Manohar et al., Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews (2019)
- We have shown that motivation can improve some aspects of memory performance, but the capacity itself appears to be strictly limited. “Motivation improves working memory by two processes”, Grogan et al. BioRxiv (2021)
- A rapid plasticity network designed to hold information in working memory can, without any modification, perform visual search! “A common neural network architecture for visual working search and working memory”, Bocincova et al. Visual Cognition (2020)