Increased neural efficiency with repeated performance of a working memory task is information-type dependent

Seema Sayala, Joseph B. Sala, Susan Courtney-Faruqee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Unlike tasks in which practice leads to an automatic stimulus-response association, it is thought working memory (WM) tasks continue to require cognitive control processes after repeated performance. Previous studies investigating WM task repetition are in accord with this. However, it is unclear whether changes in neural activity after repetition imply alterations in general control processes common to all WM tasks or are specific to the selection, encoding and maintenance of the relevant information. In the present study, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to examine changes during sample, delay and test periods during repetition of both object and spatial delayed recognition tasks. We found decreases in fMRI activation in both spatial and object-selective areas after spatial WM task repetition, independent of behavioral performance. Few areas showed changed activity after object WM task repetition. These results indicate that spatial task repetition leads to increased efficiency of maintaining task-relevant information and improved ability to filter out task-irrelevant information. The specificity of this repetition effect to the spatial task suggests a difference exists in the nature of the representation of object and spatial information and that their maintenance in WM is likely subserved by different neural systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-617
Number of pages9
JournalCerebral Cortex
Volume16
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2006

Fingerprint

Short-Term Memory
Efficiency
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Aptitude
Maintenance

Keywords

  • fMRI
  • Object working memory
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Spatial working memory
  • Task repetition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Increased neural efficiency with repeated performance of a working memory task is information-type dependent. / Sayala, Seema; Sala, Joseph B.; Courtney-Faruqee, Susan.

In: Cerebral Cortex, Vol. 16, No. 5, 2006, p. 609-617.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{89bf9250ab0d48b6b4625b8a76f1153d,
title = "Increased neural efficiency with repeated performance of a working memory task is information-type dependent",
abstract = "Unlike tasks in which practice leads to an automatic stimulus-response association, it is thought working memory (WM) tasks continue to require cognitive control processes after repeated performance. Previous studies investigating WM task repetition are in accord with this. However, it is unclear whether changes in neural activity after repetition imply alterations in general control processes common to all WM tasks or are specific to the selection, encoding and maintenance of the relevant information. In the present study, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to examine changes during sample, delay and test periods during repetition of both object and spatial delayed recognition tasks. We found decreases in fMRI activation in both spatial and object-selective areas after spatial WM task repetition, independent of behavioral performance. Few areas showed changed activity after object WM task repetition. These results indicate that spatial task repetition leads to increased efficiency of maintaining task-relevant information and improved ability to filter out task-irrelevant information. The specificity of this repetition effect to the spatial task suggests a difference exists in the nature of the representation of object and spatial information and that their maintenance in WM is likely subserved by different neural systems.",
keywords = "fMRI, Object working memory, Prefrontal cortex, Spatial working memory, Task repetition",
author = "Seema Sayala and Sala, {Joseph B.} and Susan Courtney-Faruqee",
year = "2006",
doi = "10.1093/cercor/bhj007",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "16",
pages = "609--617",
journal = "Cerebral Cortex",
issn = "1047-3211",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Increased neural efficiency with repeated performance of a working memory task is information-type dependent

AU - Sayala, Seema

AU - Sala, Joseph B.

AU - Courtney-Faruqee, Susan

PY - 2006

Y1 - 2006

N2 - Unlike tasks in which practice leads to an automatic stimulus-response association, it is thought working memory (WM) tasks continue to require cognitive control processes after repeated performance. Previous studies investigating WM task repetition are in accord with this. However, it is unclear whether changes in neural activity after repetition imply alterations in general control processes common to all WM tasks or are specific to the selection, encoding and maintenance of the relevant information. In the present study, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to examine changes during sample, delay and test periods during repetition of both object and spatial delayed recognition tasks. We found decreases in fMRI activation in both spatial and object-selective areas after spatial WM task repetition, independent of behavioral performance. Few areas showed changed activity after object WM task repetition. These results indicate that spatial task repetition leads to increased efficiency of maintaining task-relevant information and improved ability to filter out task-irrelevant information. The specificity of this repetition effect to the spatial task suggests a difference exists in the nature of the representation of object and spatial information and that their maintenance in WM is likely subserved by different neural systems.

AB - Unlike tasks in which practice leads to an automatic stimulus-response association, it is thought working memory (WM) tasks continue to require cognitive control processes after repeated performance. Previous studies investigating WM task repetition are in accord with this. However, it is unclear whether changes in neural activity after repetition imply alterations in general control processes common to all WM tasks or are specific to the selection, encoding and maintenance of the relevant information. In the present study, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to examine changes during sample, delay and test periods during repetition of both object and spatial delayed recognition tasks. We found decreases in fMRI activation in both spatial and object-selective areas after spatial WM task repetition, independent of behavioral performance. Few areas showed changed activity after object WM task repetition. These results indicate that spatial task repetition leads to increased efficiency of maintaining task-relevant information and improved ability to filter out task-irrelevant information. The specificity of this repetition effect to the spatial task suggests a difference exists in the nature of the representation of object and spatial information and that their maintenance in WM is likely subserved by different neural systems.

KW - fMRI

KW - Object working memory

KW - Prefrontal cortex

KW - Spatial working memory

KW - Task repetition

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=33645712213&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=33645712213&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1093/cercor/bhj007

DO - 10.1093/cercor/bhj007

M3 - Article

C2 - 16079245

AN - SCOPUS:33645712213

VL - 16

SP - 609

EP - 617

JO - Cerebral Cortex

JF - Cerebral Cortex

SN - 1047-3211

IS - 5

ER -