Neural mechanisms of attending to items in working memory

S.G. Manohar, N. Zokaei, S.J. Fallon, T.P. Vogels, M. Husain, Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 101 (2019) 1–12.

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Journal Article | Published | English
Author
Manohar, Sanjay G.; Zokaei, Nahid; Fallon, Sean J.; Vogels, Tim PIST Austria; Husain, Masud
Abstract
Working memory, the ability to keep recently accessed information available for immediate manipulation, has been proposed to rely on two mechanisms that appear difficult to reconcile: self-sustained neural firing, or the opposite—activity-silent synaptic traces. Here we review and contrast models of these two mechanisms, and then show that both phenomena can co-exist within a unified system in which neurons hold information in both activity and synapses. Rapid plasticity in flexibly-coding neurons allows features to be bound together into objects, with an important emergent property being the focus of attention. One memory item is held by persistent activity in an attended or “focused” state, and is thus remembered better than other items. Other, previously attended items can remain in memory but in the background, encoded in activity-silent synaptic traces. This dual functional architecture provides a unified common mechanism accounting for a diversity of perplexing attention and memory effects that have been hitherto difficult to explain in a single theoretical framework.
Publishing Year
Date Published
2019-06-01
Journal Title
Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Volume
101
Page
1-12
ISSN
IST-REx-ID

Cite this

Manohar SG, Zokaei N, Fallon SJ, Vogels TP, Husain M. Neural mechanisms of attending to items in working memory. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. 2019;101:1-12. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.03.017
Manohar, S. G., Zokaei, N., Fallon, S. J., Vogels, T. P., & Husain, M. (2019). Neural mechanisms of attending to items in working memory. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 101, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.03.017
Manohar, Sanjay G., Nahid Zokaei, Sean J. Fallon, Tim P Vogels, and Masud Husain. “Neural Mechanisms of Attending to Items in Working Memory.” Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 101 (2019): 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.03.017.
S. G. Manohar, N. Zokaei, S. J. Fallon, T. P. Vogels, and M. Husain, “Neural mechanisms of attending to items in working memory,” Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, vol. 101, pp. 1–12, 2019.
Manohar SG, Zokaei N, Fallon SJ, Vogels TP, Husain M. 2019. Neural mechanisms of attending to items in working memory. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. 101, 1–12.
Manohar, Sanjay G., et al. “Neural Mechanisms of Attending to Items in Working Memory.” Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, vol. 101, Elsevier , 2019, pp. 1–12, doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.03.017.
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