Psychostimulants Hinder Sleep And Memory With Little Benefit

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Taking nonprescribed psychostimulants may slightly improve a person’s short-term focus but impede sleep and mental functions that rely on it — such as working memory. The use of prescription stimulants by those without medically diagnosed conditions marks a growing trend among young adults — particularly college students seeking a brain boost. “Healthy individuals who use …

Pyramidal Cell Subclasses Differ By Electrophysiology And Connectivity

Dissociable Structural and Functional Hippocampal Outputs via Distinct Subiculum Cell Classes
Efforts to parse the cellular, molecular, and behavioral components of spatial recognition are paying off with new insight into the neuroscience of memory-guided navigation. At the Janelia Research Campus, postdoctoral research scientist Mark Cembrowski, who is part of Group Leader Nelson Spruston's lab, has as his primary research target the subiculum. This is a sub-region …

Dual N-back Cognitive Training Improves Working Memory

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Dual n-back training, one of the two methods most scientists use in cognitive training research, is significantly better in improving memory and attention, researchers at Johns Hopkins University have found. It also results in more significant changes in brain activity. The exercise didn't make anyone smarter, but it did greatly improve skills people need to …

How Learning Processes Are Affected By Our Cultural Activities

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Cultural activities, such as the use of language, influence our learning processes, affecting our ability to collect different kinds of data, make connections between them, and infer a desirable mode of behavior from them, a new study from Tel Aviv University suggests. Professor Arnon Lotem, of TAU's Department of Zoology, who led the research for …

Higher Working Memory Capacity Leads To Faster Satiation Rate

People who use more working memory capacity get tired of things faster, new research from the University of Kansas has found. Lead author Noelle Nelson, a KU School of Business marketing and consumer behavior researcher, explains: "People with larger working memory capacities actually encode information more deeply. They remember more details about the things they've …

Transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation Can Boost Working Memory

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Applying a low voltage current can bring different areas of the brain in sync with one another, enabling people to perform better on tasks involving working memory, researchers at Imperial College London have found. The approach, scientists hope, could one day be used to bypass damaged areas of the brain and relay signals in people …

Verbal Working Memory Manipulation Uses Multiple Brain Networks

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The neural structure our brains use for storing and processing information in verbal working memory is more complicated than previously understood, a new study by researchers at New York University suggests. The work shows that processing information in working memory involves two different networks in the brain rather than one. The discovery has implications for …

How Neural Network Interactions Change In Working Memory

MR image (vertical slice), warmer colors show activation within the frontopartietal control network (FPCN), and cooler colors show deactivation within the default network (DN) during working memory. The PET scan (horizontal slice) reveals the density of D1 dopamine receptors along the outer cortex (purple) and in the striatum (green), a subcortical area containing many D1 receptors. The density of D1 receptors in the cortex, but not in the striatum, predicted the extent to which the FPCN and the DN became disconnected during working memory. Credit: Joshua Roffman and Hamdi Eryilmaz, Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry
How does cross-talk in brain networks alter when working memory, the mental assembly of information needed to carry out a particular task, is engaged? Scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital have found that dopamine signaling in the cerebral cortex can predict changes in the extent of communication between key brain networks during working memory. Their findings …