A child’s brain activity reveals their memory ability

Brain network activity predicts working memory abilities during development

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Credit: Rosenberg et al., JNeurosci 2020

A child’s unique brain activity reveals how good their memories are, according to research recently published in JNeurosci.

When you scramble to remember a phone number as you enter it into your phone, you rely on your working memory to keep the number at the front of your mind. Briefly holding and manipulating information relies on the activity of the frontoparietal network, a group of brain regions coined the “cognition core.” Working memory performance changes throughout development, but can an individual’s memory facility be determined based on brain activity?

Rosenberg et al. analyzed fMRI data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) data set, a repository of scans and behavioral tests from over 11,000 children aged nine and ten. Children with better working memory performed better on a range of cognitive, language, and problem-solving tasks. Activity in the frontoparietal network during a memory task reflected the individual working memory capabilities of the children, with an activity pattern unique to working memory. The ABCD data set will reexamine the children for ten years, allowing future studies to explore how the neural signature of working memory evolves across development.

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Manuscript title: Behavioral and Neural Signatures of Working Memory in Childhood

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About JNeurosci

JNeurosci, the Society for Neuroscience’s first journal, was launched in 1981 as a means to communicate the findings of the highest quality neuroscience research to the growing field. Today, the journal remains committed to publishing cutting-edge neuroscience that will have an immediate and lasting scientific impact, while responding to authors’ changing publishing needs, representing breadth of the field and diversity in authorship.

About The Society for Neuroscience

The Society for Neuroscience is the world’s largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. The nonprofit organization, founded in 1969, now has nearly 37,000 members in more than 90 countries and over 130 chapters worldwide.

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Related Journal Article

http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2841-19.2020

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