ERIC Number: EJ863324
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Feb
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Development of Spatial and Verbal Working Memory Capacity in the Human Brain
Thomason, Moriah E.; Race, Elizabeth; Burrows, Brittany; Whitfield-Gabrieli, Susan; Glover, Gary H.; Gabrieli, John D. E.
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, v21 n2 p316-332 Feb 2009
A core aspect of working memory (WM) is the capacity to maintain goal-relevant information in mind, but little is known about how this capacity develops in the human brain. We compared brain activation, via fMRI, between children (ages 7-12 years) and adults (ages 20-29 years) performing tests of verbal and spatial WM with varying amounts (loads) of information to be maintained in WM. Children made disproportionately more errors than adults as WM load increased. Children and adults exhibited similar hemispheric asymmetry in activation, greater on the right for spatial WM and on the left for verbal WM. Children, however, failed to exhibit the same degree of increasing activation across WM loads as was exhibited by adults in multiple frontal and parietal cortical regions. Thus, children exhibited adult-like hemispheric specialization, but appeared immature in their ability to marshal the neural resources necessary to maintain large amounts of verbal or spatial information in WM.
Descriptors: Brain Hemisphere Functions, Short Term Memory, Brain, Spatial Ability, Children, Adults, Comparative Analysis, Age Differences, Cognitive Development, Difficulty Level, Cognitive Processes, Cognitive Tests
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A