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ERIC Number: EJ945372
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Nov
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0028-3932
Encoding: The Keystone to Efficient Functioning of Verbal Short-Term Memory
Barry, Johanna G.; Sabisch, Beate; Friederici, Angela D.; Brauer, Jens
Neuropsychologia, v49 n13 p3636-3647 Nov 2011
Verbal short-term memory (VSTM) is thought to play a critical role in language learning. It is indexed by the nonword repetition task where listeners are asked to repeat meaningless words like "blonterstaping". The present study investigated the effect on nonword repetition performance of differences in efficiency of functioning of some part of the neural architecture mediating VSTM. Hypotheses were stated within Baddeley and Hitch's (1974) multicomponent model of VSTM, with respect to regions of the brain known to be active during tasks tapping into VSTM. We were specifically interested in activations associated with the posterior planum temporale (Spt) which emerge during rehearsal since this region is hypothesized to be central to VTSM (Buchsbaum, Olsen, Koch, & Berman, 2005a). Participants performed a delayed reaction time task in the scanner which explicitly mimicked the three main stages of information-processing involved in VSTM (encoding, rehearsal, recall (here recognition)). The data for each stage were then convolved with scores from a separately measured nonword repetition task. Rather than observing a pattern of individual differences located to specific regions specialized for supporting VSTM, a dissociation in direction of correlation in overlapping regions of the brain was observed during encoding and recognition. Larger hemodynamic responses during encoding were associated with better nonword repetition, and vice versa during recognition. There was little evidence for a network of activations specialized for VSTM. Instead, the main correlations were observed in regions also known to be involved in long-term memory. It seems that individuals who are better at nonword repetition and hence at language learning, activate these regions more efficiently than poorer nonword-repeaters early after stimulus input. These observations are discussed with respect to various models proposed for explaining the phenomenon of VSTM. (Contains 5 tables and 4 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A