Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Our ability to hold information in mind is limited, requires a high degree of cognitive control, and is necessary for many subsequent cognitive processes. Children, in particular, are highly variable in how, trial-by-trial, they manage to recruit cognitive control in service of memory. Fronto-parietal networks, typically recruited under conditions where this cognitive control is needed, undergo protracted development. We explored, for the first time, whether dynamic changes in fronto-parietal activity could account for children's variability in tests of visual short-term memory (VSTM). We recorded oscillatory brain activity using magnetoencephalography (MEG) as 9- to 12-year-old children and adults performed a VSTM task. We combined temporal independent component analysis (ICA) with general linear modeling to test whether the strength of fronto-parietal activity correlated with VSTM performance on a trial-by-trial basis. In children, but not adults, slow frequency theta (4-7 Hz) activity within a right lateralized fronto-parietal network in anticipation of the memoranda predicted the accuracy with which those memory items were subsequently retrieved. These findings suggest that inconsistent use of anticipatory control mechanism contributes significantly to trial-to-trial variability in VSTM maintenance performance.

Original publication

DOI

10.1093/cercor/bhu271

Type

Journal article

Journal

Cereb Cortex

Publication Date

10/2015

Volume

25

Pages

3868 - 3876

Keywords

cognitive control, cognitive development, development, executive control, magnetoencephalography, Adult, Brain Waves, Child, Female, Frontal Lobe, Humans, Magnetoencephalography, Male, Memory, Short-Term, Nerve Net, Parietal Lobe, Young Adult