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Memory Professor System

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Memory Professor System Summary


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Author: Kit Stevenson
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Attention and Working Memory

Working memory involves the temporary storage and rehearsal of information an example of working memory would be memorizing a phone number without writing it down. HIV infection is associated with decrements in working memory (Wood et al., 1998 Hin-kin et al., 2002b), which may contribute to other HIV-associated neuropsychological deficits. Working memory can be measured by tests such as Letter Number Sequencing (Wechsler, 1997), in which patients order increasingly longer strings of auditorily presented letters and numbers, and the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task (PASAT) (Diehr et al., 2003), which involves adding numbers presented auditorily. Both of these tests have demographically adjusted norms.

Working Memory

Working memory refers to short-term retention and manipulation of information held in conscious memory, a type of online cognitive processing (Bad-deley 1986). Examples include consciously recalling a telephone number long enough to write it down, mentally calculating the sale price of an item that is reduced by 15 , and mentally traversing a route that one intends to walk or drive. Information fades from working memory within about 2 seconds, so to keep details alive for a longer time requires active rehearsal or continuing re-focusing of attention. Aging is associated with a decline in working memory skills, especially when active manipulation of information is required (e.g., repeating numbers backward as opposed to forward). Reductions in working memory, in turn, place limits on other complex cognitive skills, including reasoning and other executive processes, and learning and recall of new information.

Disease State Diagnosis

Negative symptoms include a diminution or loss of normal function and include affective flattening, anhedonia, social withdrawal, lack of motivation and spontaneity, and alogia and avolition - poverty of thought and speech. Cognitive impairment in schizophrenia begins before the onset of the psychosis and remains severe, with some worsening, throughout the illness. While the precise domains of cognitive dysfunction in patients with schizophrenia remain to be elucidated, schizophrenia is clearly associated with widespread, multifaceted impairments in cognitive function, including executive function, attention, processing, vigilance, verbal learning and memory, verbal and spatial working memory, semantic memory, and social cognition. Recent evidence suggests that cognitive impairment may be of equal or greater importance than positive or negative symptoms in predicting functional outcomes, such as work status, quality of life, and social problem solving.5 For...

The yAmino Butyric Acid GABA Hypothesis

G-Amino-butyric acid (GABA) is the major inhibitory transmitter in the CNS, and has many effects that are opposite to those of glutamate, some of which involve GABAergic inhibition of glutamate function. The GABA uptake inhibitor, CI-966 9, has been associated with psychotic episodes in humans,17 a similar phenotype to that seen with the psychotomimetics that block the effects of glutamate at the NMDA receptor. A role of GABA in the etiology of schizophrenia was first proposed in the early 1970s based on GABAergic regulation of DA neuronal function with a special focus on the role of GABA in working memory. GABA uptake sites are decreased in hippocampus, amygdala, and left temporal cortex in schizophrenics with some evidence of GABAa receptor upregulation18 and reductions in GABA interneurons.19 An extensive review of the use of benzodiazepines, the classical GABAA agonists, the GABAg agonist

Sensory and Perceptual Changes

Recent studies suggest a strong correlative link between sensory and perceptual changes and cognitive performance in old age. Younger adults tested with degraded perception (e.g., by background noise or reduced visual contrast) perform much like older adults on measures of learning, memory, and language (Schneider and Pichora-Fuller 2000). The extra time and effort required to process information necessitated by sensory and perceptual problems tax working memory, effectively overloading the system. The combined effects of central nervous system slowing, reduced working memory, and sensory and perceptual changes limit the processing resources that older persons can bring to bear in particular situations. These changes increase the likelihood of processing overload in circumstances that may have once presented little challenge. In advanced old age, even basic activities such as walking or maintaining postural control become less automatic, with the result that older persons must devote...

Neuropsychological Explanations of Cognitive Aging Changes

Some of the behavioral changes in aging, such as slowed information processing and response, may be related to generalized changes such as decreased brain volume and white matter density. Other changes appear to mirror the selective pattern of differential change in prefrontal cortical structures and striatal dopaminergic nuclei. Decreased working memory, problems with effortful learning and recall, and changes in efficiency of executive functions are some of the findings that suggest a mild degree of frontal or subcortical brain dysfunction in normal aging (Prull et al. 2000). The frontal lobe hypothesis is perhaps the most popular neuropsychological model of normal aging at this time. However, hippocampal changes also may play a role in normal aging memory. Hip-pocampal volume, as measured by magnetic resonance imaging, correlates with memory performance in older adults, and those with smaller hippocampal volumes are at greater risk for developing dementia. What remains to be...

Posttraumatic stress disorder

Neurocircuitry models of PTSD have focused on the interactions between the AMYG and the medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. Hypersensitivity and lack of habituation to repetitive nonthreatening stimuli characteristic of PTSD may be a result of decreased regulation of AMYG activity by the anterior cingulate cortex suggesting an impairment of processes mediating extinction to trauma-related stimuli, as well as decreased hippocampal function, implying an impaired ability to form appropriate contextual associations and dysfunctional memory processing with respect to trauma-related stimuli. mMRI studies of PSTD have focused primarily on the hippocampus. Reduced hippocampal volumes in Vietnam combat veterans have been reported and studies in adults with either childhood or adult traumatic experiences also support an association between reduced hippocampal volume and PTSD. Studies in pediatric populations, however, have failed to show reductions in hippocampal volumes, suggesting that...

Behavior Circuits And Biochemical Machinery

Conditioned stimulus) with a sucrose reward (US, unconditioned stimulus). In the retrieval test, the PER is elicited in a high percentage of animals by application of the odor alone (117,118). Interestingly, depending on the number of conditioning trials, different memories are induced. Whereas a single conditioning trial induces a medium-term memory that is sensitive to amnestic treatments, multiple-trial conditioning leads to an amnesia-insensitive long-term memory (6,119,120). modulation of PKC activity is detected after acquisition. Multiple-trial conditioning that induces an long-term memory leads to a long-lasting transient change in PKC activity (97). This is in agreement with studies in vertebrates, where PKC seems to be implicated in memory formation but not in acquisition of memory (139,140). A long-lasting activation of PKC has also been found in LTP (141,142). Again, PKC is not involved in the initial induction, but it contributes to the expression of LTP at later times...

Learning to Detect Bilateral Symmetry

In all of these studies, bees have clearly demonstrated that they can detect and learn certain abstract characteristics of objects. In addition, they can learn the average angular orientation of parallel bars, irrespective of their exact locations in a pattern (van Hateren et al., 1990). They can discriminate between radial and tangential edges, irrespective of the pattern (Horridge and Zhang, 1995), and between patterns with different axes of bilateral symmetry, also irrespective of the pattern (Horridge, 1996). Furthermore, they can generalize what they have learned during training and apply their knowledge to novel discrimination tasks. Bees can also learn other abstract properties of objects, such as their color and size, without having to memorize the objects' images literally (e.g., Ronacher, 1992 Horridge et al., 1992b). How might the bee's visual system extract the orientation of a pattern independent of its structure and without simply memorizing it Srinivasan et al. (1993)

Group II mGlu agonists

MGlu2 and mGlu3 are expressed in brain areas important for anxiety disorders, e.g., amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex. mGlu2 receptors are located on glutamate-releasing nerve terminals where they suppress glutamate release, whereas mGlu3 is found both pre- and postsynaptically, and on glia. Activation of group II mGlus also suppresses the release of GABA, monoamines, and neuropeptides.125 The constrained glutamate analogs LY354740 and MGS 0028 (Figure 11a) are potent, selective agonists of mGlu2 and mGlu3 receptors.124,126 Systemic administration of LY354740 produces anxiolytic effects in a range of animal models, including fear potentiated startle, EPM, and conflict tests. Where compared, the anxiolytic effects of these compounds are similar to those for standard BZs, but occur in the absence of sedation or ataxia. LY354740 may, however, disrupt memory processes in animals,127 although the compound reduced ketamine-induced deficits in working memory in humans.128 LY354740...

Estrogen AD and Possible Mechanisms of Estrogen Induced Neuroprotection

Long-term use of ERT have the lowest risk.2 Gender differences were suggested as a possible explanation for the higher incidence of the familial AD in women that is also linked to the apoE-associated risk factor.5 In addition, Phillips and Sherwin32 showed that exogenous E2 maintains short-term memory in surgically-induced menopausal young women. Several levels of evidence demonstrated multiple sites of estrogen actions in the brain. The specific mechanism s by which estrogen reduces dementia are unclear, and they might be combined in order to be beneficial in improvement of clinical symptoms. Estrogen and several other estrogenic steroids which are contained in Premarin (the most common ERT drug) were also indicated as potential neurotrophins that increased survival and growth of hippocam-pal and cortical neurons in vitro.33 Direct actions of E2 and other estrogenic steroids on neurons occurred rapidly, suggesting involvement of membrane receptor(s) that mediate estrogen-induced...

Dopamine transporter DAT knockout mouse

Impaired cognitive function is also evident in DAT knockout mice. In a spatial working memory test using a radial arm maze, knockout mice were essentially unable to acquire the test conducted over 21 sessions. Knockout mice also had significantly higher preservation errors compared to wild-type mice and these errors remained elevated for the duration of the study, suggesting that the knockouts had difficulty suppressing inappropriate responses.43

Negotiating Mazes by Learning Path Regularity

We have seen that bees' performance in unmarked mazes is not as good as in mazes with visual cues that indicate the appropriate turn to be made at each stage in the maze. This is because the only way that a bee can navigate an unmarked maze, in general, is to memorize the sequence of turns necessary to get through the maze successfully. It is conceivable, however, that some unmarked mazes are easier to learn than others. For example, mazes that require a regular pattern of turns might be learned more readily than those that do not that is, if bees have the ability to recognize such patterns.

Cognitive Models Of Ptsd

Chemtob, Roitblat, Hamada, Carlson, and Twentyman's (1988) hierarchical cognitive action theory extended information-processing theory by proposing that for individuals with PTSD, these fear networks (or threat-response structures ) are at least weakly activated at all times, guiding their interpretation of ambiguous events as potentially dangerous. More recently, Ehlers and Clark (2000) proposed a cognitive model of the persistence of PTSD that can also be viewed as an extension of earlier information-processing theories. This cognitive model suggests that PTSD becomes chronic when traumatized individuals appraise the traumatic event or its sequelae in a way that leads to a sense of serious, current threat (e.g., Nowhere is safe If I think about the trauma, I will go mad ). A second factor proposed by this model as causally related to the persistence of PTSD are changes in autobiographical memory similar to those proposed by earlier information-processing theorists (e.g., strong...

Whole Bone Marrow Transplants In An Hd Model

Bilateral injections of QA caused significant working memory impairment (*p 0.05 relative to sham-operated control rats) during the first 2 wk of testing in the RAWM spatial learning task. However, QA-treated rats that received transplants of suspended WBM cells were protected from these QA-induced deficits and had significantly fewer working memory errors ( p 0.05 relative to rats receiving QA without transplants). Fig. 1. Bilateral injections of QA caused significant working memory impairment (*p 0.05 relative to sham-operated control rats) during the first 2 wk of testing in the RAWM spatial learning task. However, QA-treated rats that received transplants of suspended WBM cells were protected from these QA-induced deficits and had significantly fewer working memory errors ( p 0.05 relative to rats receiving QA without transplants). prior to the first trial on the first day of testing and following the last trial on the last day of testing. Dependent measures for the RAWM...

Biological Relevance of Cognitive Processes in Honeybees

Visual information is acquired through a pair of compound eyes that take up a substantial part of the bee's head and are capable of a wide range of photoreceptive functions. Their color vision is mediated by UV, blue, and green photoreceptors whose spectral sensitivities are well suited to flower discrimination (Chittka et al., 1993 Vorobyev and Menzel, 1999). The evolution of shape perception allows bees to respond innately to some features of natural flowers, resulting in a spontaneous preference for flowerlike patterns (Wehner, 1981 Lehrer, 1995), and the ability to abstract key features of flowers and to memorize them efficiently is critical to successful foraging. Srinivasan et al. (1993, 1994) have suggested that the existence of feature-extracting mechanisms in the insect visual system might be comparable, functionally, to those known to exist in the mammalian cortex. Associative learning is an essential component of the bee's central-place foraging behavior and dance...

Systems for Classifying Types of Memory

Have identified working memory and distinguished it from associative memory. Working memory is what we use for information that we may only want to keep for a short period of time, while we use it to perform some particular piece of work.The classic example is hearing or reading a telephone number. We keep it briefly, dial the number, and talk to the person we have called. By the time we hang up the phone, the memory for the number has been erased. Sometimes we keep things in working memory and refer to them as we do a task (i.e., use them to perform work ). For example, performing a long string of calculations in our head is a working memory task (e.g., add five and seven, multiply by eight, and divide by three). Associative memory is contrasted with working memory because it is composed of more long-term stores of associations that we refer to when we remember (e.g., who discovered America, or the color of our father's hair when he was a young man).Yet another contrasting way of...

Neuropsychological Battery Considerations

Neuropsychological assessment of the HIV patient targets subcortically mediated cognitive processes (psy-chomotor speed, attention working memory, learning and memory, and executive functioning). Below we review the important cognitive domains to assess in the presence of HIVand recommend tests to be used in the assessment. As important as the tests used are, the normative databases used with the tests are even more crucial because they determine impairment. With HIV currently affecting growing numbers of ethnic minorities (CDC, 2004), the cognitive assessment of HIVseropositive individuals has become more challenging.

Neuroimaging of cortical areas specialized for highlevel cognitive tasks

The emergence of neuroimaging, however, provides a new opportunity to test hypotheses about the underlying networks that sustain cognition in healthy individuals without reliance on lesions or disease processes (Cabeza and Nyberg, 2000). Determinations of the anatomy and topography of cortical areas specialized for cognitive tasks informs models of attention, working memory, and executive processes as well as consciousness.

Epigenetic Regulation Of Transposable Elements

Promoter of a long, noncoding, unspliced, nuclear RNA (Mancini-Dinardo et al., 2006). The presence of the unmethylated and expressed copy of the noncoding RNA results in the silencing of linked genes, a process that involves repressive histone modifications (Lewis et al., 2004 Umlauf et al., 2004). It is unclear as to how the presence of the noncoding RNA leads to gene silencing in cis. In one model, repressive complexes such as Polycomb Repressive Complexes (PRCs), might be targeted during transcription (Kanduri et al., 2006). Alternatively, the RNA might coat the region to be inactivated, similar to how Xist RNA (inactive X-specific transcripts) coats the inactive X chromosome (Lewis et al., 2004). This might establish a physical structure from which RNA polymerase II (Pol II) is excluded, resulting in transcriptional silencing (Chaumeil et al., 2006). In one case of silencing mediated by an imprinted noncoding RNA, the developmental kinetics of inactivation are markedly similar to...

Cognitive Mechanisms Of

Current models posit that psychopathological responses may be mediated by two core cognitive factors (1) maladaptive appraisals of the trauma and its aftermath, and (2) disturbances in autobiographical memory that involve impaired retrieval and strong associative memory (Ehlers & Clark, 2000). Consistent with this approach is evidence that people with ASD exaggerate both the probability of future negative events occurring and the adverse There is also evidence that people with ASD may manage trauma-related information differently from other trauma survivors. Specifically, individuals with ASD tend to avoid aversive information. One study employed a directed forgetting paradigm that required ASD, non-ASD, and non-trauma-exposed control participants to read a series of trauma-related, positive, or neutral words, after each presentation participants were instructed to either remember or forget the word (Moulds & Bryant, 2002). The finding that ASD participants recalled fewer...

Clinical Ratings Method

A clinical ratings approach to evaluating neuropsycho-logical impairment in patients with HIV was developed by the HIV Neurobehavioral Research Center (Heaton et al., 1994a). In this approach, test performances from a large battery of tests are grouped into cognitive domains (i.e., psychomotor functioning, attention and working memory) scores are then transformed into age-, education-, and, where appropriate, ethnicity-corrected standardized scores. Subsequently, clinical ratings are assigned to each cognitive domain by means of a scaled score ranging from 1 (above average) to 9 (severely impaired). A global score is then calculated based on review of domain ratings, with greater weight afforded to impaired domains and considerable leeway granted to premorbid level of functioning. Therefore, significant cognitive dysfunction is necessary before a person is labeled with generalized cognitive impairment. Finally, to meet criteria for an HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder, the...

The global access hypothesis

The idea that consciousness has an integrative function has a long history. Global workspace (GW) theory is a cognitive architecture with an explicit role for consciousness. Such architectures have been studied in cognitive science, and have practical applications in organizing large, parallel collections of specialized processors, broadly comparable to the brain (Newell, 1994). In recent years, GW theory has been found increasingly useful by neuroscientists. The theory suggests a fleeting memory capacity that enables access between brain functions that are otherwise separate. This makes sense in a brain that is viewed as a massive parallel set of specialized processors. In such a system, coordination and control may take place by way of a central information exchange, allowing some processors such as sensory systems in the brain to distribute information to the system as a whole. This solution works in large-scale computer architectures, which show typical limited capacity'' behavior...

Color Learning and Foraging Decisions

In simple laboratory setups where one flower type contains a large reward and alternative flower types typically contain none, bees very rapidly learn to associate floral colors with rewards. A single rewarded visit to a color target is sufficient to induce a measurable change in behavior in honeybees and bumblebees (Schulze Schencking, 1969), and three such visits are sufficient to establish a life-long memory (Menzel, 1985). Colors are first stored in a transient short-term memory, where they are sensitive to interference, and, on repeated exposure, are stored in more stable long-term memory (Menzel, 2001). Mirroring their innate preferences (Giurfa et al., 1995), honeybees learn violet and blue colors even more rapidly than others (Menzel, 1985).

A theater metaphor and brain hypotheses

A schematic diagram of GW theory, viewed metaphorically as a theater of mind. Conscious contents correspond to the bright spot on the stage of working memory. Once conscious, they activate many unconscious regions of the brain, including interpreters, memories, language capacities, and automatisms. In brain terms, those would be involved in certain cortical regions, hippocampus, and basal ganglia, which are believed not to directly support conscious experiences. However, conscious cognitions themselves are always shaped by unconscious contexts. Executive functions (self) may be considered as one set of such contexts (Adapted from Baars, 1997). Fig. 1. A schematic diagram of GW theory, viewed metaphorically as a theater of mind. Conscious contents correspond to the bright spot on the stage of working memory. Once conscious, they activate many unconscious regions of the brain, including interpreters, memories, language capacities, and automatisms. In brain terms, those would be...

Neuropsychological Tests

Cognitive profiles of patients with dementia with Lewy bodies overlap with those of Alzheimer's disease patients in that both show deficits in multiple areas, including memory dysfunction. Compared with patients with uncomplicated Alzheimer's disease, however, individuals with dementia with Lewy bodies may have disproportionate problems with attention and working memory, visuoper-ceptual processing, and executive function. In dementia with Lewy bodies, low scores are likely to be seen on nearly all types of attention tasks, whereas simple attention (e.g., forward digit span) is usually preserved in Alzheimer's disease. Similarly, persons with dementia with Lewy bodies often have more difficulty than do patients with Alzheimer's disease on relatively simple visuoperceptual tasks such as recognizing fragmented letters or extracting meaning from pictures (Calderon et al. 2001). By contrast, delayed recall tends to be better preserved in dementia with Lewy bodies than in Alzheimer's...

Alcohol and Fitness for Interview

Nonetheless, the effect alcohol can have on short-term memory should be remembered when advising the police on fitness. Research suggests that moderate quantities of alcohol impair the process of forming new memories (67). Deterioration in performance of a task assessing short-term memory occurred at blood alcohol levels of 70 mg 100 mL in one study (68), and a significant impairment of eyewitness memory has been demonstrated at average blood alcohol levels of 100 mg 100 mL (69). When suspects mistrust their own memory of events, they are at increased risk of providing coerced-inter-nalized false confessions (52).

The process dissociation procedure

Similar to Reingold and Merikle's framework, the process dissociation procedure (PDP), initially described by Jacoby (1991) in the field of implicit memory research, is formed from the idea that consciousness subtends intentional control. By contrast, it is assumed that unconscious knowledge influences performance independently from, or against, task instructions. According to the logic of the procedure, conscious and unconscious influences can be estimated from the comparison of two situations in which both these influences either contribute to performance the inclusion task or are set in opposition the exclusion task. The inclusion and exclusion tasks differ only with respect to their instructions. In the context of sequence learning, consider for instance a generation task performed under inclusion instructions. Participants are told to produce a sequence that resembles the training sequence as much as possible. To do so, they can either explicitly recollect the regularities of the...

It is apparent that spoken language development occurs spontaneously in the presence of normal hearing from birth given

Early development of auditory processing skills, including those associated with attention, learning and memory, may affect the spoken language outcomes achieved with a cochlear implant. The contribution of auditory processing and verbal working memory to linguistic achievements, such as vocabulary acquisition, has already been documented for hearing children 60, 61 and for deaf children before the advent of cochlear implants 62 . It has been demonstrated that auditory memory, verbal rehearsal and serial scanning abilities are also important predictors of speech and language skills in children with cochlear implants 63 . Performance of cochlear implant users has been compared with hearing age-mates on serial recall 64 , working memory 65 and nonword repetition tasks 66 . Typically, children with cochlear implants did not perform as well on these tasks as their hearing age-mates, either due to the lasting effects of early auditory deprivation or to the incomplete auditory signal...

Complications of Alcohol Withdrawal

Wernicke's encephalopathy is an acute, potentially reversible neurologic disorder that is believed to result from a deficiency of thiamine and is often secondary to chronic alcohol abuse. Features include disturbance of consciousness (ranging from mild confusion to coma), ophthalmoplegia, nystagmus, and ataxia. The disorder has a high mortality and can lead to death within 24 hours. If untreated, it can progress to Korsakoff's psychosis. This is a chronic condition that usually presents as impairment of short-term memory with inability to learn new information and compensatory confabulation. Korsakoff's psychosis probably represents irreversible brain damage secondary to the combined toxic-ity of alcohol and metabolic derangement resulting from thiamine deficiency.

Toward computational principles for the distinction between conscious and unconscious cognition

Stability in time refers to how long a representation can be maintained active during processing. There are many indications that different neural systems involve representations that differ along this dimension. For instance, the prefrontral cortex, which plays a central role in working memory (Baddeley, 1986), is widely assumed to involve circuits specialized in the formation of the enduring representations needed for the active maintenance of task-relevant information (Frank et al., 2001 Norman and O'Reilly, 2001). Stability of representation is clearly related to availability to consciousness, to the extent that consciousness takes time. For instance, the brief stimuli associated with subliminal presentation will result in weaker representations than supraliminal presentation does. Finally, distinctiveness of representation refers to the extent of overlap that exists between representations of similar instances. Distinctiveness, or discreteness, has been hypothesized as the main...

From Structure To Function

Ampal network upon interaction with the environment. With the aid of information on the current goal (e.g., the memorized location of a reward), from subcortical nuclei and the hypothalamic value system (24,25), place cells should naturally acquire the functionality of spatial navigation support and directional representation.

Implementing The Mind

This model requires that the space underlying various instances of the Self (i.e., the space of generalized contexts, which reduces to a 2D map of an environment in the rodent navigation case) be represented outside of the hippocampus. Similarly, particular associations between general facts and locations in this space (the semantic knowledge), as well as details of experience, are also stored outside of the hippocampus proper, presumably in various parts of the neocortex. The exclusive role of the hippocampus would be to bind experience by the sense of agency, which is semantically reduced to its simplest form a pattern labeling a specific instance of the Self or I (32). Therefore, hippocampal loss or damage should disrupt autobiographical memories without affecting the semantic memory system, which is consistent with cases of human hippocampal amnesia (29). A direct test of this model would consist of the reactivation of specific hippocampal patterns to elicit the associated...

Neuropsychological Impact Of Multiple Substance Use Disorders

As compared with non-polysubstance-using drug abusers, those with multiple SUDs demonstrate the greatest degree of chronic neuropsychological impairment and recover the least function with long-term abstinence (Beatty et al., 1997 Medina, Shear, Schafer, Armstrong, & Dyer, 2003). This may be due in part to the increased cumulative exposure of the brain to drugs and alcohol Multiple substance users tend to use as much of a particular substance (e.g., alcohol or cocaine) as those who use only alcohol or cocaine (Selby & Azrin, 1998). Selby and Azrin (1998) conducted a comprehensive neuropsychological battery with 355 prison inmates classified by DSM-IV criteria into four groups those with alcohol use disorders, cocaine use disorders, multiple SUDs, and no history of SUD. The multiple SUDs and the alcohol groups demonstrated significant impairment on most measures compared to the cocaine or no-drug groups, but the multiple SUDs group performed worse than the cocaine alone, alcohol alone...

Attention and consciousness

Close to the physicalist end of the spectrum is the work of John Taylor, a mathematician and theoretical physicist at Kings' College London (www.mth.kcl.ac.uk jgtaylor ). The key to his model (CODAM COrollary Discharge of Attention Movement) is based on the principle that without attention to an input there can be no awareness of it (Taylor, 2002). Consequently he investigates a specific brain mechanism called the 'corollary discharge' that is responsible for changes in attention. He expresses this within a framework of control engineering as shown in Fig. 5. The control model involves an object map within which objects are selected for 'coming into consciousness' by a competitive process involving working memory and the corollary discharge mechanism. Taylor distinguishes a 'pre-reflective self,' i.e., the feeling of ownership of the content of being conscious,

Manifestations of Attention

The three major goals of attention listed here are indicative of the ways that atten-tional processing is observed or inferred in behavioral and cognitive situations. When a judgment of an object in a field cluttered with salient objects is made correctly, or one of a set of alternative responses is chosen, it is inferred that selective attention has successfully removed or attenuated the influence of the extraneous and confusing information. For example, identifying the center letter in the word COG requires that information arising from the locations near the center letter be prevented from entering the module (or sets of modules) that performs a judgment of identification. If selection by location does not occur, the entire word COG will presumably enter the identification module and be identified instead of the letter O. On the action side of cognition, selection of information from working memory is assumed to occur when pressing a particular function key on a computer keyboard...

And the Late Phase of LTP

Like the study of mice lacking the R1 subunit of the NMDA receptor only in hippocampal area CA1, the study of other genetically modified mice has focused on the early, transient phase of LTP (E-LTP) in area CA1 that lasts about 1 h. These studies have shown that genetic manipulation of any one of several kinases interferes with not only E-LTP but also short-term memory (61,62). The study of amnesiac patients and experimental animals has revealed, however, that the role of the hippocampus in memory storage extends from weeks to months (63,64), suggesting that longer lasting forms of hippocampal synaptic plasticity may be required. Long-term potentiation in the CA1 region of hippocampal slices, like many other forms of synaptic plasticity and memory, has distinct temporal phases (65), as shown in Fig. 5B. In contrast to E-LTP, the late phase of LTP (L-LTP) lasts for up to 8 h in hippocampal slices (66) and for days in the intact animal (67). Long-term memory storage, in contrast to...

Arterial bifurcation and flow distribution

These simple models can help in memorizing the effects of the most important factors that determine velocity and pulsatility of flow. Flow models that are invoked to explain actual flow findings should be corrected with respect to patient condition, vital signs, medications and waveform morphology.

Nutrition and Epilepsy

And Parkinson's disease (12,13), no evidence shows that antioxidants reduce seizure activity or the negative long-term effects of epilepsy, such as impaired short-term memory. In many physical data and laypeople's assessment, however, the benefits of nutritional and vitamin supplements outweigh the risks.

Learning to Abstract Pattern Orientation

We first asked whether honeybees can learn to abstract a particular attribute of a pattern, such as its orientation, without having to memorize the pattern in its entirety. An early paper by Wehner (1971) hinted that bees could indeed abstract pattern orientation in this way. This issue was pursued by van Hateren et al. (1990), who used a Y-maze (figure 2.1a) in conjunction with visual cues that were random grating patterns at different orientations (figure 2.1b). In the experiments, two stimuli were presented in the vertical plane, each at the end wall of one of the arms of the maze. The stimulus representing one of the orientations was associated with a reward of sugar water in another orientation it was not. During training, the positions of the stimuli were interchanged regularly, and the reward was moved along with the positive stimuli, to prevent the bees from simply learning to fly to a specific arm. Two features of the apparatus and training paradigm prevented the bees from...

In Search and Discovery of Potential New Therapeutic Indications

Because wake and vigilance are essential requirements for attention, learning, and cognition, research on these topics has also been undertaken in animals. Modafinil was found to induce a faster learning rate in a serial spatial discrimination task, demonstrating an improvement of learning processes following acute75,76 and chronic administration in mice77 and facilitating performance on a delayed nonmatching to position swim task in rats.78 In healthy human volunteers without sleep deprivation, modafinil had subtle stimulating effects on maintenance and manipulation processes in relatively difficult and monotonous working memory tasks, especially in lower-performing subjects.79 In addition, in healthy volunteers, modafinil produced a selective improvement of neuropsychological task performance, attributable to an enhanced ability to inhibit prepotent responses, leading to a reduction of impulsive responding, that appears to be beneficial in the treatment of ADHD.80 Based on this...

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome dementia

Dementia in AIDS is an exclusionary diagnosis characterized by cognitive and motor disturbances and behavioral changes including impaired short- and long-term memory, decreased concentration, and slowed thought processing. The pathophysiology involves neurovirulent strains of HIV, excitotoxicity, and inflammation. AIDS dementia is treated with the antiviral zidovidine, together with drugs for the treatment of the associated psychosis and depression.

Neurodegenerative Diseases

DSM-IV-TR defines subtypes of AD With Early Onset (65 years) With Delusions With Depressed Mood Uncomplicated and or With Behavioral Disturbance (e.g., wandering). In addition to memory impairment, diagnosis can include aphasia (deterioration in language function), agnosia (impaired object recognition), and apraxia (impairment in motor activity execution). AD is a disease of slow onset and gradual decline. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI), characterized by isolated episodes of long-term memory impairment, is thought to be the precusor of AD as 40-60 of MCI patients progress to AD within 3-4 years.

In Associative Olfactory Learning in Drosophila

Model of the cAMP cascade and its components involved in associative olfactory learning in Drosophila. Coincident activation of Input 1 (presumably CS) and Input 2 (presumably US) can lead to a synergistic stimulation of the adenylate cyclase (AC) and, thus, to elevated cAMP levels. Activation of cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) (R2C2) results in the phosphorylation of substrates (ion channels, etc.) and, thus, transient synaptic plasticity. Repeated elevations of cAMP levels by multiple training sessions can cause long-lasting modifications of synaptic connections, and thus, long-term memory (LTM) by inducing CREB-medi-ated gene expression. Drosophila learning mutants affecting the cAMP cascade are indicated beside the component. C, catalytic subunit of PKA CREB, cAMP-response element binding protein G, G-protein PDE, cAMP-phosphodiesterase R, regulatory subunit of PKA Rec, receptor. Fig. 2. Model of the cAMP cascade and its components involved in associative olfactory...

Pathways in Drosophila Olfactory Learning

Recently, the cell-surface receptor a-integrin, which mediates cell adhesion and signal transduction has been shown to be involved in learning in the Drosophila memory mutant Volado (Vol) with a deficient short-term memory. The Vol gene encodes a new a-integrin (115). In heat-shock experiments, the transient conditional expression of Vol during training restored the memory defects, suggesting a requirement for integrins during plastic neuronal changes in the adult fly. Because of their functions in cell adhesion and signal transduction, integrins may either act in the dynamic regulation of synapse structure or in the modulation of signal transduction pathways required for the formation of short-term memory.

Physiological Effects

Much has been written about the amotivational syndrome, and it has remained a controversial entity (Lynskey & Hall, 2000). It is marked by apathy, poor concentration, social withdrawal, and loss of interest in achievements (Solowij, 1998). Because research in the topic is contradictory, it is unclear at this time whether marijuana induces amotivational attitudes and behavior or causes permanent, irreversible impairment in cerebral function. However, the general consensus is that it likely does not cause permanent cognitive damage. Still, individuals who are chronic users tend to smoke marijuana often and in high doses cannabis has a long half-life, and users can be thought to be chronically under the influence of marijuana or stoned. So marijuana clearly causes impairment in the acquisition of short-term memory, at least for the time an individual is intoxicated, although there is evidence of specific residual effects (Block, 1996 Pope & Yurgelun-Todd, 1996 Schwartz, 1991). If an...

Negotiating Unmarked Mazes

Zhang et al. (1996) also examined the ability of bees to learn to negotiate unmarked mazes (figure 2.11a). Here bees were trained step-by-step through the entire maze, from the entrance to the reward box. After 5 days of training, the bees had indeed learned to negotiate the maze, although their performance was poorer than when they followed a colored cue. Nevertheless, their performance was better than that of a control group. Examples of the bees' performance in two mazes are shown in tests 6 and 7 of figure 2.11b. Presumably the bees learned the mazes by memorizing the sequence of turns that had to be made at specific distances (or box counts) along the route. There is evidence that bees use visual odometry to estimate the distance they have flown (Srinivasan et al. 1997, 2000), and that they are able to count landmarks en route to a goal (Chittka and Geiger, 1995).

Pharmacological and lesion models

A major advantage of lesion models is that they produce a deficit in a short time span in readily accessible animals, i.e., rodents, providing the opportunity to evaluate NCEs rapidly. Deficits in attention and short-term memory resulting from cholinergic lesions can be measured postlesion using a variety of behavioral assays, e.g., delayed alternation in a T-maze or the Morris water maze. However, such cognitive deficits are of short duration and do not mimic the longer-term progressive dysfunction observed in AD. Also, the AD tombstones, plaques, and tangles are not observed, although an inflammatory response may occur.

Exploration of Cognitive Capacity in Honeybees Higher Functions Emerge from a Small Brain

Such similarities in perceptual ability lead us to ask a number of fascinating questions about the bee's other capacities. For instance, what is the learning capacity of such a tiny brain How complex a task can a honeybee learn What do bees acquire, process, and memorize when they learn how to solve complex tasks How do honeybees generalize what they have acquired in the learning process What neural mechanisms underlie their complex behaviors

Restriction and PB Therapy

The new concept bears the advantage that patients do not have to memorize the phosphorus content of each individual food component, but only the PU value for a limited number of food groups. After eye-estimating the PU content of a meal, the patient self-adjusts the PB dose according to a PB PU ratio prescribed by the nephrolo-gist. After introducing the PEP concept to the patient, the PB PU ratio is titrated to the patient's individual needs by repeatedly measuring predialysis serum phosphate levels and re-adjusting the PB PU ratio until phosphate targets have been achieved. This new concept moves away from strict dietary phosphorus restriction towards a more adequate dosing of PBs. It allows patients to maintain an adequate dietary protein intake with a more liberal diet while at the same time reducing the risk of developing hyperphosphatemia. Diet-related hyperphosphatemia can be prevented by adequate PB dosing. PEP (www.pep-ernaehrungsprogramm.de) is the first approach applying...

Historical Context

Troconvulsive therapy (ECT), which is also prominently featured in Cuckoo's Nest, has proved a valuable psychiatric treatment for mental illness. In 1938, after an earlier scientist observed that schizophrenics seemed symptom-free following seizures, Italian scientists Cereletti and Bini devised electroshock therapy as an efficient way to manage uncontrollable patients. Today, a severely depressed patient receiving ECT, administered in a series of treatments, has an intravenous relaxant administered and a mouth guard inserted before an anesthetic renders him unconscious. The airway is protected, and electrodes are connected with conducting jelly on the temples. Electric current comparable to a 60-watt bulb shoots through the brain causing a 20-second grand-mal seizure. The patient wakes about 30 minutes later, confused and disoriented, with a headache and short-term memory loss. In essence, ECT helps disturbed patients regain the control necessary to enter into a therapeutic...

Catechol Omethyltransferase

COMT is localized to chr22q11 where a microdeletion results in velocardiofacial syndrome (22qDS DiGeorge or Shprintzen syndrome), a genetic subtype of schizophrenia. The COMT gene exists in two versions Met158 and Val158, the former coding for a form of COMT that is less thermostable and thus has lower activity than the Val158. COMT is important for regulating DA but not norepinephrine (NE) levels in the prefrontal cortex.28 Val158Met heterozygotic mice which have high COMT activity and, correspondingly, low prefrontal cortex DA levels show greater tyrosine hydroxylase expression in the midbrain, indicative of increased DA synthetic capability. In human Val158 carriers, neuroimaging studies showed greater midbrain F-DOPA uptake than Met158 carriers, consistent with increased DA biosynthesis. DA levels in prefrontal cortex play a key role in cognitive function and high-activity Val158 is associated with poorer performance and 'inefficient' prefrontal cortex function in some but not all...

CAmppka Cascade

This signaling system is initiated by the action of neurotransmitters, neu-romodulators, or hormones on G-protein-coupled receptors which stimulate or inhibit adenylate cyclase (Fig. 1). cAMP is required for the activity of PKA, which phosphorylates SIF, SRF, and CREB. These transcription factors in turn promote the expression of IEGs, and CREB-P also promotes the expression of prodynorphin. The example of the promoter region of the c-fos gene (Fig. 1) is a reminder of the fact that protein expression is the result of the integrated effects of multiple transcription factors. The c-fos promoter carries, in addition to the SIE and SRE, the bifunctional CaRE CRE, which confers responsivity to Ca2+ and cAMP (13,25). The signaling cascade that leads from cAMP to CREB has been implicated in the action of antidepressants (see Chapter 9) effects of opiates and cocaine (Chapter 12), and in learning and memory processes (Chapters 2 and 3). PKA is needed for the consolidation of short-term into...


Construct validity means that the psychological processes claimed to be measured are, in fact, what are being assessed. For instance, it is essential to be confident that a poor score on a neuropsychological test of memory capacity is due to a central nervous system (CNS) disorder and is not spurious. Hence, utility of a particular instrument depends on its capacity to evaluate accurately the process intended to be measured.

Looking Ahead

In a cancer patient it is difficult to know in advance to what extent the immune system has developed tolerance to tumor antigens, or if it is still sensitive to these antigens, and in how far the immune response can be activated. It is also unclear what characteristics tumor-reactive T cells must possess in order to efficiently ward off a tumor, and how cells gain entry into the cancer and reach this in the first place. Another important question is to find out what is required to sustain a protective immune response over time, and how to maintain an adequate long-term memory.

Unmet Medical Need

From a research perspective, there is a need for objective diagnostic tools and indicators to predict which drug will be the most effective therapy for a given patient. Approximately 70 of children with ADHD respond positively to stimulants as first-line therapy. Additionally, roughly two-thirds of children who do not respond to the first stimulant usually respond to another type (i.e., Adderall or methylphenidate, or vice versa). Hence, the total response rate appears to be about 90 . Overall, studies indicate that multiple unrelated pharmacological agents are efficacious in treating ADHD across the lifespan, with efficacious agents sharing noradrenergic and dopaminergic mechanisms of action. Stimulants are most effective in reducing the hyperactivity in ADHD but less effective in addressing some of the working memory, organization, and planning (i.e., 'executive function') deficits characteristic of ADHD.94 Research also suggests that the impulsivity and or aggression associated...


This is a crucial part of the evaluation and needs to be done in a systematic and comprehensive and non-threatening manner. The initial aspects have to do with observation as described above in the section on general appearance, manner, andattitude,observingfor level of alertness, consciousness, confusion, fluctuation, somnolence, or stupor. Careful observation may reveal perseveration on words, numbers, or actions. Perseveration may be evident in the absence of hearing impairment when the patient responds to a prior question more than one time as if he or she had not heard the following question. Specific questions as to orientation can be approached in an ego-supportive manner and can be asked as part of the routine. Memory is best tested by observing the patient's ability to provide his or her medical history in an organized manner and asking direct and specific questions about onset, course, and treatments. If a patient spontaneously reveals that memory is a problem, this lead can...

Bernard J Baars

Abstract Global workspace (GW) theory emerged from the cognitive architecture tradition in cognitive science. Newell and co-workers were the first to show the utility of a GW or blackboard architecture in a distributed set of knowledge sources, which could cooperatively solve problems that no single constituent could solve alone. The empirical connection with conscious cognition was made by Baars (1988, 2002). GW theory generates explicit predictions for conscious aspects of perception, emotion, motivation, learning, working memory, voluntary control, and self systems in the brain. It has similarities to biological theories such as Neural Darwinism and dynamical theories of brain functioning. Functional brain imaging now shows that conscious cognition is distinctively associated with wide spread of cortical activity, notably toward frontoparietal and medial temporal regions. Unconscious comparison conditions tend to activate only local regions, such as visual projection areas....


Studies of hypnosis as a treatment modality for children's pain pervade the literature from the 1980s (60). During hypnotic states, modification or enhancement of perceptions and sensations may occur (61). Hypnosis is often recommended as a particularly appropriate intervention for children, who are generally more susceptible to hypnosis than adults (62), possibly because of their greater readiness to immerse themselves in fantasy (63). Although the exact mechanism of action is not well understood, work with neuroimaging techniques showed that hypnosis is associated with significant increases in occipital regional cerebral blood flow and delta electroencephalographic activity, reflecting the alteration of consciousness associated with decreased arousal and potential facilitation of visual imagery (64,65). The observed frontal increases in regional cerebral blood flow associated with suggestions for altered perception may therefore reflect the verbal mediation of suggestions, working...

Forcedchoice tasks

Be used as an absolute test of awareness that would be both sensitive to all a subject's conscious knowledge, and only to the relevant conscious knowledge. In other words, it is highly implausible that any task can be considered as process-pure . To further improve awareness tests, different solutions have been proposed to overcome this so-called contamination problem. These procedures, which we discuss in the following sections, were initially proposed in the fields of subliminal perception and implicit memory, and later applied to the domain of implicit learning.


(1) Specialized vehicle theories assume that consciousness depends on the properties of the representations that are located within a specialized system in the brain. An example of such accounts is Atkinson and Shiffrin's (1971) model of short-term memory, which specifically assumes that representations contained in the short-term memory store (a specialized system) only become conscious if they are sufficiently strong (a property of representations).


Over the past half-century, psychologists have offered the following surprising variety of descriptions of the attention process a filter (Broadbent, 1958), effort (Kahneman, 1973), a control process of short-term memory (Shiffrin & Schneider, 1977), resources (Shaw, 1978), orienting (Posner, 1980), conjoining object attributes (Treisman & Gelade, 1980), a spotlight (Tsal, 1983), a gate (Reeves & Sperling, 1986), a zoom lens (C. W Eriksen & St. James, 1986), both selection and preparation (LaBerge & Brown, 1989), and as intensified activity in cortical columns

Goals of Attention

The second class of goals is an increase in the speed of perceptions and executions of actions (internal and external), by preparing the system to process these stimuli and or actions. Examples in perception are the speeded identification of an object, which is produced by preparing to perceive the shape, color, and or motion of the object (e.g., a food object or a predator) examples in actions are the speeded assembly of action plans when the form of the response is anticipated in advance (e.g., choosing words to express a sentence, or preparing to process a rapid series of displays on a trial of an experiment). Preparations for perceptions and actions may be accompanied by sustaining their components in working memory so that the components may be accurately and quickly converted to appropriate executive commands as events unfold.

Possible Benefits

Aromatherapy may be useful to those who can recognize lengthy auras during seizures, or who have recognizable prodromes or triggers to their seizures. One of the advantages of the smell memory technique is that it does not require a great amount of cognition to use. Thus, even if people are slightly confused during an aura, they may still be able to interpose their aroma. We have found that patients with olfactory or taste auras find aromatherapy a particularly useful countermeasure.

The Salerno Regimen

The new universities fed the early medieval 'Romanesque' enthusiasm for literacy, culture, and self-improvement. The message of the health-conscious regimen was strongly promoted by the new university-trained medici, supported by Romano-Islamic classical scholarship such as that of the comprehensive, easy-to-memorize, four-volume Canon of Medicine by Ibn Sina (Avicenna 980-1037). The physicians were eager to get classical preventive medicine on board alongside their other 'cures', and profited well from it their personally tailored regimens and consilia (letters of advice) were available to anyone who could afford them. Throughout Europe there were growing numbers of manuscript tracts and volumes for general readers on all subjects religious and secular and roughly 3 to 4 per cent of these were medical works.16 Evidently one had to be 'wise in science' at court. Encyclopedic 'books of secrets' (such as the famous Aristotle's Secrets) could be read or memorized in short bursts, as well...


Between radial symmetry and circular symmetry that is, between a pattern composed of radial sectors and one composed of concentric rings. In these experiments, flying bees entered a Y-maze that contained a choice chamber from which they could see two patterns at the same time. During training, the positive stimulus was always a radially symmetric pattern and the negative stimulus was a circularly symmetric pattern. However, each of the two patterns used was drawn from a pool of four as shown in figure 2.3a. This tested whether the bees could learn the concepts of radial symmetry versus circular symmetry in a general sense without memorizing a specific example of each.

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