Our previous study [Absatova and Kurgansky, 2016] using a specially developed model for the experimental investigation of working memory (WM), in which the information output task was varied using unchanging stimulus material, showed that the processes of retaining and recoding particular visual information in WM differed depending on the output modality, i.e., the activity in which this information was subsequently used. In the present study, we used an ontogenetic approach to confirm the previously identified relationship between the formation of the internal representation of WM and the nature of the activity in which the retained information was used. Young school-age children, adolescents, and adults were asked to remember a sequence of abstract visual elements and reproduce them after a specified time delay by one of two methods: (1) copying by hand onto a sheet of paper and (2) associating them with letters and saying them out loud. The age-related dynamics of information reproduction accuracy identified by analysis of reproduction errors in the task of copying by hand onto a sheet of paper provided evidence of gradual improvement in visuospatial working memory during the period from age 7–8 years to age 14–15 years, with achievement of a definitive level of task performance in the oldest adolescent age group. The age dynamics of information reproduction accuracy during retention and subsequent speaking of stimulus information as visual element-associated letters provided evidence that improvement in the verbal component of working memory took longer than improvement of the visuospatial component. Apart from the heterochronous maturation of verbal and visuospatial WM, all age groups showed a relationship between different types of error and the output modality for information retained in working memory. The results of the present ontogenetic study provide evidence supporting the existence of a relationship between the internal representation of information in working memory and the nature of the activity in which this information is subsequently used.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Absatova, K. A. and Kurgansky, A. V., “Does the way we memorize information depend on the way we are going to use it?” Psychol. J. Higher Sch. Econ., 16, No. 1, 154–166 (2016).
Absatova, K. A., “Applying the Automated Working Memory Assessment and the Working Memory Rating Scale in a Russian population,” Russ. J. Cogn. Sci., 3, No. 1–2, 21–33 (2016).
Alloway, T. P., Automated Working Memory Assessment, Pearson Assessment, London (2007).
Alloway, T. P., Gathercole, S. E., and Pickering, S. J., “Verbal and visuospatial short-term and working memory in children: are they separable?” Child Dev., 77, No. 6, 1698–1716 (2006).
Andre, J., Picchioni, M., Zhang, R., and Toulopoulou, T., “Working memory circuit as a function of increasing age in healthy adolescence: A systematic review and meta-analyses,” NeuroImage Clin., 12, 940–948 (2016).
Baddeley, A. D. and Hitch, G. J., “Development of working memory: should the Pascual-Leone and the Baddeley and Hitch models be merged?” J. Exp. Psychol., 77, No. 2, 128–137 (2000).
Baddeley, A. D. and Hitch, G., “Working memory,” in: The Psychology of Learning and Motivation: Advances in Research and Theory, Academic Press, New York (1974), Vol. 8, pp. 47–89.
Baddeley, A., “The episodic buffer: a new component of working memory?” Trends Cogn. Sci., 4, No. 11, 417–423 (2000).
Barriga-Paulino, C. I., Rojas Benjumea, M. A., Rodriguez-Martinez, E. I., and Gomez Gonzalez, C. M., “Fronto-temporo-occipital activity changes with age during a visual working memory developmental study in children, adolescents and adults,” Neurosci. Lett., 599, 6–31 (2015).
Boldyreva, G. N., Neurophysiological Analysis of Lesions to the Limbic-Diencephalic Structures of the Brain in Humans, Ekoinvest, Krasnodar (2009).
Brockmole, J. R. and Logie, R. H., “Age-related change in visual working memory: a study of 55,753 participants aged 8–75,” Front. Psychol., 4, No. 12 (2013), doi: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00012.
Conklin, H. M., Luciana, M., Hooper, C. J., and Yarger, R. S., “Working memory performance in typically developing children and adolescents: behavioral evidence of protracted frontal lobe development,” Dev. Neuropsychol., 31, No. 1, 103–128 (2007).
Connemann, B. J., Mann, K., Lange-Asschenfeldt, C., et al., “Anterior limbic alpha-like activity: A low resolution electromagnetic tomography study with lorazepam challenge,” Clin. Neurophysiol., 116, No. 4, 886–894 (2005).
Cowan, N., “Working Memory Maturation: can we get at the essence of cognitive growth?” Perspect. Psychol. Sci., 11, No. 12, 239–264 (2016).
Darki, F. and Klingberg, T., “The role of fronto-parietal and fronto-striatal networks in the development of working memory: a longitudinal study,” Cereb. Cortex, 25, No. 6, 1587–1595 (2015).
Gathercole, S. E., “Cognitive approaches to the development of short-term memory,” Trends Cogn. Sci., 3, No. 11, 410–419 (1999).
Gathercole, S. E., Pickering, S. J., Ambridge, B., and Wearing, H., “The structure of working memory from 4 to 15 years of age,” Dev. Psychol., 40, No. 2, 177–190 (2004).
Isbell, E., Fukuda, K., Neville, H. J., and Vogel, E. K., “Visual working memory continues to develop through adolescence,” Front. Psychol., 6, No. 696 (2015), doi: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00696.
Jarrold, C., Baddeley, A. D., and Hewes, A. K., “Genetically dissociated components of working memory: Evidence from Down’s and Williams’ syndrome,” Neuropsychologia, 37, 637–651 (1999).
Klingberg, T., “Development of a superior frontal-intraparietal network for visuo-spatial working memory,” Neuropsychologia, 44, No. 11, 2171–2177 (2006).
Klingberg, T., Forssberg, H., and Westerberg, H., “Increased brain activity in frontal and parietal cortex underlies the development of visuospatial working memory capacity during childhood,” J. Cogn. Neurosci., 14, No. 1, 1–10 (2002).
Kwon, H., Reiss, A. L., and Menon, V., “Neural basis of protracted developmental changes in visuo-spatial working memory,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 99, No. 20, 13336–13341 (2002).
Leont’ev, A. N., The Development of Memory. Experimental Studies of Higher Psychological Functions, Uchpedgiz, Moscow, Leningrad (1931).
Мallet, N., Pogosyan, A., Marton, L. F., et al., “Parkinsonian beta oscillations in the external globus pallidus and their relationship with subthalamic nucleus activity,” J. Neurosci., 28, No. 52, 14245–14258 (2008).
Meijs, C., Hurks, P. P., Wassenberg, R., et al., “Inter-individual differences in how presentation modality affects verbal learning performance in children aged 5 to 16,” Child Neuropsychol., 22, No. 7, 818–836 (2016).
Miller, S., McCulloch, S., and Jarrold, C., “The development of memory maintenance strategies: training cumulative rehearsal and interactive imagery in children aged between 5 and 9,” Front. Psychol., 6, No. 546 (2015), doi: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00524.
Palmer, S., “Working memory: a developmental study of phonological recoding,” Memory, 8, No. 3, 179–193 (2000).
Pascual-Leone, J., “Reflections on working memory: are the two models complementary?” J. Exp. Psychol., 77, No. 2, 138–154 (2000).
Semenova, O. A. and Machinskaya, R. I., “Effects of the functional state of the regulatory systems of the brain on the effectiveness of the voluntary organization of cognitive activity in humans. II. Neuropsychological and electroencephalographic analysis of the state of the regulatory functions of the brain in children of preadolescent age with learning difficulties,” Fiziol. Cheloveka, 41, No. 5, 28–38 (2015).
Simmering, V. R. and Perone, S., “Working memory capacity as a dynamic process,” Front. Psychol., 3, No. 567 (2012), doi: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00567.
Sinitsyn, S. V., Age-Related Characteristics of the Operational Structure of Working Memory in Children Aged 7–8 Years: Dissert. Master’s Degree in Biol. Sci., Moscow (2008).
Smith, E. E., Jonides, J., Marshuetz, C., and Koeppe, R. A., “Components of verbal working memory: evidence from neuroimaging,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 95, No. 3, 876–882 (1998).
Swanson, H. L., “Individual and age-related differences in children’s working memory,” Mem. Cognit., 24, No. 1, 70–82 (1996).
Tam, H., Jarrold, C., Baddeley, A. D., and Sabatos-DeVito, M., “The development of memory maintenance: children’s use of phonological rehearsal and attentional refreshment in working memory tasks,” J. Exp. Biol., 107, No. 3, 306–324 (2010).
Van den Bosch, G. E., El Marroun, H., Schmidt, M. N., et al., “Brain connectivity during verbal working memory in children and adolescents,” Hum. Brain Mapp., 35, No. 2, 698–711 (2014).
Van Leijenhorst, L., Zanolie, K., Van Meel, C. S., et al., “What motivates the adolescent? Brain regions mediating reward sensitivity across adolescence,” Cereb. Cortex, 20, No. 1, 61–69 (2010), doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhp078.
Vogan, V. M., Morgan, B. R., Powell, T. L., et al., “The neurodevelopmental differences of increasing verbal working memory demand in children and adults,” Dev. Cogn. Neurosci., 17, 19–27 (2016).
Vuontela, V., Steenari, M. R., Carlson, S., et al., “Audiospatial and visuospatial working memory in 6–13 year old school children,” Learn. Mem., 10, No. 1, 74–81 (2003).
Vygotskii, L. S., The Development of Higher Mental Functions, Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of RSFSR (1960).
White, T., Schmidt, M., and Karatekin, C., “Verbal and visuospatial working memory development and deficits in children and adolescents with schizophrenia,” Early Interv. Psychiatry, 4, No. 4, 305–313 (2010).
Translated from Zhurnal Vysshei Nervnoi Deyatel’nosti imeni I. P. Pavlova, Vol. 68, No. 3, pp. 349–365, May–June, 2018.
About this article
Cite this article
Absatova, K.A., Machinskaya, R.I. & Frolova, K.A. Effects of the Information Output Modality on the Effectiveness of Working Memory in Young School-Age Children, Adolescents, and Adults: Ontogenetic Analysis. Neurosci Behav Physi 49, 863–874 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11055-019-00813-0
- working memory
- representation of information
- information output modality
- copying by hand
- reproduction aloud
- young school-age children