University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

Neural activity in the hippocampus predicts individual visual short-term memory capacity.

von Allmen, DY, Wurmitzer, K, Martin, E and Klaver, P (2013) Neural activity in the hippocampus predicts individual visual short-term memory capacity. Hippocampus, 23 (7). pp. 606-615.

Full text not available from this repository.


Although the hippocampus had been traditionally thought to be exclusively involved in long-term memory, recent studies raised controversial explanations why hippocampal activity emerged during short-term memory tasks. For example, it has been argued that long-term memory processes might contribute to performance within a short-term memory paradigm when memory capacity has been exceeded. It is still unclear, though, whether neural activity in the hippocampus predicts visual short-term memory (VSTM) performance. To investigate this question, we measured BOLD activity in 21 healthy adults (age range 19-27 yr, nine males) while they performed a match-to-sample task requiring processing of object-location associations (delay period  =  900 ms; set size conditions 1, 2, 4, and 6). Based on individual memory capacity (estimated by Cowan's K-formula), two performance groups were formed (high and low performers). Within whole brain analyses, we found a robust main effect of "set size" in the posterior parietal cortex (PPC). In line with a "set size × group" interaction in the hippocampus, a subsequent Finite Impulse Response (FIR) analysis revealed divergent hippocampal activation patterns between performance groups: Low performers (mean capacity  =  3.63) elicited increased neural activity at set size two, followed by a drop in activity at set sizes four and six, whereas high performers (mean capacity  =  5.19) showed an incremental activity increase with larger set size (maximal activation at set size six). Our data demonstrated that performance-related neural activity in the hippocampus emerged below capacity limit. In conclusion, we suggest that hippocampal activity reflected successful processing of object-location associations in VSTM. Neural activity in the PPC might have been involved in attentional updating.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
von Allmen, DY
Wurmitzer, K
Martin, E
Date : July 2013
DOI : 10.1002/hipo.22121
Uncontrolled Keywords : Adult, Brain Mapping, Female, Hippocampus, Humans, Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Memory, Short-Term, Photic Stimulation, Young Adult
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 10:40
Last Modified : 24 Jan 2020 19:47

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800