Neural Basis of Protracted Developmental Changes in Visuo-Spatial Working Memory
Developmental studies show that visuo-spatial working memory (VSWM)—maintaining and manipulating spatial information on line—improves throughout childhood and into young adulthood.
To study the neural basis of VSWM development, 23 individuals performed 2-back VSWM tasks during fMRI scans. Of the 23 individuals, there were 8 children, 8 adolescents, and 7 adults (9 M/14 F, range 7-22 years).
Significant activation in:
Age rather than accuracy or response time most significantly predicted activation.
2 areas involved in VSWM mature together:
- Right hemisphere visuo-spatial attentional system
- Left hemisphere phonological storage and rehearsal system
Visually and verbally mediated mnemonic processes develop concurrently during childhood and adolescence into young adulthood