Interactions between attention and working memory

Neuroscience. 2006 Apr 28;139(1):201-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2005.08.023. Epub 2005 Dec 1.


Studies of attention and working memory address the fundamental limits in our ability to encode and maintain behaviorally relevant information, processes that are critical for goal-driven processing. Here we review our current understanding of the interactions between these processes, with a focus on how each construct encompasses a variety of dissociable phenomena. Attention facilitates target processing during both perceptual and postperceptual stages of processing, and functionally dissociated processes have been implicated in the maintenance of different kinds of information in working memory. Thus, although it is clear that these processes are closely intertwined, the nature of these interactions depends upon the specific variety of attention or working memory that is considered.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attention / physiology*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology*
  • Models, Neurological
  • Perception / physiology*
  • Sensation / physiology
  • Visual Perception / physiology