Working models of working memory

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2014 Apr;25:20-4. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2013.10.008. Epub 2013 Dec 4.


Working memory is a system that maintains and manipulates information for several seconds during the planning and execution of many cognitive tasks. Traditionally, it was believed that the neuronal underpinning of working memory is stationary persistent firing of selective neuronal populations. Recent advances introduced new ideas regarding possible mechanisms of working memory, such as short-term synaptic facilitation, precise tuning of recurrent excitation and inhibition, and intrinsic network dynamics. These ideas are motivated by computational considerations and careful analysis of experimental data. Taken together, they may indicate the plethora of different processes underlying working memory in the brain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology*
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Neural Networks, Computer*