Neurocognitive Architecture of Working Memory

Neuron. 2015 Oct 7;88(1):33-46. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.09.020.


A crucial role for working memory in temporary information processing and guidance of complex behavior has been recognized for many decades. There is emerging consensus that working-memory maintenance results from the interactions among long-term memory representations and basic processes, including attention, that are instantiated as reentrant loops between frontal and posterior cortical areas, as well as sub-cortical structures. The nature of such interactions can account for capacity limitations, lifespan changes, and restricted transfer after working-memory training. Recent data and models indicate that working memory may also be based on synaptic plasticity and that working memory can operate on non-consciously perceived information.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiology*
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology
  • Humans
  • Memory, Long-Term / physiology*
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology