August 2014
Volume 14, Issue 10
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2014
A link between brain structure/connectivity and visual short-term memory capacity
Author Affiliations
  • Ilja G. Sligte
    Amsterdam Brain & Cognition center, University of Amsterdam
  • Andries R. van der Leij
    Amsterdam Brain & Cognition center, University of Amsterdam
  • Kimron L. Shapiro
    Visual Experience Lab, Psychology, University of Birmingham
  • H. Steven Scholte
    Amsterdam Brain & Cognition center, University of Amsterdam
Journal of Vision August 2014, Vol.14, 170. doi:
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      Ilja G. Sligte, Andries R. van der Leij, Kimron L. Shapiro, H. Steven Scholte; A link between brain structure/connectivity and visual short-term memory capacity. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):170.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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People can maintain a great deal information in visual sensory memory (VSM) for a brief period of time (Sperling, 1960; Sligte, Scholte, & Lamme, 2008), or just a few objects in visual working memory (VWM) for sustained periods of time (Luck & Vogel, 1997; Vogel, Woodman, & Luck, 2001). In the present study, we investigated whether individual differences in VSM and VWM capacity were reflected in structural brain differences. 950 subjects, representative of the Dutch population between the age of 20 and 25, were recruited from whom we acquired T1, DWI and resting state measurements. Outside of the MRI scanner, participants performed a partial-report change detection task (as in Sligte et al., 2008), where they had to remember eight items over a retention interval of two seconds. A single item was cued immediately after offset of the memory array (measuring iconic memory), one second after memory array offset (measuring fragile memory), or after onset of the test array (measuring working memory). Preliminary results indicate that the global pattern is similar to one of our earlier studies measuring only 52 psychology students. Individual differences in iconic memory and fragile memory capacity are linked with differences in grey matter density in visual cortex. On the other hand, individual differences in visual working memory capacity were related to structural differences in parietal and prefrontal cortex. We are currently analyzing whether the observed patterns are omnipresent or specific for certain subpopulations within our sample. In addition, we are exploring to what degree visual working memory measures correlate with gene group statistics.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014


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