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Hippocampus dependent and independent theta-networks of working memory maintenance

Cashdollar, N.; (2010) Hippocampus dependent and independent theta-networks of working memory maintenance. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Working memory is the ability to briefly maintain and manipulate information beyond its transient availability to our senses. This process of short-term stimulus retention has often been proposed to be anatomically distinct from long-term forms of memory. Although it’s been well established that the medial temporal lobe (MTL) is critical to long-term declarative memory, recent evidence has suggested that MTL regions, such as the hippocampus, may also be involved in the working memory maintenance of configural visual relationships. I investigate this possibility in a series of experiments using Magnetoencephalography to record the cortical oscillatory activity within the theta frequency band of patients with bilateral hippocampal sclerosis and normal controls. The results demonstrate that working memory maintenance of configural-relational information is supported by a theta synchronous network coupling frontal, temporal and occipital visual areas, and furthermore that this theta synchrony is critically dependent on the integrity of the hippocampus. Alternate forms of working memory maintenance, that do not require the relational binding of visual configurations, engage dissociable theta synchronous networks functioning independently of the hippocampus. In closing, I will explore the interactions between long-term and short-term forms of memory and demonstrate that through these interactions, memory performance can effectively be improved.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Hippocampus dependent and independent theta-networks of working memory maintenance
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Psychology and Language Sciences (Division of) > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience

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