Flexibility of working reminiscence from random connections — ScienceDaily
A brand new article in Neuron from Princeton College neuroscientists Flora Bouchacourt and Tim Buschman presents a brand new mannequin of working reminiscence.
Working reminiscence is your capability to carry issues ‘in thoughts.’ It acts as a workspace wherein data could be held, manipulated, after which used to information conduct. On this approach, it performs a essential function in cognition, decoupling conduct from the quick sensory world. One of many exceptional issues about working reminiscence is its flexibility — you may maintain something in thoughts.
How this flexibility is achieved has not been understood. Of their new manuscript, Bouchacourt and Buschman current a brand new mannequin of working reminiscence that captures this flexibility.
The mannequin combines a high-dimensional random community with structured sensory networks to flexibly preserve any enter. The untuned nature of the connections permits the community to keep up any arbitrary enter.
Nevertheless, this flexibility comes at a value: the random connections overlap, resulting in interference between representations and limiting the reminiscence capability of the community. This matches the restricted capability of working reminiscence in people and suggests there’s a tradeoff between flexibility and capability in working reminiscence.
As well as, the mannequin captures a number of different behavioral and neurophysiological traits of working reminiscence.
This work gives new perception right into a core cognitive operate in people. Ongoing work hopes to know how these mechanisms could also be disrupted in neuropsychiatric ailments that disrupt working reminiscence.