Working memory, defined as the information processes dedicated to holding and actively manipulating information on-line, serves as a """"""""mental scratchpad"""""""" that is integral to complex cognition. The focus of this proposal is on the underlying phonological and articulatory representations and processes that support the maintenance of verbal information. Our prior work and recent behavioral findings by other investigators have generated results that are difficult to reconcile with a highly influential model of verbal working memory proposed by Baddeley and colleagues. In this competitive renewal, we will test an alternative neurally-based account through convergent behavioral, neuroimaging, and neuropsychological studies.
Aim 1 will evaluate the maintenance of information via rehearsal-based and attention-based strategies supported, respectively, by speech motor areas and the inferior parietal cortex.
Aim 2 will examine a novel hypothesis about the interplay between articulation and activated phonological representations supported by temporoparietal cortex.
Aim 3 will seek to delineate the specific contributions of three different regions - the left frontal operculum, premotor cortex, and the cerebellum - to subvocal rehearsal. This work is a unique use of neuroimaging to inform cognitive theoretical models. It has the potential to impact our broader understandings of attention, the representation of serial order, and the joint influence of phonological processing on language and working memory.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Project (R01)
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Language and Communication Study Section (LCOM)
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Osborn, Bettina D
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University of Pittsburgh
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Guediche, Sara; Fiez, Julie A; Holt, Lori L (2016) Adaptive plasticity in speech perception: Effects of external information and internal predictions. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 42:1048-59
Durisko, Corrine; Fiez, Julie A (2010) Functional activation in the cerebellum during working memory and simple speech tasks. Cortex 46:896-906
Chein, Jason M; Fiez, Julie A (2010) Evaluating models of working memory through the effects of concurrent irrelevant information. J Exp Psychol Gen 139:117-37
Moore, Michelle W; Tompkins, Connie A; Dollaghan, Christine A (2010) Manipulating articulatory demands in non-word repetition: a 'late-8' non-word repetition task. Clin Linguist Phon 24:997-1008
Strick, Peter L; Dum, Richard P; Fiez, Julie A (2009) Cerebellum and nonmotor function. Annu Rev Neurosci 32:413-34
Ben-Yehudah, Gal; Fiez, Julie A (2008) Impact of cerebellar lesions on reading and phonological processing. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1145:260-74
Fiez, Julie A; Tranel, Daniel; Seager-Frerichs, Daunye et al. (2006) Specific reading and phonological processing deficits are associated with damage to the left frontal operculum. Cortex 42:624-43
Ravizza, Susan M; Behrmann, Marlene; Fiez, Julie A (2005) Right parietal contributions to verbal working memory: spatial or executive? Neuropsychologia 43:2057-67
Ravizza, Susan M; Delgado, Mauricio R; Chein, Jason M et al. (2004) Functional dissociations within the inferior parietal cortex in verbal working memory. Neuroimage 22:562-73
Chein, J M; Fissell, K; Jacobs, S et al. (2002) Functional heterogeneity within Broca's area during verbal working memory. Physiol Behav 77:635-9

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