Is Activity Silent Working Memory Simply Episodic Memory?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Working memory (WM) maintains task-relevant information in a state ready for processing. While traditional theories assume that sustained neuronal activity is responsible for WM, the Activity Silent WM (ASWM) account proposes that maintenance can also be supported by short-term synaptic weight changes. Here, we argue that the evidence for ASWM can be explained more parsimoniously by the involvement of episodic memory (EM) in WM tasks. Like ASWM, EM relies on rapid synaptic modification that is also activity silent; however, while ASWM posits transient synaptic modifications, EM traces persist over longer time periods. We discuss how, despite this difference, well-established EM mechanisms can account for the key findings attributed to ASWM, and describe predictions of this account.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-293
Number of pages10
JournalTrends in Cognitive Sciences
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Keywords

  • activity silent working memory
  • cognitive control
  • episodic memory
  • working memory

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Is Activity Silent Working Memory Simply Episodic Memory?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this