Long-Term Electrophysiological and Behavioral Analysis on the Improvement of Visual Working Memory Load, Training Gains, and Transfer Benefits


Recent evidence demonstrates that with training, one can enhance visual working memory (VWM) capacity and attention over time in the near transfer tasks. Not only do these studies reveal the characteristics of VWM load and the influences of training, they may also provide insights into developing effective rehabilitation for patients with VWM deficiencies. However, few studies have investigated VWM over extended periods of time and evaluated transfer benefits on non-trained tasks. Here, we combined behavioral and electroencephalographical approaches to investigate VWM load, training gains, and transfer benefits. Our results reveal that VWM capacity is directly correlated to the difference of event-related potential waveforms. In particular, the “magic number 4” can be observed through the contralateral delay amplitude and the average capacity is 3.25-item over 15 participants. Furthermore, our findings indicate that VWM capacity can be improved through training; and after training exercises, participants from the training group are able to dramatically improve their performance. Likewise, the training effects on non-trained tasks can also be observed at the 12th week after training. Therefore, we conclude that participants can benefit from training gains, and augmented VWM capacity sustained over long periods of time on specific variety of tasks.

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Kuo, C. , Zhang, C. , Rissman, R. and Chiu, A. (2014) Long-Term Electrophysiological and Behavioral Analysis on the Improvement of Visual Working Memory Load, Training Gains, and Transfer Benefits. Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science, 4, 234-246. doi: 10.4236/jbbs.2014.45025.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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