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A growing body of evidence suggests that short-term memory does not only store the identity of recently experienced stimuli, but also information about when they were presented. This representation of 'what' happened 'when' constitutes a neural timeline of recent past. Behavioral results suggest that people can sequentially access memories for the recent past, as if they were stored along a timeline to which attention is sequentially directed. In the short-term judgment of recency (JOR) task, the time to choose between two probe items depends on the recency of the more recent probe but not on the recency of the more remote probe. This pattern of results suggests a backward self-terminating search model. We review recent neural evidence from the macaque lateral prefrontal cortex (lPFC) (Tiganj, Cromer, Roy, Miller, & Howard, in press) and behavioral evidence from human JOR task (Singh & Howard, 2017) bearing on this question. Notably, both lines of evidence suggest that the timeline is logarithmically compressed as predicted by Weber-Fechner scaling. Taken together, these findings provide an integrative perspective on temporal organization and neural underpinnings of short-term memory.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Neurobiology of learning and memory
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The total relative probability, expressed on a logarithmic scale, that a linkage relationship exists among selected loci. Lod is an acronym for "logarithmic odds."
Temporary storage of information for a few seconds to hours, as opposed to long-term memory which refers to material stored for days, years, or a lifetime.
Type of declarative memory, consisting of personal memory in contrast to general knowledge.
People who are in the labor force either working or looking for work for 27 weeks or more in a year, but whose income fall below a given poverty line.
A set of cognitive functions that controls complex, goal-directed thought and behavior. Executive function involves multiple domains, such as CONCEPT FORMATION, goal management, cognitive flexibility, INHIBITION control, and WORKING MEMORY. Impaired executive function is seen in a range of disorders, e.g., SCHIZOPHRENIA; and ADHD.