The team of psychologists has find strong associations between working memory a fundamental building block of a functioning mind and three health relate factors: sleep, age, and depress mood. The team also reports that each of these factors is associate with different aspects of working memory.
Working memory is the part of short-term memory that temporarily stores; so manages information require for cognitive tasks such as learning, reasoning, and comprehension. Working memory is critically involve in many higher cognitive functions; so including intelligence, creative problem solving, language, and action planning. It plays a major role in how we process, use, and remember information.
Aspect of working memory
The researchers, led by Weiwei Zhang, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, find that age is negatively relate to the “qualitative” aspect of working memory that is, how strong or how accurate the memory is. In other words, the older the person, the weaker and less precise the person’s memory.
In contrast, poor sleep quality and depress mood are link to a reduce likelihood of remembering a previously experience event the “quantitative” aspect of working memory. Other researchers have already link each of these factors separately to overall working memory function, but our work look at how these factors are associate with memory quality and quantity the first time this has been done. All three factors are interrelate.
For example, seniors are more likely to experience negative mood than younger adults. Poor sleep quality is also often associate with depress mood. The piecemeal approach use in previous investigations on these relationships examining the relationship; so between one of these health relate factors and working memory could open up; so the possibility that an observe effect may be influence by other factors.
The researchers are the first to statistically isolate the effects of the three factors on working memory quantity and quality. Although all three factors contribute to a common complaint about foggy memory, they seem to behave in different ways and may result from potentially independent mechanisms in the brain. These findings could lead to future interventions and treatments to counteract the negative impacts of these factors on working memory.
The researchers perform two studies. In the first study, they sample 110 college students for self report measures of sleep quality and depress mood and their independent relationship to experimental measures of working memory. So the second study, the researchers sample 31 members of a community ranging in age from 21 to 77 years. In this study, the researchers investigate age and its relationship to working memory.
They are more confident now about how each one of these factors impacts working memory,” Zhang said. “This could give us a better understanding of the underlying mechanism in age relate dementia. For the mind to work at its best, it is important that senior citizens ensure they have good sleep quality and be in a good mood.