The ambition of the present proposal is to examine the cognitive and neuronal mechanisms of information storage in memory from the very beginning when information is present in working memory, until the late stage of sleep-dependent long-term consolidation of this information. We will investigate these mechanisms in humans and in animals (rats), the animal model offering a more direct measurement of cognitive and neuronal mechanisms of memory. The general and original hypothesis tested in the project is that a particular form of retrieval in working memory, attentional refreshing, influences the way information is consolidated in long-term memory. We will: 1. Measure the impact of maintaining items in working memory through attentional refreshing at various delays: at immediate, delayed and after sleep recalls (Workpackage 1); 2. Investigate the neuronal correlates of attentional refreshing in WM and relate these neuronal correlates with memory performance at various delays (Workpackage 2); 3. Investigate the neuronal correlates of refreshing and long-term consolidation in an animal model (Workpackage 3). Through different experiments, we will collect behavioral data (percentage of correct recalls at various delays) and neuronal data (EEG). Expected findings will: 1. Determine whether maintenance in working memory through attentional refreshing has an impact on long-term memory and whether refreshed items are those that preferentially enter the process of sleep-dependent consolidation; 2. Determine whether brain oscillations are influenced by the use of attentional refreshing in working memory and determine the relation between these oscillations and memory performance; 3. Determine, using an animal model, if an increase in the theta-gamma coupling between the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex predicts memory performance; and how this increase could be linked to an increase in synaptic transmission during sleep stages responsible for the long-term consolidation of items previously processed in working memory. By offering a large temporal scale of investigation, our project will provide some crucial information about the role of attentional refreshing in working memory at short and long-term. Finally, a challenge for our project is to bring together the study of memory in humans and in animals. Beyond its utility for our understanding of cognitive and neuronal mechanisms of memory, this association would enable to propose a more general theoretical framework of working memory. In the long-term, because working memory is central in our daily life, our results may help to fight against underperforming at school and improve the well-being of populations with working memory deficits.
Madame Gaën Plancher (LABORATOIRE D'ETUDE DES MECANISMES COGNITIFS)
The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.
EMC LABORATOIRE D'ETUDE DES MECANISMES COGNITIFS
Help of the ANR 230,000 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: January 2019 - 48 Months