Carlos M. Gómez, Catarina Isabel Barriga-Paulino, Elena Isabel Rodríguez-Martínez, Ma Ángeles Rojas-Benjumea, Antonio Arjona, Jaime Gómez-González
November 25, 2017
Working memory (WM) is an important cognitive function that is necessary to perform our daily activities. The present review briefly describes the most accepted models underlying WM and the neural networks involved in its processing. The review focuses on how the neurophysiological mechanisms develop with age in the periods from childhood to adolescence and young adulthood. Studies using behavioral, neuroimaging, and electrophysiological techniques showed the progress of WM throughout the development. The present review focuses on the neurophysiology of the basic processes underlying WM operations, as indicated by electroencephalogram-derived signals, in order to take advantage of the excellent time resolution of this technique. Children and adults use similar cerebral mechanisms and areas to encode, recognize, and keep the stimuli in memory and update the WM contents, although adults rely more on anterior sites. The possibility that a functional reorganization of WM brain processing occurs around the adolescent period is suggested, and would partly justify the high prevalence of the emergence of mental pathology in the adolescent period.