Working memory allows us to maintain and use information in mind within a short time frame, e.g. a telephone number until we dial it or add it to our list of contacts. This information can come from the sensory systems or can be recalled from our long-term memories; therefore working memory is crucial both for learning and remembering. According to the dominant neuroscientific model, a central mechanism that supports visual working memory is robust delay activity in the prefrontal cortex, which affects the stimulus processing in posterior sensory areas. In this Research Topic we debate this central tenet in light of recent experimental evidence. We bring together contributions that range from developmental psychology to single unit recordings to examine the robustness of the traditional model and explore alternative neural mechanisms that may support visual working memory. We welcome original research articles, theoretical and computational studies, review articles, and methodological advances related to the cognitive neuroscience of working memory. The scope of this Topic includes, but is not limited to, studies aimed at understanding: 1) the function of delay activity in the prefrontal cortex and other cortical brain areas; 2) alternative mechanisms that support working memory based on neural data and modeling studies; 3) the relationship of working memory with attention and other executive functions; 4) the developmental trajectory of working memory in the human brain.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.
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