View Full Version : Working Memory


hillzy
06-06-08, 02:17 PM
Hi all,
I was wondering if any of you have an LD with regards to working memory? I understand that this is the reason why it is so tremendously difficult for me to conquer simple math order of operations type stuff and other assorted simple computations.

Can any of the forum members perhaps help elaborate on how working memory is affected when coupled with ADHD? I'm combined inattentive/impulsive--when I was diagnosed, they said further analysis revealed that my ADHD was 'severe'.

I've scoured the online academic periodicals at school for insight or more recent publications, but so far I haven't turned up anything relevant with much success.

Sandy4957
06-06-08, 02:57 PM
QueensUGirl knows this stuff inside, outside, upside-down (all rotations that I cannot, for the life of me, do in my head, heh heh heh).

hillzy
06-06-08, 02:59 PM
LOL, calling Dr. QueensUGirl .. you're wanted in the west wing lol

theta
06-06-08, 04:07 PM
I alway thought working memory deficits and inattention was the same thing but thats likely an over simplification. But close enough.

Working memory and inattentive behaviour in a community sample of children. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17319951?ordinalpos=35&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVDocSum)

These results are consistent with previous research linking WM deficits and poor attention in ADHD and normal populations.


Based on the study below math learning difficulties maybe related to visual-spatial working memory.

Learning difficulties in mathematics in children with attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16555212?ordinalpos=14&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVDocSum)

the difficulties in learning mathematics group stood out from the other owing to the presence of a specific deficiency affecting the ability to recall temporal-visual-spatial information.

Anxiety, methylphenidate response, and working memory in children with ADHD. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18094325?ordinalpos=11&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVDocSum)

Also, methylphenidate improved the ability to manipulate visual-spatial information in both ADHD groups, but beneficial effects on visual-spatial storage were evident only in children without comorbid anxiety.

If you have a lot of anxiety your ADHD meds may not improve your visual-spatial problems. Thats test anxiety to the extreme.

Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic analysis of sedative and amnesic effects of lorazepam in healthy volunteers. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11307041?ordinalpos=64&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVDocSum)

Significant impairment was observed for immediate and delayed cued verbal recall, for immediate and delayed free recall, and for picture recognition as well as for visual-verbal recall, but not for cued visual-spatial recall or priming.

Interesting an anti-anxiety drug like lorazepam cause a lot of impairments but not in visual-spatial areas.

Attentional effects of single dose triazolam. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9608601?ordinalpos=84&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVDocSum)

Specifically, triazolam increased the facilitation of target detection seen at shorter (150 msec) SOA's. This may indicate an increase in facilitation and a reduction in inhibition or a slowing of the time course of the biphasic attentional effect normally resulting from exogenous cuing.

I think that in English is triazolam (anti-anxiety effects) improved some visual-spatial aspects.

Prusilusken
06-06-08, 05:08 PM
Hmmm...I'm sorry, I have no idea, if I have anything to do in this thread, but I do have a couple of quick questions regarding that subject on visuo-spatial abilities.

Theta?
Can a person with ADHD have very good visuo-spatial abilities, or does that rule out ADHD? (Yes sorry, but I'm a n00b :P)

I found it very difficult to do math in school.
Not to the extend that I was labelled LD at all, but I struggled, that's for sure.
And as it is now, I can't do even very simple math like adding two numbers like 6 and 25 together without a piece of piece of paper to "lean on".
But maybe I'm completely normal in that respect, I don't know?

The only thing I scored miserably on on my WAIS-R test ten years ago was "visuo-motoric" abilities. Oooooh, how I sucked at that.
Is that normal ADHD?

Hillzy, is it okay I asked these not completely related questions?
If not, just say so, and I sceddadle and try to find my answers another way. ;)

theta
06-06-08, 05:57 PM
Can a person with ADHD have very good visuo-spatial abilities, or does that rule out ADHD?


There are various types of working memory so I see no reason why a person could not have deficits in some and not others. And any major deficits in a single type of working memory might manifest itself as at least slight inattentiveness.

My layman hypothesis is if the working memory space has
a bottleneck that would trigger the neurocircuits that work on that memory space to go into loop/daydream until new data can be placed on the memory stack and read.

Anxiety selectively disrupts visuospatial working memory. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16637749?ordinalpos=39&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVDocSum)

A single administration of testosterone improves visuospatial ability in young women. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15041084?ordinalpos=125&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVDocSum)

Midazolam causes less sedation in volunteers with red hair. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14709456?ordinalpos=133&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVDocSum)

Visuospatial score was significantly higher in subjects with red compared to non-red hair during placebo and midazolam trials.

CONCLUSION: Midazolam appears to cause significantly less sedation and cognitive impairment in red haired subjects.

hillzy
06-08-08, 03:43 PM
I found it very difficult to do math in school.
Not to the extend that I was labelled LD at all, but I struggled, that's for sure.
And as it is now, I can't do even very simple math like adding two numbers like 6 and 25 together without a piece of piece of paper to "lean on".
But maybe I'm completely normal in that respect, I don't know?

Hillzy, is it okay I asked these not completely related questions?
If not, just say so, and I sceddadle and try to find my answers another way. ;)

Hey, don't feel bad about asking questions, we're all in this together!!

I'm the same way with math, I'm very very bad at it, I can't add basic numbers in my head, and generally when I try to, 1/10 times I'm correct.

My boyfriend on the other hand is a whiz at math (I guess if your father is an accountant, that helps plenty..) and when we first started going out, he used to quiz me with math questions .. and when he saw how pathetic I was, I think the novelty eventually wore off for him..heh..not funny. Recently, he asked me what my story was with math, explaining that he thinks it's important to know my multiplication tables and stuff. Instead of hiding the fact that I'm embarrassed, I finally was upfront about it (i've been embarassed about it for years) and I said, well, there's always a calculator around, and money isn't that difficult to count. But yes, I totally hear you on having scrap paper to 'lean on'

Anyways, it's embarassing, but I've learned to embrace it .. I just wish I knew more about working memory and how it affects the way I write essays and such....

TygerSan
06-10-08, 12:09 PM
I have pretty crappy working memory for certain things. I can remember decently as long as you don't ask me to manipulate numbers in my head (i.e. on the IQ test I do fine when you have to repeat the numbers back forwards, but not backwards). I like to say I have a small RAM: give me too much information to manipulate and I crash; a little at a time and I'm ok. I also think that's why I'm so slow at logic things (even though I get the concepts, I keep loosing where I am in the problems, and making stupid mistakes)

I can't do arithmetic in my head either, and thought I sucked at math throughout elementary school. Ironically, the math class I did the best in was calculus, in no small part due to the allowance of calculators for all calculations.

dyingInside
06-10-08, 01:06 PM
Hmmm I struggled with math and of all the problems related to ADD, this was the most costly for me. It cost me the career I wanted as I had to change my college major after failing a number of math classes. Funny that I am now capable of teaching algebra. I'm looking for a tutor for calculus (I never made it to that class) and thinking of giving it another chance, now that I'm medicated. It's probably too late to go back and start over, but I want to learn as a matter of pride, and also for employment reasons.

I think my failures had a lot to do with the way math was taught. Nobody seemed to notice when I was falling behind in grade school- most teachers wanted to help the kids who were ahead and ignore the rest. It is still a little painful for me to sit and work out problems. Maybe this is the result of all the negative conditioning I recieved in school which made me uncomfortable- the same reason I don't like team sports.

Arithmetic is really the root of the problem for me and that's directly related to working memory. I get concepts, but struggle with arithmetic. Timed tests kill me. I was almost always the last person to finish, and usually wrong answers were due to changing signs (+ or -) or a mistake in division or subtraction. Sometimes I had to go back and do problems 3 or 4 times over to get the right answer. It's ironic that I now tutor others in basic math. Having had so much trouble, I know what to look for and how to explain it to someone who may be struggling just like I did. Doing this is part of my ongoing quest to turn negatives into positives (wait a minute... did I say that?).

There are a number of books about improving your arithmetic and learning alternative methods- they are not written for ADDers but you may find them helpful: "Speed Mathematics" by Bill Handley; "Short Cut Math" by Gerard W. Kelly, and "How to Calculate Quickly" by Henry Sticker are just a few I spy on my bookshelf.

Daveg
06-10-08, 10:05 PM
Although this isn't completely unrelated, just wondering how much of a difference ADD meds have had on your Working Memory scores?

With my trusty pal Dex I am well into the 'high average' range but without, it's quite pitiful anyone else?:o

QueensU_girl
06-10-08, 10:10 PM
Poor WM is part of ADD.

And WM is part of Executive Function impairment, too.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baddeley's_model_of_working_memory

garykelly
06-12-08, 02:44 PM
And there are many neuropsychological test that can assess the working memory. Of course, AD/HD impacts the part of the brain responsible for executive functions, so it would make sense that the two are related in the area of working memory.