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Mesurer et améliorer le maintien en mémoire de travail chez les adultes jeunes et âgés : mesures comportementales et électrophysiologiques

Abstract : Working memory is at the core of most of our daily-life activities. This cognitive function allows maintaining information at short-term while processing other information (Atkinson & Shiffrin, 1968 ; Baddeley & Hitch, 1974). Several models have agreed on the central role of attention in working memory, in particular via a specific maintenance mechanism: attentional refreshing (Johnson, 1992). The present PhD thesis investigated this mechanism, which is still not well known, in young and old adults.Working memory seem to be impaired in aging, and recent studies have suggested that this impairment could be due to a deficit of attentional refreshing in old adults (Hoareau et al., 2016 ; Jarjat et al., 2018 ; Plancher et al., 2017). A behavioral measure of refreshing was used to test the hypothesis of a slowing down of refreshing in aging. However, our results rather suggest an agerelated deficit in the initiation of attentional refreshing and are thus in line with the hypothesis of an impairment (but not necessarily a slowing) of attentional refreshing in aging.To develop a way to improve attentional refreshing in young and old adults, we focused on the dynamic attending theory (Jones, 1976 ; Jones & Boltz, 1989 ; Large & Jones, 1999). Based on music cognition research, the dynamic attending theory proposes that the distribution of attentional resources can be guided in the presence of an external and temporally regular structure, resulting in a better allocation of attentional resources and enhanced perceptual and cognitive processing. As refreshing is an attentional mechanism, we hypothesized that this mechanism might benefit from the presence of temporal regularities during maintenance in working memory. Our studies revealed that the presence of an auditory, temporally regular rhythm during retention benefits indeed attentional refreshing in young adults and some in old adults who have with greater inhibition capacities.As attentional refreshing has been investigated up to now only with indirect behavioral measures, we aimed for a more direct assessment of this mechanism by investigating electrophysiological measures of refreshing. Electroencephalographical recordings during maintenance in working memory suggested that neural oscillations, especially in the beta-bandfrequency range, are involved in attentional refreshing.Our findings strengthen the interest of musical and/or rhythmical intervention techniques aiming to overcome deficits in working memory. The research of this thesis offers new perspectives for studying (1) age-related impairments of maintenance in working memory in aging and (2) the beneficial effect of the presence of a temporally regular structure on neural oscillations duringmaintenance in working memory. In a long-term perspective, electrophysiology could be helpful provide a better understanding of the impact of these techniques on working memory functioning.
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https://tel.archives-ouvertes.fr/tel-02049207
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Submitted on : Tuesday, February 26, 2019 - 11:05:08 AM
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Lison Fanuel. Mesurer et améliorer le maintien en mémoire de travail chez les adultes jeunes et âgés : mesures comportementales et électrophysiologiques. Psychologie. Université de Lyon, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018LYSE2098⟩. ⟨tel-02049207⟩

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