Differential effects of socioeconomic status on working and procedural memory systems
Author(s)Gabrieli, John D. E.; Leonard, Julia Anne; Mackey, Allyson; Finn, Amy Sue
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While prior research has shown a strong relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and working memory performance, the relation between SES and procedural (implicit) memory remains unknown. Convergent research in both animals and humans has revealed a fundamental dissociation, both behaviorally and neurally, between a working memory system that depends on medial temporal-lobe structures and the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) vs. a procedural memory system that depends on the basal ganglia. Here, we measured performance in adolescents from lower- and higher-SES backgrounds on tests of working memory capacity (complex working memory span) and procedural memory (probabilistic classification) and their hippocampal, DLPFC, and caudate volumes. Lower-SES adolescents had worse working memory performance and smaller hippocampal and DLPFC volumes than their higher-SES peers, but there was no significant difference between the lower- and higher-SES groups on the procedural memory task or in caudate volumes. These findings suggest that SES may have a selective influence on hippocampal-prefrontal-dependent working memory and little influence on striatal-dependent procedural memory.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences; McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Frontiers Research Foundation
Leonard, Julia A., Allyson P. Mackey, Amy S. Finn, and John D. E. Gabrieli. “Differential Effects of Socioeconomic Status on Working and Procedural Memory Systems.” Front. Hum. Neurosci. 9 (October 8, 2015).
Final published version