How sleep and mood impact working memory

Two new studies assess how working memory — the memory we use on a day-to-day basis in decision-making processes — is affected by age, mood, and sleep quality and whether these factors impact memory together or on their own.

Working memory is the short-term memory that a person uses on a daily basis while navigating the world, assessing situations, using language, and making decisions.

As a person advances in age, this faculty tends to decline, but there are also other factors — particularly depressed mood and low sleep quality — that can affect it, both in the short and long terms.

Full story at Medical News Today

ADHD drugs increase brain glutamate, predict positive emotion in healthy people

A new study shows that healthy people who take attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drugs experience a surge in the neurotransmitter glutamate in key parts of the brain. And that increase in glutamate is associated with subsequent changes in positive emotion.

The findings, published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, not only provide clues about how these drugs affect healthy brains, they also hint at a previously undiscovered link between glutamate and mood.

“This is the first time that an increase in brain glutamate in response to psychostimulant drugs has been demonstrated in humans,” said Tara White, an assistant professor in the Brown University School of Public Health and lead author of the new study. “That’s important since glutamate is the major neurotransmitter responsible for excitation in the brain, and affects learning and memory.”

Full story at Science Daily