The aim of this study was to examine the association between auditory and visual working memory (WM) performance and salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) and salivary flow rate (SFR) in a sample of 63 children (38 boys). WM was assessed by means of WISC-V subtests: four auditory subtests (Digit Span and Letter-Number Sequencing) and one visual subtest (Picture Span). SAA activity, output, and SFR were measured at baseline (10 min prior to testing), one minute prior to testing, one minute after the end of the auditory WM subtests and one minute after the end of the visual WM subtest. Our statistical analyses showed an association among SAA activity, output and SFR levels and the number of recalled digits in the last attempt score in Letter-Number Sequencing subtest. Specifically, our results showed that working performance in this task was associated with a concurrent decrease in SFR (r(63) = −0.423, p < .05). This salivary measure was the best predictor of this specific index of working memory performance (β = −0.423, p < .05). These results show that the changes in SFR, which represents changes in parasympathetic tone, could be employed in future studies as a noninvasive marker of working memory performance in child studies. Copyright © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Task Performance and Analysis
Bibliographical noteMaldonado, E. F., Nislin, M., Martínez-Escribano, A., Marín, L., Enguix, A., Alamo, A., . . . García, S. (2019). Association of salivary alpha-amylase and salivary flow rate with working memory functioning in healthy children. Stress. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/10253890.2019.1611777
- Auditory working memory
- Visual working memory
- Salivary alpha-amylase