An important task of the human central nervous system is to link sensory information to appropriate response. This is the defining characteristic of adaptive behaviour in humans. Such adaptability is presumed to be mediated by working memory systems that process and respond to detected stimuli according to experience, needs, context and intention, and underpin the capacity to realise goals and plans.
The neurobiological basis of this system has been studied intensively over the last twenty years, with significant knowledge now accrued in relation to both health and disease. This paper will discuss aspects of the development of the working memory construct, its functional anatomy and its role in both default mode operations and neuroplastic response.