Effects of memory load and distraction on performance and event-related slow potentials in a visuospatial working memory task

Geffen, Gina M., Wright, Margaret J., Green, Heather J., Gillespie, Nicole A., Smyth, David C., Evans, David M. and Geffen, Laurence B. (1997) Effects of memory load and distraction on performance and event-related slow potentials in a visuospatial working memory task. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 9 6: 743-757. doi:10.1162/jocn.1997.9.6.743

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Author Geffen, Gina M.
Wright, Margaret J.
Green, Heather J.
Gillespie, Nicole A.
Smyth, David C.
Evans, David M.
Geffen, Laurence B.
Title Effects of memory load and distraction on performance and event-related slow potentials in a visuospatial working memory task
Journal name Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0898-929X
1530-8898
1096-8857
Publication date 1997-11
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1162/jocn.1997.9.6.743
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 9
Issue 6
Start page 743
End page 757
Total pages 14
Place of publication Cambridge, MA, United States
Publisher M I T Press
Language eng
Abstract Brain electrical activity related to working memory was recorded at 15 scalp electrodes during a visuospatial delayed response task. Participants (N = 18) touched the remembered position of a target on a computer screen after either a 1 or 8 sec delay. These memory trials were compared to sensory trials in which the target remained present throughout the delay and response periods. Distracter stimuli identical to the target were briefly presented during the delay on 30% of trials. Responses were less accurate in memory than sensory trials, especially after the long delay. During the delay slow potentials developed that were significantly more negative in memory than sensory trials. The difference between memory and sensory trials was greater at anterior than posterior electrodes. On trials with distracters, the slow potentials generated by memory trials showed further enhancement of negativity whereas there were minimal effects on accuracy of performance. The results provide evidence that engagement of visuospatial working memory generates slow wave negativity with a timing and distribution consistent with frontal activation. Enhanced brain activity associated with working memory is required to maintain performance in the presence of distraction. © 1997 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Keyword Neurosciences
Psychology, experimental
Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
Delayed-response task
Human infants
Monkeys
Deficit
Schizophrenia
Association
Patterns
Lesions
Pet
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: UQ Business School Publications
School of Psychology Publications
 
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Created: Mon, 13 Aug 2007, 10:16:38 EST