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Mapping working memory retrieval in space and in time: A combined electroencephalography and electrocorticography approach

Zhang, Q., van Vugt, M., Borst, J. P. & Anderson, J. R., 1-Jul-2018, In : Neuroimage. 174, p. 472-484 13 p.

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  • Mapping working memory retrieval in space and in time: A combined electroencephalography and electrocorticography approach

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DOI

In this study, we investigated the time course and neural correlates of the retrieval process underlying visual working memory. We made use of a rare dataset in which the same task was recorded using both scalp electroencephalography (EEG) and Electrocorticography (ECoG), respectively. This allowed us to examine with great spatial and temporal detail how the retrieval process works, and in particular how the medial temporal lobe (MTL) is involved. In each trial, participants judged whether a probe face had been among a set of recently studied faces. With a method that combines hidden semi-Markov models and multivariate pattern analysis, the neural signal was decomposed into a sequence of latent cognitive stages with information about their durations on a trial-by-trial basis. Analyzed separately, EEG and ECoG data yielded converging results on discovered stages and their interpretation, which reflected 1) a brief pre-attention stage, 2) encoding the stimulus, 3) retrieving the studied set, and 4) making a decision. Combining these stages with the high spatial resolution of ECoG suggested that activity in the temporal cortex reflected item familiarity in the retrieval stage; and that once retrieval is complete, there is active maintenance of the studied face set in the decision stage in the MTL. During this same period, the frontal cortex guides the decision by means of theta coupling with the MTL. These observations generalize previous findings on the role of MTL theta from long-term memory tasks to short-term memory tasks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)472-484
Number of pages13
JournalNeuroimage
Volume174
Publication statusPublished - 1-Jul-2018

    Keywords

  • Spatial-temporal analysis, Sternberg task, Hidden semi-Markov model, Working memory, Electroencephalography, Electrocorticography, MEDIAL TEMPORAL-LOBE, MATCHING-TO-SAMPLE, EVENT-RELATED POTENTIALS, SHORT-TERM-MEMORY, PREFRONTAL CORTEX, RECOGNITION MEMORY, PROCESSING STAGES, ASSOCIATIVE RECOGNITION, PHASE SYNCHRONIZATION, THETA-OSCILLATIONS

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