Skip Nav Destination
1-3 of 3
Follow your search
Access your saved searches in your account
Would you like to receive an alert when new items match your search?
Not-so-working Memory: Drift in Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Pattern Representations during Maintenance Predicts Errors in a Visual Working Memory Task
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience (2019) 31 (10): 1520–1534.
Published: 01 October 2019
FIGURES | View All (4)
AbstractView article PDF
Working memory (WM) is critical to many aspects of cognition, but it frequently fails. Much WM research has focused on capacity limits, but even for single, simple features, the fidelity of individual representations is limited. Why is this? One possibility is that, because of neural noise and interference, neural representations do not remain stable across a WM delay, nor do they simply decay, but instead, they may “drift” over time to a new, less accurate state. We tested this hypothesis in a functional magnetic resonance imaging study of a match/nonmatch WM recognition task for a single item with a single critical feature: orientation. We developed a novel pattern-based index of “representational drift” to characterize ongoing changes in brain activity patterns throughout the WM maintenance period, and we were successfully able to predict performance on the match/nonmatch recognition task using this representational drift index. Specifically, in trials where the target and probe stimuli matched, participants incorrectly reported more nonmatches when their activity patterns drifted away from the target. In trials where the target and probe did not match, participants incorrectly reported more matches when their activity patterns drifted toward the probe. On the basis of these results, we contend that neural noise does not cause WM errors merely by degrading representations and increasing random guessing; instead, one means by which noise introduces errors is by pushing WM representations away from the target and toward other meaningful (yet incorrect) configurations. Thus, we demonstrate that behaviorally meaningful drift within representation space can be indexed by neuroimaging.
Electrophysiological Correlates of Refreshing: Event-related Potentials Associated with Directing Reflective Attention to Face, Scene, or Word Representations
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience (2015) 27 (9): 1823–1839.
Published: 01 September 2015
FIGURES | View All (8)
AbstractView article PDF
Refreshing is the component cognitive process of directing reflective attention to one of several active mental representations. Previous studies using fMRI suggested that refresh tasks involve a component process of initiating refreshing as well as the top–down modulation of representational regions central to refreshing. However, those studies were limited by fMRI's low temporal resolution. In this study, we used EEG to examine the time course of refreshing on the scale of milliseconds rather than seconds. ERP analyses showed that a typical refresh task does have a distinct electrophysiological response as compared to a control condition and includes at least two main temporal components: an earlier (∼400 msec) positive peak reminiscent of a P3 response and a later (∼800–1400 msec) sustained positivity over several sites reminiscent of the late directing attention positivity. Overall, the evoked potentials for refreshing representations from three different visual categories (faces, scenes, words) were similar, but multivariate pattern analysis showed that some category information was nonetheless present in the EEG signal. When related to previous fMRI studies, these results are consistent with a two-phase model, with the first phase dominated by frontal control signals involved in initiating refreshing and the second by the top–down modulation of posterior perceptual cortical areas that constitutes refreshing a representation. This study also lays the foundation for future studies of the neural correlates of reflective attention at a finer temporal resolution than is possible using fMRI.
Top–Down Enhancement and Suppression of Activity in Category-selective Extrastriate Cortex from an Act of Reflective Attention
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience (2009) 21 (12): 2320–2327.
Published: 01 December 2009
AbstractView article PDF
Recent research has demonstrated top–down attentional modulation of activity in extrastriate category-selective visual areas while stimuli are in view (perceptual attention) and after they are removed from view (reflective attention). Perceptual attention is capable of both enhancing and suppressing activity in category-selective areas relative to a passive viewing baseline. In this study, we demonstrate that a brief, simple act of reflective attention (“refreshing”) is also capable of both enhancing and suppressing activity in some scene-selective areas (the parahippocampal place area [PPA]) but not others (refreshing resulted in enhancement but not in suppression in the middle occipital gyrus [MOG]). This suggests that different category-selective extrastriate areas preferring the same class of stimuli may contribute differentially to reflective processing of one's internal representations of such stimuli.