Slow Wave Activity Related to Working Memory Maintenance in the NBack Task
Journal of Psychophysiology
Working memory supports our ability to maintain goal-relevant information that guides cognition in the face of distraction or competing tasks. The N-back task has been widely used in cognitive neuroscience to examine the functional neuroanatomy of working memory. Fewer studies have capitalized on the temporal resolution of event-related brain potentials (ERPs) to examine the time course of neural activity in the N-back task. The primary goal of the current study was to characterize slow wave activity observed in the response-to-stimulus interval in the N-back task that may be related to maintenance of information between trials in the task. In three experiments, we examined the effects of N-back load, interference, and response accuracy on the amplitude of the P3b following stimulus onset and slow wave activity elicited in the response-to-stimulus interval. Consistent with previous research, the amplitude of the P3b decreased as N-back load increased. Slow wave activity over the frontal and posterior regions of the scalp was sensitive to N-back load and was insensitive to interference or response accuracy. Together these findings lead to the suggestion that slow wave activity observed in the response-to-stimulus interval is related to the maintenance of information between trials in the 1-back task.
Bailey, Kira; Mlynarczyk, Gregory; and West, Robert, "Slow Wave Activity Related to Working Memory Maintenance in the NBack Task" (2016). Psychology Faculty Work. 16.
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