Title

Slow Wave Activity Related to Working Memory Maintenance in the N­Back Task

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2016

Publication Title

Journal of Psychophysiology

Volume Number

30

Issue Number

4

DOI

10.1027/0269-8803/a000164

Abstract

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.

ISSN

0269-8803

First Page

141

Last Page

154

Link Out URL

https://doi.org/10.1027/0269-8803/a000164

Share

COinS