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Goldsmiths - University of London

Alpha-band resting activity predicts flexible manipulation of visual working memory representations

Golemme, Mara; Tatti, Elisa; Di Bernardi Luft, Caroline; Bhattacharya, Joydeep; Herrojo Ruiz, Maria and Cappelletti, Marinella. 2018. Alpha-band resting activity predicts flexible manipulation of visual working memory representations. Cortex, ISSN 0010-9452 [Article] (Submitted)

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Abstract or Description

Flexible manipulation of memory representations is a crucial ability embedded in working memory (WM) that can be tested using retro-cue paradigms. While most studies have shown improved performance when the information to be remembered is consistent with the cued one (valid retro-cue), less consensus is found when it is incorrectly cued (invalid retro-cue). Here we used an established retro-cue working memory paradigm specifically assessing the flexible manipulation of memory representations underlying the processing of invalid cues. We tested whether past inconsistent findings may reflect individual variability and tested whether this could be predicted prior to task execution. WM performance and resting state EEG were collected in 30 healthy young participants divided into subgroups, depending on the different level of flexibility shown in performance associated with invalid retro-cues. Subgroup differences were found for the alpha band power (8-12 Hz) in a parieto-occipital cluster and the degree of long-range temporal correlations (LRTC), a measure of integration of information in brain networks. Moreover, the multivariate pattern of the LRTCs and power in the alpha-band during rest predicted the classification of participants in subgroups. Indeed, these EEG features identified participants who effectively used the retro-cue information, by showing reduced cost for invalid cues but improved performance when valid cues were presented. Additional control tasks indicated that such variability was not attributable to more generaldomain cognitive differences between subgroups. Our results provide the first characterization of individual differences in response to invalid retro-cues measured at rest, reconciling a debate in the working memory literature.

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Maria Herrojo Ruiz and Marinella Cappelletti are equal senior authors

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20 December 2018Submitted

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Date Deposited:

23 Jan 2019 14:18

Last Modified:

23 Jan 2019 14:25


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