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Dynamic Updating of Working Memory Resources for Visual Objects

Gorgoraptis, N; Catalao, RFG; Bays, PM; Husain, M; (2011) Dynamic Updating of Working Memory Resources for Visual Objects. Journal of Neuroscience , 31 (23) pp. 8502-8511. 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0208-11.2011. Green open access

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Abstract

Recent neurophysiological and imaging studies have investigated how neural representations underlying working memory (WM) are dynamically updated for objects presented sequentially. Although such studies implicate information encoded in oscillatory activity across distributed brain networks, interpretation of findings depends crucially on the underlying conceptual model of how memory resources are distributed.Here, we quantify the fidelity of human memory for sequences of colored stimuli of different orientation. The precision with which each orientation was recalled declined with increases in total memory load, but also depended on when in the sequence it appeared. When one item was prioritized, its recall was enhanced, but with corresponding decrements in precision for other objects. Comparison with the same number of items presented simultaneously revealed an additional performance cost for sequential display that could not be explained by temporal decay. Memory precision was lower for sequential compared with simultaneous presentation, even when each item in the sequence was presented at a different location.Importantly, stochastic modeling established this cost for sequential display was due to misbinding object features (color and orientation). These results support the view that WM resources can be dynamically and flexibly updated as new items have to be stored, but redistribution of resources with the addition of new items is associated with misbinding object features, providing important constraints and a framework for interpreting neural data.

Type: Article
Title: Dynamic Updating of Working Memory Resources for Visual Objects
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0208-11.2011
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0208-11.2011
Language: English
Additional information: Anyone may use this material for non-commercial purposes under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution -Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0). This agreement allows data and text mining, use of figures in presentations, and posting the article online, as long as the original article is attributed.
Keywords: Short-term-memory, capacity, storage, decay, information, features, binding, representation, conjunctions, recognition
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Department of Neuromuscular Diseases
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > UCL Medical School
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1311442
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