Neural signatures for active maintenance and interference during working memory updating

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Adrià Vilà-Balló, Juha Salmi, Anna Soveri, Antoni Rodríguez-Fornells, Minna Lehtonen, Matti Laine
Publication year: 2018
Journal: Biological Psychology
Journal acronym: Biol Psychol
Volume number: 132
Start page: 233
End page: 243
ISSN: 1873-6246
eISSN: 1873-6246


Although working memory (WM) is amongst the most studied neurocognitive functions, temporal patterns of its component processes are not fully understood. We examined the neural underpinnings of active maintenance and interference management in the n-back task by manipulating load (1-back vs 3-back) and including so-called lure stimuli. ERPs of 27 young adults revealed that the 1-back condition enabling active maintenance showed a positive slow wave (PSW) prior to the next stimulus (-600-0 ms) and augmented P2 (190-290 ms) and P3b (330-430 ms) responses after the stimulus appeared, albeit the latter effects were driven by the initial PSW. Moreover, PSW amplitude correlated negatively with reaction time in the 1-back condition. Responses to lures showed interference, accompanied with different ERP effects for the two load levels. Our results support the view that PSW reflects efficient WM maintenance and suggest two distinct neuronal correlates for interference in WM.

Last updated on 2020-27-01 at 04:34