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Working memory prioritization impacts neural recovery from distraction.
Cortex 2019; 121:225-238C

Abstract

The ability to protect goal-relevant information from disruption over short intervals is a hallmark of working memory. Recent behavioral data suggest that high-priority items in working memory are more vulnerable to disruption. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to evaluate the hypothesis that prioritization of working memories might impact the recovery of their neural representation(s) after distraction. A delay-period retrospective cue informed participants which of two memory items (a face or a scene) to prioritize during a first delay period. Consistent with prior work, and confirming successful prioritization, multivoxel pattern classifier evidence in perceptual brain regions was higher for cued versus uncued memory items. A distraction task was then imposed before a second retrospective cue informed participants to either "stay" remembering the previously cued item or "switch" to the previously uncued item. This allowed for the evaluation of recovery for high-priority items (on stay trials) and also low-priority items (on switch trials). Classifiers showed successful reinstatement of both high- and low-priority items after distraction, but only low-priority items recovered to their pre-distraction representational levels. Moreover, the degree of prioritization before distraction predicted the amount of disruption for high-priority items after distraction, suggesting that the more a participant prioritized the cued item, the greater the impact of distraction. Our data provide neural evidence that prioritizing working memory information in perceptual regions makes that information more vulnerable to disruption.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin, USA. Electronic address: mallett.remy@gmail.com.Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin, USA.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

31629945

Citation

Mallett, Remington, and Jarrod A. Lewis-Peacock. "Working Memory Prioritization Impacts Neural Recovery From Distraction." Cortex; a Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System and Behavior, vol. 121, 2019, pp. 225-238.
Mallett R, Lewis-Peacock JA. Working memory prioritization impacts neural recovery from distraction. Cortex. 2019;121:225-238.
Mallett, R., & Lewis-Peacock, J. A. (2019). Working memory prioritization impacts neural recovery from distraction. Cortex; a Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System and Behavior, 121, pp. 225-238. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2019.08.019.
Mallett R, Lewis-Peacock JA. Working Memory Prioritization Impacts Neural Recovery From Distraction. Cortex. 2019 Sep 20;121:225-238. PubMed PMID: 31629945.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Working memory prioritization impacts neural recovery from distraction. AU - Mallett,Remington, AU - Lewis-Peacock,Jarrod A, Y1 - 2019/09/20/ PY - 2019/04/04/received PY - 2019/06/22/revised PY - 2019/08/30/accepted PY - 2019/10/21/pubmed PY - 2019/10/21/medline PY - 2019/10/21/entrez KW - Attention KW - Distraction KW - Interference KW - Prioritization KW - Working memory SP - 225 EP - 238 JF - Cortex; a journal devoted to the study of the nervous system and behavior JO - Cortex VL - 121 N2 - The ability to protect goal-relevant information from disruption over short intervals is a hallmark of working memory. Recent behavioral data suggest that high-priority items in working memory are more vulnerable to disruption. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to evaluate the hypothesis that prioritization of working memories might impact the recovery of their neural representation(s) after distraction. A delay-period retrospective cue informed participants which of two memory items (a face or a scene) to prioritize during a first delay period. Consistent with prior work, and confirming successful prioritization, multivoxel pattern classifier evidence in perceptual brain regions was higher for cued versus uncued memory items. A distraction task was then imposed before a second retrospective cue informed participants to either "stay" remembering the previously cued item or "switch" to the previously uncued item. This allowed for the evaluation of recovery for high-priority items (on stay trials) and also low-priority items (on switch trials). Classifiers showed successful reinstatement of both high- and low-priority items after distraction, but only low-priority items recovered to their pre-distraction representational levels. Moreover, the degree of prioritization before distraction predicted the amount of disruption for high-priority items after distraction, suggesting that the more a participant prioritized the cued item, the greater the impact of distraction. Our data provide neural evidence that prioritizing working memory information in perceptual regions makes that information more vulnerable to disruption. SN - 1973-8102 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/31629945/Working_memory_prioritization_impacts_neural_recovery_from_distraction L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0010-9452(19)30309-0 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -