Poster E49, Monday, March 27, 2:30 – 4:30 pm, Pacific Concourse
ALPHA AND THETA BANDS RESTING EEG PREDICT DIFFERENT LEARNING PATTERNS IN VISUAL WORKING MEMORY
Mara Golemme1, Elisa Tatti1,2, Giulia Grande1, Caroline Di Bernardi Luft3, Joydeep Bhattacharya1, Marinella Cappelletti1; 1Department of Psychology. Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom., 2Brain Investigation and Neuromodulation laboratory, Department of Medicine, Surgery and Neuroscience, University of Siena, Italy., 3School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom
Brain oscillations at rest have been associated to higher-order cognition and predictability of behavioural changes. Here we investigated whether resting EEG in 30 adults predicts performance changes in a retro-cueing Visual Working Memory (VWM) task (Bays et al., 2011), which probes the ability to re-direct attention by means of retrospective cues (valid, invalid or neutral: 137, 66, 89 trials respectively). Resting EEG was obtained for pre and post performing 7 VWM blocks. Participants were divided in three groups based on their prevalent learning pattern: using cues effectively (increased valid cues benefit), suppressing distractors (decreased invalid cues cost) or ignoring the cue (increased neutral cue benefit). Across valid and invalid cue-groups, performance improvement was correlated to a decrease in fronto-central theta power (4-7 Hz) in the post-test resting-EEG. Specifically, individuals who increased the valid cue’s benefit showed reduced magnitude of pre-task individual alpha peaks and parieto-occipital alpha power (8-13 Hz), in the post task. In these same regions, increased lower alpha-band power and greater levels of theta were observed at pre-test in participants that improved task performance by suppressing the cues altogether, suggesting reduced attentional investment towards the cues (MacLeanet al., 2012). Interestingly, these values predicted the learning rate of the latter group. Our results indicate that resting, pre and post task, alpha and theta oscillations are associated with how retro-cue information may be differently used to enhance VWM. These findings suggest that resting-EEG could be used to predict individual learning strategies in healthy adults.
Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Working memory