Poster B39, Sunday, March 25, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
Examination of phase-amplitude coupling during working memory updating and interactions with goal-directed attention ability
Timothy K. Gray1, Araya Lacy1, Robert S. Ross1; 1University of New Hampshire
Working memory updating ability may be related to attention. Working memory updating involves continuingly changing the contents of working memory. Oscillations in theta (4-8 Hz), alpha (9-14 Hz), and beta (15-25 Hz) ranges are associated with goal-directed attention and working memory. Interactions between alpha and beta bands supports working memory maintenance and is impacted by attention ability. However, it is unclear whether alpha and beta interact and/or theta and alpha interact during working memory updating. This study sought to identify how changes in phase-amplitude coupling (PAC), which measures how different oscillations interact, during working memory updating change with variations in goal-directed attention ability. Participants completed a Posner attention task where participants covertly shift attention to one side of a screen in anticipation of a stimulus. Reaction time was used to make high and low attention ability groups via a median split. After the Posner task, participants completed a 0-back, 1-back, and 2-back working memory updating task while undergoing EEG. PAC in the n-back tasks was analyzed using FieldTrip and compared across high and low attention groups using ANOVA. PAC between predefined regions in left and right frontal and left and right parietal regions showed that theta-alpha and alpha-beta PAC during working memory updating increased with load. Theta-alpha PAC between contralateral parietal regions during the 0-back task was greater for participants with higher goal-directed attention ability. No difference in alpha-beta PAC was seen based upon attention group. These results imply that goal-directed attention ability may not impact working memory updating ability.
Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Working memory