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Poster E59

Orienting attention to selective contents of long-term versus short-term memories: an ERP study

Poster Session E - Monday, April 15, 2024, 2:30 – 4:30 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Bo-Cheng Kuo1,2 (, Rhianna Watt1, Nahid Zokaei1, Anna C Nobre1,3; 1University of Oxford, 2National Taiwan University, 3Yale University

The neural correlates of internal attention have been studied extensively by exploiting retrospective cues (retro-cues) during the delay interval in short-term memory (STM) tasks. In comparison, the neural correlates of internal attention acting within long-term memory (LTM) have received little investigation. Here, we recorded electrophysiological responses during selective orienting of internal attention within LTM vs. STM contextual memories to compare the pattern and timing of neural processes engaged. In a learning task performed over two days, participants (N = 29) studied a series of unique associations between scenes and two everyday embedded objects. On the third day, they performed delayed-response tasks based on the retrieval of object identities associated with previously studied scenes (LTM task) or new scene-objects associations encoded into STM (STM task). Spatial retro-cues directed selective internal attention or neutral retro-cues provided no information about the location of the object to be probed. Behavioral data confirmed a significant retro-cueing effect for both tasks. Our ERP results revealed cue-related ERPs, namely Early Directing Attention Negativity (EDAN) and Late Directing Attention Positivity (LDAP), for both tasks, with a stronger LDAP for the LTM task than the STM task. Multivariate decoding of the time-series data of internal attention showed similar patterns over time between LTM and STM representations. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that internal attention can be oriented not just to STM information, but also to information reactivated from LTM.

Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Other


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