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Poster D42 - Sketchpad Series

Context effects on working memory maintenance

Poster Session D - Monday, April 15, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Yaqi Xu1 (, Megan Boudewyn1; 1UC Santa Cruz

Background / Motivation: The goal of this study was to examine working memory engagement during reading comprehension. Specifically, we were interested in the extent to which sentence context is actively maintained during sentence reading. Design & Preliminary Analysis: Participants read sentences in two conditions: connected and disconnected; our planned analyses will focus on the break between sentences. We will examine the NSW, a negative slow wave event-related potential, as a measure of working memory engagement. To date, we have collected data from 42 participants (Mean Age = 19.5, 26 female, 14 male, 2 non-binary). Planned Analyses: We plan to adopt a multi-level mixed modeling approach to analyze the NSW data, which will increase our statistical power and take into account trial-to-trial variation. We will also expand our analyses to include time-frequency approaches, which will allow us to investigate oscillatory activity during the breaks between sentences. We will focus on activity in the theta (4-7 Hz) and alpha (8-12 Hz) frequency bands. We expected to observe an NSW effect in the break following Sentence 1. We also expect to find higher theta power and lower alpha power during the breaks. If the same pattern of effects is found for sentences in both connectedness condition, the results would suggest that we automatically maintain sentence context in working memory over time even when it unlikely to be relevant to the upcoming input.

Topic Area: LANGUAGE: Other


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April 13–16  |  2024