An Examination of Oscillatory Power Modulation During Working Memory Updating by Mitchell R. Lachs, Timothy K. Gray and Dr. Robert S. Ross
From Mitchell Lachs
Working memory is our everyday ability to hold and manipulate information in our minds. The present study examined brain oscillatory responses between 4 and 30 Hz elicited during the performance of a visual working memory updating task with three increasingly cognitively demanding conditions in 27 adult volunteers. Brain oscillations are related to how effective the brain communicates within and across brain regions. The three conditions consisted of 0-back (low), 1-back (medium), and 2-back (high) working memory loads. The study provides information about how cognitive load during working memory is related to synchronization and desynchronization in different regions. I propose that the higher memory load (1-back and 2-back) conditions will exhibit increasingly greater synchronization across the theta and beta oscillatory bands, and accordingly increased desynchronization in the alpha band. This would indicate a shunting of cognitive resources to a more internally controlled information manipulation, which would require participants to shift their attention from a more behaviorally dominant target (stimulus at hand) to a more perceptually dominant, cognitively demanding target (previously encoded stimulus). Results yielded a significantly greater desynchronization with higher memory load in the alpha frequency band in the right frontal electrode region of interest.