Event-related potentials during memorization of spatial locations in the auditory and visual modalities

Journal article


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Publication Details

Author list: Barceló F
Publisher: Elsevier
Publication year: 1997
Volume number: 103
Issue number: 2
Start page: 96610
End page: 96614
Number of pages: 5
ISSN: 0013-4694
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


Event-related potential (ERP) studies of working memory have used
delayed Sl-S2 match-to-sample tasks in which Sl is held in memory for
comparison with S2. ERP negativities in the S l-S2 interval have been
interpreted either in terms of working memory operations, or in terms of
general preparatory motor processing. Two experiments (N = 20 each)
were carried out to explore the nature of ERP negativities in a
visuospatial memory task and in an auditory spatial memory task,
respectively. In the experimental condition, subjects had to memorize
the location of Sl (Sl-memorize) so as to respond whether S2 appeared in
the same spatial location (S2-memorize). In the control condition,
subjects were requested to ignore Sl (Sl-passive), and to respond
whether S2 matched or not a target location predetermined at the
beginning of the trial block (S2-pressing). Results support the two main
conclusions of Martin-Leeches et al. (Electroenceph. clin.
Neurophysiol., 1994,91: 363-373). Firstly, that the encoding into memory
of spatial location is associated with an ERP negative wave over the
brain areas putatively associated with the processing of sensory
information (i.e. right parieto-occipital for the visual task;
fronto-central and left temporal areas for the auditory task). Secondly,
the P300 does not seem to be an important ERP feature related to
spatial location encoding and retaining into memory. Despite the
distinct scalp distribution of these memory-related, modality-specific
ERP negativities, they also showed a considerable degree of temporal
synchronicity across modalities.


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