Explicit processing of verbal and spatial features during letter-location binding modulates oscillatory activity of a fronto-parietal network

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Publication Details

Author list: Maestu F
Publisher: Elsevier
Publication year: 2010
Volume number: 48
Issue number: 13
Start page: 3846
End page: 3854
Number of pages: 9
ISSN: 0028-3932
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


The present study investigated the binding of verbal and spatial
features in immediate memory. In a recent study, we demonstrated
incidental and asymmetrical letter-location binding effects when
participants attended to letter features (but not when they attended to
location features) that were associated with greater oscillatory
activity over prefrontal and posterior regions during the retention
period. We were interested to investigate whether the patterns of brain
activity associated with the incidental binding of letters and locations
observed when only the verbal feature is attended differ from those
reflecting the binding resulting from the controlled/explicit processing
of both verbal and spatial features. To achieve this, neural activity
was recorded using magnetoencephalography (MEG) while participants
performed two working memory tasks. Both tasks were identical in terms
of their perceptual characteristics and only differed with respect to
the task instructions. One of the tasks required participants to process
both letters and locations. In the other, participants were instructed
to memorize only the letters, regardless of their location.
Time-frequency representation of MEG data based on the wavelet transform
of the signals was calculated on a single trial basis during the
maintenance period of both tasks. Critically, despite equivalent
behavioural binding effects in both tasks, single and dual feature
encoding relied on different neuroanatomical and neural oscillatory
correlates. We propose that enhanced activation of an anterior-posterior
dorsal network observed in the task requiring the processing of both
features reflects the necessity for allocating greater resources to
intentionally process verbal and spatial features in this task.


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Last updated on 2019-13-08 at 00:45