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Slow cortical potentials during retention of object, spatial, and verbal information

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Bosch,  Volker
MPI of Cognitive Neuroscience (Leipzig, -2003), The Prior Institutes, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Mecklinger,  Axel
MPI of Cognitive Neuroscience (Leipzig, -2003), The Prior Institutes, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Friederici,  Angela D.
MPI of Cognitive Neuroscience (Leipzig, -2003), The Prior Institutes, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Bosch, V., Mecklinger, A., & Friederici, A. D. (2001). Slow cortical potentials during retention of object, spatial, and verbal information. Cognitive Brain Research, 10(3), 219-237. doi:10.1016/S0926-6410(00)00040-9.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0010-DA16-E
Abstract
We used event related potentials (ERPs) to examine both the specificity and the timing of slow cortical scalp potentials (SPs) elicited by the retention of object, spatial, and verbal information in working memory (WM). Participants performed a modified delayed matching task in which a task cue presented in the middle of the delay interval indicated what type of information had to be retained for a subsequent comparison with the test stimulus. The first experiment used nameable objects and spatial locations as stimuli. The retrieval mode (visual vs. verbal) was manipulated by presenting either figural information or printed words as test stimuli. Transient ensembles of frontal and parieto-occipital slow waves with different scalp topographies for object and spatial information were evoked as a function of task cues. When words rather than objects were used as test stimuli highly similar, though more pronounced, fronto-parietal slow wave patterns were obtained. The second experiment using unfamiliar objects and non-nameable spatial locations indicated that neither the left frontal negative SP nor the posterior SPs are exclusively related to verbal working memory operations. The results indicate that a parietal negative SP reflects processes of spatial selective attention whereas a parieto-occipital positive SP indexes the retention of visual object information. Left frontal negative SPs are generated by a compound of higher order frontal control processes and vary as a function of information type.