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    Electrophysiological evidence for a sensory recruitment model of somatosensory working memory

    Katus, Tobias and Grubert, Anna and Eimer, Martin (2015) Electrophysiological evidence for a sensory recruitment model of somatosensory working memory. Cerebral Cortex 25 (12), pp. 4697-4703. ISSN 1047-3211.

    Katus et al _CC2014_BIROn.pdf - Author's Accepted Manuscript

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    Sensory recruitment models of working memory assume that information storage is mediated by the same cortical areas that are responsible for the perceptual processing of sensory signals. To test this assumption, we measured somatosensory event-related brain potentials (ERPs) during a tactile delayed match-to-sample task. Participants memorized a tactile sample set at one task-relevant hand to compare it with a subsequent test set on the same hand. During the retention period, a sustained negativity (tactile contralateral delay activity, tCDA) was elicited over primary somatosensory cortex contralateral to the relevant hand. The amplitude of this component increased with memory load and was sensitive to individual limitations in memory capacity, suggesting that the tCDA reflects the maintenance of tactile information in somatosensory working memory. The tCDA was preceded by a transient negativity (N2cc component) with a similar contralateral scalp distribution, which is likely to reflect selection of task-relevant tactile stimuli at the encoding stage. The temporal sequence of N2cc and tCDA components mirrors previous observations from ERP studies of working memory in vision. The finding that the sustained somatosensory delay period activity varies as a function of memory load supports a sensory recruitment model for spatial working memory in touch.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in CEREBRAL CORTEX following peer review. The version of record is available online at
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): electroencephalography, event-related potentials, selective attention, somatosensation, working memory
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Martin Eimer
    Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2015 07:58
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:15


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