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    Shifts of spatial attention in visual and tactile working memory are controlled by independent modality-specific mechanisms

    Katus, Tobias and Eimer, Martin (2020) Shifts of spatial attention in visual and tactile working memory are controlled by independent modality-specific mechanisms. Cerebral Cortex 30 (1), pp. 296-310. ISSN 1047-3211.

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    The question whether the attentional control of working memory (WM) is shared across sensory modalities remains controversial. Here, we investigated whether attention shifts in visual and tactile WM are regulated independently. Participants memorized visual and tactile targets in a first memory sample set (S1) before encoding targets in a second sample set (S2). Importantly, visual or tactile S2 targets could appear on the same side as the corresponding S1 targets, or on opposite sides, thus requiring shifts of spatial attention in visual or tactile WM. The activation of WM representations in modality-specific visual and somatosensory areas was tracked by recording visual and tactile contralateral delay activity (CDA/tCDA). CDA/tCDA components emerged contralateral to the side of visual or tactile S1 targets, and reversed polarity when S2 targets in the same modality appeared on the opposite side. Critically, the visual CDA was unaffected by the presence versus absence of concurrent attention shifts in tactile WM, and the tactile CDA remained insensitive to visual attention shifts. Visual and tactile WM performance was also not modulated by attention shifts in the other modality. These results show that the dynamic control of visual and tactile WM activation processes operates in an independent modality-specific fashion.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication following peer review. The version of record is available online at the link above.
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Martin Eimer
    Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2019 10:22
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:50


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