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ERIC Number: EJ859630
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0028-3932
Attentional Demands Predict Short-Term Memory Load Response in Posterior Parietal Cortex
Magen, Hagit; Emmanouil, Tatiana-Aloi; McMains, Stephanie A.; Kastner, Sabine; Treisman, Anne
Neuropsychologia, v47 n8-9 p1790-1798 Jul 2009
Limits to the capacity of visual short-term memory (VSTM) indicate a maximum storage of only 3 or 4 items. Recently, it has been suggested that activity in a specific part of the brain, the posterior parietal cortex (PPC), is correlated with behavioral estimates of VSTM capacity and might reflect a capacity-limited store. In three experiments that varied the delay period and the stimuli to be stored, we found dissociations between functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) activity in PPC and behavioral measures of capacity. When the delay length increased, fMRI activity in this area increased with memory load beyond the behaviorally determined limits of capacity. The results suggest that activity in PPC may reflect the attentional demands of short-term memory rehearsal processes rather than capacity limitations, and imply that a larger number of items than that determined by behavioral measures of capacity may be rehearsed during STM tasks. This account is consistent with the role of PPC in attentional processes and with the close correlation between brain areas that are involved in attention and those that mediate STM. (Contains 4 figures.)
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; e-mail: usjcs@elsevier.com; Web site: http://www.elsevier.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A