Two dissociable updating processes in working memory

Switching of attention is mirrored in the P3a component of the human event-related brain potential (ERP) and it has been argued that the processes reflected by the P3a are also relevant for selecting information within working memory.The aim of the present study was to further evaluate whether the P3a mirrors genuine switching of attention within working memory by applying an object switching task: Participants updated a memory list of four digits either by replacing one item with another digit or by processing the stored digit.

In each trial, participants were either presented with a memory array followed by a test probe, or with two successive memory arrays.My present studies in this field look at the neural correlates of the above component processes of WM updating, and in their role in creating new memories.In addition to WM updating, I am interested in cognitive control, and I use the task switching paradigm for its study.Experiment 2 also revealed two distinct updating-related ERP components, observed in both contralateral and ipsilateral visual hemifields.Frontal electrodes were sensitive to the number of changed items in the array.

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