Working Memory Capacity and Visual-Verbal Cognitive Load Modulate Auditory-Sensory Gating in the Brainstem: Toward a Unified View of Attention
2012 (English)In: Journal of cognitive neuroscience, ISSN 0898-929X, E-ISSN 1530-8898, Vol. 24, no 11, 2147-2154 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Two fundamental research questions have driven attention research in the past: One concerns whether selection of relevant information among competing, irrelevant, information takes place at an early or at a late processing stage; the other concerns whether the capacity of attention is limited by a central, domain-general pool of resources or by independent, modality-specific pools. In this article, we contribute to these debates by showing that the auditory-evoked brainstem response (an early stage of auditory processing) to task-irrelevant sound decreases as a function of central working memory load (manipulated with a visual-verbal version of the n-back task). Furthermore, individual differences in central/domain-general working memory capacity modulated the magnitude of the auditory-evoked brainstem response, but only in the high working memory load condition. The results support a unified view of attention whereby the capacity of a late/central mechanism (working memory) modulates early precortical sensory processing.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MIT Press, 2012. Vol. 24, no 11, 2147-2154 p.
National CategorySocial Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-85290DOI: 10.1162/jocn_a_00275ISI: 000309604200002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-85290DiVA: diva2:570303
Funding Agencies|Stiftelsen Riksbankens Jubileumsfond|P11-0617:1|2012-11-192012-11-152014-10-08Bibliographically approved