Working memory (WM)—the ability to keep information in mind for short periods of time—is linked to attention and inhibitory abilities, i.e., the capacity to ignore task-irrelevant information. These abilities have been associated with brain oscillations, especially parietal gamma and alpha bands, but it is yet unknown whether these oscillations also modulate attention and inhibitory abilities. To test this, we compared parietal gamma-transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) to alpha-tACS and to a non-stimulation condition (Sham) in 51 young participants. Stimulation was coupled with a WM task probing memory-based attention and inhibitory abilities by means of probabilistic retrospective cues, including informative (valid), uninformative (invalid) and neutral. Our results show that relative to alpha and sham stimulation, parietal gamma-tACS significantly increased working memory recall precision. Additional post hoc analyses also revealed strong individual variability before and following stimulation; low-baseline performers showed no significant changes in performance following both gamma and alpha-tACS relative to sham. In contrast, in high-baseline performers gamma- (but not alpha) tACS selectively and significantly improved misbinding-feature errors as well as memory precision, particularly in uninformative (invalid) cues which rely more strongly on attentional abilities. We concluded that parietal gamma oscillations, therefore, modulate working memory recall processes, although baseline performance may further influence the effect of stimulation.

Gamma oscillations modulate working memory recall precision

Saccani M. S.;
2021

Abstract

Working memory (WM)—the ability to keep information in mind for short periods of time—is linked to attention and inhibitory abilities, i.e., the capacity to ignore task-irrelevant information. These abilities have been associated with brain oscillations, especially parietal gamma and alpha bands, but it is yet unknown whether these oscillations also modulate attention and inhibitory abilities. To test this, we compared parietal gamma-transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) to alpha-tACS and to a non-stimulation condition (Sham) in 51 young participants. Stimulation was coupled with a WM task probing memory-based attention and inhibitory abilities by means of probabilistic retrospective cues, including informative (valid), uninformative (invalid) and neutral. Our results show that relative to alpha and sham stimulation, parietal gamma-tACS significantly increased working memory recall precision. Additional post hoc analyses also revealed strong individual variability before and following stimulation; low-baseline performers showed no significant changes in performance following both gamma and alpha-tACS relative to sham. In contrast, in high-baseline performers gamma- (but not alpha) tACS selectively and significantly improved misbinding-feature errors as well as memory precision, particularly in uninformative (invalid) cues which rely more strongly on attentional abilities. We concluded that parietal gamma oscillations, therefore, modulate working memory recall processes, although baseline performance may further influence the effect of stimulation.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Thompson_2021.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: Published article: Thompson 2021
Tipologia: Published (publisher's version)
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 1.19 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.19 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri
Pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3404990
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 4
  • Scopus 16
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 12
social impact