Modality-specific processing streams in verbal working memory: Evidence from spatio-temporal patterns of brain activity

Daniel S. Ruchkin*, Rita S. Berndt, Ray Johnson, Walter Ritter, Jordan Grafman, Howard L. Canoune

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study was concerned with whether there are separate, modality-specific processing 'streams' in verbal working memory for information that is heard or read. We used event-related brain potentials (ERPs) recorded from scalp of normal humans to show between-modality differences in spatio-temporal patterns of brain activity during retention in working memory of aurally or visually presented verbal information. The ERP patterns suggested that a sustained, automatically maintained auditory store was activated by auditory presentation and a transient, visual-verbal store was activated by visual presentation. In addition to these modality-specific differences, the ERPs indicated that the phonological loop was activated in both modalities and further suggested that the onset of phonological loop activation was earlier for auditory presentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-113
Number of pages19
JournalCognitive Brain Research
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1997

Keywords

  • Auditory
  • Event- related potential
  • Modality
  • Short-term memory
  • Slow wave
  • Verbal
  • Visual
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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