Journal article

Working memory load improves early stages of independent visual processing

Luca Cocchi, Ulrike Toepel, Marzia De Lucia, Roberto Martuzzi, Stephen J Wood, Olivia Carter, Micah M Murray



Increasing evidence suggests that working memory and perceptual processes are dynamically interrelated due to modulating activity in overlapping brain networks. However, the direct influence of working memory on the spatio-temporal brain dynamics of behaviorally relevant intervening information remains unclear. To investigate this issue, subjects performed a visual proximity grid perception task under three different visual-spatial working memory (VSWM) load conditions. VSWM load was manipulated by asking subjects to memorize the spatial locations of 6 or 3 disks. The grid was always presented between the encoding and recognition of the disk pattern. As a baseline condition, grid stimuli wer..

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Awarded by Swiss National Science Foundation

Awarded by Swiss Foundation

Awarded by NHMRC (Australia)

Funding Acknowledgements

We thank Jean-Francois Knebel and Nathalie Bourquin for providing assistance during EEG recordings. Prof. Giuseppe Foffi (EPFL) helped in the development of the Matlab algorithm used to generate the stimuli presentation sequence. The Cartool software ( has been programmed by Denis Brunet, from the Functional Brain Mapping Laboratory, Geneva, Switzerland, and is supported by the Center for Biomedical Imaging (CIBM) of Geneva and Lausanne. Financial support was provided by the Swiss National Science Foundation (PBLAB-119622, PBLAB3-119622 to LC), (K-33K1_122518/1 to MDL), and (3100AO-118419 to MMM); and the Swiss Foundation for Fellowships in Biology and Medicine [PASMP3_129357/1 to LC]. SJW is supported by a Clinical Career Development Award from the NHMRC (Australia) and OC is supported by a Career Development Award from the NHMRC (Australia) 628590.