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Ilja G. Sligte, H. Steven Scholte, Victor A.F. Lamme; Magnetic stimulation of frontal brain areas: visual working memory suffers, other forms of visual short-term memory not. Journal of Vision 2010;10(7):753. doi: 10.1167/10.7.753.
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To guide our behavior in successful ways, we often need to rely on information that is no longer in view, but maintained in visual short-term memory (VSTM). According to recent insights, maintenance of information in VSTM can happen at multiple levels in the neural hierarchy; either low in primary visual cortex (iconic memory), intermediate in extrastriate visual cortex (fragile VSTM), or high in parietal and frontal cortex (working memory). Previously, we1 have shown that both iconic memory and fragile VSTM can be disrupted, while leaving working memory intact (by showing respectively light masks and pattern masks). Now, by delivering transcranial magnetic stimulation at the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) during stimulus maintenance, we show that working memory capacity can be reduced, while leaving fragile VSTM intact. This implies that VSTM stores at different levels of the neural hierarchy operate relatively independently from each other.
1Sligte, I.G., Scholte, H.S., & Lamme, V.A.F. (2008). Are there multiple visual short-term memory stores? PLoS ONE 3, e1699.
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