What: Neural mechanisms of explicit attention to auditory working memory.
Where: BCBL Auditorium
Who: Sung-Joo Lim, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Germany & Department of Psychology, University of Lübeck, Germany.
When: 11 AM
Parsing acoustic signals that are inherently transient and variable is perceptually challenging task. Thus, selectively attending to task-relevant acoustic signals to form stable “auditory objects”, and maintaining these objects in memory is crucial. Selective attention is known to facilitate perceptual encoding of a task-relevant stimulus into working memory. However, little is known about the potentially beneficial role of selective attention directed towards objects maintained in working memory, especially in the auditory modality: whether the orientation of attention to objects in memory improves representational quality and whether attention-related neural correlates play specific roles in top-down modulations of objects held in memory. Here, I report investigations of the behavioral and neural dynamics of retrospective selective attention to auditory working memory objects, using psychophysical modeling and model-based analysis of electroencephalographic (EEG) signals. I will then discuss the mechanism by which top-down attention to auditory working memory facilitates performance, as well as the functional roles of neural modulations, especially evoked potential responses and neural oscillations in alpha frequency band (~ 10 Hz) associated with attentional benefits. Finally, I will outline how this new work could be bridged with some of my past work using a video game to create more naturalistic, incidental paradigms for modulating auditory perception.