Neural correlates of prospective memory
Brigham, Timothy David
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Prospective memory, or memory for future intentions, was examined in an event based paradigm while high density EEG recording measured neural activity. Ten student participants engaged in a baseline lexical decision task (LDT), followed by an LDT with an embedded prospective memory component, during which EEG was recorded. A perceptual target (red color) was used to indicate PM cues and lures. Event Related Potentials (ERPs) were analyzed. Early differences between words and non-words in the baseline task indicated an early, unconscious differentiation between words and non-words. ERPs demonstrated that the addition of the prospective memory task delayed the typical LDT processing, which was partly apparent in the frontal area. While behavioral response to the cues and lures had the longest latencies of all items, neural processing of these items began earlier than baseline items, with activity present at the occipital area at 100 ms post-stimulus. However, these items also apparently caused a delay in the processing of lexicality when compared to an LDT alone. Differences related to ongoing task type and intention typeare discussed.