Fulfillment of event-based intentions can be multiply determined
Knight, Justin Bradley
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Event-based prospective memory (PM) refers to the cognitive processes that enable completion of intentions by relying on some environmental cue. There is an ongoing debate as to whether attentional processes are always needed in order to notice intention-related cues. Using dense-array electroencephalography, we sought to examine this issue by evoking a visual steady-state response (SSVEP) while participants performed a lexical decision task with a PM intention. Two groups of participants were either given the intention to make a special key press when they saw the word horse or when they saw any animal word. Attentional modulation of SSVEPs revealed differential reliance on attentional processes between the groups. Analysis of event-related potentials revealed further dissociations between the two types of intentions. These results suggest that different processes can subserve the detection of cues required for fulfilling intentions.