Control of working memory: Effects of attention training on target recognition and distractor salience in an auditory selection task

Robert D. Melara, Yunxia Tong, Aparna Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Behavioral and electrophysiological measures of target and distractor processing were examined in an auditory selective attention task before and after three weeks of distractor suppression training. Behaviorally, training improved target recognition and led to less conservative and more rapid responding. Training also effectively shortened the temporal distance between distractors and targets needed to achieve a fixed level of target sensitivity. The effects of training on event-related potentials were restricted to the distracting stimulus: earlier N1 latency, enhanced P2 amplitude, and weakened P3 amplitude. Nevertheless, as distractor P2 amplitude increased, so too did target P3 amplitude, connecting experience-dependent changes in distractor processing with greater distinctiveness of targets in working memory. We consider the effects of attention training on the processing priorities, representational noise, and inhibitory processes operating in working memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-77
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Research
Volume1430
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 9 2012

Keywords

  • Attention training
  • Auditory selective attention
  • Event related potential
  • Inhibitory control
  • Working memory

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