Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Visual Short-Term Memory for Coherent and Sequential Motion: A rTMS Investigation

Version 1 : Received: 27 August 2021 / Approved: 31 August 2021 / Online: 31 August 2021 (11:43:33 CEST)

How to cite: Pavan, A.; Ghin, F.; Campana, G. Visual Short-Term Memory for Coherent and Sequential Motion: A rTMS Investigation. Preprints 2021, 2021080569 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202108.0569.v1). Pavan, A.; Ghin, F.; Campana, G. Visual Short-Term Memory for Coherent and Sequential Motion: A rTMS Investigation. Preprints 2021, 2021080569 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202108.0569.v1).

Abstract

We investigated the role of the human medio-temporal complex (hMT+) in the memory encoding and storage of a sequence of four coherently moving RDKs by applying repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) during an early or late phase of the retention interval. Moreover, in a second experiment we also tested whether disrupting the functional integrity of hMT+ during the early phase impaired the precision of the encoded motion directions. Overall, results showed that both recognition accuracy and precision were worse in middle serial positions, suggesting the occurrence of primacy and recency effects. We found that rTMS delivered during the early (but not the late) phase of the retention interval was able to impair not only recognition of RDKs, but also the precision of the retained motion direction. However, such impairment occurred only for RDKs presented in middle positions along the presented sequence, where performance was already closer to chance level. Altogether these findings suggest an involvement of hMT+ in the memory encoding of visual motion direction. Given that both position sequence and rTMS modulated not only recognition but also precision of the stored information, these findings are in support of a model of visual short-term memory with a variable resolution of each stored item, consistent with the assigned amount of memory resources, and that such item-specific memory resolution is supported by the functional integrity of area hMT+.

Keywords

visual short-term memory; repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation; visual memory precision; serial memory effects

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