Peters et al used functional imaging in humans to examine the effects of the contents of working memory on extrastriate visual cortex.  Subjects performed a visual search task.  The target item in working memory enhanced processing of a matching visual input whereas other “accessory” items held in working memory suppressed extrastriate activity.  These dual effects may help focus on relevant tasks while avoiding distractions.

About the Author

The Miller Lab uses experimental and theoretical approaches to study the neural basis of the high-level cognitive functions that underlie complex goal-directed behavior.