Environmental rhythms orchestrate neural activity at multiple stages of processing during memory encoding: Evidence from event-related potentials

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Paige HickeyE. Race


Accumulating evidence suggests that rhythmic temporal structures in the environment influence memory formation. For example, stimuli that appear in synchrony with the beat of background, environmental rhythms are better remembered than stimuli that appear out-of-synchrony with the beat. This rhythmic modulation of memory has been linked to entrained neural oscillations which are proposed to act as a mechanism of selective attention by amplifying early sensory responses to events that coincide with the beat. The current study aimed to further test this hypothesis by using event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate the locus of stimulus processing at which rhythm temporal cues operate in the service of memory formation. Participants incidentally encoded a series of visual objects while passively listening to background, instrumental music with a steady beat. Objects either appeared in-synchrony or out-of-synchrony with the background beat. Participants were then given a surprise subsequent memory test (in silence). The timing of stimulus presentation during encoding (in-synchrony or out-of-synchrony with the background beat) influenced canonical ERPs associated with post-perceptual selection and orienting attention in time...Continue Reading

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