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May 2022

Evidence for 40-Hz oscillatory short-term visual memory revealed by human reaction-time measurements

Author(s): Muller, H. J.

Journal/Book: J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn. 2000; 26: 750 First St NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242, USA. Amer Psychological Assoc. 703-718.

Abstract: Four experiments show that presentation of a synchronous premask frame within a 40-Hz, flickering premask matrix primes subsequent detection of a Kanizsa-type square by generation of a 40-Hz prime. Reaction time (RT) priming effects indicated a 150-200-ms prime duration following premask display. RTs were also found to be sensitive to the phase relationship between offset of the premask display relative to the onset time of the target: Priming effects were maximal when the target was presented out of phase with premask presentation (i.e., at interstimulus intervals displaced by 180 degrees relative to the 40-Hz rhythm of premask-frame presentation). Taken together, these results demonstrate the existence of a very short-term visual memory that oscillates at 40 Hz. The findings are discussed in the context of complementary psychological and neurophysiological findings related to visual-object coding and the role of gamma-band activity in the brain.

Note: Article Elliott MA, Univ Leipzig, Inst Allgemeine Psychol, Seeburgstr 14-20, D-04103 Leipzig, GERMANY


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