Retro-Cueing Working Memory Project
How does our brain coordinate working memory processes? To answer this question, previous neuroimaging studies have investigated the neural correlates of prioritization of items (for example colors) held in visual short term memory. Using EEG, it has been shown that prioritized items (say, a red, blue and green item on the left half of a screen) in working memory may be reflected by two EEG-based signatures. During the working memory retention interval (so while people actively memorize items), both the contralateral delay activity (CDA), as well as power in the alpha band (around 8-12 Hz) in posterior brain areas, have been found to differ between memorized items presented in the contralateral or ipsilateral visual hemifield.
So the interesting part about these EEG measures is that they both exhibit a lateralized topography: Contralateral to memorized visual target(s), for the CDA, more negative ERP amplitudes (Luria et al., 2016; Vogel & Machizawa, 2004) and for alpha activity, reduced power (Green et al., 2017; Sauseng et al., 2009) has been found.
But do memory representations remain lateralized according to the target‘s original retinotopic location, even when the gaze is shifted in the meantime? Or is lateralization updated according to target‘s current spatiotopic location in the world? To address these questions, we are carrying out a multi-method study, in which participants will complete a visual working memory task while we measure their EEG and simultaneously collect eye-tracking data.
We are looking for motivated students to assist in this project, either as a research internship or as part of a thesis topic.
What you will be doing:
As part of your research internship or thesis project, you will assist the project team in all stages of the project. With the help of close supervision, you will contribute to the project, e.g. by
- organizing subject acquisition and appointment scheduling
- assisting in lab-based EEG & eye-tracking data collection
- doing literature research and participating in journal clubs about relevant papers.
- possibility contributing your own research question(s) to the project
We are looking for:
- first experience with and / or an interest in neuroscientific methods
- structured, careful and self-reliant work
- openness, communication skills and ability to work in a team
- confident handling of common MS Office, browser and mail applications
- ideally first experience with R and / or MATLAB
- ideally first experience with participant recruitment and / or data collection
We are offering:
- a research internship and / or a thesis topic (B.Sc. and M.Sc.)
- very close mentoring and feedback throughout the process
- a project which adheres to open science principles
- hands-on experience with neuroscientific methods (EEG and eye-tracking)
- insights into data analysis with eeglab toolbox in MATLAB
- hands-on experience with statistical data analysis using R
- and additional learning opportunities depending on your interest (e.g. advanced statistical analyses, scientific writing, improving coding skills, …)
Please contact us by sending a short introductory statement and a CV to anna.lena.biel[at]uni-muenster.de.
Green, J. J., Boehler, C. N., Roberts, K. C., Chen, L. C., Krebs, R. M., Song, A. W., & Woldorff, M. G. (2017). Cortical and subcortical coordination of visual spatial attention revealed by simultaneous EEG–fMRI recording. Journal of Neuroscience, 37(33), 7803-7810. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0326-17.2017
Luria, R., Balaban, H., Awh, E., & Vogel, E. K. (2016). The contralateral delay activity as a neural measure of visual working memory. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 62, 100-108. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.01.003
Sauseng, P., Klimesch, W., Gerloff, C., & Hummel, F. C. (2009). Spontaneous locally restricted EEG alpha activity determines cortical excitability in the motor cortex. Neuropsychologia, 47(1), 284-288. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2009.12.006
Vogel, E. K., & Machizawa, M. G. (2004). Neural activity predicts individual differences in visual working memory capacity. Nature, 428(6984), 748-751. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature02447