New paper in press in Neu­ropsy­cholo­gia

Wöst­mann, Lui, Friese, Kre­it­e­wolf, Nau­jokat and Obleser demon­strate that the vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty of work­ing mem­o­ry to audi­to­ry dis­trac­tion is rhyth­mic.

Pre­vi­ous research has shown that the atten­tion­al sam­pling of tar­get stim­uli is rhyth­mic at ~3–8 Hz (e.g. Fiebelko­rn et al. 2013; Lan­dau & Fries, 2012). In the present study, Malte Wöst­mann and col­leagues test­ed to what extent the sup­pres­sion of dis­trac­tor stim­uli would be rhyth­mic, as well. Indeed, two mea­sures of dis­trac­tion – mem­o­ry recall accu­ra­cy and the dis­trac­tor-evoked N1 ERP com­po­nent – were peri­od­i­cal­ly mod­u­lat­ed at slow fre­quen­cies (~2–4 Hz) by the tem­po­ral onset of a dis­tract­ing speech stim­u­lus.

In a fol­low-up exper­i­ment, the rhyth­mic dis­tractibil­i­ty could be repli­cat­ed: In a visu­al match-to-sam­ple task, mem­o­ry recall accu­ra­cy was peri­od­i­cal­ly mod­u­lat­ed at ~2.75 Hz by the onset of a dis­tract­ing noise stim­u­lus dur­ing mem­o­ry reten­tion.

The paper is avail­able here.

For a preprint of the paper, see