Longitudinal changes in visual memory processes and representations with training
Non-human primate electrophysiology studies provide fundamental knowledge about working memory. However, monkey studies typically employ distinct methods from human studies and accordingly examine neural function at a different level of analysis. Likewise, these studies often reach divergent conclusions about the neural substrates for working memory stimulus representation and maintenance processes. Moreover, unlike humans, monkeys typically undergo many months of task training, comprising thousands of trials of repeated stimulus exposure, to participate in these studies.
In this collaboration with Arielle Tambini and Jacob Miller, we are attempting to bridge this training divide. We scanned ourselves repeatedly with fMRI, over 3+ months of task and stimulus training. During training, we learned a set of complex fractal stimuli that were embedded within a series of associative and working memory tasks. We are now examining how fMRI measures associated with task processes, as well as stimulus representations, evolve with training and behavioral indices of learning.