A core function of working memory (WM) is to maintain information in the face of disruptions and more immediate attention-demanding tasks. Sometimes WM is surprisingly robust to these demands, and other times it becomes badly impaired. This project manipulates perceptual and attentional dual-task demands during WM maintenance to address the perplexing inconsistencies in whether WM content is susceptible to distraction. We use network analyses of fMRI data to gauge a) how distinct dual-task demands impact WM maintenance and b) how they can be managed for successful performance. This study is testing the hypothesis that task-based functional network reconfiguration can protect WM content from disruption.
Competition and control during working memory processing