The Functional Consequences of Social Attention for Memory-guided Attention Orienting and Anticipatory Neural Dynamics
Doherty BR, van Ede F, Fraser A, Patai EZ, Nobre AC, Scerif G.The Functional Consequences of Social Attention for Memory-guided Attention Orienting and Anticipatory Neural Dynamics. J Cogn Neurosci. 2019 May;31(5):686-698. doi: 10.1162/jocn_a_01379. Epub 2019 Feb 6.
Social attention when viewing natural social (compared to non-social) images has functional consequences on contextual memory in healthy human adults. In addition to attention affecting memory performance, strong evidence suggests that memory in turn affects attentional orienting. Here we ask whether the effects of social processing on memory alter subsequent memory-guided attention orienting, and corresponding anticipatory dynamics of 8-12 Hz alpha-band oscillations as measured with EEG. Eighteen young adults searched for targets in scenes that contained either social or non-social distracters and their memory precision tested. Subsequently, reaction time was measured as participants oriented to targets appearing in those scenes at either valid (previously learned) locations or invalid (different) locations. Memory precision was poorer for target locations in social scenes. In addition, distractor type moderated the validity effect during memory-guided attentional orienting, with a larger cost in reaction time when targets appeared at invalid (different) locations within scenes with social distractors. The poorer memory performance was also marked by reduced anticipatory dynamics of spatially lateralized 8-12 Hz alpha-band oscillations for scenes with social distractors. The functional consequences of a social attention bias therefore extend from memory to memory-guided attention orienting, a bi-directional chain that may further reinforce attentional biases.
Published online at: https://doi.org/10.1162/jocn_a_01379