Multiple and Dissociable Effects of Sensory History on Working-Memory Performance

Jasper E. Hajonides, Freek van Ede, Mark G. Stokes, Anna C. Nobre, Nicholas E. Myers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Behavioral reports of sensory information are biased by stimulus history. The nature and direction of such serial-dependence biases can differ between experimental settings; both attractive and repulsive biases toward previous stimuli have been observed. How and when these biases arise in the human brain remains largely unexplored. They could occur either via a change in sensory processing itself and/or during postperceptual processes such as maintenance or decision-making. To address this, we tested 20 participants (11 female) and analyzed behavioral and magnetoencephalographic (MEG) data from a working-memory task in which participants were sequentially presented with two randomly oriented gratings, one of which was cued for recall at the end of the trial. Behavioral responses showed evidence for two distinct biases: (1) a within-trial repulsive bias away from the previously encoded orientation on the same trial, and (2) a between-trial attractive bias toward the task-relevant orientation on the previous trial. Multivariate classification of stimulus orientation revealed that neural representations during stimulus encoding were biased away from the previous grating orientation, regardless of whether we considered the within-trial or between-trial prior orientation, despite opposite effects on behavior. These results suggest that repulsive biases occur at the level of sensory processing and can be overridden at postperceptual stages to result in attractive biases in behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2730-2740
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume43
Issue number15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by an Economic and Social Research Council Grand Union studentship and the Scatcherd European Scholarship (J.E.H.), the European Research Council Starting Grant MEMTICIPATION 850636 (to F.v.E.), the James S. McDonnell Foundation Scholar Award 220020405 and the ESRC Grant ES/S015477/1 (to M.G.S.), the James S. McDonnell Foundation Understanding Human Cognition Collaborative Award Number 220020448 and the Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award 104571/Z/14/Z (to A.C.N.), and the Wellcome Trust Award 201409/Z/16/Z and support from University College Oxford (N.E.M.). The work was enabled by the National Institute for Health Research Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre and the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging supported by core funding from the Wellcome Trust Grant 203139/Z/16/Z. For the purpose of Open Access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright license to any author accepted manuscript version arising from this submission. The authors declare no competing financial interests. Correspondence should be addressed to Nicholas E. Myers at nicholas.myers@nottingham.ac.uk. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1200-22.2023 Copyright © 2023 Hajonides et al.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 Hajonides et al.

Funding

This research was supported by an Economic and Social Research Council Grand Union studentship and the Scatcherd European Scholarship (J.E.H.), the European Research Council Starting Grant MEMTICIPATION 850636 (to F.v.E.), the James S. McDonnell Foundation Scholar Award 220020405 and the ESRC Grant ES/S015477/1 (to M.G.S.), the James S. McDonnell Foundation Understanding Human Cognition Collaborative Award Number 220020448 and the Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award 104571/Z/14/Z (to A.C.N.), and the Wellcome Trust Award 201409/Z/16/Z and support from University College Oxford (N.E.M.). The work was enabled by the National Institute for Health Research Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre and the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging supported by core funding from the Wellcome Trust Grant 203139/Z/16/Z. For the purpose of Open Access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright license to any author accepted manuscript version arising from this submission. The authors declare no competing financial interests. Correspondence should be addressed to Nicholas E. Myers at nicholas.myers@nottingham.ac.uk. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1200-22.2023 Copyright © 2023 Hajonides et al.

FundersFunder number
Economic and Social Research Council Grand Union
National Institute for Health Research Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre203139/Z/16/Z.
Scatcherd European Scholarship
James S. McDonnell Foundation220020405
James S. McDonnell Foundation
Wellcome Trust104571/Z/14/Z, 201409/Z/16/Z
Wellcome Trust
Economic and Social Research CouncilES/S015477/1, 220020448
Economic and Social Research Council
University College, Oxford
European Research CouncilMEMTICIPATION 850636
European Research Council

    Keywords

    • biases
    • machine learning
    • MEG
    • neural representations
    • serial dependence
    • working memory

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