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N270 sensitivity to conflict strength and working memory: a combined ERP and sLORETA study

Scannella, Sébastien and Pariente, Jérémie and De Boissezon, Xavier and Castel-Lacanal, Evelyne and Chauveau, Nicolas and Causse, Mickaël and Dehais, Frédéric and Pastor, Josette N270 sensitivity to conflict strength and working memory: a combined ERP and sLORETA study. (2016) Behavioural Brain Research, 297. 231-240. ISSN 0166-4328

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2015.10.014


The event-related potential N270 component is known to be an electrophysiological marker of the supramodal conflict processing. However little is know about the factors that may modulate its amplitude. In particular, among all studies that have investigated the N270, little or no control of the conflict strength and of the load in working memory have been done leaving a lack in the understanding of this component. We designed a spatial audiovisual conflict task with simultaneous target and cross-modal distractor to evaluate the N270 sensitivity to the conflict strength (i.e.,visual target with auditory distractor or auditory target with visual distractor) and the load in working memory (goal task maintenance with frequent change in the target modality). In a first session, participants had to focus on one modality for the target position to be considered (left-hand or right-hand) while the distractor could be at the same side (compatible) or at opposite side (incompatible). In a second session, we used the same set of stimuli as in the first session with an additional distinct auditory signal that clued the participants to frequently switch between the auditory and the visual targets. We found that (1) reaction times and N270 amplitudes for conflicting situations were larger within the auditory target condition compared to the visual one, (2) the increase in target maintenance e ff ort led to equivalent increase of both reaction times and N270 amplitudes within all conditions and (3) the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex current density was higher for both conflicting and active maintenance of the target situations. These results provide new evidence that the N270 component is an electrophysiological marker of the supramodal conflict processing that is sensitive to the conflict strength and that conflict processing and active maintenance of the task goal are two functions of a common executive attention system.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to Elsevier editor. The definitive version is available at http://www.sciencedirect.com The original PDF of the article can be found at Behavioural Brain Research website http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166432815302266
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale - INSERM (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace - ISAE-SUPAERO (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
Deposited By: Sebastien Scannella
Deposited On:08 Jan 2016 09:27

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