The Effect of Retrocues on CDA and Visual Working Memory Capacity in Young Adults
Delvin, Mary Courtney
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Visual working memory is a system through which we retain information about objects in our visual environment. Through this system, information is stored so that it can be recalled or manipulated within the first few seconds of perception. Individual working memory capacity underlies numerous aspects of cognition including visual search, attentional processes, and concentration, and can predict performance on cognitive measures. Working memory is used in many everyday tasks and has implications in aging and the pathology of diseases. Contralateral Delay Activity (CDA) is a form of event-related potential measured with electroencephalography (EEG) that is thought to be modulated by the number of items held in working memory. In a related area of study, retrocues are attentional tools that are used to help individuals recall information from working memory. Retrocues are thought to improve visual working memory capacity by enhancing the active maintenance of relevant information held in working memory. This study attempts to show a relationship between retrocue usage and the CDA. We predict that retrocue trials will improve young adults’ performance on a working memory task and will enhance the CDA, showing that retrocues are an effective modulator of the CDA.