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Cognitive control depletion reduces pre-stimulus and recollection-related measures of strategic retrieval.


ABSTRACT: Background: The ability to strategically retrieve task-relevant information from episodic memory is thought to rely on goal-directed executive processes, and there is evidence that neural correlates of strategic retrieval are sensitive to reserves of cognitive control. The present study extended this work, exploring the role of cognitive control in the flexible orienting of strategic retrieval processes across alternating retrieval goals. Method: Pre-stimulus cues directed participants to endorse memory targets from one of two encoding contexts, with the target encoding context alternating every two trials. Items from the nontarget encoding context were rejected alongside new items. One group of participants completed a Stroop task prior to the memory test in order to deplete their reserves of cognitive control, while a second group performed a control task. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded throughout the memory task, and time-locked to both pre-stimulus cues and memory probes. Results: Control participants' pre-stimulus ERPs showed sustained divergences at frontal electrode sites according to retrieval goal. This effect was evident on the first trial of each memory task, and linked with the initiation of goal-specific retrieval orientations. Control participants also showed enhanced ERP correlates of recollection (the 'left parietal effect') for correctly classified targets relative to nontargets on the second trial of each memory task, indexing strategic retrieval of task-relevant information. Both the pre-stimulus index of retrieval orientation and the target/nontarget left parietal effect were significantly attenuated in participants that completed the Stroop task. Conclusions: The reduction of pre-stimulus and stimulus-locked ERP effects following the Stroop task indicates that available reserves of cognitive control play an important role in both proactive and recollection-related aspects of strategic retrieval.

SUBMITTER: Herron JE 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6737995 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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