Limited Persistence of Tactile Working Memory Resources During Delay- Dependent Grating Orientation Discrimination

Author(s): Yinghua Yu, Jiajia Yang, Jinglong Wu.

Journal Name: Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering (Discontinued)

Volume 1 , Issue 1 , 2013


Working memory is a system that actively holds information to make it available for further processing. Compared to the working memory associated with vision and audition, the human characteristics of tactile working memory are largely unknown. In this study, we collected behavioral evidence of delay-dependent tactile grating orientation discrimination in humans. Nine healthy subjects participated in the experiment. During each trial, two of seven tactile grating domes of either similar or different orientation were presented to the subject’s right index fingertip. The interstimulus delays used in the experiment were 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 seconds. The subjects were asked to discriminate whether the two orientations were the same. We found that the performance of tactile orientation discrimination improved with larger differences between the presented stimulus orientations. We also found a same/different effect, in which the accuracy and reaction time (RT) resulting from the same-orientation discrimination condition differed from that of the differentorientation discrimination condition. Interestingly, the existence of delay dependence was found under the sameorientation discrimination condition, in which the performance was reduced as the delay time was increased. However, we did not find delay dependence in the different-orientation discrimination condition. These findings of non-identical tactile stimulus discrimination can be understood in the context of tactile memory processing.

Keywords: Decision making, delay, passive touch, somatosensory, tactile orientation discrimination, working memory.

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Article Details

Year: 2013
Page: [65 - 72]
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.2174/2213385211301010011

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