, 2011, 2012; Gruber and Otten, 2010; Otten et al., 2006, 2010; Padovani et al., 2011) and intracranial recordings (Fell et al., 2011; Rutishauser et al., 2010). Prestimulus activity can selleck chemical affect
the encoding of a variety of stimulus events, especially in deep processing tasks, and is dissociable from encoding-related activity after an event (Galli et al., 2011; Otten et al., 2006, 2010). The main brain regions implicated thus far are the medial temporal lobe and midbrain (Adcock et al., 2006; Fell et al., 2011; Guderian et al., 2009; Mackiewicz et al., 2006; Park and Rugg, 2010; Rutishauser et al., 2010; Wittmann et al., 2005, 2007). The role that prestimulus activity plays in memory encoding is unknown. Generally speaking, such activity may reflect a neural context that is conducive to encoding (Meeter et al., 2004; Yoo et al., 2012), an active preparatory process (Otten et al., 2010) or perhaps an increase in attention or arousal that strengthens later memory-related processes (Park and Rugg, 2010). To help discern its functional role, we used a dual task paradigm in the present experiment to assess how encoding-related activity varies as a function of the amount of processing resources that are available before event Belnacasan onset. The idea behind this paradigm is to tax the system’s limited pool of resources and interfere
with the encoding process by way of a secondary task. If encoding-related processes before an event are sensitive to the division of attention between tasks, such processes may be limited in capacity and not able to operate independently (Pashler, 1994). This would imply that sufficient processing resources are needed to engage encoding-related activity before event onset. If, in contrast, encoding-related processes proceed relatively automatically without Isotretinoin being dependent on resource-availability, prestimulus activity would be expected to
be similar in size regardless of the difficulty of a secondary task. Although the concept of ‘resources’ has received substantial criticism (e.g., Navon, 1984), the dual task paradigm has made a significant contribution to our understanding of the functional and neural architecture in health and disease (e.g., Bonato et al., 2010; Wild-Wall et al., 2011). The degree to which encoding-related processes rely on processing resources has been investigated extensively for neural activity that follows an event. This work has shown that explicit memory critically depends on the deployment of processing resources. The overall amount of attention paid to an event, and which aspects of the event are attended, determine the size and type of encoding-related neural activity elicited by the event (e.g., Mangels et al., 2001; Uncapher et al., 2011). With respect to memory performance, at least a basic level of resources needs to be allocated to an event when it is first experienced for memory to be successful.