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In the current study, we tested whether representations in visual STM (VSTM) can be biased via top-down attentional modulation of visual activity in retinotopically specific locations. We manipulated attention using retrospective cues presented during the retention interval of a VSTM task. Retrospective cues triggered activity in a large-scale network implicated in attentional control and led to retinotopically specific modulation of activity in early visual areas V1-V4. Importantly, shifts of attention during VSTM maintenance were associated with changes in functional connectivity between pFC and retinotopic regions within V4. Our findings provide new insights into top-down control mechanisms that modulate VSTM representations for flexible and goal-directed maintenance of the most relevant memoranda.

Original publication




Journal article


J Cogn Neurosci

Publication Date





1377 - 1389


Adult, Analysis of Variance, Attention, Bias, Cues, Female, Humans, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Memory, Short-Term, Oxygen, Reproducibility of Results, Time Factors, Visual Pathways, Visual Perception, Young Adult