The context where we perform an action influences how we perceive and act on a particular stimulus. One known effect of how context affects behavior is serial dependence. Previous stimuli and behavior affect performance on present stimulus in visuomotor integration. The underlying mechanism that makes this influence possible is not fully understood. In the present project, we intend to test the hypothesis that the previous trial effect on current trial performance depends on an implicit short-term memory mechanism. To this end, we will conduct a series of experiments in which we aim to verify 1) if uncertainty about previous stimulus affects the quality of short-term memory information and if it changes serial dependence; 2) what are the neural correlates, as measured through electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), of the implicitly stored information in short-term memory and how this information affects the neural signal for current stimuli; and 3) if the fidelity of the neural representation of information from previous trial deteriorates with the passage of time. The results of each experiment will advance our current knowledge on how our central nervous system deals with contextual contingencies in visuomotor integration, and, more generally, how and which information is automatically stored in implicit short-term memory.
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