Clayton E Curtis

CUNY Graduate Center, New York City, New York, United States

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Publications (10)74.38 Total impact

  • Zuzanna Klyszejko, Masih Rahmati, Clayton E Curtis
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    ABSTRACT: Visual working memory is a system used to hold information actively in mind for a limited time. The number of items and the precision with which we can store information has limits that define its capacity. How much control do we have over the precision with which we store information when faced with these severe capacity limitations? Here, we tested the hypothesis that rank-ordered attentional priority determines the precision of multiple working memory representations. We conducted two psychophysical experiments that manipulated the priority of multiple items in a two-alternative forced choice task (2AFC) with distance discrimination. In Experiment 1, we varied the probabilities with which memorized items were likely to be tested. To generalize the effects of priority beyond simple cueing, in Experiment 2, we manipulated priority by varying monetary incentives contingent upon successful memory for items tested. Moreover, we illustrate our hypothesis using a simple model that distributed attentional resources across items with rank-ordered priorities. Indeed, we found evidence in both experiments that priority affects the precision of working memory in a monotonic fashion. Our results demonstrate that representations of priority may provide a mechanism by which resources can be allocated to increase the precision with which we encode and briefly store information.
    Journal of Vision 09/2014; · 2.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: What are the neural mechanisms underlying working memory (WM)? One influential theory posits that neurons in the lateral prefrontal cortex (lPFC) store WM information via persistent activity. In this review, we critically evaluate recent findings that together indicate that this model of WM needs revision. We argue that sensory cortex, not the lPFC, maintains high-fidelity representations of WM content. By contrast, the lPFC simultaneously maintains representations of multiple goal-related variables that serve to bias stimulus-specific activity in sensory regions. This work highlights multiple neural mechanisms supporting WM, including temporally dynamic population coding in addition to persistent activity. These new insights focus the question on understanding how the mechanisms that underlie WM are related, interact, and are coordinated in the lPFC and sensory cortex.
    Trends in Cognitive Sciences 01/2014; · 16.01 Impact Factor
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    Zuzanna Klyszejko, Masih Rahmati, Clayton Curtis
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    ABSTRACT: Background / Purpose: The amount of noise or details in the visual field requires ordering available items according to their priority, which relates to our current goals or selection history. The question we asked in this experiment is whether we have a control over the precision with which we store the information when we are faced with capacity limitations. Main conclusion: We found that priority affected the precision with which we store locations in visual working memory by measuring the slope of the psychometric functions related to items in the visual field.
    European Conference of Visual Perception 2013; 09/2013
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    Akiko Ikkai, Sangita Dandekar, Clayton E Curtis
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    ABSTRACT: Background / Purpose: Here, we tested the hypothesis that attention modulates neural oscillation in a spatially selective manner.Using magnetoencephalography (MEG), we measured the alpha power (5-15Hz) while subjects’ attention was endogenously oriented to the peripheral visual field. Main conclusion: We found posterior alpha desynchronization in sensors contralateral to the attended visual field. This desynchronization and spatial selectivity persisted throughout the delay period.These findings suggest that spatial attention modulates neural synchrony in a spatially biased manner. The decrease in alpha synchronization may cause the excitation of the task-related cortical regions for enhanced visual information processing.
    Vision Sciences Society 11th Annual Meeting 2011; 06/2011
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    Clayton E Curtis
    01/2011;
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    Katherine Duncan, Clayton Curtis, Lila Davachi
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    ABSTRACT: Incoming events that match or mismatch stored representations are thought to influence the ability of the hippocampus to switch between memory encoding and retrieval modes. Electrophysiological work has dissociated match and mismatch signals in the monkey perirhinal cortex, where match signals were selective for matches to goal states, whereas mismatch signals were not modulated by intention (Miller and Desimone, 1994). To investigate whether the theoretically important relational match and mismatch signals in the hippocampus are modulated by goal states, we fully crossed whether a probe stimulus relationally matched or mismatched a previously perceived image or goal state. Subjects performed two working memory tasks in which they either responded "yes" to probes that were identical to the previous sample scene or, after performing a relational manipulation of the scene, responded "yes" only to a probe that was identical to this perceptually novel image. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we found evidence for relational match enhancements bilaterally in the hippocampus that were selective for matches between the probe stimulus and goal state, but were not modulated by whether that goal was perceptually novel. Moreover, we found evidence for a complementary hippocampal mismatch enhancement that was triggered by stimuli containing salient perceptual manipulations. Our results provided evidence for parallel memory signatures in the hippocampus: a controlled match signal that can detect matches to internally generated goal states and an automatic mismatch signal that can identify unpredicted perceptual novelty.
    Journal of Neuroscience 02/2009; 29(1):131-9. · 6.91 Impact Factor
  • Clayton Curtis, Lila Davachi
    Nature Neuroscience 08/2008; 11(7):851. · 15.25 Impact Factor
  • Clayton Curtis, Lila Davachi
    Nature Neuroscience 07/2008; 11(6):621. · 15.25 Impact Factor
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    Clayton E. Curtis, Mark D'Esposito
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    ABSTRACT: The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) plays a crucial role in working memory. Notably, persistent activity in the DLPFC is often observed during the retention interval of delayed response tasks. The code carried by the persistent activity remains unclear, however. We critically evaluate how well recent findings from functional magnetic resonance imaging studies are compatible with current models of the role of the DLFPC in working memory. These new findings suggest that the DLPFC aids in the maintenance of information by directing attention to internal representations of sensory stimuli and motor plans that are stored in more posterior regions.
    Trends in Cognitive Sciences 10/2003; 7(9):415-423. · 16.01 Impact Factor
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    Clayton E Curtis, Mark D ' Esposito