Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Visual selection is influenced by items in working memory (WM) and priming from implicit memory when a stimulus is repeated across time. WM effects are typically held to be top-down in nature [Soto D, Heinke D, Humphreys GW, Blanco MJ (2005) J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 31:248-261], whereas implicit priming may operate in a bottom-up manner [Theeuwes J, Reimann B, Mortier K (2006) Vis Cogn 14: 466-489]. How WM and implicit priming [corrected] influence visual selection remains poorly understood, however. Here, we report functional MRI evidence that dissociates the neural mechanisms involved in these memory-based effects on selection remains poorly understood [corrected] The reappearance of a stimulus held in WM enhanced activity in superior frontal gyrus, midtemporal, and occipital areas that are known to encode the prior occurrence of stimuli. In contrast, mere stimulus repetition elicited a suppressive response in the same regions. An additional finding was that a frontothalamic network was sensitive to the behavioral relevance of a match between the contents of WM and the visual search array, enhancing activity when the contents of WM matched the critical target of selection. Items held in WM influence selection by using neural coding distinct to effects of mere repetition.

Original publication




Journal article


Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Publication Date





17186 - 17191


Adolescent, Adult, Behavior, Cues, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Memory, Nervous System Physiological Phenomena, Photic Stimulation, Reproducibility of Results, Visual Perception