Multisensory processing in event-based prospective memory
Barutchu A., Sahu A., Humphreys GW., Spence C.
© 2018 Elsevier B.V. Failures in prospective memory (PM) – that is, the failure to remember intended future actions – can have adverse consequences. It is therefore important to study those processes that may help to minimize such cognitive failures. Although multisensory integration has been shown to enhance a wide variety of behaviors, including perception, learning, and memory, its effect on prospective memory, in particular, is largely unknown. In the present study, we investigated the effects of multisensory processing on two simultaneously-performed memory tasks: An ongoing 2- or 3-back working memory (WM) task (20% target ratio), and a PM task in which the participants had to respond to a rare predefined letter (8% target ratio). For PM trials, multisensory enhancement was observed for congruent multisensory signals; however, this effect did not generalize to the ongoing WM task. Participants were less likely to make errors for PM than for WM trials, thus suggesting that they may have biased their attention toward the PM task. Multisensory advantages on memory tasks, such as PM and WM, may be dependent on how attention resources are allocated across dual tasks.