The n-back is a paradigm used to assess working memory function in research settings. It is widely used in functional neuroimaging research. During the n-back series, sequential stimuli are presented individually. The examinee holds each stimulus in short-term memory, while new stimuli are presented. For each new item presented, the examinee’s task is to decide if it is the same as the stimulus presented “n” items before. For example, during a 2-back task (i.e., n = 2), the response would be “yes” if the stimulus currently presented matches the stimulus presented two earlier. Examinees usually respond with a button press on a computer keyboard or a response box connected to a computer that presents the paradigm. The most common levels of “n” are 1-back, 2-back, and 3-back, with a 0-back control task frequently used for baseline performance in functional neuroimaging experiments. During the 0-back, the examinee is asked to respond yes each time a...
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Sweet, L.H. (2011). N-Back Paradigm. In: Kreutzer, J.S., DeLuca, J., Caplan, B. (eds) Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-79948-3_1315
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