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Arni Kristjansson; Surface assignment modulates object formation for visual short-term memory. Journal of Vision 2004;4(8):388. doi: 10.1167/4.8.388.
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The characteristics of object formation were investigated with a visual short-term memory task. The observers had to memorize the features of four briefly presented two-part objects, followed by a mask and a cue indicating which object to report on. The experiments contrasted whether there were any apparent depth differences between the two parts of each object. Depth differences induced with stereoscopic disparity, and with simple interposition of object features, interfered strongly with performance when both features of an object needed to be memorized, but aided performance when only a single feature needed to be remembered. The results argue for a strong modulatory influence of surface assignment on object formation for a visual memory task. The implications for conceptions of visual short-term memory are discussed in the light of two hypothesized stages; an early feature-based stage, as well as a higher-level object based stage.
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