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Bonnie L. Angelone, Nikkole Wilson, Victoria Osborne, Zachary Leonardo; How low can you go? An investigation of working memory span and change detection. Journal of Vision 2010;10(7):734. doi: 10.1167/10.7.734.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Change detection performance is often impaired due to limits in visual memory and attention. Therefore, individual differences in visual memory and attentional abilities may impact change detection performance. Extensive research has examined the impact of factors related to the external stimulus on change detection performance. For example, changes to objects that are more important to scene context are detected faster than objects of lesser importance. Also, several studies have shown that type of task, type of change, scene complexity, meaningfulness, salience, and change probability play a role in change detection performance. Although not as extensively examined, research has also investigated the role of internal personal factors. For example, individuals with increased attentional breadth (tested using Functional Field of View) demonstrate better change detection performance. In addition, individuals immersed in cultures with more holistic world views show a benefit for certain types of changes compared to their counterparts from more individualistic cultures. Finally, previously at VSS we showed that visual memory for locations accounted for a significant amount of the variance in change detection performance, while field independence/dependence and perceptual speed did not. The current project investigated the effect of working memory span on naturalistic scene change detection. Participants completed the Automated Operation Span Task (AOSPAN) and a change detection task for both type and token changes. Research suggests that individuals with high working memory span do not always excel at other tasks; they may not show a benefit until the task becomes more attentionally demanding. As such, high working memory span individuals may only outperform low span individuals for type changes and not token changes.
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