September 2011
Volume 11, Issue 11
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2011
A Color in Working Memory Does Not Become a Search Target, but it Does Interfere with Color Search
Author Affiliations
  • Michael Stroud
    Department of Psychology, Merrimack College, USA
  • Elina Kaplan
    Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA
  • Tamaryn Menneer
    Department of Psychology, University of Southampton, USA
  • Kyle Cave
    Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA
  • Nick Donnelly
    Department of Psychology, University of Southampton, USA
Journal of Vision September 2011, Vol.11, 1317. doi:10.1167/11.11.1317
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      Michael Stroud, Elina Kaplan, Tamaryn Menneer, Kyle Cave, Nick Donnelly; A Color in Working Memory Does Not Become a Search Target, but it Does Interfere with Color Search. Journal of Vision 2011;11(11):1317. doi: 10.1167/11.11.1317.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Previous visual search experiments show that searching for two targets simultaneously produces a dual-target cost in comparison with single-target search. This cost may reflect interference between two search target templates held in working memory simultaneously. The current experiments tested whether working memory for color relied on the same representation that guides search for color. In separate experiments, participants searched for a single target color while simultaneously holding one of the following in working memory: 1) a color patch, 2) a letter, 3) a dot pattern, or 4) an oriented bar. The results suggest that WM and search must rely on separate representations because the color held in WM did not affect the fixations to that same color during search. However, the two processes appear to be linked in some fashion because search was disrupted more when WM contained the color rather than the letter, the dot pattern, or the orientation stimulus. Overall, these results suggest that there is a close relationship between the mechanisms underlying visual search and working memory. More specifically, the resources for representing color may be used by both visual search and working memory, even though the values of the representations themselves do not interfere with each other. In addition, the results may also indicate that these resources are separate from those for representations of other types of visual information (orientations and spatial patterns).

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