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Zhenlan Jin, Yu Wang, Ling Li; Eye movements during working memory retention period influence performance. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):507. doi: 10.1167/13.9.507.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Previous study showed refixations on an object help to remember it when freely inspecting a scene. The current study investigated whether eye locations after the stimuli offset still affect the performance of working memory (WM). Subjects were required to remember colors of 2 or 4 squares at the cued visual field (left or right) and foveate on a fixed (fixating condition) or moving (pursuing condition) cross for 2 seconds after the colored squares disappeared. In the pursuing condition, the cross moved towards or away from the cued visual field. After this 2 s of retention period, a test display with the same number of squares appeared and the subjects were required to judge whether the color of squares changed. Consistent with other studies, the WM performance showed lower accuracy and longer reaction times as the number of squares increased. Pursuing the cross did not weaken the WM performance compared to fixating the cross. However, the WM accuracy was higher when the cross moved towards the cued visual field compared to when the cross moved away from the cued visual field. This might be related to the attention allocation during smooth pursuit that more attention is distributed ahead of pursuit target. In summary, these results suggest that eye movements during the retention period affect the WM performance.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013
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