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Adam Reeves, Quan Lei; Short-term visual memory for stereoscopically-defined depth . Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):151. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/14.10.151.
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Last year we reported that the short-term memory for stereoscopically defined depth, measured as the partial report accuracy for reporting the identity of a numeral in a cued depth plane, drops for the first 200 ms or so, then slowly recovers almost back to its starting point. To explain this dip in performance we proposed a two-memory model in which depth information suffers a rapid sensory ('iconic') decay in STVM, as is typical for many other visual features, but is also transferred slowly to a visual working memory. The transfer to working memory improves with several hours of practice, leveling out the dip. We now report that the dip is specific to a visual cue, an arrow in the same depth plane as the to-be-reported numeral; with a tonal cue, whose frequency specifies the depth plane, even inexperienced subjects show no such dip. We speculate that attention to the visual cue slows transfer to visual working memory, perhaps because matching the depth of the arrow to the depth of the target numeral is taxing, even when the depth planes are clearly distinct.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014
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