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Mowei Shen, Xiqian Lu, Xiang Huang, Shulin Chen, Jifan Zhou, Zaifeng Gao; Feature binding in Working Memory Requires Object-based Attention. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):537. doi: 10.1167/15.12.537.
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Feature binding is a core concept in many research fields, including the study of working memory (WM). Over the past decade, it has been debated whether keeping the feature binding in visual WM consumes more visual attention than the constituent single features. Previous studies have only explored the contribution of domain-general attention or spatial-based attention in the binding process, no study so far has explored the role of object-based attention in retaining binding in visual WM. We hypothesized that object-based attention underlay the mechanism of rehearsing feature binding in visual WM. Therefore, during the maintenance phase of a visual WM task, we inserted a secondary mental rotation, transparent motion, or object-based feature report task to consume the object-based attention available for binding. In line with prediction of the object-based attention hypothesis, we consistently revealed a significant impairment for binding than for constituent single features. However, this selective binding impairment was not observed by inserting a spatial-based visual search task. Finally, we found binding recovery if giving participants sufficient time after the secondary object-based task; but not after the secondary spatial-based task. Taken together, these results suggest that the maintaining feature binding in WM needs object-based attention. (Acknowledgement: This research is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31170975, 31271089).Corresponding author: email@example.com)
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015
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