September 2015
Volume 15, Issue 12
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2015
Competitive interactions automatically compromise visual working memory.
Author Affiliations
  • Jumana Ahmad
    School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  • Anna Nobre
    Department of Experimental Psychology and Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  • Kimron Shapiro
    School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  • Fiona McNab
    School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
Journal of Vision September 2015, Vol.15, 659. doi:10.1167/15.12.659
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      ×
      This feature is available to Subscribers Only
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      Jumana Ahmad, Anna Nobre, Kimron Shapiro, Fiona McNab; Competitive interactions automatically compromise visual working memory.. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):659. doi: 10.1167/15.12.659.

      Download citation file:


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

      ×
  • Supplements
Abstract

Competition between visually presented stimuli is associated with longer reaction times, reduced BOLD response and reduced neural firing. Previously we observed that competition affects working memory (WM) performance (Ahmad, Nobre, Shapiro & McNab, submitted). In that study we manipulated competition during WM encoding by varying the spatial proximity between two items (Near vs. Far conditions). Participants were required to report the colour of a target item on a colour wheel. We demonstrated that the effect of competition extends to WM. Relative to the Far condition, the Near condition was associated with reduced WM precision and an increase in the number of times the colour of the un-cued item was erroneously reported. We also observed that pre-cues directing attention to one of the items failed to reduce the effects of competition on WM. Here we present an experiment in which we examined whether the effect of competition upon WM could be reduced with a different top-down manipulation. We examined whether prior knowledge of the trial type (Near vs. Far) would enable participants to reduce the effects of competition on WM. Prior knowledge was manipulated using a mixed versus blocked design. We again observed that the Far condition, relative to the Near condition, was associated with greater precision (F(1,27)= 24.12, p< .001) and a lower probability of reporting the colour of the non-target (F(1,27)= 66.13, p< .001). However, there was no interaction with prior knowledge for either precision (F(1,27)= 0.57, p=0.456) or probability of reporting the non-target (F(1,27)= 2.38, p=0.135). Together with the previous pre-cue experiment, the results indicate that it may not be possible to overcome the effects of competition on WM with top-down control.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015

×
×

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.

×