August 2016
Volume 16, Issue 12
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2016
Hungry, hungry singletons: Unique items eat up visual working memory resources
Author Affiliations
  • Jason Rajsic
    Department of Psychology, University of Toronto
  • Sol Sun
    Department of Psychology, University of Toronto
  • Lauren Huxtable
    Department of Psychology, University of Toronto
  • Susanne Ferber
    Department of Psychology, University of Toronto
  • Jay Pratt
    Department of Psychology, University of Toronto
Journal of Vision September 2016, Vol.16, 361. doi:10.1167/16.12.361
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      Jason Rajsic, Sol Sun, Lauren Huxtable, Susanne Ferber, Jay Pratt; Hungry, hungry singletons: Unique items eat up visual working memory resources. Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):361. doi: 10.1167/16.12.361.

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      © 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

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Abstract

Objects that differ from their neighboring objects in terms of a salient visual feature – referred to as feature singletons – are known to capture attention under a wide range of conditions. However, little is known about whether their salience affects encoding of information into visual working memory (VWM). In the present experiment, we asked participants to remember the orientations of four colored triangles over a brief delay. On half of the trials, one triangle possessed a unique color, and on another half, all triangles had the same color. Although color was truly task-irrelevant (all triangles were equally likely to be tested), the probability of an item being remembered was higher when its color was unique. Furthermore, individual differences in VWM performance on non-singleton trials predicted the difference in memory between singleton and non-singleton items on trials where a singleton was present. Our results highlight the contribution of physical salience to the information that is encoded in visual working memory

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016

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