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Sori Kim, Min-suk Kang; Target recognition is impaired by spatial attention deployed to its location during the retention interval. Journal of Vision 2017;17(10):873. doi: 10.1167/17.10.873.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The shift of spatial attention within visual working memory improves the memory performance of those attended items if spatial information is task-relevant. In this study, we investigated whether this attentional effect holds when the spatial information is task-irrelevant. We prepared the two versions of visual working memory tasks based on the relevance of spatial information, and presented a secondary task to shift spatial attention during the retention interval. In the change-detection task, in which spatial information was task-relevant, one group of participants made a judgment whether the probe item presented at one location was the same with or different from the memory item presented at the corresponding location. In the recognition task, in which spatial information was task-irrelevant, the other group of participants made a presence or absence judgment for a single item presented at the center of the screen regardless of their positions. To shift spatial attention during the retention interval, the participants were presented with a circular patch and discriminated its color (red or blue). The patch was presented at one of the three locations. In the congruent condition, the patch was presented at the target location. In the incongruent condition, the patch was presented at one of the non-target locations. In the neutral condition, the patch was presented at the center of the screen. We found that recognition of the target was impaired to a greater extent in the congruent condition than the neutral condition while we did not find similar pattern in the change-detection task. These results suggest that the effect of attentional shift is reduced if the spatial information is task-irrelevant.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2017
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