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Aysecan Boduroglu, Priti Shah; Orientation-specific configuration based representations in spatial working memory. Journal of Vision 2004;4(8):392. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/4.8.392.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The nature of spatial representations in working memory was investigated using serial recall and serial recognition paradigms. Two possibilities regarding spatial representations were considered; whether spatial locations are remembered independently as coordinate pairs or as part of a larger configuration formed by items in the entire sequence. Results from the serial recall task suggested that participants maintained configural representations only for shorter list lengths (3 & 4 locations). When responses were compared with pseudo-responses modeled after the absolute location view, results indicated that, participants, maintained angular information, more than what the independent location view would have predicted. When the distances between responses and the target locations were analyzed, errors were constant across all serial positions only for the shorter sequences, supporting the conclusion of configuration-based representations for shorter but not longer lists. Further evidence for configuration-based representations were pursued in two serial recognition experiments, where either an identical, or a transformed version of a sequence followed an original display. The transformations, namely translations and rotations, preserved configuration, but not the absolute location information. As predicted, higher false alarm rates among translated sequences suggested that the representations were not easily discernible from lures preserving configuration information. However, the ease with which participants were able to discriminate original and rotated sequences indicated that the configuration-based representations were orientation-specific. Abilities to form configural representations from sequential displays and the qualitative shifts seen after list lengths of 4 are discussed in terms of capacity and attentional limitations, and FINSTs.
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