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Amanda van Lamsweerde, Melissa Beck; Attention is not required to maintain feature bindings in visual working memory. Journal of Vision 2010;10(7):770. doi: 10.1167/10.7.770.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Attention plays an important role in the perception of accurate feature bindings. However, it is not clear whether continued attention is needed to maintain feature bindings in VWM. Although some research shows that changes to feature bindings are more difficult to detect than changes to individual features, additional research has shown that some attention-demanding tasks do not disrupt binding memory more than single feature memory. Experiment 1 tested the role of attention in feature binding maintenance by replicating the finding that feature bindings are more difficult to remember than individual features in a whole report change detection task (Wheeler & Treisman, 2002), suggesting that attention is important for maintaining feature bindings. However, Experiment 2 directly measured shifts of attention through eye tracking and manipulated whether a change occurred to an object within the focus of attention, a previously attended object, or an unattended object. The results suggest that attention is not required to maintain feature bindings. Therefore, while feature bindings may be more difficult to remember than individual features in some instances, attention is not required to maintain feature bindings in VWM.
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