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Michael D. Patterson, WanTing Low; Using color cues to probe the influence of grouping in visual working memory for spatial locations. Journal of Vision 2011;11(11):1255. doi: 10.1167/11.11.1255.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Previous experiments have demonstrated that cues can sometimes have similar effects in visual attention and working memory (Griffin and Nobre, 2003). This experiment compared the effects of cues on items that can be grouped into larger units or isolated individually by color. Each stimulus consisted of 5 colored dots placed randomly in a fixed area in the center of a computer screen for 1.5 seconds. The dots were either 5 different colors, or 4 dots of the same color and 1 dot of a different color. Auditory cues for one color were presented either simultaneously with the visual stimulus, immediately after the stimulus vanished, or 2 seconds later. Approximately 2–5 seconds after the visual stimulus was presented, participants were shown a blank screen and asked to click the location where the cued color had been displayed earlier in the trial. For cues presented simultaneously with the stimulus, the distance clicked from the target was equivalent in all conditions. Compared to simultaneous cues, in trials with retrocues, distance increased across all conditions, but increased significantly more in the condition with 5 unique colors. In the two-color condition, no difference was found when a singleton was cued compared to cuing any of the 4 same colored items. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that grouping based on color may be used within visual working memory to increase visual acuity for location.
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