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Jane Jacob, Bruno Breitmeyer; Reaction-time assessment of form and color processing in visual short-term memories. Journal of Vision 2011;11(11):1285. doi: 10.1167/11.11.1285.
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We investigate the processing of two features, form or else color, stored in visual short-term memories (VSTMs) in a feature priming task and a feature comparison task. In both tasks a brief prime is followed by a probe at stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) ranging from 63 to 1920 ms. The prime's and probe's features could either be congruent or else incongruent. In the priming task Os simply identified as quickly and accurately as possible the probe's feature by pressing one of two designated response keys. In the comparison task Os determined as quickly and accurately as possible whether or not the prime's and probe's feature differed. Our results showed that the VSTM utilized in the priming task was a fast decaying sensory (iconic) store lasting roughly 500 ms; whereas the VSTM utilized in the comparison task consisted not only of the brief sensory store but also a more durable working memory. Our data also suggest that the color and form features, while processed similarly in sensory store, may be processed differently in visual working memory.
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