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Audrey G. Lustig, Daniel J. Simons, Alejandro Lleras, Diane M. Beck; Individual differences in object-based selection are predicted by visual short-term memory capacity. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):1161. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/12.9.1161.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
People can selectively maintain task-relevant features of items in visual working memory (Woodman & Vogel, 2008), but can they effectively ignore task-irrelevant features of an attended item? And, if so, does the ability to ignore irrelevant feature dimensions correlate with visual short-term memory (VSTM) capacity? Participants performed a priming of popout task with six oriented color gratings arranged in a circle around a fixation point. They tried to locate the one grating that differed in orientation (vertical or horizontal) from the other gratings. Across consecutive trials, there were four possible types of target repetitions: only orientation, only color, both orientation and color, or neither orientation nor color. Importantly, the color of the oddball grating (red or cyan) was irrelevant to the orientation detection task. Overall, subjects responded faster to the oddball target when its orientation, color, or both dimensions repeated compared to when neither dimension repeated; that is, both the relevant and irrelevant dimension of the target produced priming. The size of the priming effect when both dimensions repeated was negatively correlated with VSTM capacity, suggesting that people with low VSTM capacity were more influenced by the irrelevant color of the target. Contrary to the idea that attending to an object automatically leads to processing of irrelevant dimensions as well, we find that individuals vary in the extent to which they process irrelevant dimensions and that this variation is predicted by VSTM capacity.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012
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