July 2013
Volume 13, Issue 9
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2013
Continuous resources and variable precision in working memory
Author Affiliations
  • Wei Ji Ma
    Baylor College of Medicine
  • Ronald van den Berg
    Baylor College of Medicine
  • Hongsup Shin
    Baylor College of Medicine
Journal of Vision July 2013, Vol.13, 1365. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/13.9.1365
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      Wei Ji Ma, Ronald van den Berg, Hongsup Shin; Continuous resources and variable precision in working memory. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):1365. https://doi.org/10.1167/13.9.1365.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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In comparisons between item-limit and continuous-resource models of working memory, the continuous-resource model tested is usually a stereotyped one in which memory resource is divided equally among items. This model cannot account for human behavior. We recently introduced the notion that resource (mnemonic precision) is variable across items and trials. This model provides excellent fits to data and outperforms item-limit models in explaining delayed-estimation data. When studying change detection, a model of memory is not enough, since the task contains a decision stage. Augmenting the variable-precision model of memory with a Bayesian decision model provides the best available account of change detection performance across set sizes and change magnitudes. Finally, we argue that variable, continuous precision has a plausible neural basis in the gain of a neural population. Our results and those of other groups overhaul long-held beliefs about the limitations of working memory.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013


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