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Jun Saiki, Hirofumi Miyatsuji; Estimated capacity of object files in visual short-term memory is not improved by retrieval cueing. Journal of Vision 2009;9(3):16. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/9.3.16.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Visual short-term memory (VSTM) has been claimed to maintain three to five feature-bound object representations. Some results showing smaller capacity estimates for feature binding memory have been interpreted as the effects of interference in memory retrieval. However, change-detection tasks may not properly evaluate complex feature-bound representations such as triple conjunctions in VSTM. To understand the general type of feature-bound object representation, evaluation of triple conjunctions is critical. To test whether interference occurs in memory retrieval for complete object file representations in a VSTM task, we cued retrieval in novel paradigms that directly evaluate the memory for triple conjunctions, in comparison with a simple change-detection task. In our multiple object permanence tracking displays, observers monitored for a switch in feature combination between objects during an occlusion period, and we found that a retrieval cue provided no benefit with the triple conjunction tasks, but significant facilitation with the change-detection task, suggesting that low capacity estimates of object file memory in VSTM reflect a limit on maintenance, not retrieval.
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