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Geoffrey F. Woodman, Nancy B. Carlisle, Robert M. G. Reinhart; Where do we store the memory representations that guide attention?. Journal of Vision 2013;13(3):1. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/13.3.1.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
During the last decade one of the most contentious and heavily studied topics in the attention literature has been the role that working memory representations play in controlling perceptual selection. The hypothesis has been advanced that to have attention select a certain perceptual input from the environment, we only need to represent that item in working memory. Here we summarize the work indicating that the relationship between what representations are maintained in working memory and what perceptual inputs are selected is not so simple. First, it appears that attentional selection is also determined by high-level task goals that mediate the relationship between working memory storage and attentional selection. Second, much of the recent work from our laboratory has focused on the role of long-term memory in controlling attentional selection. We review recent evidence supporting the proposal that working memory representations are critical during the initial configuration of attentional control settings, but that after those settings are established long-term memory representations play an important role in controlling which perceptual inputs are selected by mechanisms of attention.
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