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Moran Israel, Asher Cohen, Yoni Pertzov; Exogenous retro-cue modulates the precision of Visual Working Memory. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):950. doi: 10.1167/15.12.950.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Attention and visual working memory are assumed to be highly connected, sharing important similarities: Both connect low-level perceptual processes with higher-level cognitive processes, and both are highly limited in capacity. Attention cues were found to affect working memory performance not only when applied before stimuli are presented, but also well after they disappear (retro-cueing). All previous studies explored the effect of endogenous attention on visual working memory, using a retro cues that are informative of the target location. Endogenous attention was voluntarily shifted to the cued location, and memory performance improved. In the current study we explore the role of exogenous (as opposed to endogenous) attention on visual working memory by using cues that are uninformative, but are thought to shift attention automatically and involuntarily to target locations. We used a delayed estimation task with uninformative exogenous retro-cues, and a mixture model approach to characterize the type of errors done by subjects. Our results indicate that exogenous, uninformative, retro-cues improve the precision of visual working memory performance. This study strengthens the notion that memory precision is a flexible trait and that it is modulated by attention even when it is exogenous and applied well after visual stimuli are extinguished.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015
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