September 2015
Volume 15, Issue 12
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2015
Overt Retrospective Cues Elicit Location Specific Enhancement of Visual Working Memory
Author Affiliations
  • Henry Liu
    Department of Psychology, University of Toronto
  • Jason Rajsic
    Department of Psychology, University of Toronto
  • Jay Pratt
    Department of Psychology, University of Toronto
Journal of Vision September 2015, Vol.15, 1056. doi:
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      Henry Liu, Jason Rajsic, Jay Pratt; Overt Retrospective Cues Elicit Location Specific Enhancement of Visual Working Memory. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):1056.

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

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Prior studies have shown that retrospective cues presented following the offset of an initial stimulus prevent degradation of items stored in visual working memory (VWM). Whether this protective effect occurs following overt rather than covert attentional shifts remains unknown. In the present study, we examined the effect of memory facilitation for two retrospective cue types; location cues (memory tested with target stimulus at an initially presented location) and saccade cues (revisiting the location of the initial stimulus through an overt attentional shift – a saccadic eye movement). Subjects performed a change-detection task involving an array of four peripherally presented geometric shapes, and either fixated centrally or made a saccade before memory was tested for a single target shape presented centrally or peripherally. Accuracy for change detection was recorded and subsequently converted to sensitivity scores and response criterion. Our results indicated a significant enhancement in both detection sensitivity and response times when the memory target occurred in the periphery and participants made a saccade to that same location. Task performance was reduced if no saccade was made or if the target was presented centrally. Interestingly, participants shifted from a conservative criterion when the memory target location matched the eye position to a liberal criterion when target position did not match the eye position. Taken together, our results suggest that making saccade eye movements to the location of a prior stimulus can produce a location specific facilitation of VWM and modulation of response criterion.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015


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