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Benchi Wang, Chuyao Yan, Zhiguo Wang, Jan Theeuwes, Christian Olivers; Inhibition of Return in Visual Working Memory. Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):364. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/16.12.364.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Previous studies have shown that visual working memory (VWM) representations can be strengthened by pre-cues presented prior to the memory display, as well as retro-cues presented after the memory display, providing evidence for attentional orienting playing a role in memory encoding and maintenance. However, it is known from attentional orienting studies that cueing can lead to a biphasic effect, where facilitation is followed by inhibition – a phenomenon known as inhibition of return. Here we explored whether pre- and retro-cues lead to inhibition of return within VWM. In Experiment 1, a cue was shown before a sample display consisting of various colors, with SOAs of 200 ms and 400 ms. After a 1000 ms delay, one of the colors was tested using a continuous color wheel. Experiment 1 showed that the pre-cue increased the probability of an item being encoded in VWM at the short SOA, whereas probability was reduced for the long SOA. In Experiment 2, a retro-cue was used, presented 200 ms after sample display offset. Crucially, after 350-450 ms, attention was then cued back to the center of the display or left to linger on the cued item. The results showed that the retro-cue improved the probability of remembering. Importantly, when attention was cued back to the center, the precision of the cued item deteriorated. In summary, we conclude that VWM representation not only can be facilitated, but also inhibited by pre- and retro-cues.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016
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