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Young Seon Shin, Summer Sheremata; We are not all the same: Different memory limits reveal different memory processes.. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):671. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/18.10.671.
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Visual working memory (VWM) maintains stable internal representations, however the amount of information that can be stored varies across individuals. To address the reasons for this variability, it is important to control for task difficulty between low- and high- memory individuals. We measured individuals' memory capacity and then made individualized memory tasks based on the capacity. We found that when set size increases, low memory performance individuals begin to make more errors. This leads to the hypothesis that when set size is high, low memory individuals remember more items at a cost for the precision of each representation. In contrast, high memory individuals selectively maintain items and therefore maintain a high degree of precision regardless of set size. In the present study, we demonstrated resolution in working memory also has different patterns between high and low memory capacity individuals using the continuous report task. We tested the precision of memory representations using individual set sizes defined as easy (K) and hard (K+2) condition. We found high memory capacity individuals have more precise memory representations when required to remember a number of items beyond their capacity. This distinct pattern of memory representation was preserved whether we used the standard mixture model or the swap model. The current study supports our hypothesis that VWM is processed differently based on individuals' memory limitations. Low memory individuals process more items relative to their memory limit resulting poorer resolution representations.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018
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