September 2018
Volume 18, Issue 10
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2018
The Effects of Change Probability and Object Typicality on Visual Working Memory and Visual Attention
Author Affiliations
  • Eduardo Hernandez
    Psychology, Louisiana State University
  • Katherine Moen
    Psychology, Louisiana State University
  • Melissa Beck
    Psychology, Louisiana State University
Journal of Vision September 2018, Vol.18, 1298. doi:
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      Eduardo Hernandez, Katherine Moen, Melissa Beck; The Effects of Change Probability and Object Typicality on Visual Working Memory and Visual Attention. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):1298.

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

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Change detection performance is better for probable changes than for improbable changes (Beck, Angelone, & Levin, 2004). For example, a lamp turning from on to off (probable change) is noticed more often than a floor lamp changing into a table lamp (improbable change). Additionally, change detection performance is better for objects that are inconsistent with scene (atypical objects), than changes to objects that are consistent with the scene (typical objects, Hollingworth & Henderson, 2003). The current study sought to replicate these effects and to test for possible interacting effects of object typicality and change probability on visual working memory and visual attention. All participants saw each study scene for two seconds, a blank screen for one second, and then the test scene until the participant clicked on the object that changed. Each study scene contained four objects that could change: (1) a typical object with a probable change, (2) a typical object with an improbable change, (3) an atypical object with a probable change, or (4) an atypical object with an improbable change. Change probability and typicality effects were replicated: Probable changes were detected more often than improbable changes and changes to atypical objects were detected more often than changes to typical objects. Additionally, there was an interaction between change probability and object typicality: The effect of change probability was much stronger for typical objects than for atypical objects. Specifically, improbable changes to typical objects were missed more often than any other type of change. Eye-movement data demonstrated that these effects were due to how attention was being allocated. While viewing the study scene, typical objects with an improbable change were fixated less frequently and attention dwelled on them for less time than the of the other three types of objects.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018


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