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Keisuke Fukuda, April Pereira, Joseph Saito, Hiroyuki Tsubomi; Recognition-induced memory bias (RIMB) in visual working memory. Journal of Vision 2020;20(11):1296. https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.1296.
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Visual memories can be altered long after they are encoded by biasing the context in which they are retrieved (e.g., Frenda, Nichols, & Loftus, 2011). However, it is not clear whether visual memories that are just encoded and actively represented in mind (i.e., visual working memory, or VWM) are also vulnerable to such change by biasing the context in which they are accessed. To test this, we had young adults perform a VWM task in which they remembered one simple object (e.g., a colored circle) over a 5-second retention interval. The precision and confidence of their memory were assessed immediately after the retention interval. During the retention interval in the critical condition, participants performed two-alternative-forced-choice (2AFC) recognition tests in which they judged which of the two recognition probes were more similar to the original memory item. The results showed that this simple recognition judgment was enough to bias the immediate recall of the original stimulus toward the recognition probe that was judged to be similar. Interestingly, this recognition-induced memory bias (RIMB) was observed even when participants reported high confidence in their accuracy of recall, indicating that participants were not fully aware of RIMB. In Experiment 2, we presented a single recognition probe to test whether the RIMB was the result of the attraction bias toward the similar recognition probe or the repulsion bias from the dissimilar probe. Here, the results revealed that it was the attraction bias. Furthermore, RIMB occurred only when the physically-identical probe was judged to be similar but not when it was judged dissimilar. Taken together, despite its active representation status, VWM can be implicitly attracted toward a new visual input when it is judged to be similar.
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