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James C. Moreland, John Palmer, Geoffrey M. Boynton; A major role for retrieval and/or comparison in the set-size effects of change detection. Journal of Vision 2021;21(13):2. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.21.13.2.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Set-size effects in change detection have been attributed to capacity limits in a variety of processes, including perception, memory encoding, memory storage, memory retrieval, comparison, and decision. In this study, we investigated the locus of the effect of increasing set size from 1 to 2. The task was to detect a 90 degree change in the orientation of 1 or 2 briefly presented Gabor patterns in noise. To measure purely attentional effects and not another phenomena, such as crowding, a precue was used to manipulate relevant set size while keeping the display constant. The locus of the capacity limit was determined by varying when observers were cued to a single relevant stimulus. To begin, we measured the baseline set-size effect for change detection. Next, a dual-task procedure and a 100% valid postcue was added to test for an effect of decision: This modification did not reliably change the set-size effects. In the critical experiments, a 100% valid cue was provided during the retention interval between displays, or only one stimulus was presented in the second display (local recognition). For both of these conditions, there was only a relatively small set-size effect. These results are consistent with the bulk of capacity limits being in memory retrieval or comparison and not in perception, memory encoding, or memory storage.
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