December 2022
Volume 22, Issue 14
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   December 2022
Dynamics of Attentional Guidance by Multiple Working Memory Items: A Mouse Trajectory Analysis
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Hyung-Bum Park
    University of California, Riverside
  • Weiwei Zhang
    University of California, Riverside
  • Footnotes
    Acknowledgements  NIMH grant (R01MH117132) & NIA grant (1RF1AG072607)
Journal of Vision December 2022, Vol.22, 3787. doi:
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      Hyung-Bum Park, Weiwei Zhang; Dynamics of Attentional Guidance by Multiple Working Memory Items: A Mouse Trajectory Analysis. Journal of Vision 2022;22(14):3787.

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

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Working memory (WM) contents can guide attention towards matching sensory information in the environment. However, there are mixed findings and theories regarding whether only a single prioritized item or multiple items held in WM can effectively guide attention. The present study aims to precisely examine the dynamics of attentional guidance by WM representations using a novel mouse trajectory analysis. Specifically, a perceptual-matching task was inserted into the maintenance interval of a WM task with the memory set size of 1 or 2. For this perceptual-matching task, a target color was presented at the center of the screen until it was matched on a continuous color-wheel with a mouse-click response. The mouse cursor trajectory was recorded to capture the moment-by-moment influence of WM representations on the perceptual matching process. When a single item was remembered, there was a robust clockwise or counter-clockwise bias, in both reported color and the trial-average mouse trajectory for the perceptual matching task, towards the location of the remembered color on the color-wheel (i.e., attraction bias). When two items were remembered, the same trial-average measures failed to show systematic bias toward either memory color. However, hierarchical Bayesian modeling of the moment-by-moment mouse trajectories revealed two separable central-peaks of trajectory distributions for both memory set sizes. A novel trial-classification method further suggested that the curved mouse trajectories, as a proxy measure of attentional guidance by WM items, are related to the precision of the memory representations. Together, these results support the single-item search template account and highlight the utility of mouse trajectory analyses in hypothesis testing in vision science.


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