Dimension-based attention in visual short-term memory
journal contributionposted on 02.08.2016, 12:40 by Michael Pilling, Doug J. K. Barrett
We investigated how dimension-based attention influences visual short-term memory (VSTM). This was done through examining the effects of cueing a feature dimension in two perceptual comparison tasks (change detection and sameness detection). In both tasks, a memory array and a test array consisting of a number of colored shapes were presented successively, interleaved by a blank interstimulus interval (ISI). In Experiment 1 (change detection), the critical event was a feature change in one item across the memory and test arrays. In Experiment 2 (sameness detection), the critical event was the absence of a feature change in one item across the two arrays. Auditory cues indicated the feature dimension (color or shape) of the critical event with 80 % validity; the cues were presented either prior to the memory array, during the ISI, or simultaneously with the test array. In Experiment 1, the cue validity influenced sensitivity only when the cue was given at the earliest position; in Experiment 2, the cue validity influenced sensitivity at all three cue positions. We attributed the greater effectiveness of top-down guidance by cues in the sameness detection task to the more active nature of the comparison process required to detect sameness events (Hyun, Woodman, Vogel, Hollingworth, & Luck, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 35; 1140–1160, 2009).