Dual-task interference in visual working memory

A limitation in storage capacity but not in encoding or retrieval

Daryl Fougnie, René Marois

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The concurrent maintenance of two visual working memory (VWM) arrays can lead to profound interference. It is unclear, however, whether these costs arise from limitations in VWM storage capacity (Fougnie & Marois, 2006) or from interference between the storage of one visual array and encoding or retrieval of another visual array (Cowan & Morey, 2007). Here, we show that encoding a VWM array does not interfere with maintenance of another VWM array unless the two displays exceed maintenance capacity (Experiments 1 and 2). Moreover, manipulating the extent to which encoding and maintenance can interfere with one another had no discernable effect on dual-task performance (Experiment 2). Finally, maintenance of a VWM array was not affected by retrieval of information from another VWM array (Experiment 3). Taken together, these findings demonstrate that dual-task interference between two concurrent VWM tasks is due to a capacity-limited store that is independent from encoding and retrieval processes.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1831-1841
    Number of pages11
    JournalAttention, Perception, and Psychophysics
    Volume71
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Dec 1 2009

    Fingerprint

    Short-Term Memory
    interference
    Maintenance
    experiment
    Information Storage and Retrieval
    Task Performance and Analysis
    Interference
    Encoding
    Visual Working Memory
    Dual Task
    Costs and Cost Analysis
    costs
    performance
    Experiment

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
    • Linguistics and Language
    • Sensory Systems

    Cite this

    Dual-task interference in visual working memory : A limitation in storage capacity but not in encoding or retrieval. / Fougnie, Daryl; Marois, René.

    In: Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics, Vol. 71, No. 8, 01.12.2009, p. 1831-1841.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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