Visual Search Within Working Memory

Garry Kong, Daryl Fougnie

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Attention and working memory are 2 key pillars of cognition. Despite much research, there are important aspects about the relationship between the 2 constructs that are not well understood. Here we explore the similarity in the mechanisms that select and update working memory to those that guide attention during perception, such as in visual search. We use a memory search task where participants memorize a display of objects on a grid. During memory maintenance, participants are instructed to update the spatial positions of a subset of objects. The speed of the updating process should reflect the accessibility of the to-be-updated subset. Using this task, we explored whether landmark findings in visual search would hold true for memory search. In Experiment 1, we found a search asymmetry-it was easier to access memory representations defined by a feature than defined by the lack of a feature. In Experiment 2, we found target-distractor similarity effects-updating a single target was easier when the distractors were farther away in feature space. In Experiment 3, we found a feature versus conjunction benefit-access times were much faster for instructions to move objects defined by only 1 feature (e.g., all triangles) as opposed to a conjunction of features (e.g., all red triangles). In Experiment 4, we find a set-size effect-update times increased with the number of items in memory, particularly for conjunctive stimuli. Taken together, our results suggest a common coding and selection scheme for working memory and perceptual representations.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: General
    DOIs
    StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

    Fingerprint

    Short-Term Memory
    Cognition
    Maintenance
    Research

    Keywords

    • Attention
    • Visual search
    • Visual working memory

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
    • Psychology(all)
    • Developmental Neuroscience

    Cite this

    Visual Search Within Working Memory. / Kong, Garry; Fougnie, Daryl.

    In: Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 01.01.2019.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    @article{e4ca0a5714994831b134509f5b028c98,
    title = "Visual Search Within Working Memory",
    abstract = "Attention and working memory are 2 key pillars of cognition. Despite much research, there are important aspects about the relationship between the 2 constructs that are not well understood. Here we explore the similarity in the mechanisms that select and update working memory to those that guide attention during perception, such as in visual search. We use a memory search task where participants memorize a display of objects on a grid. During memory maintenance, participants are instructed to update the spatial positions of a subset of objects. The speed of the updating process should reflect the accessibility of the to-be-updated subset. Using this task, we explored whether landmark findings in visual search would hold true for memory search. In Experiment 1, we found a search asymmetry-it was easier to access memory representations defined by a feature than defined by the lack of a feature. In Experiment 2, we found target-distractor similarity effects-updating a single target was easier when the distractors were farther away in feature space. In Experiment 3, we found a feature versus conjunction benefit-access times were much faster for instructions to move objects defined by only 1 feature (e.g., all triangles) as opposed to a conjunction of features (e.g., all red triangles). In Experiment 4, we find a set-size effect-update times increased with the number of items in memory, particularly for conjunctive stimuli. Taken together, our results suggest a common coding and selection scheme for working memory and perceptual representations.",
    keywords = "Attention, Visual search, Visual working memory",
    author = "Garry Kong and Daryl Fougnie",
    year = "2019",
    month = "1",
    day = "1",
    doi = "10.1037/xge0000555",
    language = "English (US)",
    journal = "Journal of Experimental Psychology: General",
    issn = "0096-3445",
    publisher = "American Psychological Association Inc.",

    }

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Visual Search Within Working Memory

    AU - Kong, Garry

    AU - Fougnie, Daryl

    PY - 2019/1/1

    Y1 - 2019/1/1

    N2 - Attention and working memory are 2 key pillars of cognition. Despite much research, there are important aspects about the relationship between the 2 constructs that are not well understood. Here we explore the similarity in the mechanisms that select and update working memory to those that guide attention during perception, such as in visual search. We use a memory search task where participants memorize a display of objects on a grid. During memory maintenance, participants are instructed to update the spatial positions of a subset of objects. The speed of the updating process should reflect the accessibility of the to-be-updated subset. Using this task, we explored whether landmark findings in visual search would hold true for memory search. In Experiment 1, we found a search asymmetry-it was easier to access memory representations defined by a feature than defined by the lack of a feature. In Experiment 2, we found target-distractor similarity effects-updating a single target was easier when the distractors were farther away in feature space. In Experiment 3, we found a feature versus conjunction benefit-access times were much faster for instructions to move objects defined by only 1 feature (e.g., all triangles) as opposed to a conjunction of features (e.g., all red triangles). In Experiment 4, we find a set-size effect-update times increased with the number of items in memory, particularly for conjunctive stimuli. Taken together, our results suggest a common coding and selection scheme for working memory and perceptual representations.

    AB - Attention and working memory are 2 key pillars of cognition. Despite much research, there are important aspects about the relationship between the 2 constructs that are not well understood. Here we explore the similarity in the mechanisms that select and update working memory to those that guide attention during perception, such as in visual search. We use a memory search task where participants memorize a display of objects on a grid. During memory maintenance, participants are instructed to update the spatial positions of a subset of objects. The speed of the updating process should reflect the accessibility of the to-be-updated subset. Using this task, we explored whether landmark findings in visual search would hold true for memory search. In Experiment 1, we found a search asymmetry-it was easier to access memory representations defined by a feature than defined by the lack of a feature. In Experiment 2, we found target-distractor similarity effects-updating a single target was easier when the distractors were farther away in feature space. In Experiment 3, we found a feature versus conjunction benefit-access times were much faster for instructions to move objects defined by only 1 feature (e.g., all triangles) as opposed to a conjunction of features (e.g., all red triangles). In Experiment 4, we find a set-size effect-update times increased with the number of items in memory, particularly for conjunctive stimuli. Taken together, our results suggest a common coding and selection scheme for working memory and perceptual representations.

    KW - Attention

    KW - Visual search

    KW - Visual working memory

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85060292464&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85060292464&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1037/xge0000555

    DO - 10.1037/xge0000555

    M3 - Article

    JO - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General

    JF - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General

    SN - 0096-3445

    ER -