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Selection in spatial working memory is independent of perceptual selective attention, but they interact in a shared spatial priority map

Hedge, Craig ORCID:, Oberauer, Klaus and Leonards, Ute 2015. Selection in spatial working memory is independent of perceptual selective attention, but they interact in a shared spatial priority map. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics 77 (8) , pp. 2653-2668. 10.3758/s13414-015-0976-4

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We examined the relationship between the attentional selection of perceptual information and of information in working memory (WM) through four experiments, using a spatial WM-updating task. Participants remembered the locations of two objects in a matrix and worked through a sequence of updating operations, each mentally shifting one dot to a new location according to an arrow cue. Repeatedly updating the same object in two successive steps is typically faster than switching to the other object; this object switch cost reflects the shifting of attention in WM. In Experiment 1, the arrows were presented in random peripheral locations, drawing perceptual attention away from the selected object in WM. This manipulation did not eliminate the object switch cost, indicating that the mechanisms of perceptual selection do not underlie selection in WM. Experiments 2a and 2b corroborated the independence of selection observed in Experiment 1, but showed a benefit to reaction times when the placement of the arrow cue was aligned with the locations of relevant objects in WM. Experiment 2c showed that the same benefit also occurs when participants are not able to mark an updating location through eye fixations. Together, these data can be accounted for by a framework in which perceptual selection and selection in WM are separate mechanisms that interact through a shared spatial priority map.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 1943-3921
Funders: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2023 07:50

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