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Percept Psychophys. 2002 Jul;64(5):754-63.

Voluntazy and automatic attentional control of visual working memory.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Iowa, Iowa City 52242-1407, USA.

Abstract

Previous studies of attention-directing cues have focused largely on the effects of cuing on perceptual processes, but cuing may also influence the transfer of perceptual representations into visual working memory. In the present study, we examined this potential role of cues, using both predictive and non-predictive cues in the context of a visual working memory task. Each trial began with a cue, followed by an array of six colored squares, a delay interval, and then a probe square presented at th e location of one of the squares in the previous array. The subjects were required to indicate whether the color of the probe square was the same as the color of the square that had previously been presented at the same location. Performance on this working memory task was more accurate when the cued location was probed than when an uncued location was probed, even when the cued location was no more likely to be probed than any of the uncued locations. An additional experiment using the abrupt-onset paradigm of Yantis and Jonides (1984) yielded similar results. Thus, visual transients may automatically influence the transfer of perceptual representations into visual working memory.

PMID:
12201334
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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