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On the difference between working memory and attentional set

Olivers, C.N.L. and Eimer, Martin (2011) On the difference between working memory and attentional set. Neuropsychologia 49 (6), pp. 1553-1558. ISSN 0028-3932.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2010....

Abstract

Previous work has shown that distractors present in a visual search display attract attention when they match objects kept in visual working memory. It seems that maintaining an object in working memory is functionally identical to adopting an attentional set for that object. We test this conjecture by asking observers to perform a memory task as well as a visual search task (in which memory-related distractors could return), but to leave the observer uncertain as to which of these tasks would have to be completed first. This way, observers ought to more readily look for the memorized information, rather than just remember it. Memory-related distractor effects were larger than when participants knew the order of the tasks beforehand, consistent with the idea that trying to attend to something involves additional processes or representations beyond those needed for simply storing an item.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Short-term memory, visual working memory, visual attention, attentional set, visual search
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2011 10:16
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:21
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/3834

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