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    Does constraining memory maintenance reduce visual search efficiency?

    Buttaccio, D.R. and Lange, Nicholas and Thomas, R.P. and Dougherty, M.R. (2017) Does constraining memory maintenance reduce visual search efficiency? The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology , pp. 1-19. ISSN 1747-0218.

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    We examine whether constraining memory retrieval processes affects performance in a cued recall visual search task. In the visual search task, participants are first presented with a memory prompt followed by a search array. The memory prompt provides diagnostic information regarding a critical aspect of the target (its colour). We assume that upon the presentation of the memory prompt, participants retrieve and maintain hypotheses (i.e., potential target characteristics) in working memory in order to improve their search efficiency. By constraining retrieval through the manipulation of time pressure (Experiments 1A and 1B) or a concurrent working memory task (Experiments 2A, 2B, and 2C), we directly test the involvement of working memory in visual search. We find some evidence that visual search is less efficient under conditions in which participants were likely to be maintaining fewer hypotheses in working memory (Experiments 1A, 2A, and 2C), suggesting that the retrieval of representations from long-term memory into working memory can improve visual search. However, these results should be interpreted with caution, as the data from two experiments (Experiments 1B and 2B) did not lend support for this conclusion.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Hypothesis generation, Visual attention, Working memory
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2017 09:57
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:33


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