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    Two good reasons to say 'change!'--ensemble representations as well as item representations impact standard measures of VWM capacity

    Liesefeld, H.R. and Liesefeld, A.M. and Muller, Hermann (2018) Two good reasons to say 'change!'--ensemble representations as well as item representations impact standard measures of VWM capacity. British Journal of Psychology 110 (2), pp. 328-356. ISSN 0007-1269.

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    Visual working memory (VWM) is a central bottleneck in human information processing. Its capacity is most often measured in terms of how many individual‐item representations VWM can hold (k). In the standard task employed to estimate k, an array of highly discriminable colour patches is maintained and, after a short retention interval, compared to a test display (change detection). Recent research has shown that with more complex, structured displays, change‐detection performance is, in addition to individual‐item representations, supported by ensemble representations formed as a result of spatial subgroupings. Here, by asking participants to additionally localize the change, we reveal indication for an influence of ensemble representations even in the very simple, unstructured displays of the colour‐patch change‐detection task. Critically, pure‐item models from which standard formulae of k are derived do not consider ensemble representations and, therefore, potentially overestimate k. To gauge this overestimation, we develop an item‐plus‐ensemble model of change detection and change localization. Estimates of k from this new model are about 1 item (~30%) lower than the estimates from traditional pure‐item models, even if derived from the same data sets.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the article, which has been published in final form at the link above. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): visual short‐term memory, working memory capacity, change detection, change localization, cognitive modelling
    School: School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Hermann Muller
    Date Deposited: 21 May 2019 10:38
    Last Modified: 11 Feb 2021 11:24


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