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    Behavioural and neural correlates of visual working memory reveal metacognitive aspects of mental imagery

    Bates, K.E. and Smith, Marie L. and Farran, E.K. and Machizawa, M.G. (2023) Behavioural and neural correlates of visual working memory reveal metacognitive aspects of mental imagery. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience , ISSN 0898-929X.

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    Mental imagery (MI) is the ability to generate visual phenomena in the absence of sensory input. MI is often likened to visual working memory (VWM): the ability to maintain and manipulate visual representations. How MI is recruited during VWM is yet to be established. In a modified orientation change-discrimination task, we examined how behavioural (proportion correct) and neural (contralateral delay activity; CDA) correlates of precision and capacity map onto subjective ratings of vividness and number of items in MI within a VWM task. During the maintenance period, seventeen participants estimated the vividness of their MI or the number of items held in MI while they were instructed to focus on either precision or capacity of their representation and to retain stimuli at varying set sizes (1, 2 and 4). Vividness and number ratings varied over set sizes; however, subjective ratings and behavioral performance correlated only for vividness rating at set size 1. While CDA responded to set-size as was expected, CDA did not reflect subjective reports on high and low vividness and on non-divergent (reported the probed number of items in mind) or divergent (reported number of items diverged from probed) rating trials. Participants were more accurate in low set sizes compared to higher set sizes and in fine (15º) orientation changes compared to coarse (35º) orientation changes. We failed to find evidence for a relationship between the subjective sensory experience of precision and capacity of MI and the precision and capacity of VWM.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2023 17:07
    Last Modified: 04 Dec 2023 20:50


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