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The allocation of resources in visual working memory and multiple attentional templates

The allocation of resources in visual working memory and multiple attentional templates
The allocation of resources in visual working memory and multiple attentional templates
In a visual search task, sensory input is matched to a representation of the search target in visual working memory (VWM). This representation is referred to as attentional template. We investigated the conditions that allow for more than a single attentional template. The attentional template of color targets was measured by means of the contingent attentional capture paradigm. We found that attentional templates did not differ between search with 1 and 2 memorized target colors, suggesting that dual target search allowed for multiple attentional templates. In the same paradigm, we asked participants to memorize target and distractor color with equal precision. Both were presented before the search task. An attentional template was set up for the target, but not for the distractor color, suggesting that keeping a color in VWM does not automatically result in the creation of multiple attentional templates. Importantly, the precision of recall of the distractor color was worse than the precision of recall of the target color, regardless of instructions, suggesting that participants always allocated fewer VWM resources to the distractor color. Thus, 2 attentional templates may be set up, but only when the 2 colors receive an equal amount of resources in VWM (i.e., in dual target search). In contrast, when 1 item is deprioritized because of task demands, it receives fewer resources in VWM and multiple attentional templates cannot be established. Thus, unequal roles in the search task prevented the simultaneous operation of multiple attentional templates in VWM.
0096-1523
645-658
Kerzel, Dirk
d287bd20-dede-4b77-a0ec-ed4c4ada7681
Witzel, Christoph
dfb994f1-7007-441a-9e1a-ddb167f44166
Kerzel, Dirk
d287bd20-dede-4b77-a0ec-ed4c4ada7681
Witzel, Christoph
dfb994f1-7007-441a-9e1a-ddb167f44166

Kerzel, Dirk and Witzel, Christoph (2019) The allocation of resources in visual working memory and multiple attentional templates. Journal of Experimental Psychology Human Perception & Performance, 45 (5), 645-658. (doi:10.1037/xhp0000637).

Record type: Article

Abstract

In a visual search task, sensory input is matched to a representation of the search target in visual working memory (VWM). This representation is referred to as attentional template. We investigated the conditions that allow for more than a single attentional template. The attentional template of color targets was measured by means of the contingent attentional capture paradigm. We found that attentional templates did not differ between search with 1 and 2 memorized target colors, suggesting that dual target search allowed for multiple attentional templates. In the same paradigm, we asked participants to memorize target and distractor color with equal precision. Both were presented before the search task. An attentional template was set up for the target, but not for the distractor color, suggesting that keeping a color in VWM does not automatically result in the creation of multiple attentional templates. Importantly, the precision of recall of the distractor color was worse than the precision of recall of the target color, regardless of instructions, suggesting that participants always allocated fewer VWM resources to the distractor color. Thus, 2 attentional templates may be set up, but only when the 2 colors receive an equal amount of resources in VWM (i.e., in dual target search). In contrast, when 1 item is deprioritized because of task demands, it receives fewer resources in VWM and multiple attentional templates cannot be established. Thus, unequal roles in the search task prevented the simultaneous operation of multiple attentional templates in VWM.

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kerzel.witzel.2019 - Accepted Manuscript
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Published date: 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 439127
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/439127
ISSN: 0096-1523
PURE UUID: 82b50996-1d47-45cb-94f4-ddcf2d05529d
ORCID for Christoph Witzel: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9944-2420

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Date deposited: 03 Apr 2020 16:38
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 03:21

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Author: Dirk Kerzel

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