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Psychonomic Bulletin and Review

, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 1483–1490

First Online: 18 February 2016


Objects in visual working memory VWM that are only prospectively relevant can nevertheless affect the guidance of attention in an ongoing visual search task. Here we investigated whether learning changes the attentional status of such prospective memories. Observers performed a visual search while holding an item in memory for a later memory test. This prospective memory was then repeated for several trials. When the memory was new, it interfered with the ongoing search task. However, with repetition, memory performance increased but memory-based interference rapidly diminished, suggesting that observers learned to shield the prospective memory from the ongoing task. This contrasts with earlier findings showing stronger attentional biases from learned memories when these are immediately task-relevant. Interestingly, interference resurfaced again in anticipation of a new memory, suggesting a reactivation of VWM. These effects were sensitive to task context, indicating that the attentional status of prospective memories is flexible.

KeywordsVisual working memory Visual attention Visual search Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.3758-s13423-016-1008-7 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Dirk van Moorselaar - Jan Theeuwes - Christian N. L. Olivers

Fuente: https://link.springer.com/

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