Article

Feature binding and attention in working memory: A resolution of previous contradictory findings.

a Institute of Psychological Sciences , University of Leeds , Leeds , UK.
Quarterly journal of experimental psychology (2006) (Impact Factor: 1.73). 06/2012; 65(12):2369-2383. DOI: 10.1080/17470218.2012.687384
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We aimed to resolve an apparent contradiction between previous experiments from different laboratories, using dual-task methodology to compare effects of a concurrent executive load on immediate recognition memory for colours or shapes of items or their colour-shape combinations. Results of two experiments confirmed previous evidence that an irrelevant attentional load interferes equally with memory for features and memory for feature bindings. Detailed analyses suggested that previous contradictory evidence arose from limitations in the way recognition memory was measured. The present findings are inconsistent with an earlier suggestion that feature binding takes place within a multimodal episodic buffer (Baddeley, 2000) and support a subsequent account in which binding takes place automatically prior to information entering the episodic buffer (Baddeley, Allen, & Hitch, 2011). Methodologically, the results suggest that different measures of recognition memory performance (A', d', corrected recognition) give a converging picture of main effects, but are less consistent in detecting interactions. We suggest that this limitation on the reliability of measuring recognition should be taken into account in future research so as to avoid problems of replication that turn out to be more apparent than real.

Full-text

Available from: Judit Castellà, Jun 02, 2015
0 Followers
 · 
164 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Color repetitions in a visual scene boost memory for its elements, a phenomenon known as the color-sharing effect. This may occur because improved perceptual organization reduces information load or because the repetitions capture attention. The implications of these explanations differ drastically for both the theoretical meaning of this effect and its potential value for applications in design of visual materials. If repetitions capture attention to the exclusion of other details, then use of repetition in visual displays should be confined to emphasized details, but if repetitions reduce the load of the display, designers can assume that the nonrepeated information is also more likely to be attended and remembered. We manipulated the availability of general attention during a visual memory task by comparing groups of participants engaged in meaningless speech or attention-demanding continuous arithmetic. We also tracked eye movements as an implicit indicator of selective attention. Estimated memory capacity was always higher when color duplicates were tested, and under full attention conditions this bonus spilled over to the unique colors too. Analyses of gazes showed that with full attention, participants tended to glance earlier at duplicate colors during stimulus presentation but looked more at unique colors during the retention interval. This pattern of results suggests that the color-sharing bonus reflects efficient perceptual organization of the display based on the presence of repetitions, and possibly strategic attention allocation when attention is available. S C I E N T I F I C A B S T R A C T Color repetitions in a visual scene boost working memory capacity for its elements, a phenomenon known as the color-sharing effect. This may occur because improved perceptual organization reduces information load or because the repetitions capture attention. The implications of these explanations differ drastically for both the theoretical meaning of this effect and its potential value for applications in design of visual materials. Previous research suggests that the color-sharing bonus is restricted to tests of the repeated colors themselves, which tends to support the idea that the repetitions capture attention, possibly to the exclusion of the remaining elements. We explicitly manipulated the availability
    04/2015; 3(1):18-29. DOI:10.1037/arc0000014
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Feature binding is a core concept in many research fields, including the study of working memory (WM). Over the past decade, it has been debated whether keeping the feature binding in visual WM consumes more visual attention than the constituent single features. Previous studies have only explored the contribution of domain-general attention or space-based attention in the binding process; no study so far has explored the role of object-based attention in retaining binding in visual WM. We hypothesized that object-based attention underlay the mechanism of rehearsing feature binding in visual WM. Therefore, during the maintenance phase of a visual WM task, we inserted a secondary mental rotation (Experiments 1–3), transparent motion (Experiment 4), or an object-based feature report task (Experiment 5) to consume the object-based attention available for binding. In line with the prediction of the object-based attention hypothesis, Experiments 1–5 revealed a more significant impairment for binding tha
    Journal of Experimental Psychology Human Perception & Performance 04/2015; 41(2):479-493. DOI:10.1037/xhp0000018 · 3.11 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Working Memory: Developmental Differences, Component Processes and Improvement Mechanisms., 01/2013: chapter 11: pages 157-174;