Encoding and representation of simultaneous and sequential arrays in visuospatial working memory

Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA.
Quarterly journal of experimental psychology (2006) (Impact Factor: 2.13). 03/2010; 63(5):856-62. DOI: 10.1080/17470211003690680
Source: PubMed


The effect of presentation type on organization in visuospatial working memory (VSWM) was examined. Stimuli were presented sequentially or simultaneously at study, and participants made same/different judgements at test. The test array varied in four different spatial configuration conditions: one featuring no changes from study, one in which two items switched, one in which the same array repeated but in a different location, and one in which a completely novel test stimulus appeared. Results indicated the use of a global configuration for both simultaneous and sequential presentations and showed increased impairment of item-level knowledge with sequential presentations. Overall, these results support the use of a global configuration organization as a fundamental aspect of VSWM processing.


Available from: Benjamin A Clegg
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    • "It is characterized mainly by an internal frame of reference (bodily axis) and egocentric coordinates such as " to the right " , " to the left " , " ahead " , " behind " . This type of representation is formed by a sequential encoding of spatial information (Blalock & Clegg, 2010). Survey representation adopts a bird's-eye view and is global, referring to the person's knowledge of the topographic properties of the environment, such as the location of objects relative to an allocentric fixed coordinate system ( " north " , " south " , " east " and " west " ). "

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    • "In line with earlier studies investigating working memory (Wright et al., 1985; Neath, 1993; Burgess and Hitch, 1999; Hay et al., 2007; Botvinick et al., 2009; Blalock and Clegg, 2010), we show a recency effect which more importantly was modulated by the number of preceding items (Fig. 4B). Several models have been proposed in the literature to account for the well-replicated effect of recency arguing for retroactive interference whenever a new item is added (Nairne, 1988) or a decrease in temporal distinctiveness for earlier items, resulting in a better available representation for the last item (Glenberg et al., 1983; Burgess and Hitch, 1999; Brown et al., 2000). "
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    ABSTRACT: Recent studies investigating working memory for location, color, and orientation support a dynamic resource model. We examined whether this might also apply to motion, using random dot kinematograms (RDKs) presented sequentially or simultaneously. Mean precision for motion direction declined as sequence length increased, with precision being lower for earlier RDKs. Two alternative models of working memory were compared specifically to distinguish between the contributions of different sources of error that corrupt memory (W. Zhang & S. J. Luck, 2008 vs. P. M. Bays, R. F. G. Catalao, & M. Husain, 2009). The latter provided a significantly better fit for the data, revealing that decrease in memory precision for earlier items is explained by an increase in interference from other items in a sequence rather than random guessing or a temporal decay of information. Misbinding feature attributes is an important source of error in working memory. Precision of memory for motion direction decreased when two RDKs were presented simultaneously as transparent surfaces, compared to sequential RDKs. However, precision was enhanced when one motion surface was prioritized, demonstrating that selective attention can improve recall precision. These results are consistent with a resource model that can be used as a general conceptual framework for understanding working memory across a range of visual features.
    Journal of Vision 12/2011; 11(14). DOI:10.1167/11.14.2 · 2.39 Impact Factor
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    • "Across all of our experiments, we observed a location change detection benefit when the full spatial configuration was present in the probing phase. Global spatial configurations are therefore not only an important feature of VSTM representations of static objects that are presented simultaneously (Jiang et al., 2004; Jiang et al., 2000; see also the static scene conditions in our Experiments 1a and 1b) or sequentially (Blalock & Clegg, 2010) but are essential for the representation of locations of dynamic objects with varying spatial inter-object relations over time. Besides demonstrating a spatiotemporal representation in VSTM, this provides further evidence for the enormous role of global spatial configurations for VSTM representations. "
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    ABSTRACT: Locations of multiple stationary objects are represented on the basis of their global spatial configuration in visual short-term memory (VSTM). Once objects move individually, they form a global spatial configuration with varying spatial inter-object relations over time. The representation of such dynamic spatial configurations in VSTM was investigated in six experiments. Participants memorized a scene with six moving and/or stationary objects and performed a location change detection task for one object specified during the probing phase. The spatial configuration of the objects was manipulated between memory phase and probing phase. Full spatial configurations showing all objects caused higher change detection performance than did no or partial spatial configurations for static and dynamic scenes. The representation of dynamic scenes in VSTM is therefore also based on their global spatial configuration. The variation of the spatiotemporal features of the objects demonstrated that spatiotemporal features of dynamic spatial configurations are represented in VSTM. The presentation of conflicting spatiotemporal cues interfered with memory retrieval. However, missing or conforming spatiotemporal cues triggered memory retrieval of dynamic spatial configurations. The configurational representation of stationary and moving objects was based on a single spatial configuration, indicating that static spatial configurations are a special case of dynamic spatial configurations.
    Attention Perception & Psychophysics 11/2011; 74(2):397-415. DOI:10.3758/s13414-011-0242-3 · 2.17 Impact Factor
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