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Binding or prioritization: The role of selective attention in visual short‐term memory

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Whether selective attention binds features in visual short-term memory or prioritizes selection for memory consolidation and decision was investigated with a change detection paradigm. Two types of change were manipulated: Feature or conjunctions of features. Previous work suggests that the allocation of attentional resources affects binding; hence attentional shifts during retention should affect the detection of conjunction changes more than feature changes. The results of Experiments 1 and 2 showed that attention shifts had a similar impact on detecting feature and conjunction changes. Experiment 3 showed a performance benefit with a post-cue occurring 200 or 550 ms after stimulus offset, but no improvement was found when prioritization occurred with a delay of 800 ms. The results of Experiment 4 suggested that signals from both feature changes and conjunction changes contribute to detection. The theoretical implications are discussed.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan

Publication date: July 1, 2005


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