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ERIC Number: EJ1060157
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-May
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Spatial Working Memory Interferes with Explicit, but Not Probabilistic Cuing of Spatial Attention
Won, Bo-Yeong; Jiang, Yuhong V.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v41 n3 p787-806 May 2015
Recent empirical and theoretical work has depicted a close relationship between visual attention and visual working memory. For example, rehearsal in spatial working memory depends on spatial attention, whereas adding a secondary spatial working memory task impairs attentional deployment in visual search. These findings have led to the proposal that working memory is attention directed toward internal representations. Here, we show that the close relationship between these 2 constructs is limited to some but not all forms of spatial attention. In 5 experiments, participants held color arrays, dot locations, or a sequence of dots in working memory. During the memory retention interval, they performed a T-among-L visual search task. Crucially, the probable target location was cued either implicitly through location probability learning or explicitly with a central arrow or verbal instruction. Our results showed that whereas imposing a visual working memory load diminished the effectiveness of explicit cuing, it did not interfere with probability cuing. We conclude that spatial working memory shares similar mechanisms with explicit, goal-driven attention but is dissociated from implicitly learned attention.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (DHHS)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Minnesota
Grant or Contract Numbers: MH102586