NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1110219
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Aug
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Spatiotemporal Proximity Effects in Visual Short-Term Memory Examined by Target-Nontarget Analysis
Sapkota, Raju P.; Pardhan, Shahina; van der Linde, Ian
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v42 n8 p1304-1315 Aug 2016
Visual short-term memory (VSTM) is a limited-capacity system that holds a small number of objects online simultaneously, implying that competition for limited storage resources occurs (Phillips, 1974). How the spatial and temporal proximity of stimuli affects this competition is unclear. In this 2-experiment study, we examined the effect of the spatial and temporal separation of real-world memory targets and erroneously selected nontarget items examined during location-recognition and object-recall tasks. In Experiment 1 (the location-recognition task), our test display comprised either the picture or name of 1 previously examined memory stimulus (rendered above as the stimulus-display area), together with numbered square boxes at each of the memory-stimulus locations used in that trial. Participants were asked to report the number inside the square box corresponding to the location at which the cued object was originally presented. In Experiment 2 (the object-recall task), the test display comprised a single empty square box presented at 1 memory-stimulus location. Participants were asked to report the name of the object presented at that location. In both experiments, nontarget objects that were spatially and temporally proximal to the memory target were confused more often than nontarget objects that were spatially and temporally distant (i.e., a spatiotemporal proximity effect); this effect generalized across memory tasks, and the object feature (picture or name) that cued the test-display memory target. Our findings are discussed in terms of spatial and temporal confusion "fields" in VSTM, wherein objects occupy diffuse loci in a spatiotemporal coordinate system, wherein neighboring locations are more susceptible to confusion.
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: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A