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ERIC Number: EJ993023
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jun
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 125
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0096-1523
Visual Working Memory Supports the Inhibition of Previously Processed Information: Evidence from Preview Search
Al-Aidroos, Naseem; Emrich, Stephen M.; Ferber, Susanne; Pratt, Jay
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v38 n3 p643-663 Jun 2012
In four experiments we assessed whether visual working memory (VWM) maintains a record of previously processed visual information, allowing old information to be inhibited, and new information to be prioritized. Specifically, we evaluated whether VWM contributes to the inhibition (i.e., visual marking) of previewed distractors in a preview search. We evaluated this proposal by testing three predictions. First, Experiments 1 and 2 demonstrate that preview inhibition is more effective when the number of previewed distractors is below VWM capacity than above; an effect that can only be observed at small preview set sizes (Experiment 2A) and when observers are allowed to move their eyes freely (Experiment 2B). Second, Experiment 3 shows that, when quantified as the number of inhibited distractors, the magnitude of the preview effect is stable across different search difficulties. Third, Experiment 4 demonstrates that individual differences in preview inhibition are correlated with individual differences in VWM capacity. These findings provide converging evidence that VWM supports the inhibition of previewed distractors. More generally, these findings demonstrate how VWM contributes to the efficiency of human visual information processing--VWM prioritizes new information by inhibiting old information from being reselected for attention. (Contains 11 figures, 1 table and 1 footnote.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail: order@apa.org; Web site: http://www.apa.org/publications
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada (Toronto)