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Flexible attention allocation to visual and auditory working memory tasks: manipulating reward induces a trade-off.

Morey CC, Cowan N, Morey RD, Rouder JN - Atten Percept Psychophys (2011)

Bottom Line: In the critical conditions, an increase in reward for one task corresponded to a decrease in reward for the concurrent task, but memory load remained constant.Our results show patterns of interference consistent with a trade-off between the tasks, suggesting that a shared resource can be flexibly divided, rather than only fully allotted to either of the tasks.Our findings support a role for a domain-general resource in models of working memory, and furthermore suggest that this resource is flexibly divisible.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Experimental Psychology, University of Groningen, Grote Kruisstraat 2/1, 9712 TS, Groningen, The Netherlands. c.c.morey@rug.nl

ABSTRACT
Prominent roles for general attention resources are posited in many models of working memory, but the manner in which these can be allocated differs between models or is not sufficiently specified. We varied the payoffs for correct responses in two temporally-overlapping recognition tasks, a visual array comparison task and a tone sequence comparison task. In the critical conditions, an increase in reward for one task corresponded to a decrease in reward for the concurrent task, but memory load remained constant. Our results show patterns of interference consistent with a trade-off between the tasks, suggesting that a shared resource can be flexibly divided, rather than only fully allotted to either of the tasks. Our findings support a role for a domain-general resource in models of working memory, and furthermore suggest that this resource is flexibly divisible.

Show MeSH
Nested groups of orderings designated for Bayes factor analysis. The group a included joint orderings in which capacity in the 0-point reward condition was lower than for any other reward amount. b included joint orderings in which the 0-point reward resulted in the lowest estimates and the 1,000-point reward resulted in the highest estimates, and c included only the perfect joint ordering, in which capacity estimates always corresponded to reward value. Hypothesis tests were always between these groups, exclusive of each other
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Fig3: Nested groups of orderings designated for Bayes factor analysis. The group a included joint orderings in which capacity in the 0-point reward condition was lower than for any other reward amount. b included joint orderings in which the 0-point reward resulted in the lowest estimates and the 1,000-point reward resulted in the highest estimates, and c included only the perfect joint ordering, in which capacity estimates always corresponded to reward value. Hypothesis tests were always between these groups, exclusive of each other

Mentions: Across experiments, visual array capacity estimates by tone sequence capacity estimates. Visual arrays included eight items and tone sequences included six items. Each data point represents concurrent reward conditions. Capacity estimates in the upper panel were calculated using hierarchical Bayesian techniques, with error bars representing posterior standard deviations on the differences from the no reward condition. In the lower panel, capacity estimates were calculated with Pashler’s formula, collapsing across participants, with error bars representing standard errors of the mean. For the relative reward conditions (circles), shades correspond to reward level with the lightest representing the highest auditory reward and the darkest the highest visual reward. The absolute reward conditions from Experiment 2 are represented by the light, upward-pointing triangle (low reward) and the dark, downward-pointing triangle (high reward) in the lower panel


Flexible attention allocation to visual and auditory working memory tasks: manipulating reward induces a trade-off.

Morey CC, Cowan N, Morey RD, Rouder JN - Atten Percept Psychophys (2011)

Nested groups of orderings designated for Bayes factor analysis. The group a included joint orderings in which capacity in the 0-point reward condition was lower than for any other reward amount. b included joint orderings in which the 0-point reward resulted in the lowest estimates and the 1,000-point reward resulted in the highest estimates, and c included only the perfect joint ordering, in which capacity estimates always corresponded to reward value. Hypothesis tests were always between these groups, exclusive of each other
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3037478&req=5

Fig3: Nested groups of orderings designated for Bayes factor analysis. The group a included joint orderings in which capacity in the 0-point reward condition was lower than for any other reward amount. b included joint orderings in which the 0-point reward resulted in the lowest estimates and the 1,000-point reward resulted in the highest estimates, and c included only the perfect joint ordering, in which capacity estimates always corresponded to reward value. Hypothesis tests were always between these groups, exclusive of each other
Mentions: Across experiments, visual array capacity estimates by tone sequence capacity estimates. Visual arrays included eight items and tone sequences included six items. Each data point represents concurrent reward conditions. Capacity estimates in the upper panel were calculated using hierarchical Bayesian techniques, with error bars representing posterior standard deviations on the differences from the no reward condition. In the lower panel, capacity estimates were calculated with Pashler’s formula, collapsing across participants, with error bars representing standard errors of the mean. For the relative reward conditions (circles), shades correspond to reward level with the lightest representing the highest auditory reward and the darkest the highest visual reward. The absolute reward conditions from Experiment 2 are represented by the light, upward-pointing triangle (low reward) and the dark, downward-pointing triangle (high reward) in the lower panel

Bottom Line: In the critical conditions, an increase in reward for one task corresponded to a decrease in reward for the concurrent task, but memory load remained constant.Our results show patterns of interference consistent with a trade-off between the tasks, suggesting that a shared resource can be flexibly divided, rather than only fully allotted to either of the tasks.Our findings support a role for a domain-general resource in models of working memory, and furthermore suggest that this resource is flexibly divisible.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Experimental Psychology, University of Groningen, Grote Kruisstraat 2/1, 9712 TS, Groningen, The Netherlands. c.c.morey@rug.nl

ABSTRACT
Prominent roles for general attention resources are posited in many models of working memory, but the manner in which these can be allocated differs between models or is not sufficiently specified. We varied the payoffs for correct responses in two temporally-overlapping recognition tasks, a visual array comparison task and a tone sequence comparison task. In the critical conditions, an increase in reward for one task corresponded to a decrease in reward for the concurrent task, but memory load remained constant. Our results show patterns of interference consistent with a trade-off between the tasks, suggesting that a shared resource can be flexibly divided, rather than only fully allotted to either of the tasks. Our findings support a role for a domain-general resource in models of working memory, and furthermore suggest that this resource is flexibly divisible.

Show MeSH