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The effect of visual salience on memory-based choices.

Pooresmaeili A, Bach DR, Dolan RJ - J. Neurophysiol. (2013)

Bottom Line: Subjects chose a visually salient item more often when they looked for matching features and less often so when they looked for a nonmatch.This pattern of results indicates that salient items are more likely to be identified as a match.We interpret the findings in terms of capacity limitations at a comparison stage where a visually salient item is more likely to exhaust resources leading it to be prematurely parsed as a match.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany;

ABSTRACT
Deciding whether a stimulus is the "same" or "different" from a previous presented one involves integrating among the incoming sensory information, working memory, and perceptual decision making. Visual selective attention plays a crucial role in selecting the relevant information that informs a subsequent course of action. Previous studies have mainly investigated the role of visual attention during the encoding phase of working memory tasks. In this study, we investigate whether manipulation of bottom-up attention by changing stimulus visual salience impacts on later stages of memory-based decisions. In two experiments, we asked subjects to identify whether a stimulus had either the same or a different feature to that of a memorized sample. We manipulated visual salience of the test stimuli by varying a task-irrelevant feature contrast. Subjects chose a visually salient item more often when they looked for matching features and less often so when they looked for a nonmatch. This pattern of results indicates that salient items are more likely to be identified as a match. We interpret the findings in terms of capacity limitations at a comparison stage where a visually salient item is more likely to exhaust resources leading it to be prematurely parsed as a match.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Effect of salience on choice when subjects search for a match (experiment 1). A: probability of choosing a stimulus is shown as a function of orientation difference (Δθ°) from the sample orientation. The sign of Δθ° indicates the match with the sample with Δθ° < 0 indicating that a stimulus did not match the sample orientation and Δθ° > 0 indicating a match in orientation. Probability of choice varied as a function of orientation similarity between the 2 bars and their match to the sample. The dashed curve corresponds to psychometric functions in NS condition. Solid curves correspond to when a stimulus is salient (black) or NS (gray). Stimulus salience produces a choice bias as demonstrated by a horizontal shift of the psychometric curves. B: choices are shifted toward the salient stimulus (leftward shift, negative offset) and away from the NS stimulus (rightward shift, positive offset).
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Figure 2: Effect of salience on choice when subjects search for a match (experiment 1). A: probability of choosing a stimulus is shown as a function of orientation difference (Δθ°) from the sample orientation. The sign of Δθ° indicates the match with the sample with Δθ° < 0 indicating that a stimulus did not match the sample orientation and Δθ° > 0 indicating a match in orientation. Probability of choice varied as a function of orientation similarity between the 2 bars and their match to the sample. The dashed curve corresponds to psychometric functions in NS condition. Solid curves correspond to when a stimulus is salient (black) or NS (gray). Stimulus salience produces a choice bias as demonstrated by a horizontal shift of the psychometric curves. B: choices are shifted toward the salient stimulus (leftward shift, negative offset) and away from the NS stimulus (rightward shift, positive offset).

Mentions: In experiment 1, subjects were asked to find the test bar that matched the orientation of the sample. Figure 2 illustrates how the probability of choosing a stimulus varied as a function of its orientation difference from the sample bar (Δθ°). Note that since one of the test bars was a match and the other a nonmatch, the absolute value of Δθ° also indicates the degree of similarity between the two test stimuli. The sign of Δθ° indicates whether a stimulus was the same (Δθ° > 0) or different (Δθ° < 0) from the memory template.


The effect of visual salience on memory-based choices.

Pooresmaeili A, Bach DR, Dolan RJ - J. Neurophysiol. (2013)

Effect of salience on choice when subjects search for a match (experiment 1). A: probability of choosing a stimulus is shown as a function of orientation difference (Δθ°) from the sample orientation. The sign of Δθ° indicates the match with the sample with Δθ° < 0 indicating that a stimulus did not match the sample orientation and Δθ° > 0 indicating a match in orientation. Probability of choice varied as a function of orientation similarity between the 2 bars and their match to the sample. The dashed curve corresponds to psychometric functions in NS condition. Solid curves correspond to when a stimulus is salient (black) or NS (gray). Stimulus salience produces a choice bias as demonstrated by a horizontal shift of the psychometric curves. B: choices are shifted toward the salient stimulus (leftward shift, negative offset) and away from the NS stimulus (rightward shift, positive offset).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3921408&req=5

Figure 2: Effect of salience on choice when subjects search for a match (experiment 1). A: probability of choosing a stimulus is shown as a function of orientation difference (Δθ°) from the sample orientation. The sign of Δθ° indicates the match with the sample with Δθ° < 0 indicating that a stimulus did not match the sample orientation and Δθ° > 0 indicating a match in orientation. Probability of choice varied as a function of orientation similarity between the 2 bars and their match to the sample. The dashed curve corresponds to psychometric functions in NS condition. Solid curves correspond to when a stimulus is salient (black) or NS (gray). Stimulus salience produces a choice bias as demonstrated by a horizontal shift of the psychometric curves. B: choices are shifted toward the salient stimulus (leftward shift, negative offset) and away from the NS stimulus (rightward shift, positive offset).
Mentions: In experiment 1, subjects were asked to find the test bar that matched the orientation of the sample. Figure 2 illustrates how the probability of choosing a stimulus varied as a function of its orientation difference from the sample bar (Δθ°). Note that since one of the test bars was a match and the other a nonmatch, the absolute value of Δθ° also indicates the degree of similarity between the two test stimuli. The sign of Δθ° indicates whether a stimulus was the same (Δθ° > 0) or different (Δθ° < 0) from the memory template.

Bottom Line: Subjects chose a visually salient item more often when they looked for matching features and less often so when they looked for a nonmatch.This pattern of results indicates that salient items are more likely to be identified as a match.We interpret the findings in terms of capacity limitations at a comparison stage where a visually salient item is more likely to exhaust resources leading it to be prematurely parsed as a match.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany;

ABSTRACT
Deciding whether a stimulus is the "same" or "different" from a previous presented one involves integrating among the incoming sensory information, working memory, and perceptual decision making. Visual selective attention plays a crucial role in selecting the relevant information that informs a subsequent course of action. Previous studies have mainly investigated the role of visual attention during the encoding phase of working memory tasks. In this study, we investigate whether manipulation of bottom-up attention by changing stimulus visual salience impacts on later stages of memory-based decisions. In two experiments, we asked subjects to identify whether a stimulus had either the same or a different feature to that of a memorized sample. We manipulated visual salience of the test stimuli by varying a task-irrelevant feature contrast. Subjects chose a visually salient item more often when they looked for matching features and less often so when they looked for a nonmatch. This pattern of results indicates that salient items are more likely to be identified as a match. We interpret the findings in terms of capacity limitations at a comparison stage where a visually salient item is more likely to exhaust resources leading it to be prematurely parsed as a match.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus