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Selection in spatial working memory is independent of perceptual selective attention, but they interact in a shared spatial priority map.

Hedge C, Oberauer K, Leonards U - Atten Percept Psychophys (2015)

Bottom Line: Experiments 2a and 2b corroborated the independence of selection observed in Experiment 1, but showed a benefit to reaction times when the placement of the arrow cue was aligned with the locations of relevant objects in WM.Experiment 2c showed that the same benefit also occurs when participants are not able to mark an updating location through eye fixations.Together, these data can be accounted for by a framework in which perceptual selection and selection in WM are separate mechanisms that interact through a shared spatial priority map.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Tower Build, Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT, UK. hedgec@cardiff.ac.uk.

ABSTRACT
We examined the relationship between the attentional selection of perceptual information and of information in working memory (WM) through four experiments, using a spatial WM-updating task. Participants remembered the locations of two objects in a matrix and worked through a sequence of updating operations, each mentally shifting one dot to a new location according to an arrow cue. Repeatedly updating the same object in two successive steps is typically faster than switching to the other object; this object switch cost reflects the shifting of attention in WM. In Experiment 1, the arrows were presented in random peripheral locations, drawing perceptual attention away from the selected object in WM. This manipulation did not eliminate the object switch cost, indicating that the mechanisms of perceptual selection do not underlie selection in WM. Experiments 2a and 2b corroborated the independence of selection observed in Experiment 1, but showed a benefit to reaction times when the placement of the arrow cue was aligned with the locations of relevant objects in WM. Experiment 2c showed that the same benefit also occurs when participants are not able to mark an updating location through eye fixations. Together, these data can be accounted for by a framework in which perceptual selection and selection in WM are separate mechanisms that interact through a shared spatial priority map.

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Diagram of a trial sequence from the task used in Hedge and Leonards (2013). Participants are to mentally update the location of the object indicated by the color of the arrow one square in the direction of the arrow, pressing a single response button to indicate completion of the update. For example, a red leftward-pointing arrow was a cue to update the red circle one square to the left from its location in WM. Participants indicated the final positions of both objects at the end of each sequence by pressing a corresponding numbered key. In one version of the task, eye movements were unconstrained; in another, the appearance of each arrow cue was contingent upon refixating the center between updates. The letters (not seen by the participant) reflect the locations defined for our analysis: (A) the old location of the object currently being updated; (B) the new location of the object currently being updated; (C) the location of the object not currently being updated, referred to as the “passive location.” From “Using Eye Movements to Explore Switch Costs in Working Memory,” by C. Hedge & U. Leonards, 2013, Journal of Vision, 13(4), 18. Copyright 2013 by ARVO. Adapted with permission
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Fig1: Diagram of a trial sequence from the task used in Hedge and Leonards (2013). Participants are to mentally update the location of the object indicated by the color of the arrow one square in the direction of the arrow, pressing a single response button to indicate completion of the update. For example, a red leftward-pointing arrow was a cue to update the red circle one square to the left from its location in WM. Participants indicated the final positions of both objects at the end of each sequence by pressing a corresponding numbered key. In one version of the task, eye movements were unconstrained; in another, the appearance of each arrow cue was contingent upon refixating the center between updates. The letters (not seen by the participant) reflect the locations defined for our analysis: (A) the old location of the object currently being updated; (B) the new location of the object currently being updated; (C) the location of the object not currently being updated, referred to as the “passive location.” From “Using Eye Movements to Explore Switch Costs in Working Memory,” by C. Hedge & U. Leonards, 2013, Journal of Vision, 13(4), 18. Copyright 2013 by ARVO. Adapted with permission

Mentions: We have previously used a spatial variant of the object-switching task to examine the overlap between the selection of information in WM and perceptual selection (Hedge & Leonards, 2013). We used a modified version of this same paradigm in the present experiments; thus, we shall describe the design in detail. In this task, participants were required to mentally update the locations of two circles in a 3 × 3 grid, while concurrently having their eye movements recorded. Participants worked through a series of updating steps, each of which consisted in shifting one or the other circle to an adjacent grid location. The direction of each updating step was indicated by a centrally presented colored arrow; the arrow’s color determined which circle the update was to be applied to. The main dependent variable was the RT for each update, measured from the onset of an arrow until participants pressed the space bar to continue to the next update. A schematic of this task is shown in Fig. 1.Fig. 1


Selection in spatial working memory is independent of perceptual selective attention, but they interact in a shared spatial priority map.

Hedge C, Oberauer K, Leonards U - Atten Percept Psychophys (2015)

Diagram of a trial sequence from the task used in Hedge and Leonards (2013). Participants are to mentally update the location of the object indicated by the color of the arrow one square in the direction of the arrow, pressing a single response button to indicate completion of the update. For example, a red leftward-pointing arrow was a cue to update the red circle one square to the left from its location in WM. Participants indicated the final positions of both objects at the end of each sequence by pressing a corresponding numbered key. In one version of the task, eye movements were unconstrained; in another, the appearance of each arrow cue was contingent upon refixating the center between updates. The letters (not seen by the participant) reflect the locations defined for our analysis: (A) the old location of the object currently being updated; (B) the new location of the object currently being updated; (C) the location of the object not currently being updated, referred to as the “passive location.” From “Using Eye Movements to Explore Switch Costs in Working Memory,” by C. Hedge & U. Leonards, 2013, Journal of Vision, 13(4), 18. Copyright 2013 by ARVO. Adapted with permission
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4644201&req=5

Fig1: Diagram of a trial sequence from the task used in Hedge and Leonards (2013). Participants are to mentally update the location of the object indicated by the color of the arrow one square in the direction of the arrow, pressing a single response button to indicate completion of the update. For example, a red leftward-pointing arrow was a cue to update the red circle one square to the left from its location in WM. Participants indicated the final positions of both objects at the end of each sequence by pressing a corresponding numbered key. In one version of the task, eye movements were unconstrained; in another, the appearance of each arrow cue was contingent upon refixating the center between updates. The letters (not seen by the participant) reflect the locations defined for our analysis: (A) the old location of the object currently being updated; (B) the new location of the object currently being updated; (C) the location of the object not currently being updated, referred to as the “passive location.” From “Using Eye Movements to Explore Switch Costs in Working Memory,” by C. Hedge & U. Leonards, 2013, Journal of Vision, 13(4), 18. Copyright 2013 by ARVO. Adapted with permission
Mentions: We have previously used a spatial variant of the object-switching task to examine the overlap between the selection of information in WM and perceptual selection (Hedge & Leonards, 2013). We used a modified version of this same paradigm in the present experiments; thus, we shall describe the design in detail. In this task, participants were required to mentally update the locations of two circles in a 3 × 3 grid, while concurrently having their eye movements recorded. Participants worked through a series of updating steps, each of which consisted in shifting one or the other circle to an adjacent grid location. The direction of each updating step was indicated by a centrally presented colored arrow; the arrow’s color determined which circle the update was to be applied to. The main dependent variable was the RT for each update, measured from the onset of an arrow until participants pressed the space bar to continue to the next update. A schematic of this task is shown in Fig. 1.Fig. 1

Bottom Line: Experiments 2a and 2b corroborated the independence of selection observed in Experiment 1, but showed a benefit to reaction times when the placement of the arrow cue was aligned with the locations of relevant objects in WM.Experiment 2c showed that the same benefit also occurs when participants are not able to mark an updating location through eye fixations.Together, these data can be accounted for by a framework in which perceptual selection and selection in WM are separate mechanisms that interact through a shared spatial priority map.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Tower Build, Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT, UK. hedgec@cardiff.ac.uk.

ABSTRACT
We examined the relationship between the attentional selection of perceptual information and of information in working memory (WM) through four experiments, using a spatial WM-updating task. Participants remembered the locations of two objects in a matrix and worked through a sequence of updating operations, each mentally shifting one dot to a new location according to an arrow cue. Repeatedly updating the same object in two successive steps is typically faster than switching to the other object; this object switch cost reflects the shifting of attention in WM. In Experiment 1, the arrows were presented in random peripheral locations, drawing perceptual attention away from the selected object in WM. This manipulation did not eliminate the object switch cost, indicating that the mechanisms of perceptual selection do not underlie selection in WM. Experiments 2a and 2b corroborated the independence of selection observed in Experiment 1, but showed a benefit to reaction times when the placement of the arrow cue was aligned with the locations of relevant objects in WM. Experiment 2c showed that the same benefit also occurs when participants are not able to mark an updating location through eye fixations. Together, these data can be accounted for by a framework in which perceptual selection and selection in WM are separate mechanisms that interact through a shared spatial priority map.

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