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Shared processing in multiple object tracking and visual working memory in the absence of response order and task order confounds

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

To understand how the visual system represents multiple moving objects and how those representations contribute to tracking, it is essential that we understand how the processes of attention and working memory interact. In the work described here we present an investigation of that interaction via a series of tracking and working memory dual-task experiments. Previously, it has been argued that tracking is resistant to disruption by a concurrent working memory task and that any apparent disruption is in fact due to observers making a response to the working memory task, rather than due to competition for shared resources. Contrary to this, in our experiments we find that when task order and response order confounds are avoided, all participants show a similar decrease in both tracking and working memory performance. However, if task and response order confounds are not adequately controlled for we find substantial individual differences, which could explain the previous conflicting reports on this topic. Our results provide clear evidence that tracking and working memory tasks share processing resources.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Experiment 1b: Individual and group performance when both tasks were calibrated separately for each individual.Mean accuracy in each condition for the multiple object tracking (MOT) task shown in the top panel, and for the visual working memory (VWM) task in the bottom panel. Group analysis to the far right in each panel. Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals.
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pone.0175736.g004: Experiment 1b: Individual and group performance when both tasks were calibrated separately for each individual.Mean accuracy in each condition for the multiple object tracking (MOT) task shown in the top panel, and for the visual working memory (VWM) task in the bottom panel. Group analysis to the far right in each panel. Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals.

Mentions: Fig 4 plots the individual and group data in a format consistent with Fig 3 and Table 3 gives the numerical data. When VWM and MOT tasks were both equally demanding, a repeated measures ANOVA of all observers’ data did not reveal an effect of condition on MOT performance (Fig 4 top panel); unlike the significant, albeit only slightly, effect in Experiment 1a above. Analyses of almost all individual’s data via logistic regression similarly failed to reveal an effect of condition on MOT performance, except for observer U.B., β = 0.18, t(958) = 2, p = .045. For U.B., tracking accuracy was worse in the VWM-response first condition than in either the single-task condition, t(638) = 1.98, p = .048, or the MOT-response first condition, t(638) = 1.98, p = .048.


Shared processing in multiple object tracking and visual working memory in the absence of response order and task order confounds
Experiment 1b: Individual and group performance when both tasks were calibrated separately for each individual.Mean accuracy in each condition for the multiple object tracking (MOT) task shown in the top panel, and for the visual working memory (VWM) task in the bottom panel. Group analysis to the far right in each panel. Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5391939&req=5

pone.0175736.g004: Experiment 1b: Individual and group performance when both tasks were calibrated separately for each individual.Mean accuracy in each condition for the multiple object tracking (MOT) task shown in the top panel, and for the visual working memory (VWM) task in the bottom panel. Group analysis to the far right in each panel. Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals.
Mentions: Fig 4 plots the individual and group data in a format consistent with Fig 3 and Table 3 gives the numerical data. When VWM and MOT tasks were both equally demanding, a repeated measures ANOVA of all observers’ data did not reveal an effect of condition on MOT performance (Fig 4 top panel); unlike the significant, albeit only slightly, effect in Experiment 1a above. Analyses of almost all individual’s data via logistic regression similarly failed to reveal an effect of condition on MOT performance, except for observer U.B., β = 0.18, t(958) = 2, p = .045. For U.B., tracking accuracy was worse in the VWM-response first condition than in either the single-task condition, t(638) = 1.98, p = .048, or the MOT-response first condition, t(638) = 1.98, p = .048.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

To understand how the visual system represents multiple moving objects and how those representations contribute to tracking, it is essential that we understand how the processes of attention and working memory interact. In the work described here we present an investigation of that interaction via a series of tracking and working memory dual-task experiments. Previously, it has been argued that tracking is resistant to disruption by a concurrent working memory task and that any apparent disruption is in fact due to observers making a response to the working memory task, rather than due to competition for shared resources. Contrary to this, in our experiments we find that when task order and response order confounds are avoided, all participants show a similar decrease in both tracking and working memory performance. However, if task and response order confounds are not adequately controlled for we find substantial individual differences, which could explain the previous conflicting reports on this topic. Our results provide clear evidence that tracking and working memory tasks share processing resources.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus