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Overwriting and rebinding: Why feature-switch detection tasks underestimate the binding capacity of
 

Summary: Overwriting and rebinding: Why feature-switch
detection tasks underestimate the binding capacity of
visual working memory
George A. Alvarez and Todd W. Thompson
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA
In these two experiments, we explored the ability to store bound representations of
colour and location information in visual working memory using three different
tasks. In the location-cue task, we probed how well colour information could be
recalled when observers are given a location cue. In the feature-cue task, we probed
how well location information could be recalled when observers are given a colour
cue. Finally, in the feature-switch detection task, we tested how well observers could
detect a recombination of features (e.g., switching the locations of the red and green
items). We hypothesized that these tasks might reveal differences in binding
capacity limits between switching and nonswitching tests of visual working
memory. We also hoped the tasks could provide an explanation for those differences
in terms of the component processes of working memory*do failures occur in the
encoding, maintenance, or retrieval stages of the task? Experiment 1 showed that
performance in the two cued-recall tasks was equally high, and was significantly
better than performance in the feature-switch detection task. Thus, the feature-

  

Source: Alvarez, George A. - Department of Psychology, Harvard University

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine