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Improving visual short-term memory by sequencing the stimulus array

Ihssen, Niklas, Linden, David Edmund Johannes and Shapiro, Kimron L. 2010. Improving visual short-term memory by sequencing the stimulus array. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 17 (5) , pp. 680-686. 10.3758/PBR.17.5.680

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When multiple objects are presented briefly and simultaneously in a visual array, visual short-term memory (VSTM) can maintain only a limited number of these items. The present research report reveals that splitting the to-be-remembered items into two sequential arrays significantly increases VSTM performance relative to the simultaneous presentation of the same items. A memory benefit also emerges when the full object array is flashed twice (repeated) rather than being presented continuously for the same duration. Moreover, the sequential and repetition benefits are specifically pronounced for individuals with low performance for simultaneously presented items. Our results suggest that the conventional, simultaneous presentation mode may underestimate VSTM performance due to attentional limitations and/or competition between stimulus representations. In contrast, temporal segregation of the stimulus input may help participants maximize their performance and utilize their full VSTM capacity.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 1069-9384
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2017 02:28

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