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The objects of visuo-spatial short term memory: perceptual organisation and change detection

Nikolova, Atanaska and Macken, William John 2016. The objects of visuo-spatial short term memory: perceptual organisation and change detection. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 69 (7) , pp. 1426-1437. 10.1080/17470218.2015.1083595

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We used a color change-detection paradigm where participants were required to remember colors of six equally-spaced circles. Items were superimposed on a background so as to perceptually group them either within i) an intact ring-shaped object, ii) a physically segmented but perceptually completed ring-shaped object, or iii) a corresponding background segmented into three arc-shaped objects. A non-predictive cue at the location of one of the circles was followed by the memory items, which in turn were followed by a test display containing a probe indicating the circle to be judged same/different. Reaction times for correct responses revealed a same-object advantage; correct responses were faster to probes on the same object as the cue compared to equidistant probes on a segmented object. This same-object advantage was identical for physically and perceptually completed objects, but was only evident in reaction times, and not in accuracy measures. Not only, therefore, is it important to consider object-level perceptual organisation of stimulus elements when assessing the influence of a range of factors (e.g., number and complexity of elements) in visuo-spatial short-term memory, but a more detailed picture of the structure of information in memory may be revealed by measuring speed as well as accuracy.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1747-0218
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 7 July 2015
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2020 01:57

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