Perceptual organization influences visual working memory

Geoffrey F Woodman, Shaun P Vecera, Steven J Luck
Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 2003, 10 (1): 80-7
Previous studies have demonstrated that top-down factors can bias the storage of information in visual working memory. However, relatively little is known about the role that bottom-up stimulus characteristics play in visual working memory storage. In the present study, subjects performed a change detection task in which the to-be-remembered objects were organized in accordance with Gestalt grouping principles. When an attention-capturing cue was presented at the location of one object, other objects that were perceptually grouped with the cued object were more likely to be stored in working memory than were objects that were not grouped with the cued object. Thus, objects that are grouped together tend to be stored together, indicating that bottom-up perceptual organization influences the storage of information in visual working memory.

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