Automatic selection of irrelevant object features through working memory: evidence for top-down attentional capture

David Soto, Glyn W Humphreys
Experimental Psychology 2009, 56 (3): 165-72
Recent research has shown that the contents of working memory (WM) can guide the early deployment of attention in visual search. Here, we assessed whether this guidance occurred for all attributes of items held in WM, or whether effects are based on just the attributes relevant for the memory task. We asked observers to hold in memory just the shape of a coloured object and to subsequently search for a target line amongst distractor lines, each embedded within a different object. On some trials, one of the objects in the search display could match the shape, the colour or both dimensions of the cue, but this object never contained the relevant target line. Relative to a neutral baseline, where there was no match between the memory and the search displays, search performance was impaired when a distractor object matched both the colour and the shape of the memory cue. The implications for the understanding of the interaction between WM and selection are discussed.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"