The role of visual working memory (VWM) in the control of gaze during visual search

Andrew Hollingworth, Steven J Luck
Attention, Perception & Psychophysics 2009, 71 (4): 936-49
We investigated the interactions among visual working memory (VWM), attention, and gaze control in a visual search task that was performed while a color was held in VWM for a concurrent discrimination task. In the search task, participants were required to foveate a cued item within a circular array of colored objects. During the saccade to the target, the array was sometimes rotated so that the eyes landed midway between the target object and an adjacent distractor object, necessitating a second saccade to foveate the target. When the color of the adjacent distractor matched a color being maintained in VWM, execution of this secondary saccade was impaired, indicating that the current contents of VWM bias saccade targeting mechanisms that direct gaze toward target objects during visual search.

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