JOURNAL ARTICLE

Rapid influences of cued visual memories on attentional guidance

Dirk van Moorselaar, Elisa Battistoni, Jan Theeuwes, Christian N L Olivers
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 2015, 1339: 1-10
25428708
There is evidence that the deployment of attention can be biased by the content of visual working memory. Recently, it has been shown that focusing internal attention to a specific item in memory not only increases the accessibility of that specific item for retrieval, but also results in increased attentional guidance toward matching external stimuli by that item. Here, we investigated the time course of attentional guidance by cued memories. Following a retro-cue that prioritized one of two memory items, participants performed a visual search task. The interval between the cue and the search display was varied. Consistent with earlier findings, we observed memory-related capture when the search display contained a distractor that was related to the cued item in memory. No such effects were found for the uncued items or when none of the memory items were prioritized by a retro-cue. Results suggest that the prioritization by a retro-cue is a very rapid process that starts to affect perceptual selection within the first 100-200 ms following the cue.

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