Reorganization of spatial configurations in visual working memory: A matter of set size?

Autoři: J. David Timm aff001;  Frank Papenmeier aff001
Působiště autorů: Department of Psychology, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany aff001
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(11)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0225068


Humans process single objects in relation to other simultaneously maintained objects in visual working memory. This interdependence is called spatial configuration. Humans are able to reorganize global spatial configurations into relevant partial configurations. We conducted three experiments investigating the process underlying reorganization by manipulating memory set size and the presence of configurations at retrieval. Participants performed a location change detection task for a single object probed at retrieval. At the beginning of each trial, participants memorized the locations of all objects (set size: 4, 8, 12, or 16). During maintenance, a valid retro cue highlighted the side containing the object probed at retrieval, thus enabling participants to reorganize the memorized global spatial configuration to the partial cued configuration. At retrieval, the object probed was shown together with either all objects (complete configuration; Experiment 1a), the cued objects only (congruent configuration; all Experiments), the non-cued objects only (incongruent configuration, all Experiments) or alone (no configuration; Experiment 1b). We observed reorganization of spatial configurations as indicated by a superior location change detection performance with a congruent partial configuration than an incongruent partial configuration across all three experiments. We also observed an overall decrease in accuracy with increasing set size. Most importantly, however, we did not find evidence for a reliable impairment of reorganization with increasing set size. We discuss these findings with regard to the memory representation underlying spatial configurations.

Klíčová slova:

Analysis of variance – Eye movements – Memory – Perception – Sensory cues – Vision – Working memory – Signal detection theory


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Článek vyšel v časopise


2019 Číslo 11