ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

›› 2010, Vol. 18 ›› Issue (02): 210-219.

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Content-based Working Memory-driven Visual Attention

PAN Yi   

  1. Department of Psychology, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou 310036, China
  • Received:2009-05-30 Revised:1900-01-01 Online:2010-02-15 Published:2010-02-15
  • Contact: PAN Yi

Abstract: Since there are usually much more stimuli in the scene than limited capacity visual system can process at any moment, visual attention selects only a minority of them for further processing. Working memory (WM) may be crucial to resolve the competition for selection amongst different stimuli in the visual field. Top-down feedback from the representation held in WM will bias attention in favor of the matching objects. The present paper systematically reviews existing literature on top-down guidance of visual attention from WM. In contrast to the consensus that target template held in WM can voluntarily guide the deployment of spatial attention, there has been recent controversy as to whether WM contents can also guide attention automatically. The automaticity of attentional capture by WM contents is discussed, and a novel notion that content-based WM-driven capture of visual attention is conditionally automatic is proposed.

Key words: biased competition model, working memory, visual attention, automaticity