ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2019, Vol. 51 ›› Issue (7): 772-780.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.00772

• Reports of Empirical Studies • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The effects of the attention resource allocation on visual working memory consolidation process

ZHANG Di,HAO Renning,LIU Qiang()   

  1. Research Center of Brain and Cognitive Neuroscience, Liaoning Normal University, Dalian 116029, China
  • Received:2018-05-17 Published:2019-07-25 Online:2019-05-22
  • Contact: Qiang LIU


Visual working memory (VWM) consolidation refers to the process of transforming a fleeting sensory representation into a relatively durable VWM representation which could be maintained briefly. It plays an important role in the process of visual information. In recent years, researchers have begun to shift the research focus from the time course of consolidation process to the consolidation capacity. They have found that consolidation capacity not only depends on the number of items which could be consolidated at the same time, but could be also affected by the allocation of attention resources caused by spatial scale. However, the simultaneous-sequential paradigm used in previous studies might be interfered with by some extraneous variables, such as the location of stimulus presentation, resulting in the inconsistent results of VWM consolidation studies.
In Experiment 1, two masked colored patches (targets) were briefly presented (either simultaneous or sequential) within a virtual large circle (10° to 15° but 50% at 8°) or a virtual small circle (5.2° to 7.9° but 50% at 8°), and each condition was presented in different blocks of trials. Following the targets, a blank screen preceded the onset of a colored probe. Participants were asked to memorize the targets frames and indicate by a button press whether the probe was the same as any one of the targets. The results show that no difference was found between sequential and simultaneous presentation conditions, while the performance for small circle presentation was better than that for large circle presentation. These results correspond with previous studies and suggest that the variation of attention scope has no impact on the consolidation capacity.
In Experiment 2, a colored target was presented, follow by two masked colored patches. Participants needed to judge if the target matched any of the masked colored patches. The variation of presentation scope was identical to that of Experiment 1. The results show no significant difference between the large and small attention scope condition.
These results show no evidence for the effect of attention scope on the perceptual process and suggest that attention resource allocation caused by attention scope could affect the probability of VWM consolidation, but it does not influence the consolidation capacity.

Key words: visual working memory consolidation, parallel process, serial process, attention scope, consolidation capacity

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