ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (9): 1578-1584.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2013.01578

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Mechanisms Underlying the Attentional Guidance form Working Memory Representations


  1. (1 School of Education / the Center for Mind and Brain, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China) (2 School of Psychology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China)
  • Received:2012-09-18 Online:2013-09-15 Published:2013-09-15
  • Contact: ZHANG Bao

Abstract: People had to select specific information from complex visual scene every time to avoid overloading the limited information processing system. When extracting relevant information from a complex visual environment, working memory (WM) representation would bias attention to stimuli that were the same or the similar to the search target, as to optimize target selection while ignoring the distractors. The present study systematically reviewed the emerging evidences on the attentional guidance from WM representations. After discussing the following three controversial issues: Could WM guide attention automatically? Could verbal WM guide attention? And did WM always guide attention? We concluded that the WM could top-down guide attention, but it was subjected to some constrains.

Key words: working memory, visual attention, attentional guidance