ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2023, Vol. 55 ›› Issue (9): 1397-1410.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2023.01397

• 研究报告 •    下一篇


庞超1, 陈颜璋2, 王莉2, 杨喜端1, 贺雅1, 李芷莹1, 欧阳小钰1, 傅世敏1, 南威治1()   

  1. 1广州大学教育学院心理系/脑与认知科学中心, 广州 510006
    2华南师范大学心理学院, 广州 510665
  • 收稿日期:2022-11-30 发布日期:2023-06-09 出版日期:2023-09-25
  • 通讯作者: 南威治
  • 基金资助:

Different attentional selection modes of object information in the encoding and maintenance stages of visual working memory

PANG Chao1, CHEN Yanzhang2, WANG Li2, YANG Xiduan1, HE Ya1, LI Zhiying1, OUYANG Xiaoyu1, FU Shimin1, NAN Weizhi1()   

  1. 1Department of Psychology and Center for Brain and Cognitive Sciences, School of Education, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China
    2School of Psychology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
  • Received:2022-11-30 Online:2023-06-09 Published:2023-09-25
  • Contact: NAN Weizhi


视觉工作记忆不同加工阶段(编码、维持)对多特征客体信息的注意选择模式是否相同目前仍存在争议。本研究采用变化觉察范式, 引入前注意线索和后注意线索, 分别探测在视觉工作记忆编码和维持两个阶段中的注意选择模式。3个实验结果显示, 在前注意线索试次中, 被试对任务相关特征变化的觉察显著受到任务无关特征变化的干扰, 表现为任务无关特征变化条件相比于不变条件的反应更慢, 报告标准更低; 且该干扰效应并不受记忆负荷的影响。而在后注意线索试次中, 仅在低记忆负荷条件下(实验1a/1b)存在干扰效应, 当记忆负荷增大后(实验2/3)干扰效应消失。结果表明, 在视觉工作记忆编码阶段, 客体中任务相关与无关特征均被编码进视觉工作记忆并相互竞争注意资源; 而在维持阶段, 任务无关特征仅在低记忆负荷条件下得到加工。结果揭示, 在编码阶段的注意选择模式是基于客体的; 而维持阶段的注意选择模式是基于特征的, 且受到记忆负荷的调控。

关键词: 视觉工作记忆, 编码阶段, 维持阶段, 基于客体的注意, 基于特征的注意


Visual working memory (VWM) and selective attention are two essential topics of investigation in the field of cognitive psychology. Previous studies have suggested that object-based attention selection modes may be present during the VWM encoding stage, and feature-based attention selection modes may be present during the maintenance stage. Nonetheless, these conclusions are based on different research paradigms, object feature dimensions, and response indicators, so it is prudent to exercise caution when inferring the existence of distinct attention selection modes during different stages of VWM processing. The aim of the present study is to evaluate this hypothesis and provide empirical support.

In Experiment 1a, 30 college students were recruited to complete a change-detection task. Participants were instructed to memorize the features of the objects presented in the memory display by means of a pre-cue or retro-cue presented prior to or following the memory display. Specifically, in pre-cue trials, participants were asked to memorize only the cueing task-relevant feature while ignoring the task-irrelevant feature. In retro-cue trials, participants needed to memorize the entire object so that they could select the task-relevant feature according to the retro-cue. The present study examined the “irrelevant-change distracting effect” by comparing memory performance between the condition of task-irrelevant feature changes and no-changes on the memory probe test display. Experiment 1b had a similar procedure, except that the cue types were block designs. Based on the design of Experiment 1b, Experiments 2 and 3 increased the number of memory items to test whether the memory load would modulate the attention selection modes. Twenty-eight participants were recruited for Experiment 1b, Experiment 2, and Experiment 3. All experiments were 2 (cue types: pre-cue, retro-cue) × 2 (task-irrelevant feature change types: change, no-change) within-subjects designs, participants’ response times (RTs) and correct rates were recorded, and the sensitivity and criteria of the participants were calculated by signal detection theory (SDT).

The results of the three experiments showed that the change in task-irrelevant features had an impact on task performance in the pre-cue trials, with longer RTs and lower criteria in the task-irrelevant feature change condition than in the no-change condition. This distracting effect was not modulated by the memory load. This suggests the existence of robust object-based attentional selection during the encoding stage in VWM. In contrast, in the retro-cue trials, the distracting effect was present only in the low memory load condition (Experiment 1a/1b) and disappeared when the memory load increased (Experiment 2/3). This suggests that during the maintenance stage, task-irrelevant features are processed only under low memory load conditions, and insufficient resources lead to their inability to be processed as the demand for attentional resources for task-relevant features increases.

In summary, the present study provides further evidence for the hypothesis that different modes of attentional selection exist in the encoding and maintenance stages of VWM, specifically that the attention selection mode during the VWM encoding stage is object-based, while the attention selection mode during the maintenance stage is feature-based and regulated by memory load. This study has important implications for resolving the controversy surrounding the attention selection mode of multifeature objects in VWM.

Key words: visual working memory, encoding stage, maintenance stage, object-based attention, feature-based attention