The influence of spatial cueing on serial order visual memory


In this study we manipulated colors and shapes in different blocks in order to investigate the differential effect of stable spatial cues on color and shape recall. The task involves recency judgment where two items from the stream of serially presented stimuli are shown and the subjects have to respond by indicating which of them came later in the sequence. Our studies show a clear dissociation between color and shape recall. While spatial cues seem to facilitate shape recall, they seem to degrade the color recall performance. This effect becomes significant for shape-location trials beyond the working memory capacity limit of 4 items. The results can be interpreted as if individuation of colored objects draws from the same attentional resources as spatial attention and the resulting competition degrades performance in serial order judgment involving color whereas shape recall does not seem to be subject such competition.

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