• Attention-operated working memory representations determine visual selective attention

    分类: 心理学 >> 认知心理学 提交时间: 2018-03-09

    摘要: It has been demonstrated that visual attention is guided by information actively maintained in working memory (WM). However, it remains unknown whether other operations (e.g. inhibition) on WM contents influence selective attention. This issue was investigated in a visual search task where WM contents with either operation (maintenance or inhibition) appeared as distractors in the search display. Behavioral results showed that search performance was slowed down for presenting the maintained contents, but speeded up for the inhibited contents. These results suggested an operation-directed selection of WM contents that visual attention was distinctively influenced by contents with different operation. These observations were further confirmed by the indexes of event-related potentials (ERPs). The inhibited WM contents were suppressed at sensory gating stage (i.e., suppressed P1 amplitude), while the maintained WM contents guided visual attention (i.e., enhanced N2pc amplitude). It seems that results from ERPs and behavior are integrated. The maintained contents guided visual attention that hindered performance of searching a target, while the inhibited contents screened attention that facilitated target searching in the other space. Besides, P3 component indexing updating of WM, which revealed comparable latency both for the maintained and the inhibited WM contents, but with longer latency than the neutral contents. These results suggested that the WM contents with distinct operations were expelled from the focus of executive attention after the onset of the search task, which might be necessary for the WM contents influencing selective attention. The current study reveals that operations of WM contents distinctively affect early selective attention to the matching contents, which sheds some light on the interaction between WM and visual attention.

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