On the role of working memory in spatial contextual cueing

Travis, Susan, Mattingley, Jason and Dux, Paul (2013) On the role of working memory in spatial contextual cueing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 39 1: 208-219. doi:10.1037/a0028644

Author Travis, Susan
Mattingley, Jason
Dux, Paul
Title On the role of working memory in spatial contextual cueing
Journal name Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0278-7393
Publication date 2013-01-01
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1037/a0028644
Open Access Status
Volume 39
Issue 1
Start page 208
End page 219
Total pages 12
Place of publication Washington, DC, United States
Publisher American Psychological Association
Language eng
Abstract The human visual system receives more information than can be consciously processed. To overcome this capacity limit, we employ attentional mechanisms to prioritize task-relevant (target) information over less relevant (distractor) information. Regularities in the environment can facilitate the allocation of attention, as demonstrated by the spatial contextual cueing paradigm. When observers are exposed repeatedly to a scene and invariant distractor information, learning from earlier exposures enhances the search for the target. Here, we investigated whether spatial contextual cueing draws on spatial working memory resources and, if so, at what level of processing working memory load has its effect. Participants performed 2 tasks concurrently: a visual search task, in which the spatial configuration of some search arrays occasionally repeated, and a spatial working memory task. Increases in working memory load significantly impaired contextual learning. These findings indicate that spatial contextual cueing utilizes working memory resources.
Keyword Contextual cueing
Working memory
Dual tasking
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID DP0986387
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Online first publication: May 28, 2012

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
Official 2013 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 15 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 15 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 22 Nov 2012, 01:06:32 EST by Debra McMurtrie on behalf of Queensland Brain Institute