Distinct contributions of attention and working memory to visual statistical learning and ensemble processing

Hall, Michelle G., Mattingley, Jason B. and Dux, Paul E. (2015) Distinct contributions of attention and working memory to visual statistical learning and ensemble processing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 41 4: 1112-1123. doi:10.1037/xhp0000069

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Author Hall, Michelle G.
Mattingley, Jason B.
Dux, Paul E.
Title Distinct contributions of attention and working memory to visual statistical learning and ensemble processing
Journal name Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1939-1277
0096-1523
Publication date 2015-05-25
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1037/xhp0000069
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 41
Issue 4
Start page 1112
End page 1123
Total pages 12
Place of publication Washington, DC, United States
Publisher American Psychological Association Inc.
Language eng
Subject 3205 Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
1201 Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
2802 Behavioral Neuroscience
Abstract The brain exploits redundancies in the environment to efficiently represent the complexity of the visual world. One example of this is ensemble processing, which provides a statistical summary of elements within a set (e.g., mean size). Another is statistical learning, which involves the encoding of stable spatial or temporal relationships between objects. It has been suggested that ensemble processing over arrays of oriented lines disrupts statistical learning of structure within the arrays (Zhao, Ngo, McKendrick, & Turk-Browne, 2011). Here we asked whether ensemble processing and statistical learning are mutually incompatible, or whether this disruption might occur because ensemble processing encourages participants to process the stimulus arrays in a way that impedes statistical learning. In Experiment 1, we replicated Zhao and colleagues' finding that ensemble processing disrupts statistical learning. In Experiments 2 and 3, we found that statistical learning was unimpaired by ensemble processing when task demands necessitated (a) focal attention to individual items within the stimulus arrays and (b) the retention of individual items in working memory. Together, these results are consistent with an account suggesting that ensemble processing and statistical learning can operate over the same stimuli given appropriate stimulus processing demands during exposure to regularities.
Keyword Ensemble processing
Statistical learning
Visual attention
Working memory
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID SR120300015
FT120100033
CE140100007
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
Official 2016 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
 
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Created: Tue, 23 Jun 2015, 00:16:17 EST by Susan Day on behalf of School of Psychology