Persistent effects of salience in visual working memory: Limits of cue-driven guidance

Number of pages13
First online date2024-05-08

Visual working memory (VWM) is a core cognitive system enabling us to select and briefly store relevant visual information. We recently observed that more salient items were recalled more precisely from VWM and demonstrated that these effects of salience were quite resilient against manipulations of reward, probability, and selection history. Here, we investigated whether and how salience interacts with shifts of attention induced by pre- and retro-cueing. Across four experiments, we consistently found effects of salience on the precision of VWM. Spatial and feature cues presented before the memory display improved precision when they validly indicated the target but failed to modulate the salience effect. Feature retro-cues with moderate validity did not improve precision. However, effects on precision emerged when the validity of the retro-cue was increased and a spatial component was added. Overall, there was little interaction between cueing effects and target salience. This suggests that salience plays a critical role in how items are initially encoded into VWM and that once representations are formed, their relative priority based on salience appears difficult to fully override via top-down mechanisms. These findings highlight bottom-up and top-down processes in the interplay of visual attention and working memory.

  • Salience
  • Attentional priority
  • Visual working memory
  • Cues
Research group
Citation (ISO format)
CONSTANT, Martin, KERZEL, Dirk. Persistent effects of salience in visual working memory: Limits of cue-driven guidance. 2024, p. 13. doi: 10.31234/osf.io/5w6hz
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Commercial URLhttps://osf.io/5w6hz

Technical informations

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First validation05/21/2024 2:54:31 PM
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