How Selection in the Mind Is Different From Attention to the World

Garry Kong*, Daryl Fougnie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Attentional mechanisms allow us to focus on objects that would help us achieve our goals while ignoring those that would distract us. Attention can also be focused internally toward specific items in memory. But does selection within memory work similarly to selection within perception? Perceptual attention is fast and effective at selecting regions of space. Across five experiments, we used a memory search task to investigate whether spatial selection is also efficient for selection in memory. Participants remembered four items on a grid before being asked to access their memory of one item and update one of its features. We found that it took longer to access an item when referenced by its spatial location than by its color, despite memory accuracy for location being superior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)542-554
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: General
Volume151
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sep 9
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Attention
  • Visual search
  • Visual working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychology(all)
  • Developmental Neuroscience

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