How retaining objects containing multiple features in visual working memory regulates the priority for access to visual awareness
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Number of pages
SourceConsciousness and Cognition, 87, (2021), article 103057
Article / Letter to editor
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Consciousness and Cognition
SubjectAction, intention, and motor control
The content of visual working memory influences the access to visual awareness. Thus far, research has focused on retention of a single feature, whereas memoranda in real life typically contain multiple features. Here, we intermixed a delayed match-to-sample task to manipulate VWM content, and a breaking Continuous Flash Suppression (b-CFS) task to measure prioritization for visual awareness. Observers memorized either the color (Exp. 1), the shape (Exp. 2) or both the features (Exp. 3) of an item and indicated the location of a suppressed target. We observed that color-matching targets broke suppression faster than color-mismatching targets both when color was memory relevant or irrelevant. Shape only impacted priority for visual awareness through an interaction with color. We conclude that: (1) VWM can regulate the priority of visual information to access visual awareness along a single feature dimension; (2) different features of a memorandum vary in their potency to impact access to visual awareness, and the more dominant feature may even suppress the effect of the less dominant feature; (3) even stimuli that match an irrelevant feature dimension of the memorandum can be prioritized for visual awareness.
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