Hierarchical Encoding in Visual Working Memory
MetadataShow full item record
CitationBrady, Timothy F, and George A Alvarez. "Hierarchical Encoding in Visual Working Memory: Ensemble Statistics Bias Memory for Individual Items." Psychological Science 22, no. 3 (2011): 384-92.
AbstractInfluential models of visual working memory treat each item to be stored as an independent unit and assume that there are no interactions between items. However, real-world displays have structure that provides higher-order constraints on the items to be remembered. Even a display with simple colored circles contains statistics, such as the mean circle size, that can be computed by observers to provide an overall summary of the display. We examined the influence of such an ensemble statistic on visual working memory. We report evidence that the remembered size of each individual item in a display is biased toward the mean size of the set of items in the same color and the mean size of all items in the display. This suggests that visual working memory is constructive, encoding displays at multiple levels of abstraction and integrating across these levels, rather than maintaining a veridical representation of each item independently.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:41302705
- FAS Scholarly Articles