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      The selective disruption of spatial working memory by eye movements

      , , , ,

      Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology

      Informa UK Limited

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          Abstract

          In the late 1970s/early 1980s, Baddeley and colleagues conducted a series of experiments investigating the role of eye movements in visual working memory. Although only described briefly in a book, these studies have influenced a remarkable number of empirical and theoretical developments in fields ranging from experimental psychology to human neuropsychology to nonhuman primate electrophysiology. This paper presents, in full detail, three critical studies from this series, together with a recently performed study that includes a level of eye movement measurement and control that was not available for the older studies. Together, the results demonstrate several facts about the sensitivity of visuospatial working memory to eye movements. First, it is eye movement control, not movement per se, that produces the disruptive effects. Second, these effects are limited to working memory for locations and do not generalize to visual working memory for shapes. Third, they can be isolated to the storage/maintenance components of working memory (e.g., to the delay period of the delayed-recognition task). These facts have important implications for models of visual working memory.

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          Most cited references 32

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          Attention and the detection of signals.

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              Pattern span: a tool for unwelding visuo-spatial memory.

              Evidence showing that non-verbal short-term memory has distinct visual and spatial/sequential components is reviewed. A new test, The Visual Patterns Test (VPT), which was designed to measure short-term visual memory largely shorn of its spatio-sequential component, is described. Correlational studies of the VPT and the Corsi Blocks Test with healthy subjects and brain-damaged patients indicate a separation between visual and sequential abilities. This separation of function is supported by double dissociations shown by patients. Moreover, in a selective interference experiment, the VPT and the Corsi tests were found to show a double dissociation pattern of interference from visual and spatio sequential subsidiary tasks, respectively. The present results are discussed in relation to other findings in the literature, and it is concluded that non-verbal short-term memory can indeed be viewed as comprising distinct visual and spatio-sequential components. The VPT will be a useful neuropsychological instrument for measuring the visual component.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
                Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
                Informa UK Limited
                1747-0218
                1747-0226
                January 2018
                January 2018
                : 59
                : 1
                : 100-120
                Article
                10.1080/17470210500151410
                1414070
                16556561
                © 2018

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