Transsaccadic Memory of Multi-Featured Objects
Our visual world is observed as a complete and continuous percept. However, the nature of eye movements, saccades, preclude this illusion at the sensory level of the retina. Current theories suggest that visual short-term memory (VSTM) may allow for this perceptual illusion through spatial updating of object locations. While spatial updating has been demonstrated to impose a cost on the precision of spatial memory, it is unknown whether saccades also influence feature memory. This thesis investigated whether there is a cost of spatial updating on VSTM of non-spatial features. To this end, participants performed comparisons of features (location, orientation, size) between two bars presented sequentially with or without an intervening saccade. In addition, dependent on the block condition, they had to compare either one of the features or all three features; to test for memory load effects. Saccades imposed a cost on precision of location memory of the first bar in addition to a direction-specific bias; this effect held with greater memory load. Orientation memory became less precise with saccades, and with greater memory load resulted in a remembered rotation of the first bar opposite to the direction of the saccade. Finally, after a saccade, participants consistently underestimated the size of the first bar in addition to being less precise; the precision effect did not hold with greater memory load. Together, the current findings implicate a cost on feature memory with saccades – suggesting that non-spatial feature memory is updated along with their spatial locations.
URI for this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/1974/22760
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