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Object – position binding in visual short-term memory for sequentially presented unfamiliar stimuli
journal contributionposted on 2023-07-26, 13:31 authored by Raju P. Sapkota, Shahina Pardhan, Ian van der Linde
The effect of spatial position on visual short-term memory (VSTM) for sequentially presented objects has been investigated relatively little, despite the fact that vision in natural environments is characterised by frequent changes in object position and gaze location. We investigated the effect of reusing previously examined spatial positions on VSTM for object appearance. Observers performed a yes – no recognition task following a memory display comprising briefly presented 1/f noise discs (ie possessing spectral properties akin to natural images) shown sequentially at random coordinates. At test, single stimuli were presented either at original spatial positions, new positions, or at a fixed central position. Results, interpreted in terms of appearance and position preview effects, indicate that, where original spatial positions were reused at test, memory performance was elevated by more than 25%, despite that spatial position was task-irrelevant (in the sense that it could not be used to facilitate a correct response per se). This study generalises object – spatial-position binding theory to a sequential display scenario in which the influences of extrafoveal processing, spatial context cues, and long-term memory support were minimised, thereby eliminating the hypothesis that object priming is the principal cause of the ‘same-position advantage’ in VSTM.