Visual memory needs categories
2005 (English)In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, ISSN 0027-8424, Vol. 102, no 24, 8776-80 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Capacity limitations in the way humans store and process information in working memory have been extensively studied, and several memory systems have been distinguished. In line with previous capacity estimates for verbal memory and memory for spatial information, recent studies suggest that it is possible to retain up to four objects in visual working memory. The objects used have typically been categorically different colors and shapes. Because knowledge about categories is stored in long-term memory, these estimations of working memory capacity have been contaminated by long-term memory support. We show that when using clearly distinguishable intracategorical items, visual working memory has a maximum capacity of only one object. Because attention is closely involved in the working memory process, our results add to other studies demonstrating capacity limitations of human attention such as inattentional blindness and change blindness.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 102, no 24, 8776-80 p.
Adult, Attention/*physiology, Comparative Study, Discrimination (Psychology)/physiology, Humans, Memory/*physiology, Models; Psychological, Photic Stimulation, Psychophysics, Research Support; Non-U.S. Gov't, Visual Perception/*physiology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-74220DOI: doi:www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.0500810102PubMedID: 15937119OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-74220DiVA: diva2:102130