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Regular version of the site

Article

The Role of Working Memory in Dual-Target Visual Search

Frontiers in Psychology. 2019. Vol. 10. P. 1-15.
Gorbunova E. S., Козлов К. С., Ле С. Т., Makarov I.

Visual search (VS) for multiple targets is especially error prone. One of these errors is called subsequent search misses (SSM) and represents a decrease in accuracy at detecting a second target after a first target has been found. One of the possible explanations of SSM errors is working memory (WM) resource depletion. Three experiments investigated the role of WM in SSM errors using a dual task paradigm. The first experiment investigated the role of object WM using a classical color change detection task. In the second and the third experiments, a modified change detection task was applied, using shape as the relevant feature. The results of our study revealed no effect of additional WM task on second target detection in dual-target VS. To this end, SSM errors are not related to WM resource depletion. On the contrary, WM task performance was violated by dual-target VS as compared to single-target VS, when the targets in VS task were defined by the same feature used in the WM task.