The following is a summary of “Sustained attention required for effective dimension-based retro-cue benefit in visual working memory,” published in the May 2023 issue of Ophthalmology by Liu, et al.
For a study, researchers sought to investigate the role of sustained attention in the dimension-based retro-cue benefit (RCB) observed in visual working memory (VWM) tasks. Specifically, they aimed to determine whether the dimension-based RCB is affected by interference or interruption between the retro-cue and the test array, which can distract attention.
Four experiments were conducted to examine the effects of perceptual interference (Experiments 1 and 2) and cognitive interruption (Experiments 3 and 4) on the dimension-based RCB. Interference or interruption was introduced during the stages of maintaining prioritized information or deploying attention, with varying cue-and-interference/interruption interstimulus intervals.
The results of the study showed that perceptual interference or cognitive interruption weakened the dimension-based RCB. The findings indicated that sustained attention is necessary for effectively prioritizing a specific dimension of VWM representations.
Based on the results, it can be concluded that sustained attention plays a crucial role in the dimension-based RCB observed in VWM tasks. The study demonstrated that interference or interruption during the maintenance or deployment stages can attenuate the prioritization of a specific dimension in VWM.