To encourage people to prioritize particular things in visual working memory (VWM). Uncertainty existed over whether the task difficulty and reward mechanism were the main variables modulating the reward increases in VWM. To answer this, researchers created two experiments for the study.

By varying the item type (high reward, low reward, or equal reward) and reward technique in Experiment 1, investigators investigated whether the reward method modifies reward boosts in VWM (monetary and notional). By varying the number of high-reward items, the reward strategy, and the item type, Experiment 2 investigated whether task complexity modifies reward spikes in VWM. In comparison to low- and equal-reward goods, the results showed reward enhancements for high-reward items.

There was no interaction between the reward mechanism and item type, although the VWM performance was greater in the monetary reward condition compared to the notional reward condition. A strong connection between the award quantity and item type was also discovered: VWM performance enhancements from rewards only happened when one or two higher reward items were available.

In conclusion, task difficulty but not reward mechanism affected reward increases in VWM tasks.

Reference: jov.arvojournals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2783725