Selective storage and maintenance of an object’s features in visual working memory
- Cite this article as:
- Woodman, G.F. & Vogel, E.K. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review (2008) 15: 223. doi:10.3758/PBR.15.1.223
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It has been shown that we have a highly capacity-limited representational space with which to store objects in visual working memory. However, most objects are composed of multiple feature attributes, and it is unknown whether observers can voluntarily store a single attribute of an object without necessarily storing all of its remaining features. In this study, we used a masking paradigm to measure the efficiency of encoding, and neurophysiological recordings to directly measure visual working memory maintenance while subjects viewed multifeature objects and were required to remember only a single feature or all of the features of the objects. We found that measures of both encoding and maintenance varied systematically as a function of which object features were task relevant. These experiments show that individuals can control which features of an object are selectively stored in working memory.