Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics

ISSN: 1943-3921 (Print) 1943-393X (Online)


ANNOUNCING A SPECIAL ISSUE OF ATTENTION, PERCEPTION, AND PSYCHOPHYSICS TOPIC: The structure of visual working memorySubmissions: Due by August 1, 2013Publication: Winter, 2013We will consider regular Research Articles, Short Reports, and a limited number of Opinion/Review pieces. For Opinion / Review submissions, please send a presubmission inquiry to Jeremy Wolfe (, Editor.This special issue is coordinated with a Symposium on the same topic to be held at the Vision Sciences Society meeting, Naples, Florida, May 10, 2013Working memory is an essential component of perception, cognition, and action. The past eight years have seen a surge of activity aimed at understanding the structure of visual working memory. The symposium will consider two central theoretical issues: slots versus resources, and the role of context. SLOTS VERSUS RESOURCES: Working memory is widely believed to be subject to an item limit: no more than a fixed number of items can be stored and any additional items are forgotten. In 2004, Wilken and Ma challenged this notion and advocated for an alternative framework in which a continuous memory resource is divided over all items and errors are explained in terms of the quality of encoding rather than the quantity of remembered items. Since then, arguments have been made on both sides. New concepts that have been introduced in this debate include variable precision, non-target reports, Bayesian inference, and the neural substrate of memory resource. THE ROLE OF CONTEXT In the slots-versus-resources debate, items are routinely assumed to be encoded independently in working memory. This assumption is likely to be wrong, but how wrong? Recent work has pointed out the large effects of the context in which an item is, presented. Items seem to be remembered in groups or ensembles organized by space or feature, and this introduces predictable biases. (Prose modified from the symposium description). For the Special Issue, we welcome papers on these topics or other topics in the study of visual working memory. Submission is via the standard journal website: and comments can be directed to Jeremy Wolfe (, Editor.

The journal Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics is an official journal of the Psychonomic Society.   It spans all areas of research in sensory processes, perception, attention, and psychophysics. Most articles published are reports of experimental work; the journal also presents theoretical, integrative, and evaluative reviews. Commentary on issues of importance to researchers appears in a special section of the journal. Founded in 1966 as Perception & Psychophysics, the journal assumed its present name in 2009.

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