Advertisement

Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 1657–1665 | Cite as

Working memory for stereoscopic depth is limited and imprecise—evidence from a change detection task

  • Jiehui QianEmail author
  • Ke Zhang
Brief Report
  • 166 Downloads

Abstract

Most studies on visual working memory (VWM) and spatial working memory (SWM) have employed visual stimuli presented at the fronto-parallel plane and few have involved depth perception. VWM is often considered as a memory buffer for temporarily holding and manipulating visual information that relates to visual features of an object, and SWM for holding and manipulating spatial information that concerns the spatial location of an object. Although previous research has investigated the effect of stereoscopic depth on VWM, the question of how depth positions are stored in working memory has not been systematically investigated, leaving gaps in the existing literature on working memory. Here, we explore working memory for depth by using a change detection task. The memory items were presented at various stereoscopic depth planes perpendicular to the line of sight, with one item per depth plane. Participants were asked to make judgments on whether the depth position of the target (one of the memory items) had changed. The results showed a conservative response bias that observers tended to make ‘no change’ responses when detecting changes in depth. In addition, we found that similar to VWM, the change detection accuracy degraded with the number of memory items presented, but the accuracy was much lower than that reported for VWM, suggesting that the storage for depth information is severely limited and less precise than that for visual information. The detection sensitivity was higher for the nearest and farthest depths and was better when the probe was presented along with the other items originally in the memory array, indicating that how well the to-be-stored depth can be stored in working memory depends on its relation with the other depth positions.

Keywords

Working memory Depth perception Change detection Binocular disparity 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work has been supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31500919). The authors have no competing financial interests that might be perceived to influence the results and/or discussion reported in this paper.

References

  1. Alvarez, G.A., & Cavanagh, P. (2004). The capacity of visual short-term memory is set both by visual information load and by number of objects. Psychological Science, 15(2), 106–111.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andrews, T. J., Glennerster, A., & Parker, A. J. (2001). Stereoacuity thresholds in the presence of a reference surface. Vision Research, 41, 3051–3061.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Astle, D.E., Summerfield, J., Griffin, I., & Nobre, A.C. (2012). Orienting attention to locations in mental representations. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 74(1), 146–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Awh, E., Barton, B., & Vogel, E.K. (2007). Visual working memory represents a fixed number of items regardless of complexity. Psychological Science, 18(7), 622–628.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Baddeley, A. (2012). Working memory: theories, models, and controversies. Annual Review of Psychology, 63, 1–29.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Baddeley, A., & Hitch, G.J. (1974). Working memory. In G.H. Bower (Ed.) The psychology of learning and motivation (Vol. 8). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  7. Blakemore, C. (1970). The range and scope of binocular depth discrimination in man. Journal of Physiology, 211(3), 599–622.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Blank, A. A. (1958). Analysis of experiments in binocular space perception. Journal of the Optical Society of America, 48, 911–925.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chunharas, C., Rademaker, R. L., Sprague, T. C., Brady, T. F., & Serences, J. T. (2019). Separating memoranda in depth increases visual working memory performance. Journal of Vision, 19(4), 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cowan, N. (2001). Metatheory of storage capacity limits. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 24(01), 154–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Diedrichsen, J., Werner, S., Schmidt, T., & Trommersh–user, J (2004). Immediate spatial distortions of pointing movements induced by visual landmarks. Perception & Psychophysics, 66, 89–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Di Lollo, V. (1977). Temporal characteristics of iconic memory. Nature, 267(5608), 241–243.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Donaldson, W. (1993). Accuracy of d’ and a’ as estimates of sensitivity. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society, 31(4), 271–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fiehler, K., Burke, M., Engel, A., Bien, S., & R–sler, F (2007). Kinesthetic working memory and action control within the dorsal stream. Cerebral Cortex, 18(2), 243–253.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Finlayson, N. J., & Golomb, J. D. (2016). Feature-location binding in 3D: Feature judgments are biased by 2d location but not position-in-depth. Vision Research, 127, 49–56.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Finlayson, N. J., Zhang, X., & Golomb, J. D. (2017). Differential patterns of 2D location versus depth decoding along the visual hierarchy. NeuroImage, 147, 507–516.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Foley, J.M. (1985). Binocular distance perception: Egocetric distance tasks. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 11, 133–149.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Gogel, W. C. (1972). Depth adjacency and cue effectiveness. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 92(2), 176.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Griffin, I.C., & Nobre, A.C. (2003). Orienting attention to locations in internal representations. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 15(8), 1176–1194.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Heuer, A., & Schubö, A. (2016). Feature-based and spatial attentional selection in visual working memory. Memory & Cognition, 44(4), 621–632.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Huttenlocher, J., Hedges, L. V., & Duncan, S. (1991). Categories and particulars: Prototype effects in estimating spatial location. Psychological Review, 98, 352–376.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jackson, M. C., & Raymond, J. E. (2008). Familiarity enhances visual working memory for faces. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 34(3), 556.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Jiang, Y., Chun, M. M., & Olson, I. R. (2004). Perceptual grouping in change detection. Perception & Psychophysics, 66(3), 446– 453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Li, J., Qian, J., & Liang, F. (2018). Evidence for the beneficial effect of perceptual grouping on visual working memory: an empirical study on illusory contour and a meta-analytic study. Scientific Reports, 8(1), 13864.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Liverence, B. M., & Scholl, B. J. (2011). Selective attention warps spatial representation: Parallel but opposing effects on attended versus inhibited objects. Psychological Science, 22, 1600–1608.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Luck, S.J., & Vogel, E.K. (1997). The capacity of visual working memory for features and conjunctions. Nature, 390(6657), 279–281.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Luck, S.J., & Vogel, E.K. (2013). Visual working memory capacity: from psychophysics and neurobiology to individual differences. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 17(8), 391–400.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ma, W. J., Husain, M., & Bays, P. M. (2014). Changing concepts of working memory. Nature Neuroscience, 17(3), 347.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. McKee, S. P., Welch, L., Taylor, D. G., & Bowne, S. F. (1990). Finding the common bond: stereoacuity and the other hyperacuities. Vision Research, 30, 879–891.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Murray, A. M., Nobre, A. C., Clark, I. A., Cravo, A. M., & Stokes, M. G. (2013). Attention restores discrete items to visual short-term memory. Psychological Science, 24(4), 550–556.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Nelson, T.O., & Chaiklin, S. (1980). Immediate memory for spatial location. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory, 6, 529–545.Google Scholar
  32. Ogawa, A., & Macaluso, E. (2015). Orienting of visuo-spatial attention in complex 3D space: Search and detection. Human Brain Mapping, 36(6), 2231–2247.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pastore, R. E., Crawley, E. J., Berens, M. S., & Skelly, M. A. (2003). ”Nonparametric” a’ and other modern misconceptions about signal detection theory. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 10(3), 556–569.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Peterson, D. J., & Berryhill, M. E. (2013). The gestalt principle of similarity benefits visual working memory. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 20(6), 1282–1289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Peterson, L. R., Rawlings, L., & Cohen, C. (1977). The internal construction of spatial patterns. In: Psychology of learning and motivation (Vol. 11, pp. 245–276). Elsevier.Google Scholar
  36. Petrov, Y., & Glennerster, A. (2004). The role of a local reference in stereoscopic detection of depth relief. Vision Research, 44(4), 367–76.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Petrov, Y., Verghese, P., & McKee, S. P. (2006). Collinear facilitation is largely uncertainty reduction. Journal of Vision, 6(2), 170–8.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Pollack, I., & Norman, D. A. (1964). A nonparametric analysis of recognition experiments. Psychonomic Science, 1, 125–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Postman, L., & Phillips, L. W. (1965). Short-term temporal changes in free recall. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 17(2), 132–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Qian, J., Li, J., Wang, K., Liu, S., & Lei, Q. (2017). Evidence for the effect of depth on visual working memory. Scientific Reports, 7(1), 6408.  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-06719-6.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Qian, J., Zhang, K., Lei, Q., Han, Y., & Li, W. (2019). Task-dependent effects of voluntary space-based and involuntary feature-based attention on visual working memory. Psychological Research Psychologische Forschung, 1–16. Online Published.Google Scholar
  42. Qian, J., Zhang, K., Wang, K., Li, J., & Lei, Q. (2018). Saturation and brightness modulate the effect of depth on visual working memory. Journal of Vision, 18(9), 16, 1–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Reeves, A., & Lei, Q. (2014). Is visual short-term memory depthful?. Vision Research, 96, 106–112.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Reeves, A., & Lei, Q. (2017). Short-term visual memory for location in depth: a u-shaped function of time. Attention Perception & Psychophysics, 79(7), 1917–1932.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Schneegans, S., & Bays, P. M. (2016). No fixed item limit in visuospatial working memory. Cortex, 83, 181–193.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Schurgin, M. W., & Flombaum, J. I. (2014). How undistorted spatial memories can produce distorted responses. Attention Perception & Psychophysics, 76, 1371–1380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Sheth, B. R., & Shimojo, S. (2001). Compression of space in visual memory. Vision Research, 41(3), 329–341.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Sligte, I. G., Scholte, H. S., & Lamme, V. A. (2008). Are there multiple visual short-term memory stores? Plos One, 3(2), e1699.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Sousa, R., Brenner, E., & Smeets, J. B. (2011). Objects can be localized at positions that are inconsistent with the relative disparity between them. Journal of Vision, 11(2), 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Stanislaw, H., & Todorov, N. (1999). Calculation of signal detection theory measures. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments. Computers, 31(1), 137–149.Google Scholar
  51. Treisman, A. M., & Gelade, G. (1980). A feature-integration theory of attention. Cognitive Psychology, 12 (1), 97–136.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Umemura, H. (2015). Independent effects of 2-D and 3-D locations of stimuli in a 3-D display on response speed in a Simon task. Frontiers in Psychology 6.Google Scholar
  53. Vogel, E. K., Woodman, G. F., & Luck, S. J. (2001). Storage of features, conjunctions, and objects in visual working memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology:, Human Perception and Performance, 27(1), 92.Google Scholar
  54. Woodman, G. F., Vecera, S. P., & Luck, S. J. (2003). Perceptual organization influences visual working memory. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 10(1), 80–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Xu, Y. (2006). Understanding the object benefit in visual short-term memory: The roles of feature proximity and connectedness. Perception & Psychophysics, 68(5), 815–828.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Xu, Y., & Nakayama, K. (2007). Visual short-term memory benefit for objects on different 3-D surfaces. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 136(4), 653.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Zhang, W., & Luck, S. J. (2008). Discrete fixed-resolution representations in visual working memory. Nature, 453(7192), 233– 235.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologySun Yat-Sen UniversityGuangzhouChina

Personalised recommendations