Pop-out and pop-in: Visual working memory advantages for unique items

Jason Rajsic, Sol Sun, Lauren Huxtable, Jay Pratt, Susanne Ferber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Attentional control is thought to play a critical role in determining the amount of information that can be stored and retrieved from visual working memory (VWM). We tested whether and how task-irrelevant feature-based salience, known to affect the control of visual attention, affects VWM performance. Our results show that features of a task-irrelevant color singleton are more likely to be recalled from VWM than non-singleton items and that this increased memorability comes at a cost to the other items in the display. Furthermore, the singleton effect in VWM was negatively correlated with an individual’s baseline VWM capacity. Taken together, these results suggest that individual differences in VWM storage capacity may be partially attributable to the ability to ignore differences in task-irrelevant physical salience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1787-1793
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin & Review
Issue number6
Early online date29 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


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