Exploring the possibility of free floating features in visual working memory
Item TypeGraduate Thesis
AdvisorPratte, Michael S.
CommitteeEakin, Deborah K.
Embargo TypeVisible to MSU only for 2 years
Embargo Lift Date2022-05-15
A critical question in the study of human perception is whether information in visual working memory is stored as complete, bound-up objects, or as collections of un-bound visual features. Here I test whether the location of an object is a fundamental feature that is always stored when anything else about the object is, or if it is possible to store other features of an object even with no memory for where it was seen. New experimental paradigms and mathematical models were developed to estimate how many colors, how many locations, and how many color-location conjunctions could be stored. Results across three experiments indicate that about one color is stored with no corresponding memory for where it was seen. This memory is not due to verbal encoding, and does not simply reflect noisy location memory. This free-floating feature greatly constrains theories of how visual information is stored in memory.