There has been a controversy on whether working memory can guide attentional selection. Some researchers have reported that the contents of working memory guide attention automatically in visual search (D. Soto, D. Heinke, G. W. Humphreys, & M. J. Blanco, 2005). On the other hand, G.F. Woodman and S. J. Luck (2007) reported that they could not find any evidence of attentional capture by working memory. In the present study, we tried to find an integrative explanation for the different sets of results. We report evidence for attentional capture by working memory, but this effect was eliminated when search was perceptually demanding or the onset of the search was delayed long enough for cognitive control of search to be implemented under particular conditions. We suggest that perceptual difficulty and the time course of cognitive control as important factors that determine when information in working memory influences attention.
|Number of pages
|Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
|Published - 2009 Oct
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Behavioral Neuroscience