Visual short-term memory for global motion revealed by directional and speed-tuned masking

Pavan, Andrea, Langgartner, Dominik and Greenlee, Mark W. (2013) Visual short-term memory for global motion revealed by directional and speed-tuned masking. Neuropsychologia, 51 (5). pp. 809-817. ISSN 0028-3932

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Neurobehavioral research with non-human primates has shown that different attributes of motion stimuli, such as direction and speed can be stored in visual short-term memory (VSTM) with a high degree of accuracy. We examined VSTM for global motion with a memory masking paradigm to determine which stimulus attributes are important in the storage process. We presented in two visual quadrants global motion random dot kinematograms (RDKs), whereas in the two remaining visual quadrants we presented random-motion RDKs. This pattern of stimulation was displayed in two distinct temporal intervals, i.e., sample and test stimuli (duration: 200 ms), separated in time by a 3.2-s delay period. During the delay period a random- or directional-motion mask was presented briefly (200 ms) either at the beginning, in the middle or at the end of the delay period. The results showed that the mask mainly interferes with performance when displayed 200 ms after the offset of the sample and when it had a coherent direction rather than random directions. Moreover, the mask is significantly more effective when its direction and speed matched that of the remembered sample. These results support the notion that the memory representation of global motion is selective for direction and speed, being compromised by intervening directional stimuli presented immediately after the encoding phase. Moreover, this selectivity suggests that the same neural mechanisms involved in the processing of global motion may be recruited for its storage.

Keywords:Visual short-term memory, Global motion, Visual masking, Direction selectivity, Speed selectivity
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C850 Cognitive Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C830 Experimental Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:16313
Deposited On:20 Dec 2014 21:43

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