Capacity limitations and representational shifts in spatial short term memory

Kevin Dent, MM Smyth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


Performance was examined in a task requiring the reconstruction of spatal locations. Previous research suggests that it may be necessary to differentiate between memory for smaller and larger numbers of locations (Poostma & DeHaan, 1996) at least when locations are presented simultaneously (Igel & Harvey, 1991). Detailed analysis of the characteristics of performance showed that such a differentiation might also be required for sequential presentation. Furthermore the slope of the function relating each successive responce to accuracy was greater with 3 than 6, 8, or 10 locations that did not differ. Participants also reconstructed the arrays as being more proximal than in fact they were; sequential presentation eliminated this when there were distortion when there were three but not when there were more than three were more than three locations. These results support the idea that very small numbers of locations are remembered using a specific form of representation, which is unavailable to larger numbers of locations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-572
Number of pages44
JournalVisual Cognition
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2006


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