Working memory can guide pop-out search

David Soto Blanco, Glyn Humphreys, Dietmar Heinke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

128 Citations (Scopus)


Top-down feedback from working memory (WM) can exert an early and involuntary influence on visual selection for targets that are relatively difficult to discriminate [Soto, D., Heinke, D., Humphreys, G. W., & Blanco, M. J. (2005) Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 31, 248]. Here, we demonstrate similar effects even on search for a pop-out target. At the beginning of each trial, participants memorized a prime that could contain either the search target or a distracter in the subsequent search array. Targets and distractors were easily discriminable. Despite this, the prime in WM affected responses latencies and the direction of the first saccade. Top-down search, guided by the contents of WM, can modulate selection even when salient bottom-up cues are present. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1010-1018
Number of pages9
JournalVision Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2006


  • working memory
  • pop-out search
  • visual attention


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