Visual (Phillips, 1974; Luck & Vogel, 1997;

Visual short term memory (VSTM) is a fundamental neurocognitive component that aids in everyday cognition; whether it be remembering a phone number that one has just looked at, to remembering the price of a jacket. VSTM permits one to withhold optical representations of witnessed stimuli for some seconds after the stimuli ceases to exist in the visual field (Pilling & Barratt, 2016; Pashler, 1988). Without VSTM, magnitudes of crucial information that are gathered and acknowledged would simply not exist, this would make everyday life problematic. An essential role of VSTM representations is the maintenance concerning visual consistency. If vision is disrupted by the blink of an eye, saccades or another stimulus blocking the initial scene; then one can still mentally imagine what was there before them, prior to visual disruption. Currie, McConkie, Carlson-Radvansky & Irwin (2000) show from their research that visual consistency across saccades is due to key elements of the saccade target theory, which postulates that local information is used in initiating a mapping action regarding the actual mental representation and retinal space. VSTM can therefore be perceived as a catalyst concerning mental representation and retinal space as it maintains visual stability. Moreover, coming from a neuropsychological stance, Bays & Husain (2007) note that neurons within the visual system can establish a prediction of the post-saccadic visual input, this is also said to aid in visual stability, in conjunction with VSTM. This neuronal process corroborates the cognitive processes that underlie visual stability.The capacity of VSTM is restricted and tends to be a fixed number of four (Phillips, 1974; Luck & Vogel, 1997; Cowen, 2001). However, this capacity is limited by the number of objects as opposed to the number of features. Luck & Vogel (1997) found in their research that participants could correctly recall the colours and orientation of four objects just as well as they could correctly recall solely the colours or solely the orientations of the objects. They went on to show that objects maintaining four features could be correctly recalled as well as objects defined by one feature. -> statistical properties.Furthermore, another essential role that VSTM has is one concerning visual comparison. VSTM allows one to recall and construct comparisons of objects within the current visual field and objects that were previously in the visual field. Thus, judgments can be made of the salient (or not so salient) similarities and differences of two separate stimuli. This cognitive process constructs the foundation of VSTM comparison tasks. One such task is change detection. Rensink (2002) notes that change detection is simply the comprehension of the world that humans are exposed to. Change detection (like VSTM) is essential in everyday life. Change detection is a continuous visual process involved with first acknowledging a change on two key levels: identifying what the difference is and also realising where the change has occurred. Therefore, VSTM’s role regarding visual comparison is crucial within the change detection paradigm. Pashler (1988) notes from their research that VSTM is responsible for the performance concerning test displays that had a longer inter-stimulus interval (ISI). It’s also noted that sensory memory is accountable for the superb performance on test displays that had shorter ISIs (Phillips, 1974). However, change detection is not the sole element within the role of visual comparison. Literature on sameness detection when compared to change detection has provided a phenomenon called the same-difference comparison asymmetry. The term asymmetry is used because of the difference in accuracy among the two paradigms.


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