Updating Visual Memory Content during Movements

Actions are tightly linked to human perception and cognition – both vision and memory are enhanced for stimuli at action target locations. While research on vision and memory has independently established mechanisms of action-based selection, a link between the two is missing: How do spatial priorities for a task-relevant stimulus at an action-relevant location affect information that is concurrently maintained in visual memory? The proposed research program aims to fill this gap and examines how we maintain information in visual memory while we encode new information at the target location of an upcoming action into visual memory. We will focus on saccades as a model system of actions and determine how visual memory is updated – that is, which memory representations get lost and which are protected – as new, action-relevant information enters visual memory.
In three subprojects, comprising comprehensive experimental studies, we strive to meet three main objectives. First, we will examine how updating the content in visual memory is determined by the dynamics of reallocating resources during the presaccadic attention shift. To this end, we will examine visual memory performance while simultaneously probing visual perception around saccade onset. We will relate memory performance to the perceptual mechanisms underlying the dynamic changes in presaccadic feature processing. Do more precisely perceived stimuli at the saccade target location result in higher memory costs? What rules are governing the loss of memory representations as a consequence of automatically encoding saccade targets into visual memory? Second, we will delineate the role of interference between vision and memory around saccades. In particular, we will determine how temporal, spatial and feature interference shapes the interplay between vision and memory in active observers. Third, we will investigate the process of consolidating the saccade target into visual short-term memory and its relation to the maintenance of memory representations. In particular, we will determine the time frame of consolidation and dissociate the role of saccade planning vs. saccade execution for the updating of representations in visual short-term memory.
The proposed project aims to uncover the interplay between visual perception and visual memory in active observers. By investigating how priorities allocated by saccades affect concurrently maintained memory representations, we will provide a holistic approach to examine the flow of visual information during encoding, consolidation and maintenance during targeted actions.

Principal investigators
Rolfs, Martin Prof. Dr. (Details) (General Psychology - Active Perception and Cognition)

Participating organisational units of HU Berlin

DFG: Sachbeihilfe

Duration of project
Start date: 10/2019
End date: 05/2023

Research Areas
General, Cognitive and Mathematical Psychology

Research Areas
Aktive Wahrnehmung und Kognition

Last updated on 2023-24-10 at 06:30