Location and binding in visual working memory

Mem Cognit. 2006 Dec;34(8):1704-19. doi: 10.3758/bf03195932.


Visual working memory (VWM) wa sexplored separatelyfor features and for their binding. Features were better recognized when the probes retained the same binding as in the original display, but changing the locations had little effect overall. However, there were strong interactions of location with binding and with matching or new features, suggesting that, when objects are attended, features and locations are spontaneously integrated in VWM. Despite this, when the locations arechanged, features can also be accessed with little decrement, perhaps from separate feature maps. Bindings, on the other hand, are more vulnerable to location changes, suggesting that locations play a central role in the early maintenance and retrieval of bound objects as well as in their initial encoding, at least when verbal coding is prevented. The results qualify past claims about the separation of locations and objects in VWM.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory, Short-Term*
  • Recognition, Psychology
  • Space Perception*
  • Visual Perception*