Creation of visual long-term memory

Percept Psychophys. 2007 Aug;69(6):904-12. doi: 10.3758/bf03193927.


Currently, it is not known by which mechanisms novel visual representations are stored in long-term memory (LTM). Here we report evidence that visual working memory (WM) plays an important role in the formation of visual LTM. By varying exposure times and perceptual difficulty of the stimuli, we find that the rate-limiting factor constraining storage in LTM is the amount of information that can be simultaneously kept in WM, whereas the time needed to store this information into LTM is constant irrespective of the size of the WM content. These results support the hypothesis that visual WM serves as a gate for the storage of information into LTM.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory*
  • Time Factors
  • Visual Perception*