Bhardwaj R, Mollon J D, Smithson H, 2011, "Sensory memory for motion trajectories" Perception 40 ECVP Abstract Supplement, page 126
Sensory memory for motion trajectories
R Bhardwaj, J D Mollon, H Smithson
A part-report advantage lasting ∼1 s has been shown for moving stimuli [Demkiw and Michaels, 1976 Acta Psychologica 40 257–264; Treisman et al, 1975 Attention and Performance volume 5 (London: Academic Press) pp 699–721]. However, these studies do not test directly for the encoding of time-varying information in sensory memory, since participants were asked to report only the direction of motion—a categorical property—rather than the spatio-temporal pattern of a movement. We presented our participants with motion trajectories that they were later asked to reproduce. On each trial, Bezier curves defined the motion trajectories of three white dots and auditory cues indicated part- and whole-report. The part-report cue could be presented randomly at one of the pre-selected cue-delays −500, 0, 500, and 1000 ms from stimulus offset. Movement of the participant’s finger was recorded using a minibird-tracker at 100 Hz. We correlated the presented reproduced trajectories. Pre-cue performance was high (R2∼0.7), indicating that participants could accurately reproduce a single trajectory. Whole-report performance was much worse (with R2∼0.2). A part-report cue immediately after stimulus offset gave a part-report advantage. Performance declined with later cues and no part-report advantage was found with the longest cue-delays. The results suggest that there is a short-lived representation of motion trajectories that can be recovered retrospectively to guide a motor response.
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