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The Influence of Visual Working Memory on Top-down Attentional Control: A Developmental Perspective Study

Author: YangHaiBo
Tutor: ShenDeLi;BaiXueJun
School: Tianjin Normal University
Course: Developmental and Educational Psychology
Keywords: Top-down attention to controlling Visual working memory The nature of the information in visual working memory Visual working memory load Visual working memory capacity
CLC: B842.3
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2008
Downloads: 821
Quote: 4
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Abstract


The process of attention is based on two ways of attentional control. Attentional control focus on how do sensory input become attended. On the one hand, current behavioral goals can modulate processing of sensory input, which was called top-down or goal-directed attentional control. On the other hand, properties of the stimulus constrain the implementation of attentional goals, which was called bottom-up or stimulus-driven attentional control. More and more evidence confirmed that top-down attentional play a core role in attentional capture. Some evidence suggests that both working memory contents and load can influences top-down attentional control.This these investigated how visual working memory influence top-down attentional control from developmental perspective. Using dual-task paradigm (one task is memory task, the other is visual search task), with the participants of 3,4 and 5 grade primary school students, four studies investigated how visual working memory contents and load influence top-down attentional control.Study 1 investigated the influence of visual working memory contents and load to top-down attentional control from developmental perspective. Study 2 examined the influence of individual difference in visual working memory capacity on top-down attentional control. Study 3 measured the difference in top-down attentional control between high-score students and low-score students. Study 4 explored the mechanism of visual working memory influence on top-down attentional control. The results showed that:(1) The age difference in top-down attentional control among 3, 4 and 5 grade is significant, the performances of 5 grade students are better than 3 grade students.(2) There is significant difference between high and low visual working memory capacity students in top-down attentional control, the performances of high visual working memory capacity students are better than low visual working memory capacity students.(3) There is significant difference between high-score students and low-score students in top-down attentional control, the performances of high-score students are better than low-score students.(4) Visual working memory contents influence top-down attentional control, which was based on whether the properties of memory item matched the properties of target item. Moreover, the effects of visual working memory contents on top-down attentional control were not constrained by visual working memory capacity.(5) Visual working memory load has an effect on top-down attentional control, which was modulated by visual working memory capacity.

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