We examined how top-down attentional modulation and bottom-up stimulus saliency interact with feature memory. Experiment 1 used a delayed-matching-to- sample (DMS) task to examine the relative saliency between features by observing the relative accuracy of recognition at different stimulus durations. Feature salience decreased according to the following order: colour, form, and texture. In a modified DMS task (Experiments 2 and 3), participants were required to attend to one of three features and ignore the others. After a delay, they were required to choose which of the two test stimuli matched the reference stimulus on the attended feature, disregarding other task-irrelevant features. The target was either identical to the reference stimulus or mismatched the reference stimulus on one of the irrelevant features. The results showed that colour matching was affected neither by a form change nor by a texture change. Form matching was affected by a colour change, and texture matching was affected by a colour or form change. These results are consistent with the relative saliency hypothesis. Even when all features of an attended object are maintained, a relatively more salient task-irrelevant feature can interfere with the delayed recognition of a less salient feature.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)