The priority for access to awareness of information matching VWM is mirror-invariant

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Previous studies suggest that 1) storing a visual representation of an item in visual working memory (VWM) prioritizes access to visual awareness for this item and that 2) VWM can contain representations of bound items instead of separate features. It is currently unclear whether VWM affects access to visual awareness at the individual feature level, the conjunction of multiple features level or the object level. To investigate this question, we conducted a series of experiments in which we combined a delayed match to sample task with a breaking Continuous Flash Suppression (b-CFS) task. On each trial, subjects memorized an object consisting of a disk with two halves with different colors for the later recall test and, between them, had to detect the location of a target initially presented under suppression. We varied the congruence in colors between the memory re- presentation and to-be-detected target. Our results show that memory congruent objects (consisting of a con- junction of features) break CFS faster than memory incongruent objects. Interestingly, we also observe this congruence effect when we presented the memorized object in a horizontally-mirrored configuration of colors. However, we do not observe a faster effect when the target shares only a single feature of a memorized object (semi-congruent) or when the memory congruent target is rotated by 90°. Our results suggest that VWM prioritizes access to visual awareness for complex visual memoranda for which the spatial lay-out of the in- dividual features does not need to exactly match the lay-out of the memoranda.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104463
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Conjunction
  • Feature
  • Visual awareness
  • Visual working memory
  • b-CFS


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