What goes through the gate? Exploring interference with visual feature binding

Judith Castellà Mate, T. Ueno, J. Mate, R.J. Allen, G.J. Hitch, A.D. Baddeley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


A series of experiments explored the mechanisms determining the encoding and storage of features and objects in visual working memory. We contrasted the effects of three types of visual suffix on cued recall of a display of colored shapes. The suffix was presented after the display and before the recall cue. The latter was either the color or shape of one of the objects and signaled recall of the object's other feature. In Experiments 1 and 2, we found a larger effect of 'plausible' suffixes comprising features (color and shape) drawn from the experimental set, relative to the effect of 'implausible' suffixes comprising features outside the experimental set. Experiment 3 extended this pattern by showing that 'semi-plausible' suffixes containing only one feature (either color or shape) from the experimental set had an equivalent effect to those with both features from the set. Reduction in accuracy was mainly due to an increase in recall of suffix features, rather than within-display confusions. The findings suggest a feature-based filtering process in visual working memory, with any stimuli that pass through this filter serving to directly overwrite existing object representations. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1597-1604
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2011


  • Feature binding
  • Filtering
  • Overwriting
  • Visual suffix
  • Working memory


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