It is well known that a match between working memory contents and a visual stimulus creates attentional bias toward the memory-matching stimulus. The present study investigated whether this memory-driven attentional bias exerts similar effects with conventional, spatial attention driven by a cue stimulus. Specifically, we examined how the effect of a distracting, task-irrelevant stimulus is modulated when attention was oriented toward the distractor in memory- and stimulus-driven manners. The results showed that significant interference by a distractor decreased when attention was allocated to the distractor in a memory-driven manner, whereas the distracter captured attention in a stimulus-driven manner exerted increased interference. By contrast, memory-driven attention brought an unattended stimulus into attentional focus, while stimulus-driven attention failed to do so. These results provide evidence that the mechanisms underlying working memory-driven and stimulus-driven attention are separable, pointing to the dynamic and flexible relationship between working memory and attention.
Working memory Attention Memory-driven attention Stimulus-driven attention Distractor interference
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This work was supported by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (NRF-2017R1C1B5014936) and the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2016S1A5A2A02925551).
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