Visual Working Memory Resources Are Best Characterized as Dynamic, Quantifiable Mnemonic Traces
2017, Veksler, Bella Z., Boyd, Rachel, Myers, Christopher W., Gunzelmann, Glenn, Neth, Hansjörg, Gray, Wayne D.
Visual working memory (VWM) is a construct hypothesized to store a small amount of accurate perceptual information that can be brought to bear on a task. Much research concerns the construct's capacity and the precision of the information stored. Two prominent theories of VWM representation have emerged: slot-based and continuous-resource mechanisms. Prior modeling work suggests that a continuous resource that varies over trials with variable capacity and a potential to make localization errors best accounts for the empirical data. Questions remain regarding the variability in VWM capacity and precision. Using a novel eye-tracking paradigm, we demonstrate that VWM facilitates search and exhibits effects of fixation frequency and recency, particularly for prior targets. Whereas slot-based memory models cannot account for the human data, a novel continuous-resource model does capture the behavioral and eye tracking data, and identifies the relevant resource as item activation.
Steps towards integrated models of cognitive systems : a levels-of-analysis approach to comparing human performance to model predictions in a complex task environment
2006, Schoelles, Michael J., Neth, Hansjörg, Myers, Christopher W., Gray, Wayne D.
Attempts to model complex task environments can serve as benchmarks that enable us to assess the state of cognitive theory and to identify productive topics for future research. Such models must be accompanied by a thorough examination of their fit to overall performance as well as their detailed fit to the microstructure of performance. We provide an example of this approach in our Argus Prime Model of a complex simulated radar operator task that combines real- time demands on human cognitive, perceptual, and action with a dynamic decision-making task. The generally good fit of the model to overall performance is a mark of the power of contemporary cognitive theory and architectures of cognition. The multiple failures of the model to capture fine-grained details of performance mark the limits of contemporary theory and signal productive areas for future research.