It is generally assumed that the storage capacity of visual working memory (VWM) is limited, holding about 3-4 items. Recent work with real-world objects, however, has challenged this view by providing evidence that the VWM capacity for real-world objects is not fixed but instead increases with prolonged encoding time (Brady, Stormer, & Alvarez, 2016). Critically, in this study, no increase with prolonged encoding time was observed for storing simple colors. Brady et al. (2016) argued that the larger capacity for real-world objects relative to colors is due to the additional conceptual information of real-world objects. With basically the same methods of Brady et al., in Experiments 1-3, we were unable to replicate their basic findings. Instead, we found that visual memory for simple colors also benefited from prolonged encoding time. Experiment 4 showed that the scale of the encoding time benefit was the same for familiar and unfamiliar objects, suggesting that the added conceptual information does not contribute to this benefit. We conclude that visual memory benefits from prolonged encoding time regardless of stimulus type.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Oct 2020|
- Encoding time benefits
- Long-term memory
- Real-world objects
- Visual working memory