On the distinction between sensory storage and short-term visual memory


Phillips W (1974) On the distinction between sensory storage and short-term visual memory. Perception and Psychophysics, 16 (2), pp. 283-290.

A pattern made by randomly filling cells in a square matrix was presented for 1 see and followed, after various intervals, by an identical or similar pattern. Ss responded "same" or "different." Performance was fast and accurate if the interval was short and there was no movement or masking of the pattern during the interval. Performance was slower, less accurate, and highly dependent on pattern complexity if the interval exceeded 100 msec or if there was movement or masking. The results are interpreted as evidence for two distinct classes of visual memory: high-capacity sensory storage which is tied to spatial position and is maskable and brief; and schematic short-term visual memory which is not tied to spatial position, which is protected against masking, and which becomes less effective over the first few seconds but not over the first 600 msec.

Perception and Psychophysics: Volume 16, Issue 2

Publication date31/03/1974