Recognition Decisions From Visual Working Memory Are Mediated by Continuous Latent Strengths

Cognitive Science 41 (6):1510-1532 (2017)
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Abstract

Making recognition decisions often requires us to reference the contents of working memory, the information available for ongoing cognitive processing. As such, understanding how recognition decisions are made when based on the contents of working memory is of critical importance. In this work we examine whether recognition decisions based on the contents of visual working memory follow a continuous decision process of graded information about the correct choice or a discrete decision process reflecting only knowing and guessing. We find a clear pattern in favor of a continuous latent strength model of visual working memory–based decision making, supporting the notion that visual recognition decision processes are impacted by the degree of matching between the contents of working memory and the choices given. Relation to relevant findings and the implications for human information processing more generally are discussed.

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