Time Window from Visual Images to Visual Short-Term Memory: Consolidation or Integration?

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When two dot arrays are briefly presented, separated by a short interval of time, visual short-term memory of the first array is disrupted if the interval between arrays is shorter than 1300-1500 ms (Brockmole, Wang, & Irwin. 2002). Here we investigated whether such a time window was triggered by the necessity to integrate arrays. Using a probe task we removed the need for integration but retained the requirement to represent the images. We found that a long time window was needed for performance to reach asymptote even when integration across images was not required. Furthermore, such window was lengthened if subjects had to remember the locations of the second array, but not if they only conducted a visual search among it. We suggest that a temporal window is required for consolidation of the first array, which is vulnerable to disruption by subsequent images that also need to be memorized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-51
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2004


  • Short-term consolidation
  • Visual integration
  • Visual short-term memory


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