Visual short-term memory for sequential arrays

Arjun Kumar, Yuhong Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The capacity of visual short-term memory (VSTM) for a single visual display has been investigated in past research, but VSTM for multiple sequential arrays has been explored only recently. In this study, we investigate the capacity of VSTM across two sequential arrays separated by a variable stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA). VSTM for spatial locations (Experiment 1), colors (Experiments 2-4), orientations (Experiments 3 and 4), and conjunction of color and orientation (Experiment 4) were tested, with the SOA across the two sequential arrays varying from 100 to 1,500 msec. We find that VSTM for the trailing array is much better than VSTM for the leading array, but when averaged across the two arrays VSTM has a constant capacity independent of the SOA. We suggest that multiple displays compete for retention in VSTM and that separating information into two temporally discrete groups does not enhance the overall capacity of VSTM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)488-498
Number of pages11
JournalMemory and Cognition
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2005


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