Visual short-term memory is not improved by training

Ingrid R. Olson, Yuhong Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


A critical question in visual working or short-term memory (VSTM) research is whether the ability to remember briefly presented visual stimuli can be increased. Here we test whether VSTM for locations and shapes is improved by training that allows one to utilize another memory system, visual long-term memory (VLTM). Training was done by repeatedly presenting a subset of memory displays, creating long-term memory traces for these displays. Surprisingly, VSTM performance for repeated displays was not higher than for nonrepeated ones, even though participants recognized repeated displays on a forced-choice test given at the end of the experiment. We suggest that the fidelity of information held by VLTM is inferior to that of information held by VSTM and thus provides no additional benefit over what is extracted on the fly by VSTM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1326-1332
Number of pages7
JournalMemory and Cognition
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2004


Dive into the research topics of 'Visual short-term memory is not improved by training'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this