High working memory load leads to more Ebbinghaus illusion

De Fockert, J. W. and Wu, Si. 2009. High working memory load leads to more Ebbinghaus illusion. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 21(7), pp. 961-970. ISSN 0954-1446 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The evidence that distractor processing increases with greater load on working memory has come mainly from Stroop-type interference tasks, making it difficult to establish whether cognitive load affects distractor processing at the perceptual level or during response selection. We measured the Ebbinghaus illusion under varying levels of working memory load to test whether cognitive control is also relevant for preventing processing of distractors that do not produce any response conflict, and instead affect target processing at the perceptual level. The Ebbinghaus illusion was greater under high working memory load, suggesting that availability of cognitive control functions is critical to reduce distractor processing even for distractors that are not associated with a response. We conclude that the effect of loading working memory during selective attention leads to greater distractor perception.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1080/09541440802689302

Keywords:

Selective attention; Working memory; Ebbinghaus illusion

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Psychology

Dates:

DateEvent
2009Published

Item ID:

2543

Date Deposited:

25 Feb 2010 17:51

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 15:30

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/2543

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