Stressing the mind: the effect of cognitive load and articulatory suppression on attentional guidance from working memory.
Soto D., Humphreys GW.
Four experiments explored the effect of cognitive load on the time course of top-down guidance of attention from working memory (WM). Observers had to search for a target presented among several distractors, with the target and distractor stimuli embedded inside different objects. On half of the trials, one of the distractor objects was cued by a matching item held in WM. When a single item was maintained in memory, search performance was impaired relative to a neutral baseline, where the memory and search displays did not match. These effects of WM on subsequent search were reduced by including a verbal suppression task during the WM and search displays, and by varying the WM load. The degree of competition for resources in WM is a key factor in determining the time course and magnitude of the interaction between WM and visual selection.