abstract Edwin Dalmaijer

Edwin Dalmaijer (University of Oxford, UK)

Is encoding into visual working memory a serial process?

Visual Working Memory (VWM) is a highly limited resource that we use to temporarily store information on items that we encounter. How different items are encoded into VWM remains unclear: Some think that individuals can encode multiple items in parallel, while others argue that encoding is serial, with only one item being processed at a time. Although this process is fundamental to the binding problem, and several contemporary models of VWM, there is little consensus in the existing literature. We investigated this problem using novel twists on the classic whole report paradigm, which allowed for statistical modelling of continuous error distributions. Contrary to our original expectations, our results support the idea that encoding into visual working memory is a parallel process. Multiple items can be encoded at the same time, although not necessarily at the same rate.