November 25, 2020

Concurrent visual working memory bias in perception and decision making

Previous work has shown bidirectional crosstalk between Working Memory (WM) and perception, such that the contents of WM can alter what we perceive and vice versa. However, it remains unclear to what extent such crosstalk reflects (i) changes in sensory and mnemonic signals or (ii) biases in their decisional evaluation and subjective reporting. Here, using an extended visuospatial integration task, we report evidence for both sensory and decisional WM-perception interactions and show that they appear functionally dissociable. Spatiotemporally resolved psychometrics during concurrent WM maintenance disclosed (i) a brief visual gain modulation directly after attending the WM information and (ii) categorical reporting biases, in both perceptual and mnemonic decisions, after prolonged unattended storage. The findings highlight a role of decisional processing stages in behaviorally relevant WM-perception interactions and support a view that attended and unattended WM states may rely on representation at different levels of abstraction.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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