student profile: Mr Charlie Ludowici


Thesis work

Thesis title: Buffering and Binding of Visual Stimuli

Supervisors: Micah GOLDWATER , Alexander HOLCOMBE

Thesis abstract:

Cueing a stimulus often benefits task performance. This is usually thought to reflect an attention shift. However, previous work indicates that stimuli are sometimes reported via “buffering and binding” - representations of the stimuli are stored in a temporary buffer and one is bound with the cue. In a task where participants must report a cued letter from a stream of letters, they often report letters from shortly before the cue. This occurs at a rate higher than can be accounted for by guessing. Moreover, whereas an attentional shift should result in a positively skewed pattern, the distribution of reported letters’ temporal positions instead appears symmetric . These findings are consistent with the theory that in these tasks, the cue does not trigger an attention shift. Rather, even before the cue was presented, the letters of multiple streams were recognized and their representations buffered. The cue then binds to one of the letter representations. My research investigates the conditions under which cues are retroactively bound, such as in the task described here, and those under which cues lead to an attention shift. I also investigate the qualities of the buffer that underpins performance on this task. What is its capacity? What is the nature of the representations stored in it? What decision process informs participants' responses?

Note: This profile is for a student at the University of Sydney. Views presented here are not necessarily those of the University.