Searching the same display twice: Properties of short-term memory in repeated search

Margit Höfler*, Iain D. Gilchrist, Christof Körner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Consecutive search for different targets in the same display is supported by a short-term memory mechanism: Distractors that have recently been inspected in the first search are found more quickly in the second search when they become the target (Exp. 1). Here, we investigated the properties of this memory process. We found that this recency advantage is robust to a delay between the two searches (Exp. 2) and that it is only slightly disrupted by an interference task between the two searches (Exp. 3). Introducing a concurrent secondary task (Exp. 4) showed that the memory representations formed in the first search are based on identity as well as location information. Together, these findings show that the short-term memory that supports repeated visual search stores a complex combination of item identity and location that is robust to disruption by either time or interference.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-352
Number of pages18
JournalAttention, Perception, and Psychophysics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

Structured keywords

  • Cognitive Science
  • Visual Perception


  • Eye movements
  • Short-term memory
  • Visual attention
  • Visual search
  • Working memory


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