A1 Journal article (refereed)
The differential impact of face distractors on visual working memory across encoding and delay stages (2024)

Ye, C., Xu, Q., Pan, Z., Nie, Q.-Y., & Liu, Q. (2024). The differential impact of face distractors on visual working memory across encoding and delay stages. Attention Perception and Psychophysics, Early online. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13414-024-02895-6

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsYe, Chaoxiong; Xu, Qianru; Pan, Zhihu; Nie, Qi-Yang; Liu, Qiang

Journal or seriesAttention Perception and Psychophysics



Publication year2024

Publication date31/05/2024

VolumeEarly online

PublisherSpringer Nature

Publication countryUnited States

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/95904

Web address of parallel published publication (pre-print)https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/xdycp


External distractions often occur when information must be retained in visual working memory (VWM)—a crucial element in cognitive processing and everyday activities. However, the distraction effects can differ if they occur during the encoding rather than the delay stages. Previous research on these effects used simple stimuli (e.g., color and orientation) rather than considering distractions caused by real-world stimuli on VWM. In the present study, participants performed a facial VWM task under different distraction conditions across the encoding and delay stages to elucidate the mechanisms of distraction resistance in the context of complex real-world stimuli. VWM performance was significantly impaired by delay-stage but not encoding-stage distractors (Experiment 1). In addition, the delay distraction effect arose primarily due to the absence of distractor process at the encoding stage rather than the presence of a distractor during the delay stage (Experiment 2). Finally, the impairment in the delay-distraction condition was not due to the abrupt appearance of distractors (Experiment 3). Taken together, these findings indicate that the processing mechanisms previously established for resisting distractions in VWM using simple stimuli can be extended to more complex real-world stimuli, such as faces.

Keywordsmemory (cognition)working memoryvisual memoryinterferencesstimuli (role related to effect)cognitive processesface

Free keywordsvisual short-term memory; facial distractor; encoding stage; delay stage; distraction effect

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Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2024

Preliminary JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-16-06 at 07:32