Contingency blindness: Location-identity binding mismatches obscure awareness of spatial contingencies and produce profound interference in visual working memory
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The purpose of the present study was to highlight the role of location-identity binding mismatches in obscuring explicit awareness of a strong contingency. In a spatial-priming procedure, we introduced a high likelihood of location-repeat trials. Experiments 1, 2a, and 2b demonstrated that participants' explicit awareness of this contingency was heavily influenced by the local match in location-identity bindings. In Experiment 3, we sought to determine why location-identity binding mismatches produce such low levels of contingency awareness. Our results suggest that binding mismatches can interfere substantially with visual-memory performance. We attribute the low levels of contingency awareness to participants' inability to remember the critical location-identity binding in the prime on a trial-to-trial basis. These results imply a close interplay between object files and visual working memory.
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