PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThere is a question of what cognitive resources underlie bistable figure-ground alternation. Figure-ground alternation is accomplished via inhibition. Research highlighting the role of inhibition in working memory processes point to the possible involvement of working memory in figure-ground alternation. We examined this issue by asking participants to simultaneously maintain a working memory load and indicate their perceptual reversals of figure-ground stimuli. Two separate types of working memory tasks were used, a verbal (multi-modal) task and a visual task. Concurrent visual working memory load caused perceptual alteration to speed, while verbal working memory load had no significant effect. This implies that working memory space is needed to maintain the current percept, while inhibition keeps the alternate interpretation from coming to dominance.
Degree ProgramHonors College