The visual perception of natural scenes is a dynamic process during which local objects are selected by movements of the eyes and attention. The selective nature of scene perception paces strong constraints on the construction of a visual representation of a scene, as previously selected items must be retained in memory and integrated to form a representation of the scene as a whole. The goal of the proposed research is to investigate the nature of the visual representation constructed during the viewing of natural scenes. Change detection and forced-choice discrimination procedures will be used to investigate four primary questions. First, do visual representations decay upon the withdrawal of attention from an object, and is attending to an object a necessary condition for detecting change to that object? Second, do limitations on change detection (i.e. change blindness) derive solely from constraints on visual memory or do retrieval and comparison constraints play a role in change detection failure? Third, to what extent is the retrieval of object information mediated by spatial position. Fourth, how quickly does visual memory for a local object decay during the viewing of a natural scene? This research will help to determine the specificity of visual memory for natural scenes, the relationship between visual memory attention, and the mechanisms of visual memory encoding and retrieval.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Small Research Grants (R03)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BBBP-4 (01))
Program Officer
Kurtzman, Howard S
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Iowa
Schools of Arts and Sciences
Iowa City
United States
Zip Code
Hollingworth, Andrew; Rasmussen, Ian P (2010) Binding objects to locations: the relationship between object files and visual working memory. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 36:543-64
Hollingworth, Andrew (2007) Object-position binding in visual memory for natural scenes and object arrays. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 33:31-47
Hollingworth, Andrew (2006) Scene and position specificity in visual memory for objects. J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn 32:58-69
Franconeri, Steven L; Hollingworth, Andrew; Simons, Daniel J (2005) Do new objects capture attention? Psychol Sci 16:275-81
Hollingworth, Andrew (2005) The relationship between online visual representation of a scene and long-term scene memory. J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn 31:396-411
Hollingworth, Andrew; Hyun, Joo-Seok; Zhang, Weiwei (2005) The role of visual short-term memory in empty cell localization. Percept Psychophys 67:1332-43
Hollingworth, Andrew; Hollingworth, Andrew (2004) Constructing visual representations of natural scenes: the roles of short- and long-term visual memory. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 30:519-37
Hollingworth, Andrew; Henderson, John M (2004) Sustained change blindness to incremental scene rotation: a dissociation between explicit change detection and visual memory. Percept Psychophys 66:800-7
Hollingworth, Andrew (2003) Failures of retrieval and comparison constrain change detection in natural scenes. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 29:388-403