The representation of unseen objects in visual neglect: effects of view and object identity.
Forti S., Humphreys GW.
We provide evidence for long-term priming based on view-specific representations of neglected stimuli. A patient with visual neglect, M.P., was asked to search for a target presented amongst other objects on a table. Subsequently recognition memory was tested for items that were identified and for items missed in search. Items that were missed were rejected more slowly than novel items in the recognition memory task, providing evidence for implicit processing (Experiment 1). Implicit memory for missed items was both item-specific (Experiment 2) and view-specific (Experiment 3), and it was eliminated when there were intervening activities lasting about 1 hour (Experiment 4). There was also an implicit memory for distractors in the search task, which was item- but not view-specific (Experiments 2 and 3) and it lasted for at least an hour, even with other intervening activities (Experiment 4). The data suggest that the representations of neglected stimuli may differ qualitatively from those of nonneglected items, with representations of neglected objects being both view-specific and vulnerable across extended retention intervals. The results support the argument that attention is needed in order to encode object representations that are robust to view transformations and temporal decay or interference.