Is sustained focused attention necessary for maintaining bindings between features in VSTM?
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The study examined the necessity of attention for maintaining bindings between features in VSTM. A retro-cue methodology was used to explore circumstances of reduced attention primarily, with the hypothesis that reduced attention should see more significant impairments for bound objects than features individually if attention is necessary for maintaining bindings. Results demonstrated that bound objects were no more impaired by reduced attention than individual features, though post-hoc analysis revealed that they were benefited to a greater extent. The findings suggest that attention is not necessary for maintaining bindings but that bound objects can benefit to a greater extent from increased attention than individual feature representations. The implications of these results are discussed in relation to previous studies.