|Accuracy and confidence of visual short-term memory do not go hand-in-hand: behavioral and neural dissociations
|Bona, S. and Silvanto, J.
Currently influential models of working memory posit that memory content is highly accessible to conscious inspection. These models predict that metacognition of memory performance should go hand-in-hand with the accuracy of the underlying memory representation. To test this view, we investigated how visual information presented during the maintenance period affects VSTM accuracy and confidence. We used a delayed cue–target orientation discrimination task in which participants were asked to hold in memory a grating, and during the maintenance period a second memory cue could be presented. VSTM accuracy of the first memory cue was impaired when the orientation of the second memory cue was sufficiently different. However, participants' response confidence was reduced whenever the second memory cue was presented; thus VSTM accuracy and confidence were dissociated. In a second experiment, we applied transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) to investigate the causal role of this region in VSTM metacognition. Relative to the sham condition, anodal tDCS induced a general reduction in confidence ratings but did not affect VSTM accuracy. Overall, these results indicate that our metacognition of memory performance is influenced by factors other than the accuracy of the underlying memory representation.
|Public Library of Science
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
|24 Mar 2014