Edward F. Ester

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Working memory (WM) involves maintaining information in an on-line state. One emerging view is that information in WM is maintained via sensory recruitment, such that information is stored via sustained activity in the sensory areas that encode the to-be-remembered information. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we observed that key sensory(More)
Working memory (WM) enables the storage and manipulation of information in an active state. WM storage has long been associated with sustained increases in activation across a network of frontal and parietal cortical regions. However, recent evidence suggests that these regions primarily encode information related to general task goals rather than(More)
Recent studies suggest that visual features are stored in working memory (WM) via sensory recruitment or sustained stimulus-specific patterns of activity in cortical regions that encode memoranda. One important question concerns the spatial extent of sensory recruitment. One possibility is that sensory recruitment is restricted to neurons that are(More)
For centuries, it has been known that humans can rapidly and accurately enumerate small sets of items, a process referred to as subitizing. However, there is still active debate regarding the mechanisms that mediate this ability. For example, some have argued that subitizing reflects the operation of a fixed-capacity individuation mechanism that enables(More)
Recent studies suggest that the temporary storage of visual detail in working memory is mediated by sensory recruitment or sustained patterns of stimulus-specific activation within feature-selective regions of visual cortex. According to a strong version of this hypothesis, the relative "quality" of these patterns should determine the clarity of an(More)
Working memory (WM) enables the maintenance and manipulation of information relevant to behavioral goals. Variability in WM ability is strongly correlated with IQ [1], and WM function is impaired in many neurological and psychiatric disorders [2, 3], suggesting that this system is a core component of higher cognition. WM storage is thought to be mediated by(More)
Various studies have demonstrated enhanced visual processing when information is presented across both visual hemifields rather than in a single hemifield (the bilateral advantage). For example, Alvarez and Cavanagh (2005) reported that observers were able to track twice as many moving visual stimuli when the tracked items were presented bilaterally rather(More)
Visual perception is dramatically impaired when a peripheral target is embedded within clutter, a phenomenon known as visual crowding. Despite decades of study, the mechanisms underlying crowding remain a matter of debate. Feature pooling models assert that crowding results from a compulsory pooling (e.g., averaging) of target and distractor features. This(More)
Are resources in visual working memory allocated in a continuous or a discrete fashion? On one hand, flexible resource models suggest that capacity is determined by a central resource pool that can be flexibly divided such that items of greater complexity receive a larger share of resources. On the other hand, if capacity in working memory is defined in(More)
Spatial attention has been postulated to facilitate perceptual processing via several different mechanisms. For instance, attention can amplify neural responses in sensory areas (sensory gain), mediate neural variability (noise modulation), or alter the manner in which sensory signals are selectively read out by postsensory decision mechanisms (efficient(More)