Intelligence is related to specific processes in visual change detection: Fixed-links modeling of hit rate and reaction time

Stauffer, Corinne; Troche, Stefan; Schweizer, Karl; Rammsayer, Thomas (2014). Intelligence is related to specific processes in visual change detection: Fixed-links modeling of hit rate and reaction time. Intelligence, 43, pp. 8-20. Elsevier 10.1016/j.intell.2013.12.003

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By means of fixed-links modeling, the present study identified different processes of visual short-term memory (VSTM) functioning and investigated how these processes are related to intelligence. We conducted an experiment where the participants were presented with a color change detection task. Task complexity was manipulated through varying the number of presented stimuli (set size). We collected hit rate and reaction time (RT) as indicators for the amount of information retained in VSTM and speed of VSTM scanning, respectively. Due to the impurity of these measures, however, the variability in hit rate and RT was assumed to consist not only of genuine variance due to individual differences in VSTM retention and VSTM scanning but also of other, non-experimental portions of variance. Therefore, we identified two qualitatively different types of components for both hit rate and RT: (1) non-experimental components representing processes that remained constant irrespective of set size and (2) experimental components reflecting processes that increased as a function of set size. For RT, intelligence was negatively associated with the non-experimental components, but was unrelated to the experimental components assumed to represent variability in VSTM scanning speed. This finding indicates that individual differences in basic processing speed, rather than in speed of VSTM scanning, differentiates between high- and low-intelligent individuals. For hit rate, the experimental component constituting individual differences in VSTM retention was positively related to intelligence. The non-experimental components of hit rate, representing variability in basal processes, however, were not associated with intelligence. By decomposing VSTM functioning into non-experimental and experimental components, significant associations with intelligence were revealed that otherwise might have been obscured.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Personality Psychology, Differential Psychology and Diagnostics
10 Strategic Research Centers > Center for Cognition, Learning and Memory (CCLM)

UniBE Contributor:

Stauffer, Corinne; Troche, Stefan and Rammsayer, Thomas


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 370 Education








Karin Dubler

Date Deposited:

18 Mar 2015 16:49

Last Modified:

08 Mar 2019 08:08

Publisher DOI:





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