Grange, JA and Moore, SB (2022) mixtur: An R package for designing, analysing, and modelling continuous report visual short-term memory studies. Behavior Research Methods. ISSN 1554-351X

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Visual short-term memory (vSTM) is often measured via continuous-report tasks whereby participants are presented with stimuli that vary along a continuous dimension (e.g., colour) with the goal of memorising the stimulus features. At test, participants are probed to recall the feature value of one of the memoranda in a continuous manner (e.g., by clicking on a colour wheel). The angular deviation between the participant response and the true feature value provides an estimate of recall precision. Two prominent models of performance on such tasks are the two- and three-component mixture models (Bays et al., 2009; Zhang & Luck, 2008). Both models decompose participant responses into probabilistic mixtures of: (1) responses to the true target value based on a noisy memory representation; (2) random guessing when memory fails. In addition, the three-component model proposes (3) responses to a non-target feature value (i.e., binding errors). Here we report the development of mixtur, an open-source package written for the statistical programming language R that facilitates the fitting of the 2- and 3-component mixture models to continuous report data. We also conduct simulations to develop recommendations for researchers on trial numbers, set-sizes and memoranda similarity, as well as parameter recovery and model recovery. In the Discussion, we discuss how mixtur can be used to fit the slots and the slots-plus-averaging models, as well as how mixtur can be extended to fit explanatory models of visual short-term memory. It is our hope that mixtur will lower the barrier of entry for utilising mixture modelling.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Uncontrolled Keywords: Visual short-term memory; Mixture modelling; R; Simulation
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2021 14:28
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2022 13:04

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