(A) Experiment 1. On each trial, participants performed two consecutive visual search tasks. The target objects for both search tasks were presented at the start of the trial. One of the objects could either be a cow, dresser or skate (variable template search; four exemplars per category), and was used for the decoding analyses. The other target was always the same flower (constant template search). The order of presentation (constant or variable template) was manipulated between trials, to create the two main conditions – one in which the variable template was currently relevant, the other in which it was prospectively relevant. To this end, a retro-cue (‘1’ or ‘2’) indicated which of the two previously memorized objects was the target in Search 1. The cue was followed by a delay, then the first search display, followed by a second delay and finally the second search display. Thus, in the Current condition, observers first searched for the variable template (cow, dresser, or skate), and then for the constant template (flower), while this order reversed in the Prospective condition. For each search display, participants indicated whether the target object was present or absent using a button press. At the end of each trial and run participants received feedback about their performance. (B) Experiment 2. Here participants were presented with only one object (cow, dresser or skate) as the possible target template for one of two consecutive visual search tasks. Then a retro-cue appeared, when the cue was ‘1’ the memorized object was a current template, for Search 1; cue ‘2’ indicated that the object was a prospective template, for Search 2; finally, when the cue was ‘0’ the memorized item was not a target in either search and thus it was irrelevant in the trial. The remaining search task in Experiment 2 (either Search 2 in the Current condition, or Search 1 in the Prospective and Irrelevant conditions) was a so-called duplicate search task. In this task, butterflies, motorcycles or trees were presented and participants indicated whether or not any one of the exemplars was shown twice in the display. Thus, here no search template could or needed to be prepared. In the irrelevant condition participants only performed the duplicate search task.