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Analogous selection processes in declarative and procedural working memory: N-2 list-repetition and task-repetition costs - Zurich Open Repository and Archive


Gade, Miriam; Souza, Alessandra S; Druey, Michel D; Oberauer, Klaus (2017). Analogous selection processes in declarative and procedural working memory: N-2 list-repetition and task-repetition costs. Memory & Cognition, 45(1):26-39.

Abstract

Working memory (WM) holds and manipulates representations for ongoing cognition. Oberauer (Psychology of Learning and Motivation, 51, 45–100, 2009) distinguishes between two analogous WM sub-systems: a declarative WM which handles the objects of thought, and a procedural WM which handles the representations of (cognitive) actions. Here, we assessed whether analogous effects are observed when participants switch between memory sets (declarative representations) and when they switch between task sets (procedural representations). One mechanism assumed to facilitate switching in procedural WM is the inhibition of previously used, but currently irrelevant task sets, as indexed by n-2 task-repetition costs (Mayr & Keele, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 129(1), 4–26, 2000). In this study we tested for an analogous effect in declarative WM. We assessed the evidence for n-2 list-repetition costs across eight experiments in which participants switched between memory lists to perform speeded classifications, mental arithmetic, or a local recognition test. N-2 list-repetition costs were obtained consistently in conditions assumed to increase interference between memory lists, and when lists formed chunks in long-term memory. Further analyses across experiments revealed a substantial contribution of episodic memory to n-2 list-repetition costs, thereby questioning the interpretation of n-2 repetition costs as reflecting inhibition. We reanalyzed the data of eight task-switching experiments, and observed that episodic memory also contributes to n-2 task-repetition costs. Taken together, these results show analogous processing principles in declarative and procedural WM, and question the relevance of inhibitory processes for efficient switching between mental sets.

Abstract

Working memory (WM) holds and manipulates representations for ongoing cognition. Oberauer (Psychology of Learning and Motivation, 51, 45–100, 2009) distinguishes between two analogous WM sub-systems: a declarative WM which handles the objects of thought, and a procedural WM which handles the representations of (cognitive) actions. Here, we assessed whether analogous effects are observed when participants switch between memory sets (declarative representations) and when they switch between task sets (procedural representations). One mechanism assumed to facilitate switching in procedural WM is the inhibition of previously used, but currently irrelevant task sets, as indexed by n-2 task-repetition costs (Mayr & Keele, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 129(1), 4–26, 2000). In this study we tested for an analogous effect in declarative WM. We assessed the evidence for n-2 list-repetition costs across eight experiments in which participants switched between memory lists to perform speeded classifications, mental arithmetic, or a local recognition test. N-2 list-repetition costs were obtained consistently in conditions assumed to increase interference between memory lists, and when lists formed chunks in long-term memory. Further analyses across experiments revealed a substantial contribution of episodic memory to n-2 list-repetition costs, thereby questioning the interpretation of n-2 repetition costs as reflecting inhibition. We reanalyzed the data of eight task-switching experiments, and observed that episodic memory also contributes to n-2 task-repetition costs. Taken together, these results show analogous processing principles in declarative and procedural WM, and question the relevance of inhibitory processes for efficient switching between mental sets.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Date:2017
Deposited On:26 Aug 2016 12:50
Last Modified:14 Jan 2017 02:01
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0090-502X
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3758/s13421-016-0645-4

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