Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

What is working memory capacity?


Oberauer, Klaus (2017). What is working memory capacity? Estudios de Psicologia, 38(2):338-384.

Abstract

The question ‘what is working memory capacity?’ can be approached from the individual-differences and the experimental perspective. The first part of the article reviews individual-differences research that aims to determine the source of common variance among tests of working memory and related complex cognitive activities, such as reasoning and text comprehension. I propose that the ability to build, maintain and update temporary bindings between content and context representations underlies the shared variance of these variables. Multiple bindings must be maintained simultaneously for building new structural representations that underlie reasoning and language comprehension. Interference between these bindings limits the complexity of these structural representations. The second part of the article reviews experimental work, informed by computational modelling of the mechanisms of working memory. I introduce an interference-based model of working memory, SOB-CS, and review experiments with complex-span tasks that test predictions from that model. The experiments support the assumption that the capacity of working memory is limited by two forms of interference: interference by superposition of multiple bindings between distributed representations, and interference by confusion of similar items, and of items bound to similar contexts.

Abstract

The question ‘what is working memory capacity?’ can be approached from the individual-differences and the experimental perspective. The first part of the article reviews individual-differences research that aims to determine the source of common variance among tests of working memory and related complex cognitive activities, such as reasoning and text comprehension. I propose that the ability to build, maintain and update temporary bindings between content and context representations underlies the shared variance of these variables. Multiple bindings must be maintained simultaneously for building new structural representations that underlie reasoning and language comprehension. Interference between these bindings limits the complexity of these structural representations. The second part of the article reviews experimental work, informed by computational modelling of the mechanisms of working memory. I introduce an interference-based model of working memory, SOB-CS, and review experiments with complex-span tasks that test predictions from that model. The experiments support the assumption that the capacity of working memory is limited by two forms of interference: interference by superposition of multiple bindings between distributed representations, and interference by confusion of similar items, and of items bound to similar contexts.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics

Altmetrics

Additional indexing

Other titles:¿Qué es la capacidad de la memoria de trabajo?
Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:01 Nov 2017 09:31
Last Modified:19 Feb 2018 09:05
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0210-9395
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/02109395.2017.1295579

Download

Full text not available from this repository.
View at publisher