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Interference between storage and processing in working memory: Feature overwriting, not similarity-based competition


Oberauer, Klaus (2009). Interference between storage and processing in working memory: Feature overwriting, not similarity-based competition. Memory & Cognition, 37(3):346-357.

Abstract

Eight experiments with the complex span paradigm are presented to investigate why concurrent processing disrupts short-term retention. Increasing the pace of the processing task led to worse recall, supporting the hypothesis that the processing task distracts attention from maintenance operations. Neither phonological nor semantic similarity between memory items and processing-task material impaired memory. In contrast, the degree of phonological overlap between memory items and processing-task material affected recall negatively, supporting feature overwriting as one source of interference in the complex span paradigm. When compared directly, phonological overlap impaired memory, but similarity had a beneficial effect. These findings rule out response competition or confusion as a mechanism of interference between storage and processing. © 2009 The Psychonomic Society, Inc.

Abstract

Eight experiments with the complex span paradigm are presented to investigate why concurrent processing disrupts short-term retention. Increasing the pace of the processing task led to worse recall, supporting the hypothesis that the processing task distracts attention from maintenance operations. Neither phonological nor semantic similarity between memory items and processing-task material impaired memory. In contrast, the degree of phonological overlap between memory items and processing-task material affected recall negatively, supporting feature overwriting as one source of interference in the complex span paradigm. When compared directly, phonological overlap impaired memory, but similarity had a beneficial effect. These findings rule out response competition or confusion as a mechanism of interference between storage and processing. © 2009 The Psychonomic Society, Inc.

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38 citations in Scopus®
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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
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:07 Jul 2014 11:56
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:57
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0090-502X
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3758/MC.37.3.346

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