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Control of the contents of working memory - A comparison of two paradigms and two age groups


Oberauer, Klaus (2005). Control of the contents of working memory - A comparison of two paradigms and two age groups. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 31(4):714-728.

Abstract

Two experiments investigated whether young and old adults can temporarily remove information from a capacity-limited central component of working memory (WM) into another component, the activated part of long-term memory (LTM). Experiment 1 used a modified Sternberg recognition task (S. Sternberg, 1969); Experiment 2 used an arithmetic memory-updating task. In both paradigms, participants memorized 2 lists, one of which was cued as temporarily irrelevant. Removal of the irrelevant list from capacity-limited WM was indexed by the disappearance of list-length effects of that list on latencies for concurrent processing tasks. Young adults could outsource the irrelevant list within 2-3 s and retrieve it back into the central part of WM later. Old adults showed the same flexibility in the arithmetic updating task but seemed somewhat less able or inclined to temporarily move information into the activated part of LTM in the modified Sternberg task. Copyright 2005 by the American Psychological Association.

Abstract

Two experiments investigated whether young and old adults can temporarily remove information from a capacity-limited central component of working memory (WM) into another component, the activated part of long-term memory (LTM). Experiment 1 used a modified Sternberg recognition task (S. Sternberg, 1969); Experiment 2 used an arithmetic memory-updating task. In both paradigms, participants memorized 2 lists, one of which was cued as temporarily irrelevant. Removal of the irrelevant list from capacity-limited WM was indexed by the disappearance of list-length effects of that list on latencies for concurrent processing tasks. Young adults could outsource the irrelevant list within 2-3 s and retrieve it back into the central part of WM later. Old adults showed the same flexibility in the arithmetic updating task but seemed somewhat less able or inclined to temporarily move information into the activated part of LTM in the modified Sternberg task. Copyright 2005 by the American Psychological Association.

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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:2005
Deposited On:08 Jul 2014 13:43
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:57
Publisher:American Psychological Association
ISSN:0278-7393
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1037/0278-7393.31.4.714

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