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Simultaneous cognitive operations in working memory after dual-task practice


Oberauer, Klaus; Kliegl, Reinhold (2004). Simultaneous cognitive operations in working memory after dual-task practice. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 30(4):689-707.

Abstract

The authors tested the hypothesis that with adequate practice, people can execute 2 cognitive operations in working memory simultaneously. In Experiment 1, 6 students practiced updating 2 items in working memory through 2 sequences of operations (1 numerical, 1 spatial). In different blocks, imperative stimuli for the 2 sequences of operations were presented either simultaneously or sequentially. Initially, most participants experienced substantial dual-task costs. After 24 sessions of practice, operation latencies for simultaneous presentation were equal to the maximum of times for the 2 operations in the sequential condition, suggesting perfect timesharing. Experiment 2 showed that a reduction of dual-task costs requires practice on the combination of the 2 updating tasks, not just practice on each individual task. Hence, the reduction of dual-task costs cannot be explained by shortening or automatization of individual operations.

Abstract

The authors tested the hypothesis that with adequate practice, people can execute 2 cognitive operations in working memory simultaneously. In Experiment 1, 6 students practiced updating 2 items in working memory through 2 sequences of operations (1 numerical, 1 spatial). In different blocks, imperative stimuli for the 2 sequences of operations were presented either simultaneously or sequentially. Initially, most participants experienced substantial dual-task costs. After 24 sessions of practice, operation latencies for simultaneous presentation were equal to the maximum of times for the 2 operations in the sequential condition, suggesting perfect timesharing. Experiment 2 showed that a reduction of dual-task costs requires practice on the combination of the 2 updating tasks, not just practice on each individual task. Hence, the reduction of dual-task costs cannot be explained by shortening or automatization of individual operations.

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49 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:2004
Deposited On:09 Jul 2014 11:46
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:57
Publisher:American Psychological Association
ISSN:0096-1523
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1037/0096-1523.30.4.689

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