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The effects of refreshing and elaboration on working memory performance, and their contributions to long-term memory formation


Bartsch, Lea M; Singmann, Henrik; Oberauer, Klaus (2018). The effects of refreshing and elaboration on working memory performance, and their contributions to long-term memory formation. Memory & Cognition, 46(5):796-808.

Abstract

Refreshing and elaboration are cognitive processes assumed to underlie verbal working-memory maintenance and assumed to support long-term memory formation. Whereas refreshing refers to the attentional focussing on representations, elaboration refers to linking representations in working memory into existing semantic networks. We measured the impact of instructed refreshing and elaboration on working and long-term memory separately, and investigated to what extent both processes are distinct in their contributions to working as well as long-term memory. Compared with a no-processing baseline, immediate memory was improved by repeating the items, but not by refreshing them. There was no credible effect of elaboration on working memory, except when items were repeated at the same time. Long-term memory benefited from elaboration, but not from refreshing the words. The results replicate the long-term memory benefit for elaboration, but do not support its beneficial role for working memory. Further, refreshing preserves immediate memory, but does not improve it beyond the level achieved without any processing.

Abstract

Refreshing and elaboration are cognitive processes assumed to underlie verbal working-memory maintenance and assumed to support long-term memory formation. Whereas refreshing refers to the attentional focussing on representations, elaboration refers to linking representations in working memory into existing semantic networks. We measured the impact of instructed refreshing and elaboration on working and long-term memory separately, and investigated to what extent both processes are distinct in their contributions to working as well as long-term memory. Compared with a no-processing baseline, immediate memory was improved by repeating the items, but not by refreshing them. There was no credible effect of elaboration on working memory, except when items were repeated at the same time. Long-term memory benefited from elaboration, but not from refreshing the words. The results replicate the long-term memory benefit for elaboration, but do not support its beneficial role for working memory. Further, refreshing preserves immediate memory, but does not improve it beyond the level achieved without any processing.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
08 Research Priority Programs > Dynamics of Healthy Aging
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
Social Sciences & Humanities > Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
Social Sciences & Humanities > Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
Uncontrolled Keywords:DoktoratPsych Erstautor
Language:English
Date:19 March 2018
Deposited On:26 Mar 2018 09:22
Last Modified:08 Apr 2020 23:30
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0090-502X
Additional Information:The data and the analysis scripts can be accessed in the Open Science Framework (https://osf.io/weuc2). This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in "Memory & Cognition". The final authenticated version is available online at: https://doi.org/10.3758/s13421-018-0805-9
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3758/s13421-018-0805-9
PubMed ID:29557069

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