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Is Rehearsal an Effective Maintenance Strategy for Working Memory?


Oberauer, Klaus (2019). Is Rehearsal an Effective Maintenance Strategy for Working Memory? Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 23(9):798-809.

Abstract

A common assumption in theories of working memory is that a maintenance process – broadly referred to as rehearsal – is involved in keeping novel information available. This review evaluates the effectiveness of three forms of rehearsal: articulatory rehearsal, attention-based refreshing, and elaborative rehearsal. Evidence for the effectiveness of these strategies is surprisingly weak. Experimental manipulations of articulatory rehearsal have yielded working memory benefits in children, but not in adults; experimentally induced refreshing prioritizes the refreshed information, but yields little benefit compared to a baseline without induced refreshing; and elaborative rehearsal improves episodic long-term memory but has little effect on working memory. Thus, although adults spontaneously use some of these strategies, rehearsal might not play a causal role in keeping information in working memory.

Abstract

A common assumption in theories of working memory is that a maintenance process – broadly referred to as rehearsal – is involved in keeping novel information available. This review evaluates the effectiveness of three forms of rehearsal: articulatory rehearsal, attention-based refreshing, and elaborative rehearsal. Evidence for the effectiveness of these strategies is surprisingly weak. Experimental manipulations of articulatory rehearsal have yielded working memory benefits in children, but not in adults; experimentally induced refreshing prioritizes the refreshed information, but yields little benefit compared to a baseline without induced refreshing; and elaborative rehearsal improves episodic long-term memory but has little effect on working memory. Thus, although adults spontaneously use some of these strategies, rehearsal might not play a causal role in keeping information in working memory.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Experimental and Cognitive Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
Language:English
Date:1 September 2019
Deposited On:21 Aug 2019 09:49
Last Modified:02 Oct 2019 08:50
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1364-6613
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2019.06.002
PubMed ID:31301953

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Language: English
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Embargo till: 2020-10-01