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Simple measurement models for complex working-memory tasks


Oberauer, Klaus; Lewandowsky, Stephan (2019). Simple measurement models for complex working-memory tasks. Psychological Review:ePub ahead of print.

Abstract

We introduce a framework for simple measurement models for working memory, and apply it to complex-span and memory-updating tasks. Memory Measurement Models (M3) use the frequency distribution across response categories to measure continuous memory strength along 2 dimensions: Memory for individual elements, potentially relying on persistent activation of unified representations, and memory for relations, relying on temporary bindings. Experiment 1 provides evidence for the validity of the parameters measuring these two dimensions of strength. The effects of experimental manipulations on these 2 dimensions can be captured by additional model parameters that reflect hypothetical processes affecting memory. Across five further experiments we illustrate how M3 can be used to measure 3 such processes: The continued strengthening of memory representations during the retention interval (extended encoding), the dampening of encoding of irrelevant information (filtering), and the removal of irrelevant information from memory. In one experiment we compare young and old adults on complex-span tasks and working memory updating. In both paradigms, old adults showed impaired memory for relations but no impairment in memory for individual elements. There was partial evidence for age differences in extended encoding and removal; there were no age differences in filtering. We suggest that M3 offer a computationally efficient approach to identifying memory processes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

Abstract

We introduce a framework for simple measurement models for working memory, and apply it to complex-span and memory-updating tasks. Memory Measurement Models (M3) use the frequency distribution across response categories to measure continuous memory strength along 2 dimensions: Memory for individual elements, potentially relying on persistent activation of unified representations, and memory for relations, relying on temporary bindings. Experiment 1 provides evidence for the validity of the parameters measuring these two dimensions of strength. The effects of experimental manipulations on these 2 dimensions can be captured by additional model parameters that reflect hypothetical processes affecting memory. Across five further experiments we illustrate how M3 can be used to measure 3 such processes: The continued strengthening of memory representations during the retention interval (extended encoding), the dampening of encoding of irrelevant information (filtering), and the removal of irrelevant information from memory. In one experiment we compare young and old adults on complex-span tasks and working memory updating. In both paradigms, old adults showed impaired memory for relations but no impairment in memory for individual elements. There was partial evidence for age differences in extended encoding and removal; there were no age differences in filtering. We suggest that M3 offer a computationally efficient approach to identifying memory processes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

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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
Language:English
Date:16 September 2019
Deposited On:30 Sep 2019 13:31
Last Modified:01 Oct 2019 07:33
Publisher:American Psychological Association
ISSN:0033-295X
Additional Information:This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1037/rev0000159
Related URLs:https://osf.io/vkhmu/
PubMed ID:31524425
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID100014_149193
  • : Project TitleThe Role of Rehearsal in Working Memory
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID100014_179002
  • : Project TitleTowards a Comprehensive Computational Model of Working Memory

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