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Working Memory Capacity Limits Memory for Bindings


Oberauer, Klaus (2019). Working Memory Capacity Limits Memory for Bindings. Journal of Cognition, 2(1):40.

Abstract

I propose that the capacity of working memory places a specific limit on the maintenance of temporary bindings. Two experiments support this : Participants remembered word lists of varying length. When tested on a randomly selected word, their error rates increased with the length of the list, reflecting a limited capacity for short-term maintenance. This increase in errors was predominantly due to binding errors: People confused the correct word with other words of the current memory list, but very rarely with words not in the list. The frequencies of response choices were analyzed through two measurement models - one based on the assumption of discrete memory states, one on the assumption of continuous memory strength - that capture memory for items and for bindings in separate parameters. Increasing memory set size impaired binding memory but not item memory, supporting the binding hypothesis.

Abstract

I propose that the capacity of working memory places a specific limit on the maintenance of temporary bindings. Two experiments support this : Participants remembered word lists of varying length. When tested on a randomly selected word, their error rates increased with the length of the list, reflecting a limited capacity for short-term maintenance. This increase in errors was predominantly due to binding errors: People confused the correct word with other words of the current memory list, but very rarely with words not in the list. The frequencies of response choices were analyzed through two measurement models - one based on the assumption of discrete memory states, one on the assumption of continuous memory strength - that capture memory for items and for bindings in separate parameters. Increasing memory set size impaired binding memory but not item memory, supporting the binding hypothesis.

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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:19 September 2019
Deposited On:11 Oct 2019 08:39
Last Modified:21 Oct 2019 13:22
Publisher:European Society for Cognitive Psychology
ISSN:2514-4820
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.5334/joc.86
PubMed ID:31576379
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID100014_179002
  • : Project TitleTowards a Comprehensive Computational Model of Working Memory

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