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Flashcards in SPRING working memory and executive attention Deck (31):

what is working memory

online processing of a task over short periods of time
actively holds and processes info
quick access - special access to conscious and way of remembering
assoc with STM - process info into visospatial and phonological loop
baddeley and hitch 1974


types of STM tasks

serial recall
digit and letter span
corsi block task
brookes matrix task
dots task


what STM tasks can be varied to visuospatial info

corsi blocks
brookes matric


describe baddeley 2000 working memory model

central exec control and catrogoris einfo into visuospatial or phonological loop
episodic buffer allows communication between the two
ltm strorage also


define the central executive

drives the whole system (e.g. the boss of working memory) and allocates data to the subsystems (VSS & PL). It also deals with cognitive tasks such as mental arithmetic and problem solving.


define the visuospatial sketch

Stores and processes information in a visual or spatial form


define the phonological loop

part of working memory that deals with spoken and written material
onsists of two parts
Phonological Store (inner ear) – Linked to speech perception
Articulatory control process (inner voice) – Linked to speech production
visual verbal info first go through GP translation before store in phon


how can you investigate the evidence for two seperate wm stored

look at dual tasks studies and dissociations in ability


Farmer berman and fletcher 1986 investigating wm store dissocciations

double dissociation between disruption to performance on verbal (“A is not followed by B – BA”) and spatial (which hand does a manikin hold a probe item) reasoning tasksd


patient KF investigating wm store disocciations

KF suffered brain damage from a motorcycle accident that damaged his short-term memory. KF's impairment was mainly for verbal information - his memory for visual information was largely unaffected.


patient PV investigating wm store disocciations

left hemisphere stroke resulted in normal LTM but impaired verbal STM- unable to decide if a long sentence were true or false (ie the world divides the equator into two hemispheres; the northern and southern) because they couldn’t remember what was at the start of the sentence. also unable to learn pairs of novel words with words they already knew (van-jalka). These experiments helped reach the conclusion that PV is unable to hold items in a short term phonological store.


patient ELD investigating wm store disociations

aneurysm in the right hemisphere
couldn’t remember new routes or faces (could recognise new voices)
ELD has difficulty in remembering short sequences of visuospatial information yet phonological loop function normally
deficit can be interpreted as impairment in the visuospatial sketchpad
ELD shows poor imagery for material exposed to since her illness but not acquired before her illness


describe the slave stores in respect to maintenance and rehearsal

both loops have maintenance and rehearsal of info to keep memory within the store - transfer to ltm


describe engle 2001 wm alternative

working memory capacity = STM and attention
capacity not how many items can be stored but differences in the ability to control attention & maintain information in an active, quickly retrievable state
using attention to maintain or suppress information.
more items maintained as active is a result of ability to control attention not a larger memory store - greater WM capacity = greater ability to use attention to avoid distraction


problem with simple span scores for wm (engle 2001)

digit span score does not correlate very highly with other cognitive capabilities - ability to serial recall verbal strings is not that important?
“Loading” the working memory subsystems doesn’t catastrophically impair cognitive performance
KF and PV are actually quite cognitively competent in “real world” tasks


why might working memory scores be useful

improtant if identifies individua differences in working memory
mean more outside of the lab - good for real world application


daneman and carpenter wm score in real world

reading span predict real world performance on other cognitive measures


what is the digit span task

shown slides with specific stimuli - do task and then recall last 3 digits seen


what is the reading span task

read paragraph then recall last 3 words seeen


what is the operation span task

do mental artihematic and state if answer given is correct and then recall last three words seen


what is exective attention (kane and engle 2002)

capability whereby memory representations are maintained in a highly active state in the presence of interference

individual diffrerences reflect capability to prevent distraction during attentional focus and reflect only in situations that encourage/demand controlled attention
aso reflect attentional focus and secondary memory search set


conway and engle 1994 wm and distrsactions

wm capacity viewed as responsible for maintaining attention on relevant info and suppressing distractions


harsher and zacks 1988 wom and distractions

wm capacity is the content of wm
inhibitory capacity ergulates content and capacity of wm


what are individual differences in executive attention thought to reflect

differences in inhibitory capability


evidence for diff in exec attention as inhibitory capability - antisaccade task (kane, bleckly, conway and engle)

ability to atend to task dominates if able to saccade away from a target


evidence for diff in exec attention as inhibitory capability - stroop task (kane and engle)

reflects attention and inhibition of the dominant reading response


describe Conway, Cowan & Bunting (2001) dichotic listening

showed that high working memory-span participants were less likely than low working memory-span participants to spot their own name on an “unattended” channel.


describe elermeier and zimmer 1997 irrelevant sound effects on task performance

background speech distrupt serial recall and related tasks
causing a 30-50% increase in no errors


describe beaman and jones 1997/2004 irrelevant sound effects on task performance

possibility that wm SPAN accounts for individual differences in auditory distraction on an immediate recall test
no evidence that high wmSPAN more resistant to disruption caused by irrelevant speech in serial or free recal - must actively try to maintain to be recalled list of words in memory
% mean correct decreases w/related sounds across high and low wm
low wm make more semantically related intrusion errors from the irrelevant sound stream in a free recall test


effect of wm capacity on attentional filtering and inhibition beaman 2004

executive attention might act at a lexical (meaningful) level, but not at a purely acoustic (sensory) level
- SPAN mediates semantic components of auditory distraction dissociable from other aspects of the irrelevant sound effect.


Marsh, Sorqvist, Hodgetts, Beaman & Jones, 2015 wm capacity on attentional filtering and inhibition

suggest that it can also influence attentional control if the temporal window of the distractors overlaps with that of the targets