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Tag: Working Memory

Does syntax bias serial order reconstruction of verbal short-term memory?

Published in: Journal of Memory and Language, Volume 100, June 2018, 98-122 Abstract “Existing models of short-term sequence memory can account for effects of long-term knowledge on the recall of individual items, but have rarely addressed the effects of long-term sequential constraints on recall. We examine syntactic constraints on the ordering of words in verbal short-term memory in four experiments. People were found to have better memory for sequences that more strongly conform to English syntax, and that errors in recall tended to make output sequences more syntactic (i.e., a syntactic bias). Model simulations suggest that the syntactic biasing in verbal short-term recall… Read More

Sympathetic arousal, but not disturbed executive functioning, mediates the impairment of cognitive flexibility under stress

Published in: Cognition, Volume 174, May 2018, 94-102 Abstract “Cognitive flexibility emerges from an interplay of multiple cognitive systems, of which lexical-semantic and executive are thought to be the most important. Yet this has not been addressed by previous studies demonstrating that such forms of flexible thought deteriorate under stress. Motivated by these shortcomings, the present study evaluated several candidate mechanisms implied to mediate the impairing effects of stress on flexible thinking. Fifty-seven healthy adults were randomly assigned to psychosocial stress or control condition while assessed for performance on cognitive flexibility, working memory capacity, semantic fluency, and self-reported cognitive interference. Stress response was indicated… Read More

How sublexical association strength modulates updating: Cognitive and strategic effects

Published in: Memory & Cognition, Volume 46, Issue 2, 285-297 Abstract “In the current study, we investigated updating of long-term memory (LTM) associations. Specifically, we examined sublexical associations by manipulating preexisting LTM relations between consonant couplets (in encoding and updating phases), and explicitly instructed participants to engage with a specific strategy for approaching the task (item disjunction, grouping, or none). In two experiments, we used a multistep subject-based memory updating task in which we measured processing response times (RTs; Exp. 1, Exp. 2) and recognition RTs (Exp. 2). For the first time, in both experiments, we found costs in dismantling strong pre-existing associations from… Read More

Does neighborhood size really cause the word length effect?

Published in: Memory & Cognition, Volume 46, Issue 2, 244-260 Abstract “In short-term serial recall, it is well-known that short words are remembered better than long words. This word length effect has been the cornerstone of the working memory model and a benchmark effect that all models of immediate memory should account for. Currently, there is no consensus as to what determines the word length effect. Jalbert and colleagues (Jalbert, Neath, Bireta, & Surprenant, 2011a; Jalbert, Neath, & Surprenant, 2011b) suggested that neighborhood size is one causal factor. In six experiments we systematically examined their suggestion. In Experiment 1, with an immediate serial recall… Read More

Item strength affects working memory capacity

Published in: Memory & Cognition, Volume 46, Issue 2, 204-215 Abstract “Do the processing and online manipulation of stimuli that are less familiar require more working memory (WM) resources? Is it more difficult to solve demanding problems when the symbols involved are less rather than more familiar? We explored these questions with a dual-task paradigm in which subjects had to solve algebra problems of different complexities while simultaneously holding novel symbol–digit associations in WM. The symbols were previously unknown Chinese characters, whose familiarity was manipulated by differential training frequency with a visual search task for nine hour-long sessions over 3 weeks.… Read More

Neural bases of automaticity

Published in: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, Volume 44, Issue 3, 440-464 Abstract “Automaticity allows us to perform tasks in a fast, efficient, and effortless manner after sufficient practice. Theories of automaticity propose that across practice processing transitions from being controlled by working memory to being controlled by long-term memory retrieval. Recent event-related potential (ERP) studies have sought to test this prediction, however, these experiments did not use the canonical paradigms used to study automaticity. Specifically, automaticity is typically studied using practice regimes with consistent mapping between targets and distractors and spaced practice with individual targets, features that… Read More

Phonological recoding under articulatory suppression

Published in: Memory & Cognition, Volume 46, Issue 2, 173-180 Abstract “We report data from an experiment in which participants performed immediate serial recall of visually presented words with or without articulatory suppression, while also performing homophone or rhyme detection. The separation between homophonous or rhyming pairs in the list was varied. According to the working memory model (Baddeley, 1986; Baddeley & Hitch, 1974), suppression should prevent articulatory recoding. Nevertheless, rhyme and homophone detection was well above chance. However, with suppression, participants showed a greater tendency to false-alarm to orthographically related foils (e.g., GIVE–FIVE). This pattern is similar to that observed in short-term memory… Read More

Primacy and recency effects for taste

Published in: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, Volume 44, Issue 3, 399-405 Abstract “Historically, much of what we know about human memory has been discovered in experiments using visual and verbal stimuli. In two experiments, participants demonstrated reliably high recognition for nonverbal liquids. In Experiment 1, participants showed high accuracy for recognizing tastes (bitter, salty, sour, sweet) over a 30-s delay in a recognition task, even when the probe stimulus was only a different concentration within the same taste. In Experiment 2, participants tasted three liquids and showed both primacy and recency effects in a serial-position recognition task… Read More

Working memory load and the retro-cue effect: A diffusion model account

Published in: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, Volume 44, Issue 2, 286-310 Abstract “Retro-cues (i.e., cues presented between the offset of a memory array and the onset of a probe) have consistently been found to enhance performance in working memory tasks, sometimes ameliorating the deleterious effects of increased memory load. However, the mechanism by which retro-cues exert their influence remains a matter of debate. To inform this debate, we applied a hierarchical diffusion model to data from 4 change detection experiments using single item, location-specific probes (i.e., a local recognition task) with either visual or verbal memory stimuli.… Read More

Combined effects of form- and meaning-based predictability on perceived clarity of speech

Published in: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, Volume 44, Issue 2, 277-285 Abstract “The perceptual clarity of speech is influenced by more than just the acoustic quality of the sound; it also depends on contextual support. For example, a degraded sentence is perceived to be clearer when the content of the speech signal is provided with matching text (i.e., form-based predictability) before hearing the degraded sentence. Here, we investigate whether sentence-level semantic coherence (i.e., meaning-based predictability), enhances perceptual clarity of degraded sentences, and if so, whether the mechanism is the same as that underlying enhancement by matching text.… Read More