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Control of interference during working memory updating

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Abstract
The current study examined the nature of the processes underlying working memory updating. In 4 experiments using the n-back paradigm, the authors demonstrate that continuous updating of items in working memory prevents strong binding of those items to their contexts in working memory, and hence leads to an increased susceptibility to proactive interference. Results of Experiments 1 and 2 show that this interference reflects a competition between a process that reveals the degree of familiarity of an item and a context-sensitive recollection process that depends on the strength of bindings in working memory. Experiment 3 further clarifies the origins of interference during updating by demonstrating that even items that are semantically related to the updated working memory contents but that have not been maintained in working memory before cause proactive interference. Finally, the results of Experiment 4 indicate that the occurrence of interference leads to top-down behavioral adjustments that prioritize recollection over familiarity assessment. The implications of these findings for the construct validity of the n-back task, for the control processes involved in working memory updating, and for the concept of executive control more generally are discussed.
Keywords
updating, working memory, proactive interference, executive control, n-back, SHORT-TERM-MEMORY, IMMEDIATE SERIAL-RECALL, COGNITIVE CONTROL, PROACTIVE-INTERFERENCE, TEMPORAL DISTINCTIVENESS, RESPONSE-CONFLICT, NEURAL MECHANISMS, AGE-DIFFERENCES, RUNNING MEMORY, TASK

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Szmalec, Arnaud, Frederick Verbruggen, André Vandierendonck, and Eva Kemps. 2011. “Control of Interference During Working Memory Updating.” Journal of Experimental Psychology-human Perception and Performance 37 (1): 137–151.
APA
Szmalec, Arnaud, Verbruggen, F., Vandierendonck, A., & Kemps, E. (2011). Control of interference during working memory updating. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-HUMAN PERCEPTION AND PERFORMANCE, 37(1), 137–151.
Vancouver
1.
Szmalec A, Verbruggen F, Vandierendonck A, Kemps E. Control of interference during working memory updating. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-HUMAN PERCEPTION AND PERFORMANCE. 2011;37(1):137–51.
MLA
Szmalec, Arnaud, Frederick Verbruggen, André Vandierendonck, et al. “Control of Interference During Working Memory Updating.” JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-HUMAN PERCEPTION AND PERFORMANCE 37.1 (2011): 137–151. Print.
@article{1214429,
  abstract     = {The current study examined the nature of the processes underlying working memory updating. In 4 experiments using the n-back paradigm, the authors demonstrate that continuous updating of items in working memory prevents strong binding of those items to their contexts in working memory, and hence leads to an increased susceptibility to proactive interference. Results of Experiments 1 and 2 show that this interference reflects a competition between a process that reveals the degree of familiarity of an item and a context-sensitive recollection process that depends on the strength of bindings in working memory. Experiment 3 further clarifies the origins of interference during updating by demonstrating that even items that are semantically related to the updated working memory contents but that have not been maintained in working memory before cause proactive interference. Finally, the results of Experiment 4 indicate that the occurrence of interference leads to top-down behavioral adjustments that prioritize recollection over familiarity assessment. The implications of these findings for the construct validity of the n-back task, for the control processes involved in working memory updating, and for the concept of executive control more generally are discussed.},
  author       = {Szmalec, Arnaud and Verbruggen, Frederick and Vandierendonck, André and Kemps, Eva},
  issn         = {0096-1523},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-HUMAN PERCEPTION AND PERFORMANCE},
  keywords     = {updating,working memory,proactive interference,executive control,n-back,SHORT-TERM-MEMORY,IMMEDIATE SERIAL-RECALL,COGNITIVE CONTROL,PROACTIVE-INTERFERENCE,TEMPORAL DISTINCTIVENESS,RESPONSE-CONFLICT,NEURAL MECHANISMS,AGE-DIFFERENCES,RUNNING MEMORY,TASK},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {137--151},
  title        = {Control of interference during working memory updating},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0020365},
  volume       = {37},
  year         = {2011},
}

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