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A working memory system with distributed executive control

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Abstract
Working memory consists of domain-specific storage facilities and domain-general executive control processes. In some working memory theories, these control processes are accounted for via a homunculus, the central executive. In the present article, the author defends a mechanistic view of executive control by adopting the position that executive control is situated in the context of goal-directed behavior to maintain and protect the goal and to select an action to attain the goal. On the basis of findings in task switching and dual tasking, he proposes an adapted multicomponent working memory model in which the central executive is replaced by three interacting components: an executive memory that maintains the task set, a collection of acquired procedural rules, and an engine that executes the procedural rules that match the ensemble of working memory contents. The strongest among the rules that match the ensemble of working memory contents is applied, resulting in changes of the working memory contents or in motor actions. According to this model, goals are attained when the route to the goals is known or can be searched when the route is unknown (problem solving). Empirical evidence for this proposal and new predictions are discussed.
Keywords
executive control, working memory, task switching, executive function, SHORT-TERM-MEMORY, TASK-SWITCHING PERFORMANCE, SPEEDED-CHOICE TASKS, ARTICULATORY SUPPRESSION, INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES, STROOP INTERFERENCE, COGNITIVE-PROCESSES, RESPONSE SELECTION, COMPUTATIONAL THEORY, ELUSIVE HOMUNCULUS

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Citation

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

Chicago
Vandierendonck, André. 2016. “A Working Memory System with Distributed Executive Control.” Perspectives on Psychological Science 11 (1): 74–100.
APA
Vandierendonck, A. (2016). A working memory system with distributed executive control. PERSPECTIVES ON PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE, 11(1), 74–100.
Vancouver
1.
Vandierendonck A. A working memory system with distributed executive control. PERSPECTIVES ON PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE. Sage; 2016;11(1):74–100.
MLA
Vandierendonck, André. “A Working Memory System with Distributed Executive Control.” PERSPECTIVES ON PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE 11.1 (2016): 74–100. Print.
@article{7147834,
  abstract     = {Working memory consists of domain-specific storage facilities and domain-general executive control processes. In some working memory theories, these control processes are accounted for via a homunculus, the central executive. In the present article, the author defends a mechanistic view of executive control by adopting the position that executive control is situated in the context of goal-directed behavior to maintain and protect the goal and to select an action to attain the goal. On the basis of findings in task switching and dual tasking, he proposes an adapted multicomponent working memory model in which the central executive is replaced by three interacting components: an executive memory that maintains the task set, a collection of acquired procedural rules, and an engine that executes the procedural rules that match the ensemble of working memory contents. The strongest among the rules that match the ensemble of working memory contents is applied, resulting in changes of the working memory contents or in motor actions. According to this model, goals are attained when the route to the goals is known or can be searched when the route is unknown (problem solving). Empirical evidence for this proposal and new predictions are discussed.},
  author       = {Vandierendonck, André},
  issn         = {1745-6916},
  journal      = {PERSPECTIVES ON PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE},
  keywords     = {executive control,working memory,task switching,executive function,SHORT-TERM-MEMORY,TASK-SWITCHING PERFORMANCE,SPEEDED-CHOICE TASKS,ARTICULATORY SUPPRESSION,INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES,STROOP INTERFERENCE,COGNITIVE-PROCESSES,RESPONSE SELECTION,COMPUTATIONAL THEORY,ELUSIVE HOMUNCULUS},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {74--100},
  publisher    = {Sage},
  title        = {A working memory system with distributed executive control},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1745691615596790},
  volume       = {11},
  year         = {2016},
}

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