Integrated cross-domain object storage in working memory: Evidence from a verbal-spatial memory task

Candice C. Morey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Working-memory theories often include domain-specific verbal and visual stores (e.g., the phonological and visuospatial buffers of Baddeley, 1986), and some also posit more general stores thought to be capable of holding verbal or visuospatial materials (Baddeley, 2000; Cowan, 2005). However, it is currently unclear which type of store is primarily responsible for maintaining objects that include components from multiple domains. In these studies, a spatial array of letters was followed by a single probe identical to an item in the array or differing systematically in spatial location, letter identity, or their combination. Concurrent verbal rehearsal suppression impaired memory in each of these trial types in a task that required participants to remember verbal-spatial binding, but did not impair memory for spatial locations if the task did not require verbal-spatial binding for a correct response. Thus, spatial information might be stored differently when it must be bound to verbal information. This suggests that a cross-domain store such as the episodic buffer of Baddeley (2000) or the focus of attention of Cowan (2001) might be used for integrated object storage, rather than the maintenance of associations between features stored in separate domain-specific buffers.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberPII 910453425
Pages (from-to)2235-2251
Number of pages17
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Volume62
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • SHORT-TERM-MEMORY
  • INFORMATION
  • SYSTEMS
  • Working memory
  • BINDING
  • MODALITIES
  • CAPACITY
  • FEATURES
  • Focus of attention
  • NUMBER
  • Episodic buffer
  • CONJUNCTIONS
  • MECHANISMS

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