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Two systems of maintenance in verbal working memory: evidence from the word length effect.

Mora G, Camos V - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: Whereas the WLE appeared when participants remained silent, concurrent articulation eliminated the effect.Introducing a concurrent attention demand reduced recall, but did not affect WLE, and did not interact with concurrent articulation.These results support the existence of two systems of maintenance for verbal information.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: LEAD-CNRS, Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France.

ABSTRACT
The extended time-based resource-sharing (TBRS) model suggested a working memory architecture in which an executive loop and a phonological loop could both support the maintenance of verbal information. The consequence of such a framework is that phonological effects known to impact the maintenance of verbal information, like the word length effect (WLE), should depend on the use of the phonological loop, but should disappear under the maintenance by the executive loop. In two previous studies, introducing concurrent articulation in complex span tasks barely affected WLE, contradicting the prediction from the TBRS model. The present study re-evaluated the WLE in a complex span task while controlling for time parameters and the amount of concurrent articulation. Specifically, we used a computer-paced span task in which participants remembered lists of either short or long words while concurrently either articulating or making a location judgment. Whereas the WLE appeared when participants remained silent, concurrent articulation eliminated the effect. Introducing a concurrent attention demand reduced recall, but did not affect WLE, and did not interact with concurrent articulation. These results support the existence of two systems of maintenance for verbal information.

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Percentage of words recalled in correct position for short and long words as a function of concurrent task to perform.
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pone-0070026-g002: Percentage of words recalled in correct position for short and long words as a function of concurrent task to perform.

Mentions: Recall performance was scored as the proportion of words recalled in correct position. An analysis of variance was performed with the length of words (long vs. short), the occurrence of the location judgment task (with vs. without) and the presence of a concurrent articulation (with vs. without) as within-subject factors. The analysis revealed three main effects. First, both the occurrence of the location judgment task and of the concurrent articulation reduced recall performance, from 69% to 57% for concurrent location judgment task, F(1,35) = 37.76, p<.001, η2p = .52, and from 73% to 53% for concurrent articulation task, F(1,35) = 84.79, p<.001, η2p = .71. Second, short words (65%) were better recalled than long words (61%), F(1,35) = 14.90, p<.001, η2p = .30. The occurrence of the location judgment task did not interact with length of words to remember or with the presence of concurrent articulation, Fs <1. However, the interaction between WLE and concurrent articulation was significant, F(1,35) = 5.98, p<.05, η2p = .15 (Figure 2). Recall was greater for short than long words in conditions involving no articulation, namely, the unfilled condition (82% and 75%, respectively), F(1,35) = 6.50, p<.05, η2p = .16, and the location judgment task condition (71% and 63%, respectively), F(1,35) = 8.98, p<.01, η2p = .20. However, the WLE was not significant in conditions with concurrent articulation, Fs <1 (respectively 59% and 58% for short and long words in articulation condition, and 48% and 46% in condition involving both articulation and location judgment tasks). The three-way interaction was not significant, F <1.


Two systems of maintenance in verbal working memory: evidence from the word length effect.

Mora G, Camos V - PLoS ONE (2013)

Percentage of words recalled in correct position for short and long words as a function of concurrent task to perform.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3722204&req=5

pone-0070026-g002: Percentage of words recalled in correct position for short and long words as a function of concurrent task to perform.
Mentions: Recall performance was scored as the proportion of words recalled in correct position. An analysis of variance was performed with the length of words (long vs. short), the occurrence of the location judgment task (with vs. without) and the presence of a concurrent articulation (with vs. without) as within-subject factors. The analysis revealed three main effects. First, both the occurrence of the location judgment task and of the concurrent articulation reduced recall performance, from 69% to 57% for concurrent location judgment task, F(1,35) = 37.76, p<.001, η2p = .52, and from 73% to 53% for concurrent articulation task, F(1,35) = 84.79, p<.001, η2p = .71. Second, short words (65%) were better recalled than long words (61%), F(1,35) = 14.90, p<.001, η2p = .30. The occurrence of the location judgment task did not interact with length of words to remember or with the presence of concurrent articulation, Fs <1. However, the interaction between WLE and concurrent articulation was significant, F(1,35) = 5.98, p<.05, η2p = .15 (Figure 2). Recall was greater for short than long words in conditions involving no articulation, namely, the unfilled condition (82% and 75%, respectively), F(1,35) = 6.50, p<.05, η2p = .16, and the location judgment task condition (71% and 63%, respectively), F(1,35) = 8.98, p<.01, η2p = .20. However, the WLE was not significant in conditions with concurrent articulation, Fs <1 (respectively 59% and 58% for short and long words in articulation condition, and 48% and 46% in condition involving both articulation and location judgment tasks). The three-way interaction was not significant, F <1.

Bottom Line: Whereas the WLE appeared when participants remained silent, concurrent articulation eliminated the effect.Introducing a concurrent attention demand reduced recall, but did not affect WLE, and did not interact with concurrent articulation.These results support the existence of two systems of maintenance for verbal information.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: LEAD-CNRS, Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France.

ABSTRACT
The extended time-based resource-sharing (TBRS) model suggested a working memory architecture in which an executive loop and a phonological loop could both support the maintenance of verbal information. The consequence of such a framework is that phonological effects known to impact the maintenance of verbal information, like the word length effect (WLE), should depend on the use of the phonological loop, but should disappear under the maintenance by the executive loop. In two previous studies, introducing concurrent articulation in complex span tasks barely affected WLE, contradicting the prediction from the TBRS model. The present study re-evaluated the WLE in a complex span task while controlling for time parameters and the amount of concurrent articulation. Specifically, we used a computer-paced span task in which participants remembered lists of either short or long words while concurrently either articulating or making a location judgment. Whereas the WLE appeared when participants remained silent, concurrent articulation eliminated the effect. Introducing a concurrent attention demand reduced recall, but did not affect WLE, and did not interact with concurrent articulation. These results support the existence of two systems of maintenance for verbal information.

Show MeSH