Faculté des lettres

Does long-term memory affect refreshing in verbal working memory?

Camos, Valerie ; Mora, Gérôme ; Oftinger, Anne-Laure ; Mariz Elsig, Stéphanie ; Schneider, Philippe ; Vergauwe, Evie

In: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 2019, vol. 45, no. 9, p. 1664-1682

Attentional refreshing allows the maintenance of information in working memory and has received growing interest in recent years. However, it is still ill-defined and several proposals have been put forward to account for its functioning. Among them, some proposals suggest that refreshing relies on the retrieval of knowledge from semantic long-term memory. To examine such a proposal, the present... More

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    Summary
    Attentional refreshing allows the maintenance of information in working memory and has received growing interest in recent years. However, it is still ill-defined and several proposals have been put forward to account for its functioning. Among them, some proposals suggest that refreshing relies on the retrieval of knowledge from semantic long-term memory. To examine such a proposal, the present study examined the impact on refreshing of two effects known to affect the retrieval from semantic long-term memory: word frequency and lexicality. In working memory span tasks, participants had to maintain memoranda varying in either frequency, or lexicality while performing concurrent tasks. By examining recall performance in complex span tasks and response times for the concurrent task in Brown-Peterson tasks, the present study provided evidence that long-term memory effects (a) affected recall without interacting with manipulation of refreshing and (b) did not affect refreshing speed. These findings challenge the idea that refreshing acts through the retrieval of knowledge from semantic long-term memory. Different WM models are discussed to account for these findings.