WORKING MEMORY AND DISTRACTION: THE EFFICACY OF INFORMATION UPDATING
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Updating can be considered as a basic control process responsible for efficient use of working memory (WM) capacity. It provides dynamic control of the contents of WM. For instance, it is suggested that updating controls the meaning of the information and its relevance to the ongoing task/activity. If so, it is plausible to hypothesize that updating requires both attentional and memory processes. Therefore, updating is characterized as coordinated control of the contents of meta-record (record of the task relevant meaning of remembered pieces of information) and direct record (record of items themselves) in WM. The distinction between contents of these two classes of representation may help to understand and account for ambiguous effects of load in WM tasks. Conducted experiment aims at testing the following broad hypotheses: (1) Updating requires attentional processes and (2) Updating requires interaction of attentional and memory processes. The authors used a complex memory task (MATTE) with auditory noise as a additional factor. They argue that attentional selection is far more important for effective updating than availability of resources or small (few elements) changes in memory load.
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