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20-10-2015 | Original Article

Working memory updating occurs independently of the need to maintain task-context: accounting for triggering updating in the AX-CPT paradigm

Auteurs: Yoav Kessler, Liad J. Baruchin, Anat Bouhsira-Sabag

Gepubliceerd in: Psychological Research | Uitgave 1/2017

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Abstract

Theoretical models suggest that maintenance and updating are two functional states of working memory (WM), which are controlled by a gate between perceptual information and WM representations. Opening the gate enables updating WM with input, while closing it enables keeping the maintained information shielded from interference. However, it is still unclear when gate opening takes place, and what is the external signal that triggers it. A version of the AX-CPT paradigm was used to examine a recent proposal in the literature, suggesting that updating is triggered whenever the maintenance of the context is necessary for task performance (context-dependent tasks). In four experiments using this paradigm, we show that (1) a task-switching cost takes place in both context-dependent and context-independent trials; (2) task-switching is additive to the dependency effect, and (3) unlike switching cost, the dependency effect is not affected by preparation and, therefore, does not reflect context-updating. We suggest that WM updating is likely to be triggered by a simple mechanism that occurs in each trial of the task regardless of whether maintaining the context is needed or not. The implications for WM updating and its relationship to task-switching are discussed.
Voetnoten
1
The sample size varied between the experiments. Experiment 1 was a replication of D’Ardenne et al.’s study, and served for a proof of concept towards the following experiments. Experiments 2 and 3 were designed to enable a more fine-grained analysis, and hence included more participants. N was larger in Experiment 4 to compensate for the smaller reliability of the measurement, compared to Experiments 1–3, due the smaller number of trials per condition.
 
2
This variable is typically termed “task-rule congruency” in the task-switching literature (Meiran & Kessler, 2008). We decided to keep the term “dependency” in order to be consistent with D’Ardenne and colleagues’ paper terminology.
 
3
It should be noted that a CTI of 750 ms is typically considered to be relatively long in the task-switching literature. While acknowledging this fact, this interval was selected in order to remain as close as possible to the original paradigm, in which (unlike most task-switching experiments) the cue disappears for 500 ms before the probe is presented. Accordingly, a 750 ms CTI involves a cue presentation for 250 ms, plus the 500 ms interval.
 
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Metagegevens
Titel
Working memory updating occurs independently of the need to maintain task-context: accounting for triggering updating in the AX-CPT paradigm
Auteurs
Yoav Kessler
Liad J. Baruchin
Anat Bouhsira-Sabag
Publicatiedatum
20-10-2015
Uitgeverij
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Gepubliceerd in
Psychological Research / Uitgave 1/2017
Print ISSN: 0340-0727
Elektronisch ISSN: 1430-2772
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-015-0717-2

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