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Working Memory’s Workload Capacity
Memory & Cognition
  • Andrew Heathcote
  • James R. Coleman
  • Ami Eidels
  • James M. Watson
  • Joseph W. Houpt, Wright State University - Main Campus
  • David L. Strayer
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We examined the role of dual-task interference in working memory using a novel dual two-back task that requires a redundant-target response (i.e., a response that neither the auditory nor the visual stimulus occurred two back versus a response that one or both occurred two back) on every trial. Comparisons with performance on single two-back trials (i.e., with only auditory or only visual stimuli) showed that dual-task demands reduced both speed and accuracy. Our task design enabled a novel application of Townsend and Nozawa’s (Journal of Mathematical Psychology 39: 321–359, 1995) workload capacity measure, which revealed that the decrement in dual two-back performance was mediated by the sharing of a limited amount of processing capacity. Relative to most other single and dual n-back tasks, performance measures for our task were more reliable, due to the use of a small stimulus set that induced a high and constant level of proactive interference. For a version of our dual two-back task that minimized response bias, accuracy was also more strongly correlated with complex span than has been found for most other single and dual n-back tasks.

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Citation Information
Andrew Heathcote, James R. Coleman, Ami Eidels, James M. Watson, et al.. "Working Memory’s Workload Capacity" Memory & Cognition (2015) ISSN: 0090502X
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