Accession Number : ADA312967

Title :   Retrieval and Storage Consequences of Working Memory Limitations.

Descriptive Note : Final rept. 1 Jul 94-30 Jun 96,

Corporate Author : SOUTH CAROLINA UNIV COLUMBIA DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY

Personal Author(s) : Engle, Randall W.

PDF Url : ADA312967

Report Date : 31 JUL 1996

Pagination or Media Count : 15

Abstract : Over the two years of the ASSERT grant and the 3 years of the parent grant, the students supported by the grants performed studies that greatly extended our knowledge about the importance of working memory capacity in the performance of cognitive tasks and clarified the nature of the causes of individual differences in working memory capacity. One set of studies showed that working memory capacity was important in the suppression of distracting information. Individuals with greater working memory resources are better able to block and inhibit both distract ing events from the environment and thoughts that interfere with ongoing processing. This places even greater importance on the evaluation of individual differences in working memory for jobs in which distractions could impede performance. The final project on the grants was a large factor analysis of working memory tasks, short-term memory tasks, general fluid intelligence tests and Verbal and Quantitative Scholastic Aptitude Tests. The analysis clearly demonstrated that a wide variety of so-called working memory tasks reflect a common latent trait and that the trait is very closely related to both general fluid intelligence and to aptitude as measured by the SAT's. If the renewal of these grants is funded, my lab will pursue the role of attention switching and task switching in working memory capacity and the relationship between many findings from my lab over the years and findings with patients with damage to the prefrontal cortex of the brain. This would suggest that individual differences in working memory capacity reflects differences in functioning of the central attentional system in general and the prefrontal cortex in particular.

Descriptors :   *MEMORY(PSYCHOLOGY), *INFORMATION RETRIEVAL, *DATA STORAGE SYSTEMS, BRAIN, STUDENTS, CAPACITY(QUANTITY), COGNITION, MEMORY DEVICES, LIMITATIONS, RESOURCES, SWITCHING, ATTENTION, FACTOR ANALYSIS, INTELLIGENCE TESTS.

Subject Categories : Psychology
      Personnel Management and Labor Relations

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE