Effects of verbal and nonverbal interference on spatial and object visual working memory.

Citation:
Postle, BR, Desposito M, Corkin S.  2005.  Effects of verbal and nonverbal interference on spatial and object visual working memory., 2005 Mar. Memory & Cognition. 33(2):203-212.

Abstract:

We tested the hypothesis that a verbal coding mechanism is necessarily engaged by object, but not spatial, visual working memory tasks. We employed a dual-task procedure that paired n-back working memory tasks with domain-specific distractor trials inserted into each interstimulus interval of the n-back tasks. In two experiments, object n-back performance demonstrated greater sensitivity to verbal distraction, whereas spatial n-back performance demonstrated greater sensitivity to motion distraction. Visual object and spatial working memory may differ fundamentally in that the mnemonic representation of featural characteristics of objects incorporates a verbal (perhaps semantic) code, whereas the mnemonic representation of the location of objects does not. Thus, the processes supporting working memory for these two types of information may differ in more ways than those dictated by the "what/where" organization of the visual system, a fact more easily reconciled with a component process than a memory systems account of working memory function.

Notes:

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