ERIC Number: EJ1080425
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 50
Remembering to Prepare: The Benefits (and Costs) of High Working Memory Capacity
Richmond, Lauren L.; Redick, Thomas S.; Braver, Todd S.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v41 n6 p1764-1777 Nov 2015
The dual mechanisms of control framework postulates that cognitive control can operate in 2 distinct modes: a "proactive" preparatory mode and a "reactive" wait-and-see mode. Importantly, the 2 modes are associated with both costs and benefits in cognitive performance. Here we explore this framework, in terms of its relationship with working memory capacity (WMC). We hypothesize that high-WMC individuals are more likely to utilize proactive control yielding not only benefits, but also specific costs to performance. Across 2 separate, large-sample experiments, healthy young adults performed different variants of the AX-Continuous Performance Test context processing task, a well-established probe of proactive and reactive cognitive control. In 2 experiments, WMC predicted both improvements and relative impairments in task performance in a manner that was consistent with usage of proactive control. These findings suggest that individuals differ in the degree to which they utilize proactive control based on WMC.
Descriptors: Short Term Memory, Cognitive Processes, Hypothesis Testing, Young Adults, Performance Tests, Responses, College Students, Statistical Analysis, Visual Stimuli, Cues, Correlation, Reaction Time, Regression (Statistics)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A