ERIC Number: EJ787451
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Working Memory in Developing and Applying Mental Models from Spatial Descriptions
Brunye, Tad T.; Taylor, Holly A.
Journal of Memory and Language, v58 n3 p701-729 Apr 2008
Four dual-task experiments examined visuospatial, articulatory, and central executive working memory involvement during the development and application of spatial mental models. In Experiments 1 and 2 participants read route and survey spatial descriptions while undertaking one of four secondary tasks targeting working memory components. Converging evidence from map drawing and statement verification tasks indicates that while articulatory mechanisms are involved in processing the language itself, visuospatial and central executive mechanisms are involved in developing spatial mental models, particularly during route description reading. In Experiments 3 and 4 participants undertook the same working memory tasks, but did so during testing; results from memory and secondary task performance converge to demonstrate that using spatial mental models is a visuospatially and centrally demanding process, particularly following route description learning. Taken together, results demonstrate that spatial mental model development and application are contingent upon multiple working memory systems and interact with representational formats.
Descriptors: Memory, Spatial Ability, Task Analysis, Models, Language Processing, Maps, Cognitive Processes, Visual Perception
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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