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ERIC Number: EJ793377
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May
Pages: 17
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 90
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Working Memory Costs of Task Switching
Liefooghe, Baptist; Barrouillet, Pierre; Vandierendonck, Andre; Camos, Valerie
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v34 n3 p478-494 May 2008
Although many accounts of task switching emphasize the importance of working memory as a substantial source of the switch cost, there is a lack of evidence demonstrating that task switching actually places additional demands on working memory. The present study addressed this issue by implementing task switching in continuous complex span tasks with strictly controlled time parameters. A series of 4 experiments demonstrate that recall performance decreased as a function of the number of task switches and that the concurrent load of item maintenance had no influence on task switching. These results indicate that task switching induces a cost on working memory functioning. Implications for theories of task switching, working memory, and resource sharing are addressed. (Contains 12 tables, 5 footnotes, and 6 figures.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A