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ERIC Number: EJ921380
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 80
ISSN: ISSN-0033-295X
On the Law Relating Processing to Storage in Working Memory
Barrouillet, Pierre; Portrat, Sophie; Camos, Valerie
Psychological Review, v118 n2 p175-192 Apr 2011
"Working memory" is usually defined in cognitive psychology as a system devoted to the simultaneous processing and maintenance of information. However, although many models of working memory have been put forward during the last decades, they often leave underspecified the dynamic interplay between processing and storage. Moreover, the account of their interaction proposed by the most popular A. D. Baddeley and G. Hitch's (1974) multiple-component model is contradicted by facts, leaving unresolved one of the main issues of cognitive functioning. In this article, the authors derive from the time-based resource-sharing model of working memory a mathematical function relating the cognitive load involved by concurrent processing to the amount of information that can be simultaneously maintained active in working memory. A meta-analysis from several experiments testing the effects of processing on storage corroborates the parameters of the predicted function, suggesting that it properly reflects the law relating the 2 functions of working memory. (Contains 3 figures, 1 table and 3 footnotes.)
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 - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A