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Rehearsal in spatial working memory

By Edward Awh, John Jonides and Patricia A. Reuter-lorenz


This article reports 3 experiments that tested a hypothesis regarding the nature of rehearsal in spatial working memory, one in which discrete shifts of spatial selective attention mediate the maintenance of location-specific representations. Experiment 1 demonstrated increases in visual processing efficiency for locations held in working memory, which suggested that attention was oriented toward these locations. Experiment 2 eliminated key alternative explanations for Experiment 1 by using an identical stimulus display with a nonspatial memory task, and little or no facilitation of processing at memorized locations was found under these conditions. Finally, Experiment 3 showed that spatial working memory was impaired when participants were hindered in their ability to attend to memorized locations. It is argued that these results implicate selective spatial attention as a rehearsal mechanism for spatial working memory. Much of the research concerning spatial working memory has focused on its independence from other working memory systems. For instance, the influential model of working memory introduced by Baddeley and Hitch (1974) emphasize

Year: 1998
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