Thursday, May 12, 2005

Working memory listserv - TheVillage

Below is an FYI post I received from TheVillage working memory listserv. Interested IQ blogsters may want to consider joining this list.

The directions I received to join are to send an email to:
With this message in the body of the email:
  • subscribe thevillage
If it doesn't work, other contact information is listed below.

FYI message reposted from TheVillage listserv

Dear colleagues,
  • Below is TheVillage's monthly list of new, in-press papers related to WM received in April. The listings are presented in order of receipt during the month; each listing is separated by 5 asterisks. If you would like a copy of any of the papers listed and abstracted below, please email the contact author off-list.
  • If you are an author who would like to announce your own in-press work, please see the instructions at the bottom of this message.
  • If you have not yet joined the working memory listserve, but would like to, then please write the list owner, John Towse, at:
  • Author Name(s): Kevin Dent & Mary M Smyth
  • Contact email:
  • Title: Capacity limitations and representational shifts in spatial short-term memory capacity
  • Journal: Visual Cognition
  • Abstract: Performance was examined in a task requiring the reconstruction of spatial locations. Previous research suggests that it may be necessary to differentiate between memory for smaller and larger numbers of locations (Postma and DeHaan, 1996), at least when locations are presented simultaneously (Igel and Harvey, 1991). Detailed analyses of the characteristics of performance showed that such a differentiation may also be required for sequential presentation. Furthermore the slope of the function relating each successive response to accuracy was greater with 3 than with 6, 8, or 10 locations which did not differ. Participants also reconstructed the arrays as being more proximal than in fact they were, however sequential presentation eliminated this distortion when there were 3 but not when there were more than 3 locations. These results support the idea that very small numbers of locations are remembered using a specific form of representation, which is unavailable to larger numbers of locations.
  • Author Name(s): Kevin Dent & Mary M Smyth
  • Contact email:
  • Title: Verbal coding and the storage of form-position associations in visual-spatial short-term memory
  • Journal: Acta Psychologica
  • Abstract: Short-term memory for form-position associations was assessed using an object relocation task. Participants attempted to remember the positions of either 3 or 5 Japanese Kanji characters, presented on a computer monitor. Following a short blank interval, participants were presented with 2 alternative Kanji, only 1 of which was present in the initial stimulus, and the set of locations occupied in the initial stimulus. They attempted to select the correct item and relocate it back to its original position. The proportion of correct item selections showed effects of both articulatory suppression and memory load. In contrast the conditional probability of location given a correct item selection showed an effect of load but no effect of suppression. These results are consistent with the proposal that access to visual memory is aided by verbal recoding, but that there is no verbal contribution to memory for the association between form and position.
  • Author Name(s): Roy Allen, Peter McGeorge, David G. Pearson, Alan Milne.
  • Contact email:
  • Title: Multiple-target tracking: A role for working memory?
  • Journal: Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Section A
  • Abstract: In order to identify the cognitive processes associated with target tracking, a dual task experiment was carried out in which participants undertook a dynamic multiple-object tracking task first alone and then again, concurrently with one of several secondary tasks, in order to investigate the cognitive processes involved. The research suggests that after designated targets within the visual field have attracted preattentive indexes that point to their locations in space, conscious processes, vulnerable to secondary visual and spatial task interference, form deliberate strategies beneficial to the tracking task, before tracking commences. Target tracking itself is realized by central executive processes, which are sensitive to any other cognitive demands. The findings are discussed in the context of integrating dynamic spatial cognition within a working memory framework.
  • Author Name(s): Deschuyteneer, M. & Vandierendonck, A.
  • Contact email:
  • Title: The role of response selection and input monitoring in solving simple arithmetical products
  • Journal: Memory & Cognition
  • Abstract: Several studies have already shown that the central executive, as conceptualised in the working memory model of Baddeley and Hitch (1974), is important in simple mental arithmetic. Recently, attempts have been made to define more basic processes that underlie the "central executive". In this vein, monitoring, response selection, updating, mental shifting, and inhibition have been proposed as processes capturing executive control. Previous research has shown that secondary tasks which require a choice decision impair the calculation of simple sums, whereas input monitoring was not found to be a sufficient condition to impair the calculation of the sums (Deschuyteneer & Vandierendonck, in press). In the present paper we report data on the role of input monitoring and response selection in solving simple arithmetical products. In four experiments subjects solved one-digit products (e.g., 5 x 7) in a single-task as well as in dual-task conditions. Just as for solving simple sums, the results show a strong involvement of response selection in calculating simple products, while input monitoring does not seem to impair the calculation of such products. These findings give additional evidence that response selection may be one of the processes needed for solving simple mental arithmetic problems.

Once a month, a list of in-press papers and their abstracts will be distributed through the WM Village listserve. If you are an author who would like your paper listed, then please contact me off-list (at, as I will be collating the information.

In the subject line of the email, please write:
  • "In Press, [Month, Year], [1st Author Name]"
  • - where month and year refer to the date your email is sent. This will assist with the job of sorting and tracking messages.
  • The email itself should contain the referencing information. The format we'd prefer is given below (using a standard template will help subscribers peruse the listings for the information they desire).
  • Author Name(s):
  • Contact email:
  • Title:
  • Journal:
  • Abstract:

The value of this preprint information list depends on subscribers sharing preprint information, so we do strongly encourage you to let the list know if you have relevant articles accepted for publication.

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