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Heejung Kim, Min-Shik Kim; Working memory training reduces working memory load effect. Journal of Vision 2006;6(6):127. doi: 10.1167/6.6.127.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Cognitive control has been reported to be affected by working memory capacity and concurrent working memory load. This study examined whether and how spatial working memory (SWM) capacity and SWM training influence the effects of working memory load on cognitive control. The experiments of the present study had three sessions. In pre-test session, each participant's SWM capacity and cognitive control performance were measured; the former via a visuo-spatial serial recall test (VSRT), and the latter via a dual-task of a SWM task and a spatial flanker task. The pre-test results showed that the performance of the large SWM capacity group, regardless of the amount of concurrent SWM load, was little interfered by the distractor. However, the performance of the small SWM capacity group was heavily interfered by the distractor when SWM load was increased. For the training session, those who showed low performance in VSRT were randomly assigned into either a verbal working memory (VWM) or a SWM training group. The VWM training group performed a verbal change detection task and the SWM training group performed a spatial memory recognition task. During the post-test session following a three-day training, both groups performed the same tasks as those used in the pre-test session. The post-test results showed that the SWM training reduced the amount of flanker interference even when SWM load was high. These results demonstrate that the SWM training can reduce the SWM load effect, which results in an improved cognitive control.
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