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J Exp Psychol Gen. 1999 Sep;128(3):309-31.

Working memory, short-term memory, and general fluid intelligence: a latent-variable approach.

Author information

  • 1School of Psychology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta 30332-0170, USA. randall.engle@psych.gatech.edu

Abstract

A study was conducted in which 133 participants performed 11 memory tasks (some thought to reflect working memory and some thought to reflect short-term memory), 2 tests of general fluid intelligence, and the Verbal and Quantitative Scholastic Aptitude Tests. Structural equation modeling suggested that short-term and working memories reflect separate but highly related constructs and that many of the tasks used in the literature as working memory tasks reflect a common construct. Working memory shows a strong connection to fluid intelligence, but short-term memory does not. A theory of working memory capacity and general fluid intelligence is proposed: The authors argue that working memory capacity and fluid intelligence reflect the ability to keep a representation active, particularly in the face of interference and distraction. The authors also discuss the relationship of this capability to controlled attention, and the functions of the prefrontal cortex.

PMID:
10513398
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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