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Memory. 1999 Mar;7(2):209-31.

The role of memory in the Tower of London task.

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  • 1Psychology Department, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK.


The Tower of London (TOL) task is widely used as a neuropsychological test of planning. Relatively little is known of the cognitive components of the task, and in particular the role of memory in performance. The current studies on normal adults looked at the role of verbal and spatial working memory in the TOL. The effects of verbal and visuospatial dual-task manipulations on TOL performance were examined in an experiment with 36 participants. Both verbal and visuospatial executive secondary tasks caused poorer performance on the TOL; however, concurrent articulatory suppression enhanced performance. The results suggest that executive and spatial components are important in the task, and raise questions about the role of preplanning in the TOL.

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