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J Exp Psychol Gen. 2001 Jun;130(2):169-83.

A controlled-attention view of working-memory capacity.

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Department of Psychology, Georgia State University, USA.


In 2 experiments the authors examined whether individual differences in working-memory (WM) capacity are related to attentional control. Experiment 1 tested high- and low-WM-span (high-span and low-span) participants in a prosaccade task, in which a visual cue appeared in the same location as a subsequent to-be-identified target letter, and in an antisaccade task, in which a target appeared opposite the cued location. Span groups identified targets equally well in the prosaccade task, reflecting equivalence in automatic orienting. However, low-span participants were slower and less accurate than high-span participants in the antisaccade task, reflecting differences in attentional control. Experiment 2 measured eye movements across a long antisaccade session. Low-span participants made slower and more erroneous saccades than did high-span participants. In both experiments, low-span participants performed poorly when task switching from antisaccade to prosaccade blocks. The findings support a controlled-attention view of WM capacity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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