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Trends Cogn Sci. 2003 Apr;7(4):166-172.

How conscious experience and working memory interact.

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The Neurosciences Institute, San Diego, 92121, California, USA


Active components of classical working memory are conscious, but traditional theory does not account for this fact. Global Workspace theory suggests that consciousness is needed to recruit unconscious specialized networks that carry out detailed working memory functions. The IDA model provides a fine-grained analysis of this process, specifically of two classical working-memory tasks, verbal rehearsal and the utilization of a visual image. In the process, new light is shed on the interactions between conscious and unconscious aspects of working memory.


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