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Psychon Bull Rev. 2016 Oct;23(5):1504-1512.

The domain-specific and domain-general relationships of visuospatial working memory to reasoning ability.

Author information

1
Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arizona State University, Glendale, AZ, 85306-4908, USA. zach.shipstead@asu.edu.
2
Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arizona State University, Glendale, AZ, 85306-4908, USA.

Abstract

The degree to which visuospatial working memory (VSWM) is separable from working memory in general is an open question. On one hand, the construct is often researched as a unitary, domain-specific system. On the other, there is evidence that VWSM shares a common processing component with verbal memory. One might interpret this shared component as domain-general attention. We used confirmatory factor analysis to demonstrate that VSWM shares a domain-general component with verbal memory tasks and has a domain-specific component that is independent of verbal memory. Furthermore, the domain-general component was found to correlate with reasoning ability in both the visuospatial and verbal domains. The domain-specific component only correlated with reasoning ability when the tests had a strong visuospatial component. We argue that theories of VSWM need to place greater emphasis on its multiply determined nature.

KEYWORDS:

Fluid intelligence; Reasoning; Visuospatial working memory; Working memory capacity

PMID:
26975608
DOI:
10.3758/s13423-016-1021-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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