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Resource allocation and prioritization in auditory working memory

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sukhbinder Kumar, Professor Tim Griffiths

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Abstract

A prevalent view of working memory (WM) considers it to be capacity-limited, fixed to a set number of items. However, recent shared resource models of WM have challenged this quantized account using measures of recall precision. Although this conceptual framework can account for several features of visual WM, it remains to be established whether it also applies to auditory WM. We used a novel pitch-matching paradigm to probe participants' memory of pure tones in sequences of varying length, and measured their precision of recall. Crucially, this provides an index of the variability of memory representation around its true value, rather than a binary yes/no recall measure typically used in change detection paradigms. We show that precision of auditory WM varies with both memory load and serial order. Moreover, auditory WM resources can be prioritized to cued items, improving precision of recall, but with a concomitant cost to other items, consistent with a resource model account.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Kumar S, Joseph S, Pearson B, Teki S, Fox ZV, Griffiths TD, Husain M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cognitive Neuroscience

Year: 2013

Volume: 4

Issue: 1

Pages: 12-20

Print publication date: 21/08/2012

ISSN (print): 1758-8928

ISSN (electronic): 1758-8936

Publisher: Psychology Press

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17588928.2012.716416

DOI: 10.1080/17588928.2012.716416


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