When Working Memory Updating requires updating: Analysis of serial position in a running memory task
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This study aimed to investigate updating in working memory (WM), analyzing the effects of task demand and memory resources on serial position curve (SPC), in a running memory task with slow pace presentation and a probed recognition procedure. These task conditions were supposed to produce an easier WM updating task, which may allow evidencing whether the task is performed through an active or a passive updating. Serial position curves were compared in conditions of high or low memory load, and with or without interference of a secondary (prospective memory, PM) task. With either a high WM load, or a high PM load, results showed a SPC with both primacy and recency effects, indicating the use of an active strategy. When resources were taken up by both PM task and high WM demand the usual pattern with only recency effect was obtained. Taken together, these findings support the ideas that 1 - people can effectively update WM, and 2 - the performance is dependent on both memory and executive resource availability.
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