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Processing of representations in declarative and procedural working memory

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author da Silva Souza Alessandra,
Project Declarative and procedural Working memory
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Volume (Issue) iFirst
Page(s) 1 - 28
Title of proceedings Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
DOI DOI:10.1080/17470218.2011.640403


The article investigates the relation between declarative and procedural working memory (WM; Oberauer, 2009). Two experiments test the assumption that representations in the two subsystems are selected for processing in analogous ways. Participants carried out a series of decisions on memorized lists of digits. For each decision, they had to select declarative and procedural representations. Regarding declarative representations, participants selected a memory set and a digit within this set as the input to each decision. With respect to the procedural representations, they selected a task set to be applied to the selected digit and a response within that task set. We independently manipulated the number of lists and the number of tasks to be switched among (one, two, or three; Experiment 1) and preparation time for a list switch (Experiment 2). For three effects commonly observed in taskswitch studies, analogues in declarative WM were found: list-switch costs, mixing costs, and residual switch costs. List- and task-switch costs were underadditive, suggesting that declarative and procedural representations are selected separately and in parallel. The findings support the hypothesis of two analogous WM subsystems. Keywords: Working memory; Task switching.