Back to overview

Does Controlling for Temporal Parameters Change the Levels-of-Processing Effect in Working Memory?

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Loaiza Vanessa, Camos Valerie,
Project What is attentional refreshing?
Show all

Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Advances in Cognitive Psychology
Title of proceedings Advances in Cognitive Psychology


The distinguishability between working memory (WM) and long-term memory has been a frequent and long-lasting source of debate in the literature. One recent method of identifying the relationship between the two systems has been to consider the influence of long-term memory effects, such as the levels-of-processing (LoP) effect, in WM. However, the few studies that have examined the LoP effect in WM have shown divergent results. This study examined the LoP effect in WM by considering a theoretically meaningful methodological aspect of the LoP span task. Specifically, we fixed the presentation duration of the secondary task a priori because such fixed tasks have shown differences when compared to unfixed tasks in terms of recall from WM as well as the latent structure of WM. After establishing a fixed presentation rate from a pilot study, the LoP span task presented memoranda in red or blue font that were immediately followed by two processing words that matched the memoranda in terms of font color or semantic relatedness. Participants made deep or shallow processing decisions for each of the memoranda before a cue to recall them from WM. Participants also completed delayed recall of these memoranda. Results indicated that LoP affected delayed recall, but not immediate recall from WM. These results suggest that fixing temporal parameters of the LoP span task does not moderate the null LoP effect in WM, and further indicate that WM and long-term episodic memory are dissociable on the basis of LoP.