Dissociating distractor-filtering at encoding and during maintenance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

The effectiveness of distractor-filtering is a potentially important determinant of working memory capacity (WMC). However, a distinction between the contributions of distractor-filtering at WM encoding as opposed to filtering during maintenance has not been made and the assumption is that these rely on the same mechanism. Within 2 experiments, 1 conducted in the laboratory with 21 participants, and the other played as a game on smartphones (n = 3,247) we measure WMC without distractors, and present distractors during encoding or during the delay period of a WM task to determine performance associated with distraction at encoding and during maintenance. Despite differences in experimental setting and paradigm design between the 2 studies, we show a unique contribution to WMC from both encoding and delay distractor performance in both experiments, while controlling for performance in the absence of distraction. Thus, within 2 separate experiments, 1 involving an extremely large cohort of 3,247 participants, we show a dissociation between encoding and delay distractor-filtering, indicating that separate mechanisms may contribute to WMC.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)960-967
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Volume40
Issue number3
Early online date10 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • distraction, distractor filtering, working memory, working memory capacity