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Complex Span Versus Updating Tasks of Working Memory: The Gap Is Not That Deep

Schmiedek, Florian; Hildebrandt, Andrea; Lövdén, Martin LU ; Wilhelm, Oliver and Lindenberger, Ulman (2009) In Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 35(4). p.1089-1096
Abstract
How to best measure working memory capacity is an issue of ongoing debate. Besides established complex span tasks, which combine short-term memory demands with generally unrelated secondary tasks, there exists a set of paradigms characterized by continuous and simultaneous updating of several items in working memory, such as the n-back, memory updating, or alpha span tasks. With a latent variable analysis (N = 96) based on content-heterogeneous operationalizations of both task families, the authors found a latent correlation between a complex span factor and an updating factor that was not statistically different from unity (r = .96). Moreover, both factors predicted fluid intelligence (reasoning) equally well. The authors conclude that... (More)
How to best measure working memory capacity is an issue of ongoing debate. Besides established complex span tasks, which combine short-term memory demands with generally unrelated secondary tasks, there exists a set of paradigms characterized by continuous and simultaneous updating of several items in working memory, such as the n-back, memory updating, or alpha span tasks. With a latent variable analysis (N = 96) based on content-heterogeneous operationalizations of both task families, the authors found a latent correlation between a complex span factor and an updating factor that was not statistically different from unity (r = .96). Moreover, both factors predicted fluid intelligence (reasoning) equally well. The authors conclude that updating tasks measure working memory equally well as complex span tasks. Processes involved in building, maintaining, and updating arbitrary bindings may constitute the common working memory ability underlying performance on reasoning, complex span, and updating tasks. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
structural equation modeling, fluid intelligence, n-back, working memory, complex span tasks
in
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
volume
35
issue
4
pages
1089 - 1096
publisher
American Psychological Association (APA)
external identifiers
  • wos:000267623200017
  • scopus:67650754952
ISSN
0278-7393
DOI
10.1037/a0015730
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
dfe56346-02dc-4869-ad34-9137c50173c6 (old id 1463098)
date added to LUP
2009-08-31 11:03:21
date last changed
2017-10-29 04:05:41
@article{dfe56346-02dc-4869-ad34-9137c50173c6,
  abstract     = {How to best measure working memory capacity is an issue of ongoing debate. Besides established complex span tasks, which combine short-term memory demands with generally unrelated secondary tasks, there exists a set of paradigms characterized by continuous and simultaneous updating of several items in working memory, such as the n-back, memory updating, or alpha span tasks. With a latent variable analysis (N = 96) based on content-heterogeneous operationalizations of both task families, the authors found a latent correlation between a complex span factor and an updating factor that was not statistically different from unity (r = .96). Moreover, both factors predicted fluid intelligence (reasoning) equally well. The authors conclude that updating tasks measure working memory equally well as complex span tasks. Processes involved in building, maintaining, and updating arbitrary bindings may constitute the common working memory ability underlying performance on reasoning, complex span, and updating tasks.},
  author       = {Schmiedek, Florian and Hildebrandt, Andrea and Lövdén, Martin and Wilhelm, Oliver and Lindenberger, Ulman},
  issn         = {0278-7393},
  keyword      = {structural equation modeling,fluid intelligence,n-back,working memory,complex span tasks},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {1089--1096},
  publisher    = {American Psychological Association (APA)},
  series       = {Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition},
  title        = {Complex Span Versus Updating Tasks of Working Memory: The Gap Is Not That Deep},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0015730},
  volume       = {35},
  year         = {2009},
}