Two studies investigated the relationship between working memory capacity (WMC), adult age, and the resolution of conflict between familiarity and recollection in short-term recognition tasks. Experiment 1 showed a specific deficit of young adults with low WMC in rejecting intrusion probes (i.e., highly familiar probes) in a modified Sternberg task, similar to old adults in a parallel experiment (Oberauer, 2001). Experiment 2 generalized these results to three recognition paradigms (modified Sternberg, local recognition, and n-back). Old adults showed disproportionally enlarged intrusion costs only in reaction times, whereas young adults with low WMC showed them only in errors. The generality of the effect across paradigms is better compatible with a deficit in content-context bindings subserving recollection than with a deficit in inhibition of irrelevant information in working memory. Structural equation models showed that WMC is related to the efficiency of recollection but not of familiarity.
|Translated title of the contribution||Binding and inhibition in working memory: individual and age differences in short-term recognition|
|Pages (from-to)||368 - 387|
|Number of pages||20|
|Journal||Journal of Experimental Psychology: General|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2005|