Two studies that examine whether the forgetting caused by the processing demands of working memory tasks is domain-general or domain-specific are presented. In each, separate groups of adult participants were asked to carry out either verbal or nonverbal operations on exactly the same processing materials while maintaining verbal storage items. The imposition of verbal processing tended to produce greater forgetting even though verbal processing operations took no longer to complete than did nonverbal processing operations. However, nonverbal processing did cause forgetting relative to baseline control conditions, and evidence from the timing of individuals' processing responses suggests that individuals in both processing groups slowed their responses in order to "refresh" the memoranda. Taken together the data suggest that processing has a domain-general effect on working memory performance by impeding refreshment of memoranda but can also cause effects that appear domain-specific and that result from either blocking of rehearsal or interference.
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition|
|Publication status||Published - May 2011|