Correlated Individual Differences in the Estimated Precision of Working Memory and Long-Term Memory: Commentary on the Study by Biderman, Luria, Teodorescu, Hajaj, and Goshen-Gottstein (2019)

Published on 2020-02-13T13:10:11Z (GMT) by
<p>Although the classic system view of memory attributes short-term and long-term information retention to independent memory systems (Atkinson & Shiffrin, 1968), the emerging state view of memory replaces this dichotomy with the idea that mental representations are retained in different states (Cowan, 2001). According to this state view, short-term information retention in working memory (WM) is conceptualized as activated long-term memory (LTM) under the focus of attention. Thus, representations across WM and LTM are closely related (e.g., Xie & Zhang, 2018) and can be supported by shared neural mechanisms (Nee & Jonides, 2008, 2013). A previous study by Brady, Konkle, Gill, Oliva, and Alvarez (2013) shows that the precision of retained information across WM and LTM is highly similar, which seems to be consistent with this state view. However, using the same method as Brady et al., Biderman, Luria, Teodorescu, Hajaj, and Goshen-Gottstein (2019) recently reported that precision estimates in WM tasks were substantially higher than those in LTM tasks, suggesting that there are different precision limits across WM and LTM. We found that the interpretation of these conflicting findings was complicated by a conceptual issue in the direct comparison of the behavioral estimates of precision across WM and LTM tasks by both Brady et al. and Biderman et al. To move this line of research forward, we propose an alternative approach using individual differences to provide a better test for the relationship between precision constraints in WM and LTM.</p>

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Xie, Weizhen; Park, Hyung-Bum; Zaghloul, Kareem A.; Zhang, Weiwei (2020): Correlated Individual Differences in the Estimated Precision of Working Memory and Long-Term Memory: Commentary on the Study by Biderman, Luria, Teodorescu, Hajaj, and Goshen-Gottstein (2019). SAGE Journals. Collection. https://doi.org/10.25384/SAGE.c.4855137.v1