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The Cognitive Neuroscience of Working
Memory$
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Naoyuki Osaka, Robert H. Logie, and Mark D'Esposito

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780198570394

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198570394.001.0001

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Activation, binding, and selective access

Activation, binding, and selective access

An embedded three-component framework for working memory

Chapter:
(p.351) 20 Activation, binding, and selective access
Source:
The Cognitive Neuroscience of Working Memory
Author(s):

Klaus Oberauer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198570394.003.0020

This chapter offers a model in which there is no limit to the amount of activation available, with the possibility of multiple distinct activations. However limitations arise if there are too many representations active at one time, leading to competition and interference, and a requirement for an inhibitory process for activations that are not relevant for the task in hand. It suggests that efficiency of inhibitory function might offer a major source of individual differences in working memory capacity. It also suggests that at any one time there is a set of activations that are readily accessible, and there is a subset of these that are in the focus of attention. it is specific about competition between activations for the focus of attention. This last concept is described as a processing bottleneck.

Keywords:   working memory, selective access, processing bottleneck, inhibitory function

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