Working memory: a multi-component model
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Previous studies have reported that combining two memory tasks or varying the level of cognitive demand in a task does not cause disruption in healthy adults’ performance. To examine whether a dual memory task would be more sensitive to the manipulation of cognitive load, a experiment was set in which recall of digits sequences was combined with recall of visual patterns. The results suggested that different levels of cognitive load do not affect the task being performed simultaneously, when retaining sequences of digits in memory while encoding and retrieving visual patterns and vice-e-versa. These data challenge the assumption of a single limited attentional capacity, which prevents a trade-off of capacity between two concurrent tasks. However, this data can be easily explained by a multi-component model of working memory.