The Development of Working Memory: Exploring the Complementarity of Two Models
Kemps, Eva Bertha
De Rammelaere, Stijn
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The aim of the paper was to further explore the complementarity of the working memory models postulated by Pascual-Leone and Baddeley. Five-, six-, eight- and nine-year-old children were assessed on two working memory tasks, which have frequently been used within the respective streams of research: the Mr. Peanut task and the Corsi blocks task. Results indicated a developmental increase in spatial short-term memory for both tasks. Concurrent spatial suppression reduced performance on the two tasks in all four age groups. By contrast, articulatory suppression only interfered with recall on the Mr. Peanut task, and only in the older children. The two models were shown to make their own specific contribution to the interpretation of the data, attesting to their complementarity. Pascual-Leone’s theory offered a clear explanation of the results concerning the central aspects of working memory, i.e. the stepwise age-related increase in performance, whereas Baddeley’s model provided a convincing account of the findings regarding the peripheral phonological and visuo-spatial components, i.e. the effects of articulatory and spatial suppression. Key Words: short-term memory; spatial memory; information processing capacity; memory development; working memory models; rehearsal strategies; cognitive development.