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The phonological loop in task alternation and task repetition

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It has recently been proposed that task repetition is easier than task alternation because the appropriate task settings are already present in working memory, whereas during task alternation task settings must be retrieved from long‐term memory (Mayr & Kliegl, 2000). The present study tested whether the phonological loop is involved in keeping the relevant task settings active in working memory. It may then be expected that concurrent articulatory suppression would diminish the facilitation associated with task repetition because the phonological loop could no longer maintain the appropriate task settings active in working memory. Both during task repetition and task alternation the relevant task settings should then be retrieved from long‐term memory. Three dual‐task experiments were conducted. The results of Experiment 1 were in support of our prediction. Experiment 2 replicated the findings of Experiment 1 and showed that the task settings probably represent the adequate response mappings. Experiment 3 ruled out the involvement of the visuo‐spatial sketchpad and more general coordination demands during dual tasking.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Ghent University, Belgium

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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