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The contribution of disengagement to temporal discriminability

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The present study examines the idea that time-based forgetting of outdated information can lead to better memory of currently relevant information. This was done using the visual arrays task, along with a between-subjects manipulation of both the retention interval (1 s vs. 4 s) and the time between two trials (1 s vs. 4 s). Consistent with prior work [Shipstead, Z., & Engle, R. W. (2013). Interference within the focus of attention: Working memory tasks reflect more than temporary maintenance. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 39, 277–289; Experiment 1], longer retention intervals did not lead to diminished memory of currently relevant information. However, we did find that longer periods of time between two trials improved memory for currently relevant information. This replicates findings that indicate proactive interference affects visual arrays performance and extends previous findings to show that reduction of proactive interference can occur in a time-dependent manner.
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Keywords: Temporal discriminability; focus of attention; visual arrays; visuospatial working memory; working memory capacity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, Alma College, Alma, MI, USA 2: School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA

Publication date: May 28, 2018

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