The Effectiveness of Digit Span Tasks as a Measure of Visuospatial Bootstrapping in Working Memory.
Findlay, K. (2014) The Effectiveness of Digit Span Tasks as a Measure of Visuospatial Bootstrapping in Working Memory., no. 47.
It has been recently found that when to-be-remembered numbers are paired with additional visuospatial information those numbers are generally better remembered than single numbers. Reasons for this are believed to be the result of a binding between verbal and visuospatial short-term memory with long-term memory representations, ultimately creating a visuospatial bootstrapping effect. Most of such evidence has suggested that this relationship revolves largely on the episodic buffer, particularly on how it reacts with specific components, retrieving information from the various slave systems within working memory. Although such evidence has been successful in demonstrating the existence of such an effect, little attention has been given to whether there is any particular methodologies that can be used as to effectively assess visuospatial bootstrapping effect and to what extent the bootstrapping effect actually impacts memory capacity/performance. In the current study, 48 participants were recruited to take part in digit-span tasks. During this study, each participant was required to recall a series of digit sequences. Each of these sequences were presented in single format and a keypad format, similar to that of a mobile phone, followed by 30 sequence trials in each condition (single and keypad). The results of the current study has allowed us to compare the differences in memory span in each condition, as well as the differences in correctly recalled sequences in both the single and keypad format, in order to investigate whether a visuospatial bootstrapping effect exists and whether such an effect can be effectively measured through the use of digit-span tasks. Keywords: Working memory; Phonological Loop; Central Executive; Visuospatial Sketchpad; Episodic Buffer; Visuospatial Bootstrapping.